An elite field of entries has been whittled down to the top 75 of each division after the first go-round of the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open Futurity.
Competition began Thanksgiving Day at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, with the top 3-year-old reining horses in the nation competing not only for the prestige but also for some big paychecks.
This year, the NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Champion will be decided during the clean-slate MS Diamonds TX Level (L) 4 Open Futurity Finals on Saturday, December 5. Then, for the first time in NRHA history, the champion will receive a check for $250,000.
Now, many are one step closer to that goal.
Unofficially, it took a score of 217 to advance to the semi-finals of the Level 4 Open, which will run Wednesday, December 2.
Currently leading the Level 4 Open are Brian Bell and Fernando Salgado, who both marked a 223.5.
Bell, who competed in the first section on Thursday, rode Gunnabebigtime to the high score. Gunnabebigtime, owned by Tami Nelson, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of Big Time Jazzy.
Salgado rode Vinny Gun, owned by Guillermo De Anda Martinez, during the second section on Friday. Vinny Gun is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire A Sparkling Vintage and out of Dolled Up Gunner. The talented colt is a graduate of the 2018 NRHA/Markel Select Yearling Sale.
It took a 213.5 to advance to the semi-finals of the L3, and Kole Price and Trendsettter topped the level with a score of 223, which was good enough for a third-place tie in the L4. Trendsetter, owned by Price and Thomas Moffitt, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Timed To Shine.
A 210.5 was the score to have or beat in the Level 2, and Arno Honstetter and Sean Johnson, who each marked a 220.5, lead the field going into the semi-finals round.
Honstetter rode Blue Inferno, while Johnson showed River Of Diamonds. Blue Inferno, by Inferno Sixty Six out of Showtimes Lil Step, is owned by Story Book Stables. River Of Diamonds, by HF Mobster out of Starlight N Diamonds, is owned by Denise and Terry Martin.
Level 1 exhibitors with a score of 203 or better earned a semi-finals berth. Dalton Cunningham piloted RFR Voodoos Fuego to a 219.5 to lead the division. RFR Voodoos Fuego, owned by Peter Smith, is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Show N Tag.
Duane Latimer riding CSboomboomwalla, and Casey Hinton on Magnum Custom Dream, both have a score of 221 (including handicap) to top the Prime Time Open division. CSBoomboomwalla, owned by XCS Ranch LLC, is by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Cheeky Boom. Magnum Custom Dream, owned by Nancy Murfin-Moxley, is by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream and out of Gunna Be Custom.
The semi-finals for Open Levels 1 – 3 will be held Monday and Tuesday, while the Level 4 Open Semi-Finals sponsored by Not Ruf At All and Tamarack Ranch will be held Wednesday, December 2. The top 30 from the composite of the first go and semi-finals in Levels 1 – 4 will earn a spot in Saturday’s clean-slate finals, as will the top 10 in the Prime Time Open.
Complete results can be found at NRHAFuturity.com.