Bernard Fonck Puts an International Spin on NRHA’s Million Dollar Rider List

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

Our Condolences – Bob Stinner

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

Visit Bob’s obituary page for more

Donate to RHF in Bob’s name

Our Condolences – Butch Gardill

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:

In lieu of flowers, Butch’s family suggests donations to “No Dog Left Behind” –

Photo from Stephen D. Slater Funeral Home

Gunnatrashya – NRHA’s Newest Two Million Dollar Sire

For Immediate Release- Oklahoma City, Okla., December 7, 2018 – Thanks to the success of his offspring at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, we are excited to announce that Gunnatrashya is NRHA’s newest Two Million Dollar Sire. Owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, Gunnatrashya is by NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee and Ten Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Natrasha.

The 2006 sorrel stallion had just as successful of a career in the show pen as he has had in the breeding shed. With NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Shawn Flarida at the reins, Gunnatrashya was the 2009 All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Futurity Champion, 2009 NRHA Open Futurity Champion, and 2010 NRHA Open Derby Champion. Even with limited showing, he has NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) of over $218,000.

Gunnatrashya had 65 offspring entered in the 2018 NRHA Futurity (Open and Non Pro), and together they earned just under $300,000 at the event, giving him a lifetime total of $2,166,218.70 in offspring earnings. One of the most notable offspring was Gunna Stop, owned by Alexandria Gokey, who won more than $66,429 alone under Austin Lee Roush. Gunna Stop was both Level (L) 1 and L2 Champion, placed 5th in L3, and was a L4 finalist at the Futurity. Additionally, KR Ima Trashya, owned by Leslie Martin, earned over $20,392 and Gunnarickashay, owned by Jody and Jolan Puno, won more than $14,994. Gunnatrashya currently stands at Oswood Stallion Station.

Gunnatrashya’s top earning offspring are:

  • ARC Gunnabeabigstar (out of Wimpys Little Chic): $294,874.72 NRHA LTE
  • Inferno Sixty Six (out of Snip O Gun): $203,495.54 NRHA LTE
  • ARC Gunna Mark Ya (out of Shiney Miss Marker): $163,877.50 NRHA LTE
  • ARC Gunna Sparkya (out of Sailing Spark): $119,605.61 NRHA LTE
  • Loveya (out of Love Em N Lena): $93,000.80 NRHA LTE

Congratulations to Gunnatrashya and Arcese Quarter Horses USA on this outstanding achievement!

Photo (first) by Cam Essick 

Photo (second) by Waltenberry

NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider: Craig Schmersal

For Immediate Release – December 5, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) sends congratulations to its newest NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider: Craig Schmersal. Schmersal qualified three horses for the NRHA Open Futurity Finals this past weekend –Ladysdreamofblueeyes, The Star Jersey, and Pale Quistador – to reach the next level in his career.

On Ladysdreamofblueeyes, owned by Tim J. Anderson, Schmersal placed fourth in the level (L) 4 open division. He also rode Anderson’s The Star Jersey and Pale Quistador, owned by B S Syndicate, winning nearly $80,000 in all. His added winnings have secured him a spot on the short list of riders who have earned in excess of four million dollars in official NRHA earnings alongside Shawn Flarida and Andrea Fappani.

Schmersal, an NRHA Professional and Judge, has competed in NRHA events since 1988. The Scottsdale, Arizona resident has moved through the NRHA ranks over the years, starting with his first show as a youth in Pennsylvania. He quickly became a name in the industry and a perennial major event finalist, along with the help of his wife Ginger.

Some of Schmersal’s major NRHA achievements include:

  • 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold medalist and 2005 FEI World Reining Masters CRI-A Open Champion Tidal Wave Jack (owned by B S Syndicate)
  • 2004 NRHA Derby Open Champion on Commanders Nic (owned by Craig and Ginger Schmersal)
  • 2008 CRI-A Open USEF National Champion riding Mr Dual Rey (owned by Holly Casey)
  • 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist, as well as 2010 National Reining Breeders Classic Open Champion on Mister Montana Nic (owned by Boom Shernic Syndicate)
  • 2011 FEI World Reining Finals and Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic CRIO-A Champion on Miss Lil Addy Tude (owned by KC Performance Horses, LLC)
  • 2014 All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Champion on Xtra Electric Meter (owned by Eric Unger)
  • 2017 NRHA Futurity Champion on Face The Attitude (owned by Hickory Creek Ranch, LLC)

Photo provided by Schmersal Reining Horses