Mandy McCutcheon Joins Elite Group of NRHA Three Million Dollar Riders

With earnings of $23,014 at this year’s National Reining Horse Association Futurity, Mandy McCutcheon became only the fifth rider in reining history to earn more than $3 million in the show pen.

McCutcheon, of Aubrey, Texas, joins a very small group of riders, including Seven Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani, Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame inductee Shawn Flarida, Four Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal, and her father, NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame inductee Tim McQuay.

“I didn’t realize there were only four others to win that much. That’s pretty cool,” she said. “It’s so special to be there with my dad. I can say, 100 percent, that’s the most important part to me.”

McCutcheon, also an NRHA Million Dollar Owner, is the glue that holds one of reining’s dynasties together. Her husband, Tom McCutcheon, is an NRHA Million Dollar Rider and Owner. Their children are following in their parents’ well-worn footsteps. Cade McCutcheon is now an NRHA Million Dollar Rider with an NRHA Futurity Championship and a The Run For A Million Co-Championship under his belt. Carlee McCutcheon competes in both English and reining, where, at just 16 years old, she’s won more than $125,000.

McCutcheon is quick to thank those who helped her reach this new level. “The list of people to thank is so long. I obviously thank my parents, Tom, and Cade, and all our help. My team is so big and large, and we have great people that work for us. There have been people who have been in and out of our program over the years who are longtime friends and supporters, and they’ve all had a hand in this,” she said.

When asked what, aside from her incredible support staff, has made her career so incredible, McCutcheon recalled something her father once told her. “My dad always says that the good Lord just blessed him with the ability to do this, and I think that there is something to be said for that,” she shared.

McCutcheon was born into the quintessential horse show family. Her parents, NRHA Hall of Fame members Tim and Colleen McQuay, both excelled in different arenas. Colleen focused on the hunter/jumper world, while Tim concentrated on reining.

“The best advice I ever received was from my parents, they’ve always said that the main thing is to just show the horse you have under you. That horse might not have the ability to win it that day, but if you show that horse to the best of its ability, you’ll get the best results that day.” She added, “You might just get the best ride out of that horse, and sometimes you might even win because you rode the horse the way it needed.”

For years, McCutcheon split her time between the two disciplines. In the English arena, she won championships at some of the most elite hunter and jumper shows in that world. She was the reserve junior hunter champion at the Harrisburg National Horse Show, and also won the Winners Stakes there. She won the United States Equestrian Team Youth Talent Derby at Gladstone, New Jersey, and came back a few years later to win the USET Futures Championship there. She also won two AQHA jumping world championships.

Eventually, McCutcheon decided to focus on reining, an event in which she began to compete at just 10 years old.

She won her first NRHA Futurity Non Pro Championship in 1993 on Hollywood Striker (Hollywood Dun It x Strike Zone), and to date has won 10 Non Pro Futurity championships.

She’s also won the National Reining Breeders Classic Non Pro Championship eight times and has five NRHA Derby titles to her name.

She became the first non pro and first female Million Dollar Rider in 2007 and passed $2 million in 2014.

With more than three decades of reining in the books, McCutcheon added there are a few runs that stand out above the others. “I can’t forget when I won the (2012) NRBC on Always Gotyer Gunsup up. We marked a 231 or something crazy like that. Also, my run on JLosa at this year’s NRBC stands out, not because it was out of this world, but because that mare tried to be so good for me and it was so much fun,” she said. “There are all different runs and horses that are memorable. This year I was riding one of Cade’s horses, and he showed so good for me after having a bad day before. It’s the little things like that that are special. It’s not always about the win – sometimes it’s the small, personal victory that means the most.”

Even with a lifetime of world-class competition under her belt, McCutcheon admits to still feeling the nerves when it’s time to ride into the arena. “Why would I do this if I didn’t get nervous and excited about it?” she asked. “The adrenaline rush and the thrill of it are two of the things that keep me coming back every year.”

What else drives McCutcheon? “It’s the horses. The love of those horses is the main thing, but so are the people. This is what we do. This is our life,” she said.

McCutcheon’s next goal? “I guess four million,” she quipped. “Actually, now the more important and most fun thing to me is to watch my kids be successful. Whatever I can do to help them be successful in either arena – Cade in reining and Carlee in reining and jumping – that’s my priority in life. When Tom and I do well, that’s just icing on the cake,” she said.

NRHA Sire & Dam Auction Open for Bidding

Overflowing with benefits for stallion, mare, and offspring owners, the Sire & Dam Program Online Auction is a win-win for all involved. This auction features 70+ of the top stallions in the industry, but the opportunity to purchase a breeding ends on January 10.

Created in 1966, the NRHA Sire & Dam program provides significant benefits to participants while helping support the NRHA. Featuring benefits for both stallion and mare owners, this program is the perfect addition to any breeding program. Mare owners have the opportunity to purchase breedings that they may not otherwise have access to at reduced rates.

The Sire & Dam Auction is a valuable asset for mare owners, who can purchase breedings to an impressive lineup of stallions, often at reduced rates. Resulting offspring from the program have quite a bit of added value before they even hit the ground. Some of those benefits include:

  • No nomination to the NRHA Futurity and Derby required; resulting foals are automatically eligible.
  • Reduced entry fees (up to 50%) for the NRHA Futurity and Derby, as well as later entry deadlines.
  • Sire & Dam offspring eligibility remains with the foal even after it is sold.

“The NRHA Sire & Dam Program is the greatest thing going. It’s cost-effective and benefits everyone involved. From a mare owner’s point of view, the money we save for the resulting foal is worth its weight in gold. It’s the only deal in town,” shared Clint Haverty.

Stallion owners donate a breeding to the Sire & Dam Auction and reap the benefit of enhanced promotion through program advertising. They also become eligible for NRHA Futurity & Derby Sire incentives, including cash awards. There is still time to enroll a stallion in the Sire & Dam Auction, and anyone interested in doing so should contact NRHA Sire & Dam Program Director Haley Carmen at

“We are so excited to be able to offer these incentives to those who purchase a breeding through the Sire & Dam stallion auction,” Carmen said. “The added value and benefits to the resulting foals are unparalleled in the industry.”

To view and bid on participating stallions, visit the Sire & Dam Auction at You must be registered to place a bid, and that can easily be completed by clicking the “My Account” link.

There may be additional fees for the mare owner, and mare owners are encouraged to contact the participating stallion owners and agents to ask about such fees prior to purchasing the breeding through the Sire & Dam Auction. Winning bidders will be notified by email after the auction closes on January 10.

To see the stallions still available, go to, and visit the Sire & Dam Auction at

For more information on the program, including how to purchase a breeding, visit the Sire & Dam page or contact Haley Carmen at

2021 NRHyA Buy-A-Pro Auction is Open for Bidding

For immediate release — December 11, 2021 — Oklahoma City, OK — The National Reining Horse Youth Association recently kicked off one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, the 2022 Buy-A-Pro Auction. This year the auction runs through 9 a.m. CST on February 1 and offers buyers a chance to purchase a two-lesson package with their choice of nearly 60 NRHA Professionals.
The all-star lineup includes several The Run For A Million Champions, NRHA Million Dollar Riders, stars from The Last Cowboy, NRHA World Champions, NRHA Horsemen and Women of the year, expert non pro coaches, and other proven professionals.
A winning bid grants riders an exceptional opportunity to travel to their chosen professional’s facility and polish their riding skills, their horse’s training, or, in some cases, try reining for the first time on a horse provided by the professional. From beginners to accomplished riders, everyone can gain from acquiring one of these private training packages.
“Dave Moore was so awesome, and it was great to have the opportunity to take a couple lessons from him,” said 2021 Buy-A-Pro participant, Heather Maxwell. “My husband owns a home not too far from Dave’s barn in Florida and the two of them really hit it off. Charlie will be bringing his horse down to Dave for the winter so he can train year-round. All in all, I have to say winning your auction was truly fantastic for all of us!”
Each of the participating NRHA Professionals donates two training sessions per package, with 15% of the proceeds benefiting their designated NRHA affiliate. The remainder of the funds are allotted directly to NRHyA to provide scholarships and other opportunities for young reiners.
Historically, this fundraiser has generated significant funding to support NRHyA. With participating professionals located all over the country, there are options to best suit the needs of each buyer. Before bidding, be sure to check if your selected Professional offers the amenities you need, such as lesson horses, stalls, or RV hook-ups.
With the interest generated from The Last Cowboy and the Run for a Million, the members and Board of NRHyA hope new reining fans from across the country will take advantage of this unique opportunity to take a reiner for a spin while also benefitting a great cause.
To view the NRHA Professionals available and place your bids today, visit

Smart Spook & Shiners Voodoo Dr Pass NRHA Million Dollar Sire Milestones at NRHA Futurity

With a record payout exceeding $2.8 million, the National Reining Horse Association Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships made history. Thanks to that historic payout, it also unofficially pushed multiple horses and individuals into new tiers of earnings, including sires Smart Spook and Shiners Voodoo Dr.

Smart Spook – Seven Million Dollar Sire

With Daniel Schloemer and Tracy Burmley’s earnings in the first section of the NRHA Futurity Open Finals, Smart Spook unofficially became NRHA’s newest Seven Million Dollar Sire. Prior to the Open Futurity Finals, Smart Spook was approximately $5,000 away from that achievement, then Schloemer and Bar Hoppin Spook (out Gunners Bar Fly) and Brumley and Spy Games (out of Little Lectric Spark) won more than $10,000 across three Levels.

Smart Spook, a 20-year-old stallion, is by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Smart Chic Olena and out of Sugarplum Spook. Owned and bred by Rosanne Sternberg, the sorrel stallion was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Before entering his career in the breeding shed, Smart Spook enjoyed a successful career within the show pen, earning more than $403,149 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings. The stallion’s top finishes include:

  • 2004 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Champion ridden by Shawn Flarida
  • 2005 NRHA L4 Open Derby Champion ridden by Flarida
  • 2005 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion ridden by Flarida
  • 2007 & 2009 FEI World Reining Masters Gold Medalist ridden by Rudi Kronsteiner

The stallion’s first class of money-earning offspring was foaled in 2006. Since then, the sire has produced 15 foals with more than $100,000 in NRHA LTE including five NRHA Futurity Champions and one NRHA Derby Champion.
Smart Spook’s top-performing offspring include:

  • Custom Spook (Custom Spinderella) $235,749
  • Patriot (Dunit A Lil Ruf) $232,998
  • Shine N Spook (Ebony Shines) $219,826
  • Spooks N Jewels (Whiz Jewels) $200,115
  • Red Stripe Spook (Ms Red Capri) $179,766

Shiners Voodoo Dr – Two Million Dollar Sire

Shiners Voodoo Dr became an NRHA Million Dollar Sire during the 2019 NRHA Futurity, and his offspring have continued to perform and win in reining competition. Prior to the MS Diamonds TX Level 4 Open Futurity Finals, the flashy palomino stallion was $36,000 from reaching the next rung on the Million Dollar Sire ladder.

While four Shiners Voodoo Dr offspring competed in the first section, there was only one who would compete in the Level 4 Finals – but it was a good one.

The foal, Shiner On My Eye (out of Flashy Lil Step), was trained and shown by NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. The pair had already earned more than $31,000 for the year, including the All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Futurity Reserve Championship. When the results were tallied, Flarida and Shiner On My Eye (owned by Robert Santagata) had tied for fourth in the Level 4 and took reserve in the Prime Time for total earnings of $72,205. The pair’s success secured Shiners Voodoo Dr’s spot on the Two Million Dollar Sire list.

By NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Shining Spark and out of Voodoo Chic, Shiners Voodoo Dr, fondly referred to as “Voodoo,” earned more than $85,900 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings during his show career. The stallion, bred by Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch, is owned by Silver Spurs Equine.

Shiners Voodoo Dr’s top-performing offspring include:

  • Shiner On My Eye (Flashy Lil Step) $106,609
  • Xtra New Pal Voodoo (Wimpys New Pal) $81,893
  • Warlocks Last Step (SDP A Lasting Step) $81,432
  • Shiners Voodoo (BR China Rose) $75,354
  • Smart Voodoo Doctor (Smart As Sister) $62,376

Researching sire records is easy, just go to to sign up or log in.

Driven to Greatness — Andrea Fappani Becomes NRHA Leading All Time Rider and Crosses $7 Million Milestone

All Bettss Are Off

The National Reining Horse Association’s newest All Time Leading Rider, Andrea Fappani, said recently, “My father always felt that if we were going to do something, we were going to do it all the way. It wasn’t only for fun; it was about work and responsibility, but with that came a lot of reward.”

With recorded NRHA earnings well into the millions, it’s apparent the work has paid off. Prior to the 2021 NRHA Futurity, Fappani was just $207,000 from passing the $7 million mark and was close behind NRHA All-Time Leading Rider Shawn Flarida.

On Saturday, December 4, Fappani showed three horses in the MS Diamonds TX Level 4 Open Finals, tying himself for the Reserve Championship on Winding Inferno (Inferno Sixty Six x Wind Her Up Chic, owned by Teton Ridge) and Mr Farenheit (Magnum Chic Dream x Wimpy Little Girl, owned by Morin/Vandorp).

With each reserve title paying $125,000, plus an additional $9,906 won on his third entry, Fappani unseated Flarida to become only the fourth All Time Leading Rider. That accomplishment has only been achieved by three NRHA Hall of Famers – Bill Horn, Tim McQuay, and Flarida.

NRHA President Rick Clark said, “Andrea is an amazing horseman who has worked so hard at it. Who would have thought seven million dollars would ever be achievable? I think he is showing us all that the sky is the limit. On behalf of NRHA’s Board of Directors and Staff, I congratulate Andrea and his incredible family.”

For Fappani, the moments following the completion of the Futurity L4 finals were emotional. He said, “This means so much. It’s what I have been working on all my career. It wasn’t so much the number, seven million, it was more the accomplishment of coming from another country, setting my mind to it, and becoming the best I could be. It’s a great feeling. It’s been a long way and a lot of hard work, and both my family and my help have sacrificed a lot to help me get here.”

The Shaping of a Champion

The intensity, drive, dedication, and commitment all began in the late 1970s on a dairy farm in Bergamo, Italy. Fappani’s parents, Sergio and Maddalisa, were fourth-generation dairy farmers. It would have been the natural step for the young man to follow in the well-worn and successful footprints of his parents, but a different desire drove him.

Tinker With Guns

“My dad introduced me to horses when I was about four years old, and I began taking lessons. He wanted me to have a hobby that we could share together,” Fappani recalled.

At the time, western performance equine events were almost non-existent in Europe. “Most everything in Europe was English riding, and jumping in particular. I took to it pretty fast. That’s how I started and what I did for the first two or three years before a friend introduced us to reining,” he said. “He told us there was something amazing that we needed to check out. I took my first reining lesson at eight years old, and never looked back.”

For Fappani, who says he was a small and skinny kid, the demeanor, training, and athleticism of the American Quarter Horse was the perfect fit. “That first lesson on a reining horse gave me a lot more confidence than what I had with the horses I was riding at the time. I was a bit timid, so those big warmbloods were intimidating to me,” he admitted. “I was comfortable with the reining horses and was able to create a whole new personal relationship with them. That’s why I stuck with it.”

Fappani experimented with different sports but never found anything that gave him the same feeling as being horseback. “I never thought I was that good at anything else. Horses gave me confidence to get past my shyness. It was easy for me, even at an early age, to communicate with them, and teach them a trick or a maneuver, or whatever it was,” he said. “That sparked my interest in training and eventually showing.”

His parents, particularly Sergio, instilled a sense of responsibility and work ethic. That mindset fostered a drive for greatness, and as long as Fappani put in the effort and did well in school, Sergio promised he would have the opportunities to learn as much as he could.

He took lessons with Alberto Serena, NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Guy Gauthier, Gaethan Gauthier, and two-time NRHA Futurity Champion Craig Johnson.

RR Star – 2001 NRHA Futurity

When he was 14 years old, Fappani began to spend summers in the United States and Canada to learn from different trainers. “I wanted and needed to learn as much as I could and to be better all the time. I think that was a big part of my success later on…it’s not that I can’t look back and be happy with what I’ve done, but I never want to get complacent. I want to always strive for more both with the horse, with my personal life, and everything else,” he said.

By the time Fappani was in his late teens, he was getting help from several trainers spending time in Italy, including Jim Kiser, Don Boyd, and Mike Davis. “There were a lot of Americans in Italy at the time training for Italian owners, and I was fortunate to learn from them,” he said. “Their help played a big part in my upbringing and were the basis of what I developed later in my own program. I learned a lot of pieces from different people, and I feel lucky that I had those opportunities.”

A turning point in Fappani’s career came when he met Todd Bergen, a young reining trainer who would eventually garner more than two million dollars in earnings in both the NRHA and the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

“Todd came to the Italian Futurity; it must have been around 1995. He saw me riding, and said he would give me a job if I ever wanted to come work in the United States. I felt he saw something in me, and maybe there was something more in the back of my mind,” he said.

Bergen, of Eagle Point, Oregon, recalled, “Andrea was so focused, and reining was all he thought about. He was very serious about what he was doing. It doesn’t surprise me at all he has gone on to be so successful. He is one of the most driven people I have ever been around.”

Fappani soon found himself on the West Coast, riding with Bergen and NRHA Futurity Champion John Slack. “I took a chance and came to the United States as a Non Pro. I also rode with Brett Stone at the Stone Ranch for a few months,” he shared.

RR Star

In 1998, Fappani returned to Italy to complete the military service required of all Italians. When that was completed, he surrendered his non pro status and returned to Oregon to work with Bergen full time.

“Andrea was already very talented on a horse, but just like any young trainer, he had to find a way and find a program. Once he got ahold of that and understood that part of it, the possibilities were endless with him,” Bergen shared.

“Those five years in Oregon changed everything for me. Todd showed me so much about what needed to happen on a horse to be successful and he is the person I would say has had the biggest impact on who I am,” Fappani said.

It was while at Bergen’s that Fappani got his first big chance at success. A young American Paint Horse Association registered colt named RR Star (Like A Diamond x RL Miss Kitty) was in the barn, and Fappani was handed the reins. At the 2001 NRHA Futurity, Fappani piloted RR Star to the Open title, becoming one of the youngest Open Futurity Champions ever at just 24 years old, just two years after becoming an NRHA Professional. “That was the peak of my career as an assistant trainer,” he said.

In 2003, Fappani and his wife Tish set out on their own. “The big question to me had always been was I good enough to win the Futurity. Then when I reached that goal, I thought I should just put my head down and see if I could get to the top. It’s been a process ever since, and what has pushed me to keep going,” he said. “You know, winning a year-end deal was never enough for me. For me it was always the big picture of getting better, having better clients, developing consistent show horses for my clients, and creating a business that represented excellence. I wanted to connect my name and my brand to a real professional way of doing things.”

Fappani became an NRHA Million Dollar Rider in 2006, less than eight years after becoming an NRHA Professional.

A student of the game, Fappani has spent his life studying horses, the work of others, learning what makes a legend, and what combination would prove to have the greatest long-term benefit for the horse. “The ones who have been competitive at the highest level for a long time are the ones that have everything in place to be successful at every aspect of the business.”
His gold standard? Shawn Flarida.

“Shawn has always been a person I looked up to, because he wants to win so much, and has been able to stay competitive for so long. There’s just something special about him and his program, and I have talked to him about it, studied it, and learned as much as I could,” he said. “He has won so much that it’s obvious he has something figured out that I feel like I myself don’t have yet. He can deal with pressure; he can get the best out of his horses and get them to peak at the right time. Those are all special qualities.”

Big Chex To Cash – 2005

So how does it feel to surpass Shawn on the leading rider list? “It’s something that I never thought could be done. I am happy I achieved it. I told my family that if I only get past Shawn for a year, or even just a month can be in that same league, because I know him and how hard he’s worked to get where he’s at,” Fappani said.

The Owners

“I feel lucky because when I started on my own, there were two or three customers of Todd’s who kept their main horses with him, but gave me the opportunity right away to train some of their second string,” he recalled.

Capitalizing on those opportunities, Fappani finished second and third at the 2003 NRHA Futurity with NQH Little Jac and Command With Me.

There are a few owners whose names are almost synonymous with Fappani’s, one being NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Fame inductee Eleuterio Arcese of Italy. In 2011, Fappani piloted Arcese’s Spook Off Sparks (Smart Spook x Setting Off Sparks) to the Open Futurity Reserve Championship, then in 2020, Fappani piloted All Bettss Are Off (Gunner x Wimpys Little Chic) to the NRHA Open Futurity Championship. “Mr. Arcese saw me growing up in Italy and has always been a part of my career. His remarkable breeding program has given me some amazing horses to ride,” Fappani said. “I’m proud that over the years I have been able to win on some of his really good ones.”

Fappani also credits Two Million Dollar Owner Pat Warren of Rancho Oso Rio, the Scottsdale, Arizona headquarters of Fappani Performance Horses, for his success. “Twelve years ago, I came to Arizona to manage this ranch, and I think, together, we have won more than a million dollars on horses that were born and raised here,” he said. Standout Rancho Oso Rio-owned horses include NRHA Open Derby Champion Tinker With Guns and Custom Spook, earner of more than $235,000.

Custom Spook

Other notable owners and horses include Manuel Bonzano and Big Chex To Cash (Nu Chex To Cash x Snip O Gun, LTE $194,260), Steve Simon and Custom Legend (Custom Crome x Dry Doc Bobbie, LTE $228,364), and Michael and Michelle Miola’s Platinum Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x Starjac Miss, LTE $249,908), SG Frozen Enterprize (Frozen Sailor x RS Rose SJ, LTE $274,083), Chic Dreamin (Magnum Chic Dream x Skeets Red Dunit, LTE $247,272), Epic Titan (Gunner x Princess In Diamonds, LTE $82,298), and Custom Cash Advance (Custom Crome x Cash In Roan, LTE $228,607).

For Fappani, his owners have become like family, and they trust him explicitly with the care and training of their horses. “They’ve always understood that I put the horse first and not myself, and they trust me to make the decisions. That means a lot because I don’t have that weight on my back. I do things the way I want them done, and it’s paying off. I believe that’s what has allowed my program to succeed,” he said.

The Horses

With hundreds of horses he has ridden to NRHA earnings over the years, there are a few that stand out.

“RR Star was a huge challenge to train, and I think the reason we were successful was because I was hard-headed. He wound up being an amazing horse for me, and put me on the map,” Fappani shared. “Custom Legend still holds the record for the highest score ever, a 236.5, in a run-off at the NRBC. He will always be a special horse to me.”

There is one horse that Fappani says is the quintessential “Fappani” horse, and that’s NRHA Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash, on whom Fappani won the 2011 NRHA Open Futurity Championship. “I always use Lil Joe as the example of what I want. He clicked with my program from day one, and we just melted together at the beginning,” he remembered.

It’s Fappani’s desire to never stop learning from the horses and honing his horsemanship skills that have made each and every one that has stepped foot into his arena significant. “The ones that are more challenging, that I might not have won as much on…those are the ones who made me a better trainer and horseman. Those are the ones that made my program stronger, made me change my approach, and gave me a much different perspective.” He added, “I’m going to remember them because they made me better.”

The Support

NQH Little Jac – 2003 NRHA Futurity

There is no part of Fappani’s program that hasn’t been subject to his intense scrutiny, and that includes the people who he works with daily, his assistant trainers. “I’ve had some great ones over the years. The first few years aren’t as much fun, but you do it for the passion of the horses and because you want to learn. It’s a lot of hours and not much exposure,” he said. “Even though they aren’t in the arena making it happen, they’re a big part of the program.”

Professionals that have passed through his barn include Marco Ricotta, Arno Honstetter, Luke Gagnon, and Adam Hendrickson. NRCHA Professional Nick Dowers also spent some time at the Scottsdale ranch. “He only worked for me for a little bit, but I learned more from him than he learned from me,” Fappani said.

In fact, Fappani says he’s learned from almost every assistant trainer he’s had. “One thing I tell people is that you can learn something from everybody. I truly believe that anyone who has a passion for a horse has something that they’re good at. They may not be great at everything, but there is something you can learn from them,” he said.

Fappani listed his veterinarian, Dr. John Newcomb, farriers Randy Toon and Arek Boulding, and marketing manager Cam Essick and her husband Jim, as valuable team members who have been with him for 19 years. Another long-time team member at 15 years is equine dentist and veterinarian Dr. Roy Mausling.

The most important person to his career is even closer, and that’s his wife, Tish. “She takes care of everything so I can concentrate on what I like to do, which is training horses and spending all day in the arena. She organizes everything and raised our two great boys. I wouldn’t want her job; she does so much,” he said.

Custom Legend

In fact, their two sons, Jeremy and Luca, are the accomplishments he is most proud of. “They are our greatest achievements. We told them it didn’t matter what they wanted to do, if it was horses or not. All that mattered was that they put their mind to it,” he said. “I am proud of how committed they are.”

Luca, now 17 years old, is following in his father’s footsteps and has already won more than $388,000 in competition. Jeremy, 15, is a successful motocross racer. “Luca puts horses in front of everything else. He keeps great grades in school, but he will ride a couple before he goes to school, then comes back, rides more, and then does his homework at night. Jeremy is the same way,” he said. “Watching them, I know they are going to be successful in life, no matter what they decide to do. I never pushed them to pick something early on. I just told them to put everything they’ve got into it. It’s fine if they change their mind and want to do something else; I just want them to learn how to do things the right way.”

NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter congratulated Fappani on the momentous achievement. “Undoubtedly, this milestone has great meaning for Andrea and his family,” he said. “In addition to his personal sense of achievement, it tells us so much about the trajectory of our sport. The momentum, excitement, and our visibility continue to grow. A milestone of this magnitude is something the entire industry can celebrate.”

Leaving a Legacy

The Fappani legacy of hard work has been passed down through generations. “I remember when my father would tell me stories about his dad and his grandpa. They started with five cows, three generations before, and by the time I left Italy, my father had the biggest dairy farm in Europe. He built a huge legacy. I wanted one of my own,” Fappani said.