It’s no secret the name Fappani is synonymous with greatness within the reining community. As the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) all-time leading rider, Andrea Fappani continues to set the standard within the sport and shatter records. Recently, he stamped his name in the history books once again by becoming the first NRHA Eight Million Dollar Rider. In addition, he accomplished yet another rare feat by adding his name to the list of NRHA Million Dollar Owners.
The further you investigate Fappani’s history, the more impressive he gets. Hailing from Bergamo, Italy, the now 46-year-old professional grew up on a dairy farm. His love for reining blossomed from a horse-riding hobby shared between him and his father. That passion grew until Fappani finally moved to the States to pursue a career in the sport and eventually went out on his own in 2003. Three years later, the young professional surpassed his first NRHA million and has only continued to grow from there.
During his climb to $8 million, three owners seem to have found the formula for success with NRHA’s all-time leading rider at the reins: Rancho Oso Rio LLC (owned by Pat Warren), Tim Anderson, and Marilyn Overgaard. Of Fappani’s top 10 earning performances on his way to this milestone, nine were aboard a horse owned by one of these elite NRHA members.
Fappani entered the 100X Reining Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, less than $12,000 away from this historic milestone after amazing performances at The Run For A Million (TRFAM) and Reining By The Bay. Only three days into the competition, he more than surpassed his needed earnings after snagging the Level 4 Open Futurity Championship aboard Bill Coburn’s Vintage Chex for $14,879 and fourth place on Hypnotyze owned by Overgaard, earning an additional $9,565.
Since becoming the first NRHA Seven Million Dollar Rider, Fappani’s highest earning performances on his way to eight million include:
- 2022 TRFAM Million Dollar Competition Reserve Champion aboard Trash Talkin Spook, owned by Marilyn Overgaard and bred by Vicki Dias, earning $100,000
- 2022 NRHA Futurity 4th Place aboard Gunna Run N Slide, owned by Tim Anderson and bred by Toyon Ranch LLC, earning $78,620
- 2023 The American Performance Horseman Reserve Champion aboard Trash Talkin Spook, owned by Marilyn Overgaard and bred by Vicki Dias, earning $75,000
- 2022 NRHA Futurity 5th Place aboard Mic Dropp, owned by Tim Anderson/Clark Reining Horses LLC and bred by Clark Reining Horses LLC, earning $64,159
- 2023 National Reining Breeders Classic Reserve Champion aboard Trash Talkin Spook, owned by Marilyn Overgaard and bred by Vicki Dias, earning $60,000
In addition to an impressive career in the showpen, Fappani has found great success as an NRHA owner. Much of that success has been a family affair, with nearly all his owner earnings coming from the success of the people closest in his life. In fact, over 20% of Fappani’s owner earnings are from Spooks N Jewels (Smart Spook x Whiz Jewels), whom he; his wife, Tish; and sons, Luca and Jeremy, rode to a combined $200,285 in lifetime earnings (LTE).
The Fappani family has combined earnings on several other horses, including Icecube, whom Tish and Luca piloted to more than $176,000 in LTE when Fappani owned the 2015 gelding. Icecube’s most notable win came when Tish and the SG Frozen Enterprize x Taris Designer Genes bred Quarter Horse won the 2018 NRHA Level 4 Non Pro Futurity.
In addition to the aforementioned horses, top performers contributing to Fappani’s NRHA owner earnings are:
- Joes Genes (Lil Joe Cash x Electric Genes) bred by Rancho Oso Rio LLC and contributing $155,438
- Sharp Dressed Spook (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena) bred by Bobby Lewis and contributing $100,891
- Gotta Get Diamonds (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Tinker With Diamonds) bred by Rancho Oso Rio LLC and contributing $66,953
- Litn Up Conquistador (Conquistador Whiz x Aleena Starlight) bred by Cache Performance Horses LLC and contributing $44,296
- Gunna Chic Dream (ARC Gunna Sparkya x Magnum Chic Dunit) bred by Rabboni Reining Horses and contributing $41,207
Fappani has flown through the milestones within reining and earned the right to call himself one of the greatest riders in NRHA history. Now, he is also considered one of the greatest owners and is one of the few able to call themselves a multi-million dollar rider and a million dollar owner within the association. And, considering his competitive drive and fierce passion for the sport, this impressive NRHA Professional certainly has more to come.