Bernardelli & Shine Pop are the 2019 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Non Pro Futurity Champions

Edoardo Bernardelli

Cremona, November 29 — Provided by Simona Diale, International Horse Press — Run in a qualifying go round and seeded finals, the 2019 edition of the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity saw Italian Edoardo Bernardelli and his mount, Shine Pop, wear the 76.000 euro-added Level (L)4 and 37.000 euro-added L3 Non Pro Futurity crown. By Shine Chic Shine and out of MM Lollipop, the sorrel stallion was purchased when he was one month old by Bernardelli and was broke and trained by the Italian rider. “There was something about him when I first saw him that made me want to take him home,” he said. “I love the way he’s bred and thought he was a great mover from the first time I set my eyes on him. Before coming here, I showed him twice at a Lombardy regional show and things did not go too well, I guess because we still needed to get to know each other. In coming here, I knew I could place my trust in him because he has such a big heart, and he proved me right. I would like to thank Guglielmo Fontana for helping me tonight during the finals and my parents for supporting me all the way.”

Gabriele Carrarini

Gabriele Carrarini and his home-bred CG Smart N Gold (Arc Surprising Smart x Arc Girl Chic N Gold) scored a 214 in the finals taking home the 16.000 euro-added L2 Non Pro Championship as well as the Reserve Championship in the L4 and L3. “This is a very special night for me,” he said. “Not only was he born at our place, we actually own both the sire and the dam. Chris Lucchina broke him and then he was in training with Cristina Fiscella for a few months. I took over the reins after that short period and have mainly trained him myself, even though I try to go and ride with Max Ruggeri who has been my mentor for the past ten years. It’s been a pretty special show season as I won the Austrian Futurity as well as the Lombardy regional futurity.”

Sharon De Groot

Sharon De Groot of the Netherlands and her own Tinsel Whizington (Tinsel Jac x Conquistador Sis) added another title to the string of success they’ve had in the show pen this year by winning the 11.000 euro-added L1 Non Pro division with a 210. The duo earned the Austrian Non Pro Futurity Reserve Championship, the NRHA Belgium L2 and L1 Non Pro Futurity Championship and the NRHA France L4 Non Pro Futurity.  “He’s really sweet and he does everything for me,” said the Dutch Rider. “He’s a funny horse, he loves to play around, but when you ride him he’s always ready to go. I’m really proud of him and I have to thank my trainer Quentin Galliere and his wife Kimmy Obenhaus for the work they did with him, and Dominik Reminder for helping me here since Quentin and Kimmy just had a baby and of course stayed home.”

Taking L1 reserve honors was Giuliano Mercuri aboard Doctor Dre (Doctor In Diamonds x JC Hollywoodspunette).

The Open Futurity finals will close the 35th edition of the IRHA Futurity & FISE Italian Championship Finals on Saturday, November 30.

Photos by Bonaga Communication
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The Elementa 50,000 euro-added IRHA 4-year-old Futurity

Max Ruggeri and MR No Guns In Town win the Elementa IRHA 4-year-old Open

Cremona, November 28 — Provided by Simona Diale, International Horse Press — The 35th edition of the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity this year was made even more prestigious with the Elementa 50.000 euro-added 4-year-old Futurity. Run in a qualifying go round and seeded finals, the Open and Non Pro divisions closed the sixth day of competition in Cremona, Italy.

Massimiliano Ruggeri

Italian Professional Massimiliano Ruggeri aboard MR No Guns In Town (Gunstar x Dunnit With Cash) owned by Az. Agr. Equiesse laid down a run worth 219, enough to take home both the Level L(4) and L3 Open Championships. “This victory is for all of us: the breeder, the owner and all my team,” said Ruggeri. “I saw this horse when he was a 2-year-old, bred by Max Rudari, and when he was a baby he was already a great mover. One of my clients purchased him; after that I moved and met up with this horse five months ago after his new owner contacted me to ask me if I would be willing to take him in training. He hasn’t been shown much, and I am certain he still has a lot of potential as he is very talented and still has a lot to learn. Tonight he showed everyone how good he is and now we’ll decide his future step by step.”

Stefano Ferri

Taking the L2 Championship with a 218.5 was Stefano Ferri and UB Electric (Electric Code x UB Styin With Me) owned by Luga LLC. “I’ve only been riding this horse for a short while, as a matter of fact he was shown by my colleague and friend Mirko Midili,” said Ferri. “I still have to get to know him, it’s the second time I’ve shown him, and I have to thank Mirko for helping me out here. I look forward to showing him in the derbies as I know he has a lot of potential.”

Alberto Ferrara

The L1 Open Futurity Championship went to Alberto Ferrara who scored a 212 with Little Bingo Player (Peptos Lil Bingo x Supertrump Out), owned by Riccardo Morichi, between the reins. “This is a particularly sweet win since I convinced the owner [Morichi] to breed his mare to Peptos Lil Bingo,” said Ferrara. “This gelding is a product of this cross and I am really happy for this sweet and talented horse. His future includes working on cows, like his sire, and then we’ll go from there.”

Nogue Puig and A Whiz N Cash do it again!

Andreu Nogué Puig

The 50.000 euro-added Elementa IRHA 4-year-old Futurity saw one of Europe’s rising star rise to the top of the finals standings in the Non Pro division: winning the Level (L)4 was Andreu Nogué Puig and his faithful companion A Whiz N Cash (Custom Cash Advance x A Whiz N Wranglers) take the prize with a final score of 218. “This is really a special win. It’s is our second here at the Italian Futurity since last year we won all levels of the 3-year-old Futurity,” said the 17-year-old. “I would like to dedicate this Championship to my grandmother who passed away one week ago. It’s still a very fresh loss and I thought about her during my whole run — I felt she was with me from the beginning of the pattern to the end. She didn’t care that much about horses but A Whiz N Cash was always special to her. She loved him and she always said that he was great for me. Of course, I need to thank my parents for being such great supporters and sponsors as well as my trainers, Mirko Midili and [NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider] Bernard Fonck for helping me out during this year.

Fabienne Kuratl-Suter

It was yet another win for Swiss Fabienne Kuratl-Suter and her Alpha Top Gun (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown x Smoking Walla Wanda): After topping the L4-3- and 2 qualifier, the pair swept both the L3 and L2 Futurity Championships with a 214.5 after taking home the NRHA of Germany L3 and L2 Futurity titles. “I stopped riding for a couple of years after my second son,” said a smiling Fabienne. “I love showing, this is my life, so I going back into the show pen came easy…especially thanks to my great trainer Grischa Ludwig. I really could not have done this without him. He keeps my horses so tuned and in tip-top condition. I am really thrilled with this win and, to tell the truth, I did not know I had also won the L3 until it was time to go in for the awards presentation.”

Ludwig was quick to praise his non pro’s win: “Fabienne is as good as any open rider in the pen. The only thing you need to tell her is to press the right buttons and she does it!”

Susanna Sodi

An enthused Susanna Sodi took the L1 Championship aboard her Ladysdreamofblueeyes (NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream x Check Your Gun Lady). “He’s a USA-bred horse. I purchased him from [NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider] Craig Schmersal after last year’s NRHA Futurity and this is our first big show together,” she said. “He’s such a good and nice show horse; he loves to work and he has amazing rollbacks. Also in barn life, he’s adorable.

His barn name is “Cinghialone [big boar] — she added with a laugh — he always wants to touch and stay with the humans! I’m planning to show him at the Derby here in Cremona the next May and I cannot wait.”

Photos by Bonaga Communication
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‘Wondering’ about the Freestyle? Cira Baeck has the winning answer

Saturday night at Fieracavalli, Verona, the pavilions were emptying as the public started for home, but in the stands surrounding the Elementa Masters Premiere show pen, as the coloured lights swept the arena in the run-up to the $ 50,000 Freestyle, no-one was budging. In fact, the area had to be closed off to limit the crowd pressing to enter the pavillion. Undoubtedly, Freestyle has a special appeal for both reining fans and the non-specialist public with its exciting and entertaining mix of technique and spectacle, music and manoeuvres. While the technical prowess may have varied between the runs, one element that all contained was an imaginative choreography and an attention to detail in the choice of music and costumes that ensured that every pair was fun to watch.

Cira Baeck

At the end of the day it was Cira Baeck, a sparkling and powerful Wonder Woman on the glittering stallion Phantom Face, 6-year-old son of Pale Face Dunnit out of Gorgeous Like A Star now owned by Cecilia Fiorucci, that convinced both judges and public alike with a run awarded a whopping 231 that further underlined the fact that Freestyle is a true reining competition: while the artistic element does count, on the judges’ scoring card technique remains paramount. The crowd responded with a roar as Baeck circled and spun, shield in hand, crowned with a tiara and donning the instantly recognisable red bodice and blue pants of the superhero. “The idea was conceived by my boss, Cecilia,” states Cira, “and we chose Wonder Woman as this sport is undoubtedly male-dominated, so we wanted to make a powerful statement for women. It was not actually my first Freestyle, I competed in one a couple of years ago in Poland, dressed as a Ketchup bottle! Both times it has been fun, but I especially enjoyed the run last night because this is the first event in which I have showed this horse at the Open earlier and later in the Freestyle, and he was really there for me.”

Giovanni Masi

Pipped to the post was Giovanni “Dido” Masi who entered the show pen, or perhaps ‘show ring’, perfectly turned out as a classical English rider, complete with jodhpurs, English saddle and spurs before choosing to swap his original hard hat with the cowboy hat of Filippo Masi, his dad, whose turnarounds apparently offered greater appeal. Against the music of Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s my life’, Giovanni then performed a series of brilliantly executed reining manoeuvres on Majestic Okie (Okie Dun It Too X Majestic Ice), the 11-year-old stallion owned by Katherine Dejori to finish on 230.5 and claim reserve honours.

Gennaro Lendi

Gennaro Lendi placed third on the World Champion Yankee Gun (Rowdy Yankee Dam x Snow Gun) belonging to his friend Marco Mele. The 10-year-old stallion recently co-starred alongside – or rather under – Sylvester Stallone in the Hollywood star’s latest film to hit the box office Last Blood. Last night it was Gennaro Lendi, Stallone’s horse master for the film, to take the part of Rambo. Lendi galloped and spun like a rocket around the arena, eliminating enemies with his machine gun and sliding to dramatic stops, his muscles – not exactly the real ones – rippling. The pair was awarded 228.5 at the conclusion of their run.

Following her Freestyle win and reserve honours in the Elementa Masters Premiere Open, Cira Baeck drew her experience here at Verona to a rewarding conclusion as team-mate to Evald Rifeser (Non Pro) and Vittoria Marzorati (Para Reining) in the team that triumphed in the Global Team Cup with a score of 644.

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Photos by Andrea Bonega

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