Andrea Fappani claims his fourth NRBC Open Championship

Andrea Fappani claims his fourth NRBC Open Championship riding Chic Dreamin for owners Silver Spurs Equine

The long miles, hard work and hours spent putting the finishing touches on some of the toughest reining horses in the country culminated inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center at the National Reining Breeders Classic with a crowd-raising performance. The focus of the night was the Open Classic Finals where the competitors showed up to battle it out for championship prizes, bragging rights and $75,000.

Finishing the night on top of the field was Andrea Fappani riding Chic Dreamin (Magnum Chic Dream x Skeets Red Dunit) to a score of 229 to top the Level 4 and be crowned the NRBC Open Classic champion.

“It never gets old to win anywhere, especially not here,” Fappani said. “It’s a special place and holds a special place in my heart because this is where I marked a 236, which is still today the highest in NRHA history, so it’s a great place where you can really showcase your horse.”

Fappani and the 5-year-old stallion owned by Silver Spurs Equine wowed the crowd with a stellar performance, proving why the NRBC is one of Fappani’s favorite shows and why he had such confidence going into the finals aboard the flashy sorrel.

“I was waiting for something to maybe not go as planned,” Fappani said with a laugh. “It kept going as I planned it, everything was just right on. I was having fun, to be honest. It was one of those runs where judges award a high score, but it’s not like I was trying that hard. I just let it be. A lot of times you get to some of these finals and you know you have to have a big score to win. You almost try too hard then you get into the penalty box or you override your horse.

“I knew I had a horse that could really mark in the stops,” he continued. “I had a pattern with four stops so I said as long as I nail my stops and stay out of the penalty box I should be in good shape.”

This year marked the fourth time Fappani has claimed the NRBC Open Finals championship, and he says it’s taken a lot of hard work to get here.

“Hard work pays off, that’s what I tell everybody,” Fappani said. “[Some people] think it’s luck but it’s really not. You have to put your head down and work, no matter what you win; the next one’s not going to win itself. You have to go home, go to work and do the best you can.”

Fappani also had success on two other horses in tonight’s finals finishing fourth aboard Smart Shiners Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Shines), owned by Silver Spurs Equine, with a score of 224.5. Aboard Thebettertohearuwith (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Chex Out The Cowgirl) owned by Bill Coburn, he marked a 220.5 to split 15th place Robin Schoeller riding Spitfire Spook and Franco Bertolani riding Inferno Sixty Six

For some, the fast change between horses in such a high-pressure situation could be nerve-racking however, Fappani says the many years of practice has prepared him.

“It’s easier now because I’ve done it enough,” Fappani said about how he prepares mentally for each horse. “I have a plan the day before [I show] and then I separate all the horses and think one horse at a time. When I got on my first horse tonight I knew what I had to think about what I wanted with that horse and that all I focused on. Then, when I got off that horse, I focused on the next one and don’t think about the last one I rode; I erase it from my memory pretty much.

“I’ve learned that along the way because you just never know what’s going to happen next,” he continued. “I’ve learned to focus on one horse at a time and just go with it.”

Along with the $75,000 for the title, Fappani took home one year’s use of a deluxe two-horse horse trailer from Twin Cities Trailer Sales, a custom championship saddle sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles, a Gist Silversmiths championship buckle sponsored by NRBC, a crystal trophy from NRBC, Anderson Bean boots, Whisper Bit from M3 Products, Ultra Cruz Equine Wellness and Joint Care plus other NRBC sponsored products like a custom embroidered cooler, a commemorative champion medal, and champion ribbon collar and roses.

Brian Bell and Dany Tremblay each marked a 225.5 to share the reserve championship in the Level 4. Bell rode Turn Down For What (Einsteins Revolution x My Way Marla) owned by Crews Reining Horses. Tremblay rode Adh Mor Big Luck Ranch’s PS Mega Shine Chic (Shine Chic Shine x Megas Sugar Baby). They each received $41,000 for the reserve co-championship, a Gist Silversmiths reserve champion buckle sponsored by NRBC, a custom embroidered cooler from NRBC, a commemorative reserve champion medal from NRBC and 30 day supply of Cosequin ASU Plus from Nutramax.

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