The Adequan® Arena at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City has been bustling with activity all week, as riders from across North America compete in the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC). Youth competition began Friday with the Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under and the ancillary Short Stirrup class.
In addition to incredible prizes from NRHA Corporate Partners, the champion of each of the 17 NAAC classes will be presented an Adequan® Championship vest the following day in the Jim Norick Coliseum as a show of support for these successful affiliate riders.
Awards through 10th place are presented in all NAAC divisions, so those riders who haven’t picked up prizes yet are reminded to stop by the awards room.
Madison Rafacz Wins Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under on Whizenboonsmal
Madison Rafacz and Whizenboonsmal have teamed up for numerous titles in the Adequan® Arena during NRHA events, and on Friday night, added yet another line to their resume with the NAAC Youth 13 & Under championship.
Rafacz and the 8-year-old gelding marked a 218 to also win the ancillary division.
“I showed him on Tuesday in the Non Pro (NAAC) and he was really good for me and we marked a 222,” Rafacz shared. ‘I almost felt bad showing him again after he did so well, but today he came in and was just as good as before. My goal for the day was to be penalty free and have a pretty run. He was there for me, and I’m just really happy with him.”
Whizenboonsmal is by Peptoleap out of She Whiz A Star. “I have had him over three years and accomplished so much on him. He’s a very special horse and has made a lot of my dreams come true,” she shared. “I’ll keep him as long as I can. He’s going to be around for a while.”
Madison’s parents, Mark and Shannon Rafacz, own and operate MR Reiners. “It’s been a really good week for our barn. We’ve had a lot of people do well and had a lot of accomplishments,” she said. “I thank my parents especially for all their help. I thank Bud Lyon for helping and supporting me over the last few months, and the entire MR Reiners team.”
The Youth Champion was awarded a Continental Saddlery Saddle, a Custom Montana Silversmith’s Trophy Buckle, a 10-lb. bucket of Platinum Performance, a Classic Equine Fleece Cooler, a Bluebonnet Feeds Gift Certificate, SmartPak SmartTherapy Quick Wraps, a garment bag from Brandt Blankets, Eqvalan from Dr. Joe Carter, a champion’s vest from Adequan®, which will be presented tomorrow in the Jim Norick Coliseum, and a Platinum Performance champion’s jacket.
Colt Mitchell wins 10 & Under Short Stirrup Championship on Playgun Chic Olena
Colt Mitchell, of Cuba, Missouri, claimed the Championship in the 10 & Under Short Stirrup division for the third consecutive year riding Playgun Chic Olena, aka “Wes.” Mitchell’s presentation of Playgun Chic Olena’s maneuvers was rewarded by the judges with a 225 for earnings of $60.
The 2005 gelding, by NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena and out of Mamas Packin, has been part of the Mitchell family since he was 3 or 4 years old.
“He’s so awesome to be around, he’s the nicest horse we have,” Mitchell said. “He’s my favorite to ride, he’s perfect for me. He’s rock-solid in all the maneuvers. I can’t wait to ride him every day. I love him.”
At home, Mitchell enjoys spending time keeping Wes legged up and prepared to go win at the shows. “I love reining, it’s my favorite thing to do,” Mitchell explained.
A seasoned Short Stirrup competitor, Mitchell says he had some nerves to overcome today.
“I was pretty nervous before the run,” Mitchell admitted. “It felt amazing. I can’t complain one bit, he was perfect in all respects. Like I said, he’s good in all the maneuvers. I went in, loped off, I think I heard that I plus-oned my circles, he ran the circles perfectly, his spins were great. My first stop was very good for that horse.”
Reflecting on the final Short Stirrup run of his youth career, Mitchell said, “You know, it felt a little like I really don’t want to leave, but I went out with a bang so I’m as happy as I can be.”
Mitchell, who attends school in Cuba where he plays baseball in addition to riding reiners, was happy that his family was able to watch him today.
“First of all, I would like to thank the good Lord above for keeping me safe, me and my whole family. My whole family helps me. My sister Hannah is showing in the non pro finals today and for the past three years she’s shown at the exact same time as me, so nobody was here to watch me, but this year they got to watch me,” he said.
Mitchell was awarded a weekender duffle from Classic Equine, an Adequan® bucket and bucket strap, a certificate for Anderson Bean Boots, a Classic Equine top load hay bag, a “Dun Gotta Gun” Breyer Horse donated by Pearce, a CINCH Jeans gift certificate, John Deere gloves, and Classic Equine polo wraps and spur straps.
Abigail Dooley took the Short Stirrup reserve title on Top Haida with a 223. Top Haida, by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz out of Haida Million, is owned by Lon Kraft. Dooley won a weekender duffle from Classic Equine, an Adequan® bucket and bucket strap, a certificate for Anderson Bean Boots, a Classic Equine top load hay bag, a “Dun Gotta Gun” Breyer Horse donated by Pearce, a CINCH Jeans gift certificate, John Deere gloves, and Classic Equine polo wraps and spur straps.