The 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel set many records, including three new NRHA Two Million Dollar milestones being reached: Rancho Oso Rio LLC became the newest NRHA Two Million Dollar owners, Jason Vanlandingham crossed the NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider mark, and A Sparkling Vintage became an NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire.
Rancho Oso Rio: NRHA Two Million Dollar Owners
Rancho Oso Rio LLC, owned by Jim and Pat Warren, is the third owner to reach this historic milestone, joining Arcese Quarter Horses, USA, and Rosanne Sternberg. The Scottsdale, Arizona, ranch reached the one-million-dollar mark in 2012.
Rancho Oso Rio came into the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel just $1,000 short of the achievement. Ranch manager and NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani piloted Rancho Oso Rio-owned Shine Plum Shine (Shine Chic Shine x Plum Reyning) to tie to win the $6,000-added ancillary open class on Day Two of the marquee event, which paid $1,846—just enough to push Rancho Oso Rio onto the short list of NRHA Two Million Dollar Owners.
“This recognition is really all about Pat and Jim Warren,” said Fappani, head trainer at Rancho Oso Rio for 10 years. “They’ve been part of the sport for a long time. When they started, these major events didn’t pay as much as they do now. They stuck with it and hired some of the most influential trainers in the business, including Dell Hendricks, Randy Paul, and now myself. It’s special because they’ve been part of the entire circle, from breeding and raising foals to Pat showing in the non pro to having very successful open-caliber horses.”
The outstanding stock that represents Rancho Oso Rio could fill a book of its own, but a few standout horses have helped the ranch make headlines and win big checks. Here are just a handful of those horses and their most notable accomplishments.
- Spooky Whiz (currently owned by Kristie Banks)—2013 gelding by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Myo Starlight by Paddys Irish Whiskey; NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) $184,715. Spooky Whiz won the 2016 NRHA Futurity Open Level 4 and now shows in the non pro.
- Electric Genes (currently owned by Tamarack Ranch LLC)—2010 mare by Jacs Electric Spark and out of Taris Designer Genes by Mr Boomerjac; LTE $89,913. Electric Genes’ years in the show pen found her in the top five it the 2013 NRHA Futurity Open and reserve champion in other large open events. Her star continues to rise thanks to her offspring.
- Custom Spook (currently owned by Rancho Oso Rio)—2007 gelding by Smart Spook and out of Custom Spinderella by Custom Crome; LTE $235,749. Most recently, Andrea Fappani showed this treasured gelding to win the $50,000 Freestyle Invitational at the 2019 Run for a Million.
- Tinker With Guns (currently owned by Silver Spurs Equine)—2006 sorrel stallion by Gunner and out of Tinker Nic by Reminic; LTE $344,117. Tinker With Guns placed in the top five at the 2009 NRHA Futurity, was the 2011 NRHA Derby Open champion, and came back in 2012 to tie for reserve in the NRHA Derby Open.
- Taris Designer Genes (currently owned by Tamarack Ranch)—2003 buckskin mare by Mr Boomerjac and out of Taris Little Vintage by Peppy San Badger; LTE $253,065. This standout mare won the 2006 NRHA Futurity Open. She’s the dam of earners of $423,529.
- Mr Boomerjac (currently owned by Christine Brazeau)—1994 stallion by Boomernic out of Boggies Last Jac by Hollywood Jac 86; LTE $138,829. Mr Boomerjac placed in the top five of the open division at the 1997 NRHA Futurity, won the 1998 National Reining Breeders Cup (now called the National Reining Breeders Classic), and competed in the 2007 FEI World Reining Masters.
Jason Vanlandingham Crosses $2 Million
In just five years’ time, NRHA Professional Jason Vanlandingham accumulated enough earnings to become the newest NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider at the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, after finishing third in the go-round and winning the Level 4 Open Finals with A Vintage Smoke.
“The second million was a lot easier to get than the first million,” the Whitesboro, Texas, trainer said. “It took 15 years to get the first million and five to get the second. When you’re riding good horses and figure out how to get one shown, it comes faster.”
Vanlandingham began his career training horses in 1998. He won his first NRHA Futurity Open title in 2013 with Not Ruf At All, a 2010 stallion by A Sparkling Vintage and out of All Ruffed Up, owned by Vaughn Zimmerman. That pair went on to win top honors at the 2014 NRHA Derby and the 2016 National Reining Breeders Classic. Vanlandingham reached the NRHA One Million Dollar Rider mark in 2015.
Many talented horses helped Vanlandingham bring in the checks to reach his second million, but one horse stands out. Arguably the most influential on the last five years of his career is A Vintage Smoke, a 2015 stallion by A Sparkling Vintage and out of Lady Smoke Peppy, owned by Diane Mesmer. Along with winning this year’s NRHA Derby Level 4 Open, Vanlandingham and the black stud took top open honors at the 2018 NRHA Futurity and tied to win the 2019 National Reining Breeders Classic. The also placed fifth in the inaugural Run for a Million.
“The good horses have always taught me something,” Vanlandingham shared. “Starting way back with A Smoking Whiz, he taught me how fast a horse can turn. Not Ruf At All taught me a whole different level of horse. I’ve learned something from all the good ones, and I try to make every horse I have be close to that, if not better. Good horses have taught me more than anything.”
A Sparkling Vintage Becomes an NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire
Owned by Petra Zeitler Conner and Silver Spurs Equine LLC, A Sparkling Vintage has had quite an influence on the reining world. The 1997 bay stallion by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Shining Spark and out of Vintage Badger crossed the million-dollar mark in 2016, coincidentally with a co-reserve championship at the 2016 NRHA Derby with Not Ruf At All, shown by Jason Vanlandingham, and Platinum Vintage, shown by Todd Bergen.
With earnings in both the States and Europe, A Sparkling Vintage’s influence is widespread. He was shown by Jeff Kasten, Ruben Vandorp, Fredrik Thomsson, Emanuel Ernst in Europe, and finally by Harper Conner. He stands for breeding at Silver Spurs Equine LLC in Arizona alongside one of his top-performing sons, Platinum Vintage.
“(A Sparkling Vintage) has never had big foal crops like other big sires, and his first million was achieved from offspring I bred out of my mares,” Conner shared. “Vintage passes on his huge heart and very correct conformation to be physically able to use that heart in the show ring. What makes me especially happy as a breeder is that you have very talented, performing fillies by him as well.”
A Sparkling Vintage offspring continue to make waves in the show pen, bringing home solid scores and big checks for their riders and owners. Here are a few highlights from his most notable progeny.
- A Vintage Smoke (2015 stallion out of Lady Smoke Peppy by Mister Dual Pep); LTE $400,082. 2018 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion; 2019 NRBC Level 4 Open Co-Champion; 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel Level 4 Open Champion.
- Not Ruf At All (2010 stallion out of All Ruffed Up by Lil Ruff Peppy); LTE $456,437. 2013 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion; 2014 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion; 2016 National Reining Breeders Classic Level 4 Open Champion.
- Platinum Vintage (2010 stallion out of Starjac Miss by Hollywood Jac 86); LTE $308,062. 2013 NRHA Futurity Open Finalist; 2014 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion; 2016 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Co-Reserve Champion.
- All American Vintage (2014 stallion out of All Ruffed Up by Lil Ruf Peppy); LTE 169,615. 2017 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Champion.