Catch Up with NRHA Markel Futurity Sale Graduate Spooks Gotta Spark

Spooks Gotta Spark (Photo by Cam Essick)

(Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena)

Sale: 2015 Futurity Prospect

Consigner: Garth W. Brown, Gainesville, Texas

Purchaser: Gus and Gaynia Revenberg, Oldcastle, Ontario

Even the most magical place on earth couldn’t keep Gaynia Revenberg away from the 2015 NRHA Markel Futurity sales—especially with a prospect like Spooks Gotta Spark available. In previous years, Revenberg spent hours scanning the list of consigned horses, watching preview videos, and discussing prospects. But in 2015, all she wanted was to enjoy a vacation at Disney World with her husband, Gus.

“I was sitting on the balcony at Disney when Shawn Flarida called me and said, ‘There’s a horse here you have to buy,’” Revenberg recalled. “My husband said, ‘Book the flight.’ So, we went to the sale, and Shawn was absolutely correct.”

Since then, Spooks Gotta Spark has held a special place in Revenberg’s heart. “I decided to bring him home so I could ride him myself,” she shared. “I really like this horse, so I asked [NRHA Professional Loris Epis] here in Ontario to show him.”

But as the inaugural Run for a Million in Las Vegas approached, Revenberg knew she couldn’t keep her all-star in Canada much longer. Although she received three inquiries about using her horse in the Million Dollar Invitational, Flarida’s lucrative history with the buckskin stallion made the NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider the obvious choice for Revenberg.

“He didn’t have much time to get him ready, but he did an amazing job,” she said of Flarida’s performance in the Million Dollar Invitational. Spooks Gotta Spark marked a 228, which landed Flarida and the stallion a fourth-place finish and a $65,000 payout.

In February 2020, Bill and Patty Fingland of Rogersville, Mo. purchased the flashy buckskin. With them, he placed in the Top 10 at the 2020 NRHA Open Derby presented by Markel and went on to place 13th in the Level 4 NRBC Open Classic.

It was at the NRBC that Spooks Gotta Spark caught the eye of Kevin Truax and the two bonded instantly. Not long after the team returned from the show, Truax was celebrating the purchase of the most talented reining horse he feels that he has ever owned. “We brought him to our barn the week we bought him. Derek, my daughter, Kiersten, and I each got on him for a bit. He was just so incredible to ride.” Truax said.

As Truax rushed to arrange for Spooks Gotta Sparks’s quickly approaching debut in the breeding barn, Heitland rode the stallion to a Level 2 AQHA Senior Reining World Reserve Co-Championship, and at the 2020 Adequan® NAACs, the talented reiner earned Heitland the NAAC Limited Open title.

Lorenzo Lotti at Foals R Us, in Whitesboro, Texas, made quick accommodations for Spooks Gotta Spark to stand there, and Cam Essick took care of advertisements.

With Spooks Gotta Spark’s future as a sire in the works, Flarida opened up another opportunity for the pair to compete for a million dollars. “Once the next Run For A Million was announced, Shawn worked out a training schedule with Lorenzo. We took Spooks Gotta Spark to Ohio in February and bred with him up there while he was getting in shape.” Truax shared. “In Arizona, we felt good about the qualifier until we found out we were draw number one. I knew it would be tough, so figured we would likely be on the bubble and be nervous all day. After Shawn went, we felt great about qualifying, then realized we may actually win it after abo 70 horses went. To get the high score with all that firepower was unbelievable. Being able to stand in the win picture with all the big names around us was a true dream come true.”

Perhaps Truax’s connection to Spooks Gotta Spark runs even deeper. He said, “My father died last June, so I do feel this has been guided in some way by him.  We have been reining for 40 years, but never at this level. We hope to have one more ride in August to really see what he can do. My goal is to have lots of his babies on the ground for others to enjoy.” 

For breeding information about Spooks Gotta Spark, go to

Platinum Performance® to Sponsor Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw at NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The Platinum Performance Non Pro Draw Party returns to the NRHA Derby presented by Markel on Wednesday, June 23. (NRHA Staff photo)

National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner Platinum Performance® has supported the reining industry over 20 years. That support continues in 2021, with a much-anticipated, in-person Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw Party to be held during the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel.

The slow return to normalcy has everyone abuzz with excitement and this event is another step in the right direction. Attendees will enjoy a delicious catered meal, drinks, and all of the nail-biting enthusiasm of the Non Pro Finals Draw and after missing a year due to Covid, the popular Reiners Rope dummy roping will be also held. The Party will be held at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 23.

“As long-time partners of NRHA, we are excited to sponsor the Platinum Performance® Welcome Party featuring the Non Pro Finals Draw as well as the Platinum Performance® Virtual Open Draw Party at the 2021 NRHA Derby,” said Lauren Thompson, Equine Marketing Manager. “We look forward to maintaining our commitment to provide superior nutrition and unmatched personal service to the valued NRHA membership.”

The support of Platinum Performance® extends well beyond the Party. The company will also provide the exhibitor bags given to every NRHA Derby competitor. In addition, Platinum Performance® will sponsor a Virtual Open Draw Party Friday, June 25 at 10 a.m. The decision was made to keep the Platinum Performance® Open Draw Party virtual so that trainers could be available to their non pro finalists.

The 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel takes place at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City June 19-27. For more information about this premier event, visit

Platinum Performance® believes in the power of nutrition and supplementation and remains committed to providing formulas that produce superior results in the horse. For 25 years, Platinum has continued to research the role of nutrition with regards to wellness and performance and is committed to providing equine veterinarians, horse owners and trainers the nutritional tools they need to benefit from cutting edge equine nutrition. Horse health is the Platinum Performance® mission, and we look forward to helping you find your Platinum. Learn more at

2021 NRHA Markel Futurity Sales Update

The National Reining Horse Association Markel Futurity Sales have long been recognized for leading the industry and providing the annual value benchmark for top reining horses. The 2020 edition continued that successful tradition, with averages and gross sales up across the board.

The Futurity Sales Task Force is not resting on those laurels. Early this year, its members began firming up details for the 2021 event with twin goals of increasing convenience for consignors and expanding the avenues of purchase for buyers.

The group simplified consignment requirements and selection criteria for yearlings:

  • Video and photograph requirements will not be compulsory as part of the yearling consignment application procedure. Please note that videos, photographs, and radiographs will still be required prior to the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales for marketing materials and to be available for buyers.
  • New guidelines will now govern yearling placement. Foals of dams with $25,000 or more in progeny and/or lifetime earnings will be placed in the Select Yearling Sale, while those not meeting that threshold will sell in the Marketplace Sale.

The Task Force will continue the all-on-one-day concept begun in 2020, so all the Markel Futurity Sales will be held on Thursday, December 2.  Also in 2021, look for modified two-year-old preview opportunities. Those have expanded into two-hour sessions in Arena 6. To provide ample time for consignors to present their horses in a controlled environment, these sessions will be held on November 30 and December 1 at the conclusion of each day’s Futurity Semi-Finals.

Other important announcements from the Task Force were the return to Barns 3 and 4 where the Sales have been traditionally held, and continuation and enhancement of online bidding through

Capitalizing on its success in introducing broodmares, the Task Force will continue to include embryos and weanlings. Those have enjoyed tremendous success with weanlings selling as high as $40,000 and embryos as high as $45,000.

The Sales will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, December 2 with the Futurity Prospect Sale, followed by the Select Yearling Sale and the Select Breeders Sale. The Marketplace Sale will finish out the day.

The consignment deadline for all Markel Futurity Sales is August 31. For more information, visit or contact NRHA Senior Manager of ReinerSuite and Futurity Sales Angie Honeywell at

NRHA Sire & Dam Auction Closes Soon

At the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, Arcese Quarter Horses was one of several owners who benefitted from the Association’s Sire & Dam Program. They collected more than $7,200 in Sire & Dam incentives as the owner of Gunnatrashya, sire of Gunnabebigtime who was ridden by Brian Bell to the Open Level (L) 4 Reserve Championship.

Overflowing with benefits for stallion, mare, and offspring owners, the Sire & Dam Program Online Auction is a win-win for all involved. This auction features 70 of the top stallions in the industry, but the opportunity to purchase a breeding ends on January 10.

The Sire & Dam Auction is a valuable asset for mare owners, who can purchase breedings to an impressive lineup of stallions, often at reduced rates. Resulting offspring from the program have quite a bit of added value before they even hit the ground. Some of those benefits include:

  • No nomination to the NRHA Futurity and Derby required; resulting foals are automatically eligible.
  • Reduced entry fees (up to 50%) for the NRHA Futurity and Derby, as well as later entry deadlines.
  • Sire & Dam offspring eligibility remains with the foal even after it is sold.

“We are so excited to be able to offer these incentives to those who purchase a breeding through the Sire & Dam stallion auction,” said NRHA Sire & Dam Program Director Haley Carmen. “The added value and benefits to the resulting foals are unparalleled in the industry.”

Stallion owners donate a breeding to the Sire & Dam Auction and reap the benefit of enhanced promotion through program advertising. They also become eligible for NRHA Futurity & Derby Sire incentives, including cash awards. There is still time to enroll a stallion in the Sire & Dam Auction, and anyone interested in doing so should contact Haley Carmen at

The online auction began on November 16, 2020, and ends on January 10, 2021 at noon, CDT. To view and bid on participating stallions, visit the Sire & Dam Auction page at You must be registered to place a bid, and that can easily be completed by clicking the “My Account” tab.

There may be additional fees for the mare owner, and mare owners are encouraged to contact the participating stallion owners and agents to ask about such fees prior to purchasing the breeding through the Sire & Dam Auction. Winning bidders will be notified by email after the auction closes on January 10.

To see the stallions still available, go to, and visit the Sire & Dam Auction at

For more information on the program, including how to purchase a breeding, visit the Sire & Dam page or contact Haley Carmen at

2020 NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales Increase Average Sale Prices Across the Board

Uncertainty surrounded many aspects of the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, including the NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales. With numerous COVID-19 constraints imposed on the event, including changing the location to Arena 6 and condensing the Sales to one day instead of three, everyone waited to see what the result would be. Would the new format work for buyers and sellers? What would the averages be? Would buyers show up?

Those worries were quickly assuaged. The buyers came and stayed from beginning to end – both in-person and online – and the bidding was vigorous. Although fewer horses were consigned in the Futurity Prospect Sale than in the previous year, the sale average was substantially higher. The 23 horses through the ring averaged $35,522 against the prior year’s $34,257, while the 16 horses sold averaged $37,235, obliterating 2019’s average of $33,086.

That momentum continued in the Select Yearling Sale, where the 108 horses through the ring averaged $22,856, and the 96 sold averaged $22,697. That was up from $20,919 and $21,322, respectively.

In the Marketplace Sale, 60 horses went through the ring, averaging $14,367, compared to $13,046 in 2019. With only three pass outs, the remaining 57 sold averaged $14,088, compared to the prior year’s $13,718.

New for 2020 was the Select Breeders Sale, which showcased 21 horses that averaged $27,571. The 19 that sold averaged $29,111.

The overall high seller was Im Gunna Shine, a 2010 stallion by Gunner out of Shiner LIght by Shining Spark purchased by Onofre Gomez from California for $95,000.

Angie Honeywell, NRHA Senior Manager of Futurity Sales was excited about the success of the sales. “Overall, they went really well and everyone seemed to embrace the changes.”

One of those changes, the new online sales option, provided real convenience for buyers unable to attend in person. “We had a lot of bidding online and actually sold 11 horses to online buyers.”

“The atmosphere at this year’s sale was very upbeat,” noted NRHA Sale Committee member Jake Dahl. “I think that the one-day format this year was great. Everyone was in sale mode all day – either buying or selling. You saw more trainers there looking at yearlings and two-year-olds than I ever remember, and overall, there was a positive feel. Both buyers and sellers were upbeat.”

Dahl, who serves on the sale committee with Chairman Clint Haverty and members Casey Hinton, Fred Thomsson, Spence Bell, John Tague, and Rosanne Sternberg, added, “That vibe seemed to start during the Wednesday night preview and just stayed consistent throughout the sale.”

NRHA Chief Financial Officer John Foy commented, “2020 has been a challenge for many equine associations, including the NRHA. We had seen a reduction in some of our revenue line items and had to make expense adjustments to offset those. So, we were very hopeful that the futurity and sale would perform well not only for the association but for the industry as a whole.”

The hopes became reality when the North American Affiliate Championships at the Futurity had record entries and payouts and the show came very close to breaking the overall payout record set in 2012. “Plus, the total sold for the entire sale was the best it has been since 2007. Foy added, “It goes without saying that the NRHA Board and Management all very appreciative of everyone who participated in the sale and the show!”

Along with the upbeat tempo, there was a distinct poignancy during the sale, with many folks wearing masks with stickers that read “Mask up for Doug” in memory of the late Doug Carpenter, who passed away due to COVID-19 the week before the futurity began.

Carpenter, a wheel horse on the sale committee, had predicted the Sale’s success back in November, referencing the quality of the horses consigned. “I have never seen the depth of the horses we are selling – not only in how well-bred they are but also in their conformation. I think we are seeing the breeding coming together – throughout the industry people are breeding great mares to great stallions and it really shows,” he said.

Planning is already underway for the 2021 NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales, and information will soon be available. To learn more, contact Angie Honeywell at ​ or 405-946-7400.