Vernon, Gentile, & Vazquez Claim NRHA Adequan® NAAC Non Pro Titles

National Reining Horse Association members have turned out in droves for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships. Section two of the exceptionally large NAAC Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, and Prime Time Non Pro classes wrapped up Wednesday morning, and the riders who set the pace in the first section held for the win.

Adequan® NAAC Non Pro Non Pro Champion – Paige Vernon and Magnum Starlight

Magnum Starlight has proved himself a steady-Eddy with Paige Vernon at the helm, capturing the NAAC Non Pro and Affiliate Non Pro Championship with a score of 224, earning $6,182.

“He’s been a very steady, easy, fun, good horse to show,” Vernon said. “He’s always confident and always takes care of me in the show pen.”

The 8-year-old gelding, sired by NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream and out of FS Lenas Starlight, is owned by White Rive Ag products.

“He turned huge for me, which was surprising. He circled good, and he ran down to the stops, which was great,” Vernon said. “I’ve been working on running down and getting him past the middle cone.”

According to Vernon, Mangum Starlight is great for kids to ride, but his wild hair comes out when it’s time to be caught in the pasture.

“My trainers have helped me a lot, and he worked really good for me. They told me to go have fun and run him because I’m going to have a baby in May, and he’s going to have a little while off,” Vernon said. “Tanner and Christine [Boyes] have done a hell of a job. I thank my husband, Tommy, my cousins, and my family for cheering me on in the show pen. And White Rive Ag for owning the horses we get to show.”

Adequan® NAAC Intermediate Non Pro Champion – Stephanie Gentile and Joes Lil Wrangler

Stephanie Gentile has had the week of a lifetime, earning four North American Affiliate Championships. Her latest victories were in the NAAC Intermediate Non Pro, where a score of 219.5 earned them $4,469 (including ancillary earnings). The pair won an additional $2,822 for placing third in the NAAC and ancillary Non Pro.

“It’s been a phenomenal week,” Gentile said. “Definitely one that’ll go down in the history books. I can’t believe it; I am a little bit speechless still. Today was our highest score, and he was right there, consistent as always.”

To keep Joes Lil Wrangler (Lil Joe Cash x A Chic In Wranglers) on track for the intense week of showing, Gentile and husband Jesse relied on the slow build of schooling they’d done all year.

“We put this trust in all the miles leading up to this and all the work Jesse has put into this horse to make him strong and confident,” Gentile explained. “It’s fun to see him progress because I always knew this horse was really special. He’s started to shine as we’ve pushed him, and he’s shined all week again and again.”

While Gentile says she hopes to renew Joes Lil Wranglers’ lease for the coming year, being able to see him and care for him in the barn is most important to her.

Gentile thanked owner Lori Baker, husband Jesse, her family and friends, sponsors and producers of the show, and most of all, Starlights Lil Wrangler.

Gentile will be showing in the Bobs Custom Saddles NAAC Intermediate Non Pro Showdown on Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Jim Norick Arena.

Adequan® NAAC Prime Time Non Pro Champion – Jose Vasquez and SLJ Corazon Valiente

Riding a son of his late stallion Smart Like Juice, Jose Vasquez rounded up an armful of prizes in the North American Affiliate Championships Prime Time Non Pro, scoring a 223 and earning a total of $1,967 (includes ancillary Prime Time Non Pro earnings).

“He was so good yesterday; I just stay on. If I just stay out of his way, he is easy,” Vasquez said.

SLJ Corazon Valiente (Smart Like Juice x Wind Her Up Shiner) has proven himself a level-headed individual both at home and at the show. If Vasquez was not already keeping several full siblings to the stallion, he might have had a place in the breeding shed.

“He’s a very nice horse, so I’m very proud to own him,” Vasquez said. “He’s always on the same team. He’s a stud, but you’d never know; he doesn’t care. And that’s why he’s a very special animal – I don’t keep many studs.”

Vasquez thanked his family for their support and trainer Alejandro Ortiz Vasquez for his work training the horse. 

Cash For Color: APHA’s Chrome Cash Makes a Splash at NRHA Futurity

The National Reining Horse Association’s competitors had even more opportunities to add to their horses’ lifetime earnings, thanks to a partnership with the American Paint Horse Association’s Chrome Cash incentive program.

At the NRHA Futurity alone, $5,000 in added money was available to registered Paint Horses. The Chrome Cash classes were offered as a part of the Level 4 Open and Non Pro Futurities, with $3,000 and $2,000 added, respectively.

The incentive paid 14 places in the Open and six places in the Non Pro, rewarding hard-working Paints making their mark in the futurity arena.

In the Open Futurity, Bringnthaheat and Abby Lengel took the top honors with a score of 226 in the first go round. For the effort, the pair earned $2,366. The mare, who is owned by Lengel, is sired by Million Dollar Sire Inferno Sixty Six and out of Tackie Dreams.

“I’ve had her from the beginning, I’ve done all the riding on her and she’s probably my favorite horse of all time,” Lengel said. “I think the Chrome Cash is another awesome way to get the Paints involved. I got [Bringnthaheat]’s Paint papers early on because I want to get more involved in the APHA.”

Reserve Champion – Customize My Dream (Magnum Chic Dream x Gunna Be Custom) $1,440

Ridden by Casey Deary, Owned by Devin Warren, and Nominated by Garth Hystad

3rd Place – CS Especially Moody (Gunners Special Nite x Judys A Little Moody) $1,080

Ridden by Duane Latimer, Owned and Nominated by XCS Ranch LLC

In the Non Pro Futurity, preliminary leader Fire N Rein and Jack Medows secured the Chrome Cash prize with a score of 221.5. The Amy Medows-owned mare added $1,582 to her record before she even set foot in the Finals pen. Fire N Rein is sired by Four Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Chicsdreamofdiamonds.

“I’m really excited as I prep her throughout this week, getting ready for Friday night,” Medows said. “The Chrome Cash is such a cool deal. The opportunity to get some money in the first go is really great for the industry and supporting APHA. It’s fantastic.”

Reserve Champion – Sighted In (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dainty Little Step) $1,088

Ridden by Mandy McCutcheon, Owned by Cade McCutcheon, and Nominated by Brooke Wharton

3rd Place ­– CS Face The Shine (Shine Chic Shine x Face Of A Gun Model) $939

Ridden by Gina-Marie Schumacher, Owned and Nominated by XCS Ranch LLC

Both solid and regular paint horses are eligible to compete in Chrome Cash classes.

For complete results, visit

Sommers & Dont Give A Flinn Lead 2022 NRHA Futurity L3 Open Semi-Finals

The sixth day of the 2022 National Reining Horse Futurity wrapped up Tuesday, Nov. 29, with the first section of the Open Semi-Finals for Levels 3, 2, and 1. The finalists for all levels of the Open will be determined during Wednesday’s Level 4 Open Semi-Finals sponsored by Not Ruf At All. The top 30 composite scores from the go-round and semi-finals, including ties, will advance to the clean-slate finals on Saturday, Dec. 3. There, more than $2 million will be paid out, breaking the previous record by more than $200,000!

Punching his ticket to the Finals and securing his chance to win a few big checks is NRHA Million Dollar Rider Todd Sommers. As the very last draw of the day, Sommers rode Dont Give A Flinn, by In Like Flinn out of SL Lenas Chic, to a Semi-Finals score of 219 for a 435 composite. That placed them firmly at the top of the lead of Levels 3, 2, and Open Prime Time. The stallion, owned by Stephany Monteleone, was bred and nominated by Methogest, Inc.

Topping the Open L1 Semi-Finals were Diego Gaona on Rush Gotta Whiz and Wade McDonald on Itsmistertou. Both finished the Semi-Finals with a composite score of 433.

Rush Gotta Whiz (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Rush N Cat), owned by Joseph Paukner, was nominated by Lorenzo Lotti.

Itsmistertou (PS Mega Shine Chic x Misters Temptress), owned by David White, was nominated by Adh-Mor Ranch.

All four Open Level purses are record-breakers in 2022. The L4 increased by more than $20,000, and the L3 Open rose to a new high of $385,499; the previous record was $289,541, set in 2012. The L2 Open purse, which hit its peak in 2021 at $134,868, has climbed once again to $193,924, and the L1 Open, at more than $74,000, beats the previous record from 2019 by nearly $20,000!

While that’s huge news, the guaranteed payouts for all Open Levels are impressive, including the Level 3 Open Championship check for $70,000 and the Level 2 Championship prize of $50,000.

The Open Guaranteed Payouts for Levels 1, 2, and 3 are:

  • Level 3 – Champion/$70,000, Res. Champion/$50,000, 3rd/$35,000
  • Level 2 – Champion/$50,000, Res. Champion/$25,000/3rd $15,000
  • Level 1 – Champion/$13,000, Res. Champion/$7,000

For complete results, visit

Our Condolences – Kelle Smith

While in Oklahoma City for the NRHA Futurity, one of the Association’s most accomplished riders, Kelle Smith, passed away.

Kelle was fierce in everything she did, and that tenacity helped her win countless titles, including two NRHA Futurity Non Pro Championships. On Sunday, she competed on her horse, See Ya Seven, and advanced to yet another NRHA Futurity Finals.

“On behalf of NRHA Board of Directors and Staff, I extend our most sincere condolences to Kelle’s husband Sam, her loved ones, the members of their team, and her friends throughout the reining industry. This is a loss that has hit so many of us hard,” shared NRHA President Rick Clark, who’s known Sam and Kelle for nearly 30 years. “Kelle was a tremendous competitor, and I always thought a lot of her.”

He added, “We plan to recognize Kelle this weekend during one of the Finals, and we will share details once they are finalized.” Arrangements for a memorial service will be made in the coming days, and a memorial will be planned for mid-December so that her family and friends can attend.

Sam Smith designated the Reining Horse Foundation for gifts in Kelle’s memory. Donations can be made at

We’ll share memorial information when we have details.

Gentile, Asmussen, and Rafacz Claim NRHA Adequan® NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Championships

With Monday’s classes in the books, the 2022 National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship has passed the halfway point. The Adequan® NAAC titles have grown over the years to be one of the most prestigious awards a reiner can win, with competitors traveling hundreds of miles to compete at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 Champion, NAAC Non Pro Level 2 Co-Champion – Stephanie Gentile and Joes Lil Wrangler

After taking a few months to get acquainted, Stephanie Gentile and Joes Lil Wrangler have hit their stride together. The pair garnered their second, third, fourth, and fifth title of the week in the Adequan® Arena – this time, an NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 Championship, an NAAC Non Pro Level 2 Co-Championship, and they finished in the same placings for the ancillary divisions of those classes. The duo also split a reserve title in the ancillary Novice Horse Non Pro Level 3.

“I’ve only been riding this horse since about August, and it’s taken us a while to click, but we’re finally getting there – and it’s perfect timing,” Gentile said.

The pair scored a 218 to garner the titles, earning a total of $4,552. The win comes on the heels of their NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship on Friday.

“He felt really good today. He was with me the whole time, and he’s a very consistent horse. I just trusted him and went with it. We had a couple of tiny little spots that could have been a little better, but he was super solid, and I was very happy with him,” Gentile said.

According to Gentile, Joes Lil Wrangler’s (Lil Joe Cash x A Chic In Wranglers) best maneuver is his spins. But she said the gelding’s stops are hitting a new gear.

“I thank my husband Jesse Gentile, he’s always there to help me, and I thank Lori Baker, who owns [Joes Lil Wrangler], as well as all my family and friends,” Gentile said.

NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 Co-Champion, Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 Co-Championship and Novice Horse Non Pro Level 3 Champion – Rebecca Asmussen, TR Hot Dream, and The Crowd Goes Wildd

Family favorite TR Hot Dream brought home the bacon with Rebecca Asmussen in the NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, nabbing a Co-Championship with a score of 218. In the ancillary divisions, the pair tied for the win of the L2 and the reserve of the L3.

“We got him as a 3-year-old from Tamarack Ranch, and he’s a super sweet gelding. My husband has shown him and done really well on him,” Asmussen said. “My kids ride him. He’s a great little horse and a lot of fun.”

Adding to the bounty was mare The Crowd Goes Wildd (Not Ruf At All x Check Yer Gun Lady), who won the ancillary Novice Horse Non Pro Level 3 Championship with a 218.5.

Asmussen earned $2,663 for the day on TR Hot Dream and an additional $784 for the win on The Crowd Goes Wildd.

“The Crowd Goes Wildd is 15.2 [hands] and 1400 pounds. She’s a big, strong mare who is a lot of fun to run and stop. She’s super aggressive everywhere and just a nice mare to go show,” Asmussen said.

Asmussen thanked her family, husband, children Layne and Owen, Kelsey and Kole Price, as well as their vet and farrier. “Everybody who keeps our horses rolling,” Asmussen said.

NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 Co-Champion – Madison Rafacz and Got Twisted In Vegas

Got Twisted In Vegas is often referred to as the little mare that could. Started and trained by Madison Rafacz and her father, Mark, it was initially uncertain if the mare would grow large enough to be a show horse.

Now, the 5-year-old mare has proven herself capable in the reining pen, gathering affiliate and derby titles from across the country. The pair added another two co-championships to their list on Monday, November 28, in the NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, as well as the ancillary division of that class, with a score of 218. The pair also tied for reserve in the ancillary Novice Horse Non Pro L3, winning $2,663. The win comes after a stressful ride the night before the class, which left Rafacz a “wreck.” Luckily, Got Twisted In Vegas (High Roller Whiz x Wimpys Dun Twistin) came through.

“Today, I went in, and she was there like she always is,” Rafacz said. “I thank my mom and dad, of course. They’re my biggest supporters and allow me to do this. All the people in my barn are super great supporters. They’re like family.”