NRHA is saddened to hear of the passing of Carl McCuistion. We send our deepest condolences to the entire McCuistion family. Carl was a one-of-a-kind horseman, friend, and judge, and steward.
For Immediate Release – December 20, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) welcomes NRHA Professional Cira Baeck as the second female, and first European female, to join the list of Million Dollar Riders. Baeck flew into the next level of her career with two top qualifying rides during the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity Level(L) 4 Open Finals this past weekend atop NF Shining Whiz and Sailorsacrofpride BB.
Under Baeck, NF Shining Whiz, owned by Kim Windey and David Perneel, clinched the title of the L4 Open Reserve Championship with a score of 227. She also rode Sailorsarcofpride BB, owned by Ruediger Diedenhofen, and exited the arena with her total earnings amounting to about $50,000 throughout the 2018 IRHA Futurity that ran from December 7-15 in Cremona, Italy.
The Belgian trainer and NRHA Judge won her first NRHA paycheck in 2002 and has actively competed in European and North American NRHA events ever since. Beginning as a youth competitor, Baeck has received multiple honors during the past decade and a half, including the following:
- Three-time NRHA Open World Champion Top Ten: 2013 on Whizasunnysailor BB (3rd), 2015 on Whizasunnysailor BB (2nd), and 2017 on Gunners Snappy Chic (3rd)
- Two-time NRHA Non Pro World Champion, plus six other Top Ten placings in the same division: 2007 on Don Quixote Escapes (1st), 2008 on Peek A Boom (1st), 2008 on Whizashiningwalla BB (3rd), 2010 on Gumpy Grumpy BB (3rd), 2009 on Whizashiningwalla BB (4th), 2007 on Little Gump (6th), 2009 on Gumpy Grumpy BB (6th), and 2005 on Little Gump (7th).
- Three-time FEI World Equestrian Games medalist: 2010, 2014, and 2018 Team Silver Medalist for Belgium
- 2013 IRHA Derby L4 Open Champion on Whizasunnysailor BB
- 2014 NRHA European Derby L4 Open Champion on Colonels Shining Gun
Cira Baeck credits NRHA legend and Hall of Fame Inductee, Bill Horn, for her drive and passion for the sport as he continues to be her biggest inspiration. Other NRHA Professionals, such as Brent Loseke and Bernard Fonck, NRHA’s first European based Two Million Dollar Rider, also have been influential in Baeck’s career.
Photo by Andrea Bonaga
For Immediate Release – December 18, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) welcomes NRHA Professional Bernard Fonck as the newest Two Million Dollar Rider, unofficially. Fonck sealed the deal on the next level in his career with three top qualifying rides at the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity Level(L) 4 Open Finals this past weekend atop Spook Sunburst, CSG Shinethingun, and GP Hot Revolution.
Fonck and Spook Sunburst, owned by Koen Symoens, slid out of the arena holding the L4 open champion title with a score of 227 1/2. On CSG Shinethingun, owned by Katarzyna Roleska, Fonck tied for 4th with a 224 score. Another successful ride aboard GP Hot Revolution, owned by Golden Paint Ranch, brought Fonck’s total earnings to exceed $122,244 throughout the 2018 IRHA Futurity that ran from December 7-15 in Cremona, Italy.
The Belgian rider has competed in European and North American NRHA events since 2002. Fonck has received multiple honors including the following:
- Seven-time NRHA World Open World Champion: 2008 on Lenas Pegesis (with Ann Fonck), 2010 and 2011 on Great Sun Burst, 2012 on Sail On Top Whizard; and 2015, 2016, and 2017 on What A Wave
- Multiple FEI World Equestrian Games medalist: 2018 Individual Gold Medalist on What A Wave and three-time Team Silver Medalist for Belgium
- 2009 NRHA European Futurity L3 and L4 Open Champion riding Sail On Top Whizard
- 2013 NRHA European Derby L4 Open Champion On Smart N Sparkin
- 2014 IRHA 3-Year-Old Futurity L4 Open Champion on Lil Ruf Whiz N Tag and Reserve Champion on Big Fat
- 2016 NRHA Germany Breeders 4-Year-Old Futurity L4 Open Champion on Gunners Big Chex and Reserve Champion on Spook Shine Spook
Other reiners who have surpassed the Two Million Dollar NRHA Lifetime Earnings mark include Tim McQuay (2005), Shawn Flarida (2006), Craig Schmersal (2010), Andrea Fappani (2010), Duane Latimer (2014), Mandy McCutcheon (2014), Jordan Larson (2015), and Todd Bergen (2015).
Photo by Andrea Bonaga
The reining world is saddened to hear the news of the passing of Bob Stinner. Mr. Stinner of Aubrey, Texas, had been a supporter of NRHA for nearly 40 years. He served on the NRHA Board of Directors from 1987-1994, was an NRHA Judge, served on various committees, and was active and instrumental in the success of the Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association and the Florida Reining Horse Association. He helped produce, sponsor, and manage NRHA shows. Stinner was a large proponent of the sport of reining and NRHA, lending support to the careers of several trainers along the way, including Bill Horn, Sam Smith, Tom McCutcheon, Ruben Vandorp, and Shawn Flarida. In addition, he helped ensure the success of NRHA’s early horse sales.
Celebration of Life: January 26 at 6 p.m. – Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses: 3732 Shepard Rd, Aubrey TX
Charles “Butch” J. Gardill, age 76 of Union Township, Finleyville, Pennsylvania, rode his last horse to the Lord on Wednesday, December 5, 2018. He was born on March 19, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a son of Dr. John and Liebetha (Muschkey) Gardill.
Butch operated a 50 horse boarding and training facility for over 40 years, managed a thoroughbred breeding farm for over 20 years, and was a past president of the National Reining Association.
He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Roberta (Healy) Gardill, an accomplished equestrian; a stepson, Fred D. Gerace, a western horseman; one granddaughter, Toni Ann Gerace, also an accomplished equestrian; and his brother, John (Claudia) Gardill and their family, of Mercer, Pennsylvania.
Please follow the funeral home website for further details: www.stephendslater.com.
In lieu of flowers, Butch’s family suggests donations to “No Dog Left Behind” – https://nodogleftbehind.org/donate/.
Photo from Stephen D. Slater Funeral Home