The 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) are in full swing, with the first section of the first go of the highly anticipated Open Futurity in the books. The 345 entries originally slated to compete in the Open Futurity at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, will be whittled down over the next week to determine which elite horse and rider teams will compete in the clean-slate MS Diamonds TX Level (L)4 Open Finals on Saturday, Dec. 5. The Level 4 Open Semifinals, co-sponsored by Not Ruf At All and Tamarack Ranch, will feature the top 75 Level 4 horses, plus ties, following the first go-round.
Despite it being a year fraught with setbacks and changes, the 2020 NRHA Futurity is set to be the largest in the event’s history. Thanks to generous support from Futurity Challenge Donors, this year’s Level 4 Open Champion will, for the first time in history, receive a check for $250,000.
Not only that, the Level 4 Non Pro Champion will win a guaranteed $60,000, and the added money for the Adequan® NAAC is double that of 2019.
Setting himself up for early success is Brian Bell of Pilot Point, Texas, who guided Gunnabebigtime to the high score of the day with an impressive 223.5. Gunnabebigtime, owned by Tami Nelson, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of Big Time Jazzy. Big-time competition isn’t new to Bell, as he’s one of the NRHA’s Million Dollar Riders.
Currently tied for the lead of the L3 Open with a score of 219.5 is Ryan Rushing with TR Ice Ice Baby. Owned by Alison Bendele, TR Ice Ice Baby is by SG Frozen Enterprise out of Ms Whiz Dunit.
Tied with Rushing for the Level 3 high score, as well as topping the L2 Open, is Sebastian Petroll and Dunit The Walla Way with a 219.5. Dunit The Walla Way, a mare by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Dunit The Gunner Way, is owned by Ellen Lloyd Cummins.
Sitting atop the L1 leaderboard with a 214 is Julia Roshelli on Frank Costantini’s Gunsdynamitesnchics. Gunsdynamitesnchics is by Gunnin For Chics out of Lenas Dynamite Chic.
Martin Larcombe currently leads the Open Prime Time with a score of 220.5 on Smokin 66. By Inferno Sixty Six out of Nuthin Chic, the mare is owned by Lance Griffin.
The first section of the NRHA Open Futurity continues through Saturday, after which time the top 75 plus ties in Levels 1 through 4 will advance to the semi-final round, which begins Monday. The clean-slate MS Diamonds TX L4 Open Futurity Finals, where the Champion will take home a check for a quarter-million dollars, will be held Saturday, Dec. 5.
Complete results, as well as the latest news, updates, and draws, can be found at NRHAFuturity.com.