NRHA Futurity Success Catapults Lil Joe Cash to Million Dollar Sire Status

For Immediate Release – January 21, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – In a meteoric rise, Lil Joe Cash became a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Sire with only four performing foal crops.

“With all the show cancellations in 2020, it’s almost certain that Lil Joe would have become a million dollar sire earlier in the year, and to me that is incredible,” noted owner Russell Giles. “Having Lil Joe Cash become a million-dollar sire was never my goal because it has always been to breed the best-minded, athletic horses that people love. I believe we’re achieving that.”

An incredible show resume with NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani has segued into an equally impressive breeding career. Prior to the 2020 NRHA Futurity, Lil Joe Cash was less than $6,000 away from achieving NRHA Million Dollar Sire status, and while he would have achieved that milestone regardless, Tish Fappani’s Level (L) 3 Non Pro Futurity Championship and L4 Co-Reserve Championship on Joes Genes (out of Electric Genes) catapulted the stallion’s progeny earnings across the million dollar threshold.

Tish Fappani was proud to play a part in Lil Joe Cash’s milestone. “Lil Joe Cash has always been a special horse to our family. He had an amazing show career,” she said. “It’s amazing to be a part of this achievement of his. My mare’s mind and her trainability are where I see his influence.”

Her husband, Andrea Fappani, added, “Tish’s mare has a mind remarkably like her sire [Lil Joe Cash]. You never had to force him to do anything. You just had to show him, and if he understood what you were asking, he would do it for you.”

Lil Joe Cash was also well-represented in the Adequan® Arena at the NRHA Futurity. Madison Gustin piloted Win My Cash (out of Win My Shine) to top finishes in the North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) in the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro divisions, winning more than $5,100. Earlier in the year, Gustin and Win My Cash won the L2 and L1 Non Pro Derby Championship to earn more than $12,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

Bred by Kurt and Angie Harris, Lil Joe Cash is by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Nu Chex To Cash and out of RS Lilly Starlight. Giles purchased the colt at the 2009 Legacy Sale and sent him to Brent Loseke to begin his career. It was Loseke’s recommendation to pair Lil Joe Cash with Andrea Fappani. “Brent’s honesty and integrity in suggesting I send Lil Joe Cash to Andrea speaks volumes about his character,” Giles said. “I believe some trainers would not have been as gracious or truthful about my horse’s potential.”

With Andrea Fappani in the saddle, Lil Joe Cash quickly made his mark on the reining industry, winning the 2011 NRHA Futurity Open L4 with an incredible 227.5. The pair also won an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Jr. Reining World Championship in 2012, then the NRHA $75,000 Shootout Championship in 2014.

“Lil Joe Cash was a special horse, not just as a show horse, but in our barn, too. He is probably the only horse I have been able to get from a different program later in his 3-year-old year and be very successful. I got him in April from Brent, who has a great program and puts a great foundation on horses but rides differently than I do,” Fappani shared. “Lil Joe Cash really molded to me, and I remember looking at my wife just two weeks after getting him and telling her I had never been on a horse that fit my style so much.”

Andrea Fappani thought so highly of the stallion, that he brought him out of retirement in 2019 to compete in The Run for a Million Shootout, where they finished third with a score of 226.

“I always tell people that if I had to pick a horse in my career that depicts the way I want reining to be done, it would be Lil Joe Cash,” Andrea Fappani said. “To me, he has the style I want. He’s a great mover who’s very collected naturally. I have gone back and watched his videos from when he went through the Legacy Sale, and it was amazing to me that he showed as a 6-year-old the same way he moved as a yearling. Twenty years from now, if someone asks me who my ideal reining horse was, I will always say Lil Joe Cash.”

Giles was quick to credit several people with Lil Joe Cash’s success. “I thank Andrea and Tish, who believed in Joe all the way. I also thank Brent Loseke, who gave Joe a lot of credence with trainers,” she said. “Also, I give a lot of credit to Jo Ellard of EE Ranch. He stood there first, and Jo, Steve and Kim Adams, and Tony Nunez, did a great job with him there.”

As Lil Joe Cash’s progeny began to compete, it became apparent he was a good cross on mares by NRHA Leading Sire Gunner. “Moving him to Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses was inevitable,” Giles shared. “We have only had one breeding season there, but it has been phenomenal. Over the years I have been incredibly fortunate to find great people to help me, and the credit goes to all of them.”

For Giles, the diversity of the riders that found success on Lil Joe Cash is a testament to the stallion. “Joe is always affectionate and wants to know what is going on, and his babies are like that, too. It’s funny because it seems like once someone gets a Joe in the barn, they’ll have 10,” she said. “I think with the propulsion he’s had, people are going to be excited about owning a Joe of their own.”

Lil Joe Cash’s top offspring also includes:

  • NVR What A Lucky Joe (out of What A Lucky Hit): $108,182 NRHA LTE
  • Lil Patron (out of Miss Rey O Shine): $76,459 NRHA LTE
  • Cashing In Diamonds (out of Diamond Steppin Whiz): $57,473 NRHA LTE

Congratulations to Lil Joe Cash on this monumental milestone!

Photo by Veronika Photography

Wimpys Little Chic Makes Her Mark as NRHA’s Newest Million Dollar Dam

Wimpys Little Chic

For Immediate Release – January 19, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – In just four short years, Wimpys Little Chic amassed more than half a million dollars in National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Lifetime Earnings (LTE). She’s the only horse in history to win the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, and the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) consecutively. Wimpys Little Chic is officially the newest NRHA Million Dollar Dam.

The stunning palomino was bred by Monica Watson of Double Run Farm of Leland, North Carolina. Eleuterio Arcese, of Arcese Quarter Horses USA, purchased the mare in 2007. “In the early spring of that year, we went with our friend Frank Costantini to Shawn Flarida’s to see some 3-year-old futurity prospects. Among all the prospects we looked at, when we saw her, we realized she was really special and unique,” Arcese recalled.

The special mare, now 17 years old, is by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Collena Chic Olena. She had magnetism in the show pen, drawing spectators to the rails when it was time for her to compete.

“She had a great brain, and when that mind mixed with the incredible athletic ability she had, greatness happened,” said Flarida, an NRHA Professional and NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider. While he’s ridden many incredible horses in his career, Flarida believes Wimpys Little Chic towers above the rest. “She’s absolutely the greatest. She’s the one who will change this sport if she hasn’t already.”

All Bettss Are Off – photo by Carolyn Simancik

Now it’s clear that her foals have that same commanding presence. When NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani and Arcese’s All Bettss Are Off, by the newest NRHA Leading Sire Gunner, won the 2020 NRHA Futurity Level (L) 4 Open Championship, Wimpys Little Chic became the fourth, and latest, mare to join the elite club of Million Dollar Dams with only 12 money-earning foals.

“This meant a lot to me because Mr. Arcese asked me at the beginning of the year if I thought I had the quality of horse I needed to win the Futurity,” Fappani shared. “He knew that Wimpys Little Chic was getting close to that big mark, and it would mean a lot to him to win the Futurity and put that mare over one million. Being able to do that for him was a big deal to me.”

In a career that includes many great horses and achievements, this most recent one is special. “It’s great, it’s a dream come true. It means all the effort, the commitment, and the passion dedicated to our program is now repaying us with great satisfaction,” Arcese said. “This is the third Open Futurity won by horses we raised out of Wimpys Little Chic, and they’ve also won at the NRHA Derby and had many reserve championships.”

Wimpys Little Chic’s top earner is ARC Gunnabeabigstar, by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya. With NRHA $2 Million Dollar Rider Jordan Larson at the reins, ARC Gunnabeabigstar, now owned by HDC Quarter Horses, won the 2014 NRHA Futurity L4 Open and finished as the L4 Open Reserve Champion at the 2017 NRHA Derby. All totaled, ARC Gunnabeabigstar accumulated $298,999 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

Wimpys Little Chic’s second highest money earner is All Betts Are Off with $281,311 in NRHA LTE, thanks in part to the record-setting $250,000 Futurity check.

Shesouttayourleague, by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz, rounds out the top three earners with $252,470 in NRHA LTE, including championships at the NRHA Futurity, Derby, and High Roller Reining Classic. Shesouttayourleague, owned by Curtis Performance Horses LLC, was ridden by NRHA $2 Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary.

“I’ve ridden some of her babies, and she stamps them. She could stop like crazy, and every single one of her foals can stop, too,” Flarida said. “She’s already produced three Futurity champions, but the point is, she’s a great horse. You can use a lot of words, but she is the one who just makes you sit there and ask, ‘Wow, how did she do that?’ Now, she’s continuing to produce great horse after great horse.”

With Wimpys Little Chic’s latest success, there is no doubt that Arcese Quarter Horses USA will continue its mission. “Our goal has always been to do better, and always improve the quality of our horses,” Arcese shared.

Wimpys Little Chic’s ten money earning offspring also includes:

  • Lonely At The Top (by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Gunner): $73,151 NRHA LTE
  • ARC Trashin Yer Chic (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya): $67,055 NRHA LTE
  • Wimpys Lil Tag (by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Whiz N Tag Chex): $58,924 NRHA LTE
  • Wallas Chic Diana (by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz): $54,602 NRHA LTE
  • Trashy Chics Dig Me (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya): $35, 648 NRHA LTE
  • ARC Wimpysgottagun (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya): $25,709 NRHA LTE
  • ARC A Step Above (by NRHA Three Millon Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz): $18,994 NRHA LTE
  • Gunna Go Big (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya): $18,603 NRHA LTE
  • Gunna Be A Big Hit (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya): $9,935 NRHA LTE

Shine Chic Shine Crosses NRHA Million Dollar Sire Threshold

For Immediate Release – January 12, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – During the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) Show, Shine Chic Shine became one of the association’s newest Million Dollar Sires. Owned by Amabile & Strusiner of Grandview, Texas, Shine Chic Shine is by NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena and out of the NRHA’s first Million Dollar Dam, Ebony Shines.

Shine Chic Shine, bred by Manntana LLC, was purchased through the NRHA Select Yearling Sale. “His full brother that year (Shiners Chic) was showing in the Futurity and doing fantastic. That horse is still showing now at 15 years old, and is still amazing, so that was a good tell,” John Amabile explained. “I also really liked his (Shine Chic Shine’s) breeding and confirmation.”

He had impressive looks and lineage, and the next step was to pair him with a great trainer, NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Shawn Flarida. Shine Chic Shine was set for success. In 2010, the flashy palomino stallion took a commanding lead in the first go at the NRHA Futurity. The stallion and the NRHA’s top earning rider Flarida seemed poised to win it all, but a bit of bad luck kept them out of Championship contention.

“During the Finals, he slipped over by the gate and fell out of lead,” Amabile recalled.

Although disappointing, Shine Chic Shine and Flarida rebounded impressively, winning the 2011 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) in spectacular fashion. During the Finals, the pair marked a 229.5 to tie for the lead with Todd Sommers and Whiz It A Chic. With so much money up for grabs, the riders decided to run-off, and Flarida and Shine Chic Shine upped their performance to a 231 to take the win.

“He was awesome for me,” Flarida recalled. “Personality-wise, he was kind of a clown and enjoyed life, but when it was time to be serious, he came to the party.”

Shine Chic Shine was only shown at six events, but in that time amassed more than $150,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE). “Shawn Flarida was instrumental in his success, and a did a great job with him,” Amabile said. “We retired Shine early because we wanted to get him to the breeding shed, and we were very protective of him.”

Shine Chic Shine’s first foals arrived in 2012. His top earner is PS Mega Shine Chic with $219,655 in NRHA LTE, including an American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championship in 2020, as well as the Run For a Million Shootout Championship.

Shine Chic Shine also sired Shine Colt Shine, who, with Flarida at the reins, took the NRHA Futurity Reserve Championship in 2019. Shine Colt Shine was the 2018 Markel Insurance Prospect Sale high seller, and to date has won $113,248. Flarida noted that Shine Colt Shine, like many of his siblings, share similarities with their sire. “Shine Chic Shine’s sons and daughters are doing really well. Every one of his babies can run and stop a country mile,” he shared.

Beginning in 2021, Shine Chic Shine will be standing at Toyon Ranch, a move about which Amabile is excited. “They have some of the best mares, and they’re going to be breeding some to Shine. They have a great program, too, and I know this will make reaching the next million dollars a lot easier,” Amabile shared.

Three Sires Reach New NRHA Multi-Million Dollar Milestones

For Immediate Release – January 8, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – Thanks to a record-setting event, three National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) sires reached new million-dollar milestones. Wimpys Little Step is now the third sire in reining history to become an NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire and both Gunners Special Nite and Gunnatrashya joined the elite NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire club.

Wimpys Little Step

It was less than two years ago that Wimpys Little Step became an eleven-million-dollar sire just behind Topsail Whiz and Gunner. Out of NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Famer Nu Chex To Cash, Wimpys Little Step was bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Hilldale Farm. The 21-year-old stallion is out of Leolita Step and standing for owner Silver Spurs Equine, LLC in Purcell, Oklahoma.

Wimpys Little Step boasts a short but decorated show career with NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Shawn Flarida. The pair won the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Open Level (L) 4 Futurity followed almost immediately by the 2002 NRHA Open L4 Futurity Championship. Wimpys Little Step has $185,756 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

During the 2020 NRHA Futurity, Wimpys Little Step had three offspring make the open finals and four in the non pro finals. Combined, the seven entries earned over $67,000, and Wimpys Little Step sailed across the $12 million mark.

Step N Past Ya (out of ARC Sail Past Ya) was his top earner in the Non Pro L4 finals under the guidance of Gina-Marie Schumacher. With a score of 218, the duo earned a cool $19,573.

Earning $15,388 in the Open L3 finals and another $8,718 in the Open L2 finals was Blonde Addy Tude (out of Miss Lil Addy Tude). At the reins was NRHA Professional Patrick Flaherty piloting for owner Tim Ruckman.

Wimpys Little Step’s top offspring include:

  • NRHA Million Dollar Dam and Hall of Famer Wimpys Little Chic (out of NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Collena Chic Olena): $516,555 NRHA LTE
  • RC Fancy Step (out of Sonita Wilson): $364,454 NRHA LTE
  • Wimpys Little Buddy (out of All Thats Dun): $285,358 NRHA LTE
  • Wimpyneedsacocktail (out of Seven S Mimosa): $280,379 NRHA LTE
  • CFR Centenario Wimpy (out of Miss Hollywood Whiz): $173,740 NRHA LTE

Photo by John Brasseaux

Gunners Special Nite

Gunners Special Nite is making quick work of reaching new NRHA Million Dollar milestones. In the last four years, he’s climbed the ladder of success from one to now four million. As one of the newest NRHA Four Million Dollar Sires, ‘Bailey’ reached this achievement before the 2020 NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show began.

Just after reaching $3 Million in September 2019, Bailey’s offspring wasted no time chipping away at $4 million. In the 2019 NRHA Open Futurity Finals, Guns And Dynamite (out of Chic Olena Starbuck) was reserve champion in levels 4-2 with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Cade McCutcheon in the saddle.

Gunners Special Nite has always paired well with the name McCutcheon. In 2010, NRHA Million Dollar Rider and Owner Tom McCutcheon reined the 2004 stallion to an individual and team gold medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) for team USA. The McCutcheon family continues riding horses out of this show-stopping stallion.

Bailey’s offspring kept up their winning streak from the fall at the 2020 NRHA Futurity. NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Mandy McCutcheon rode Shining At Nite (out of A Shining Sidekick) to the Non Pro L4 Futurity Championship. Thanks to the generosity of the NRHA Futurity Challenge Donors, McCutcheon added $60,000 to her NRHA LTE and that of Gunners Special Nite.

Bred by Kim and Deborah Sloan and raised by Tim and Colleen McQuay, Bailey was later purchased by Turnabout Farm, Inc. He is now standing at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses in Aubrey, Texas.

Turnabout Farm, Inc. is quickly becoming a household name when it comes to breeding top reining horses. The Aubrey, Texas, based operation was the leading breeder in 2018 and 2019 according to Equistat. They also listed Turnabout Farm as a “Reining Up-&-Comer” in early 2020.

Gunners Special Nite’s top offspring include:

  • Modern Gun (out of Taris Modern Design): $221,043 NRHA LTE
  • Guns And Dynamite (out of Chic Olena Starbuck): $180,606 NRHA LTE
  • Baileys Not Painted (out of Darlins Not Painted): $140,984 NRHA LTE
  • Lenas Shining Gun (out of SL Lenas Chick): $106,184 NRHA LTE
  • Special Made Whiskey (out of Starlight Acres): $93,916 NRHA LTE

Photo by John Brasseaux


With 35 foals in the 2020 NRHA Open Futurity alone, it was nearly impossible for Gunnatrashya to miss the $4 million dollar mark. When the dust settled, the 2006 stallion far surpassed that milestone after Gunnabebigtime (out of Big Time Jazzy) earned the Open L4 Reserve Champion title. NRHA Million Dollar Rider Brian Bell piloted the stallion to a 224.5 to earn $118,982.

Bred by Katarina Dorminy, Gunnatrashya now stands at Oswood Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas, for Arcese Quarter Horses USA. He’s by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame Inductee Gunner and out of Natrasha.

As a 3-year-old, Gunnatrashya found significant success in the show pen. Under the direction of NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Shawn Flarida, Gunnatrashya was the 2009 All-American Quarter Horse Open L4 Futurity Champion and immediately followed that up with the NRHA Open L4 Futurity Championship.

The pair came back to the Jim Norick Arena in June to win the NRHA Open L4 Derby title. Gunnatrashya harbors $218,046 in NRHA LTE to date.

Gunnatrashya has produced several futurity and derby champions during his breeding tenure. At the 2019 NRHA Open L4 Futurity Finals, one of Gunnatrashya’s colts helped Cade McCutcheon become an NRHA Million Dollar Rider. Super Marioo (out of HA Chic A Tune) topped the Open L4 and L3 finals to add $172,358 to his NRHA LTE and pushed Cade over the $1 million mark.

Gunnatrashya’s top offspring include:

  • ARC Gunnabeabigstar (out of NRHA Million Dollar Dam Wimpys Little Chic): $298,999 NRHA LTE
  • Super Marioo (out of HA Chic A Tune): $254,528 NRHA LTE
  • Inferno Sixty Six (out of NRHA Million Dollar Dam and Hall of Fame Inductee Snip O Gun): $205,690 NRHA LTE
  • ARC Gunna Mark Ya (out of Shiney Miss Marker): $163,877 NRHA LTE
  • Gunnabebigtime (out of Big Time Jazzy): $134,714 NRHA LTE

Photo by Cam Essick

Congratulations to Wimpys Little Step, Gunners Special Nite, and Gunnatrashya on their outstanding accomplishments!

Futurity Win Clinches Million Dollar Owner Status for Tish Fappani

For Immediate Release – December 31, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – It was a night chock full of million-dollar accomplishments during the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) CINCH Non Pro Futurity Finals on Friday, Dec. 4. With a first-place finish in the CINCH Non Pro Level (L) 3 Futurity, Tish Fappani solidified her NRHA Million Dollar Owner status aboard Joes Genes (Lil Joe Cash x Electric Genes).

Hailing from Scottsdale, Arizona, Fappani is no stranger to million-dollar milestones. She’s the wife of NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani. Partners when it comes to the business of horses and reining, the couple shares the workload at home and the limelight when it shines in their direction.

The team dynamic has been a longstanding strategy for Tish, but it first began with her parents, Bob and the late Sue Wood.

“My mom had me on horses before I could even walk,” Tish said. “My mom used to do a lot of the American Horse Show Association (AHSA) and stock horse events. When I was 6, I went to ride with Glenn Gimple. It was cool because my mom rode with him, and he was ‘The Man’ when it came to equitation and stock horses.”

From Covina, California, Tish’s family always had around 10 horses at home. Tish remembers feeding and cleaning stalls every morning before school, and she would help her mom get horses ready for lessons in the afternoon. Those hours in the barn funded Tish’s time in the saddle in Arizona where her affinity for reining blossomed.

“When I was 15, I was lucky enough to start riding with Brett Stone and John Slack in Arizona,” Tish remembered about her official entrance into the world of reining. “That was the year Boomernic won the Futurity.”

It was those long, sliding stops that initially caught Tish and Sue’s attention for reining. The style and finesse sealed the deal for Tish and is perhaps the reason she’s now an NRHA Million Dollar Owner.

“My mom was a huge part of my life with horses; she always made sure I had the best opportunities and she put me with the best trainers,” Tish said. “I was very lucky to have both of my parents in my corner.”

Today, Tish finds partners in Andrea and their oldest son Luca. The three have been swapping horses in the show pen for the past few years. Titles in the open, non pro, and youth, all on the same horses, speak volumes about the caliber of horses in the Fappani reining program.

“I’m really proud of raising horses that we can all ride and compete on,” Tish said. “I remember the first horse Andrea and I bought together–Lean With Peppy Chex–we bought him as a 2-year-old before we were even married. Andrea showed him at the 2002 Futurity and then we sold him as a 4-year-old.”

Eight years later, the Fappanis bought that gelding back, and now ‘Scooter’ is a permanent resident in the retirement pasture. If it were up to Tish, she’d keep them all.

“I get sentimental and think we need to keep all of them,” she said with a laugh. “Andrea isn’t a huge fan of all these geldings in our backyard, but we’ve had a lot of special horses together: Premier Diamond, Spooks N Jewels, Ice Cube, and Joes Genes, the mare I showed at the Futurity, just to name a few.”

Tish is excited to breed her mare and see what kind of foals she can throw for the Fappanis to show in all three levels in a few years.

“I always want all of our horses to do their best, but there’s something special when we own one and are able to get it shown,” Tish said. “I’m super shocked by this accomplishment. It’s huge. I’m proud to have raised and shown these horses, it’s super rewarding but it also takes a team to get it done.”

Photo by Carolyn Simancik