NRBC Day 3: Craig Schmersal Leads Open Classic Prelims

Competition continued at the National Reining Breeders Classic on Wednesday with the first section of the Open Classic Prelims. The tough competition featured high scores and smooth moves inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum. The ancillary classes also saw big scores with the Novice Horse Non Pro, American Quarter Horse Association classes and the start of the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Round 1.

The Open Classic Prelims first section began Wednesday with 96 out of 193 entries making their bids for the finals.

Craig Schmersal scored a 224 riding Phantom Face (Pale Face Dunnit x Blazing In Black) to take the lead in the Level 4. Phantom Face is a 2013 stallion owned by the Wranglen Partnership.

Level 3 leader, Pedro Baiao, rode Spooksgottachicolena (Spooks Gotta Gun x Braz Us) to a score of 222 to take the lead in the level. Spooksgottachicolena is a 2012 gelding owned by Michael Garnett.

Gabriel Borges leads the Level 2 and Level 1 with a score of 220 riding Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). Checksworthy is a 4- year-old mare owned by Terry Leffew.

Duane Latimer leads the Prime Time with a 222.5 riding Modern Gun, a 2013 stallion by Gunners Special Nite and out of Taris Modern Design, owned by MS Stables.

Morris Kulmer Wins Novice Horse Non Pro

In the Tellepsen arena the Novice Horse Non Pros skillfully piloted the pattern for top honors Wednesday. Topping both the Level 1 and 2 was Morris Kulmer with a score of 144. Kulmer rode NVR What A Lucky Joe, who’s by Lil Joe Cash out of What A Lucky Hit to the win. Kulmer and his mount also topped the AQHA Select Amateur class with a score of 144.

“Today’s run was good. I was relaxed, he was relaxed; we had a good time,” Kulmer said. “He’s a great horse and a lot of fun.”

Kulmer has had the 4-year-old stallion since the 2017 NRHA Futurity and the pair has found an easy partnership in the show pen. Kulmer’s looking forward to future success and coming back to NRBC next year.

Following Kulmer in the Level 1 second place position was Laura MunteanSumrall riding Guns N Whizes (Gunners Special Nite x Ima Remin Whiz) to a score of 143.5. Laura Fourre rode Lime A Rita (Custom Legend x She Slides Wright) to the second place finish in the Level 2 with a score of 143. Felicia Linner riding Gunnersshineybrunett (Colonels Smoking Gun x Scats Ebony Shiner) and Samantha Roper riding Lil Whizzer Gun (Lil Gun x Sugar Baby Whiz) tied for the win in the AQHA Amatuer with scores of 141.

Madison Rafacz Wins Rookie Level 1

In the Wheless arena the first rounds of Rookie competition began with fierce competition. Along with ancillary classes the first round of the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout also began.

Madison Rafacz topped the Rookie Level 1 with a score of 71.5. Rafacz rode Whizenboonsmal (Peptoleap x She Whiz A Star) to the win and hopes to clean up a few things for tomorrow’s Rookie classes.

“He’s very sweet,” Rafacz said. “Today’s run was really good. I would have gotten a little higher score, but I over turned and my left set of circles were sloppy, but oh well.”

The duo has only been together since the AQHA Congress. Their early success foreshadows a bright future for the pair to get the kinks worked out and continue winning in the pen.

The Rookie Level 2 winner was Jennifer Neudorf riding Blue Collar Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) to a score of 72. For winning the Level 2 Neudorf earned an NRHA plaque plus a NRBC Cobalt vase.

Five Tie for Rookie Prime Time Win

A five-way tie from a score of 71 took the No. 1 spot in the Rookie Prime Time between Maria Renzi, Nancy Brugato, Linda Jacobs, Denise Pippin and Terry Saxton.

Renzi rode Cat Shiner by Cats Moonshine out of Toulouse Lena, and the 2011 gelding’s original profession was as a cutting horse. He’s transitioned almost flawlessly from the cutting world to the reining industry and continues to impress Renzi in the show pen.

“I’ve been riding him for two years and I love him; he’s very honest,” Renzi said of her mount. “He’s going to end up with me for the rest of his life! He’s a good boy, he’s honest and hopefully he’ll stay that way.”

Brugato and Mister Black Magic (Mister Dual Pep x Lenas Black Witch) have been partners for two years and Brugato hopes to make the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout. The 2010 stallion performed well for Brugato in Wednesday’s class, even despite a minor hiccup.

“It felt great. He tried to cheat me a little bit, but overall he was really good,” Brugato said with a laugh of Mister Black Magic’s run.

Jacobs rode Special Kinda Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Cowgirl In A Benz) a 2012 mare owned by 4 Lazy J Arizona. For sharing the win in the Rookie Prime Time each contestant will receive an NRHA plaque and were each awarded a commemorative NRBC Cobalt trophy. Jacobs was unavailable for an interview.

Pippin and Chant For Chics, who’s by Hesa Smart Chic and out of Doc Otoe Chant, have been partners for a short time and have been progressing well together. Pippin has big plans for her 6-year-old mare and was excited about their showing together in NRBC so far. “It was awesome; lots of good things happened,” Pippin said of her run. “My plan is to take her to the [NRHA] Derby.” Saxton rode Jacs Electric Whiz (Jacs Electric Spark x Whizards Baby Doll) to the shared win. Saxton has owned the 2011 gelding for two years, and they have found their stride at NRBC. Marking only their fourth show together in the show pen, Wednesday’s win promises a bright future for the pair.

“I really had a blast on him! I had nice slides and everything came together on him,” Saxton said.

Markel Insurance Non Pro Draw Party

Another crowd-pleasing activity was the Markel Insurance Non Pro Draw Party, where the Non Pro finalists enjoyed an evening of camaraderie while they picked their draw for the finals. A highlight of the party is the presentation of the NRBC Markel Non Pro Commitment Award, which was awarded to Dave Silva.

“Dave SIlva has been involved with reining for a very long time and has supported the industry and the NRBC consistently,” Frank Constantini said. “He’s a Million Dollar owner with great – even Hall of Fame horses, but he’s always been much more comfortable behind-the-scenes.”

“This award was created to recognize the commitment of the Non Pros in our industry and we think Dave is a most worthy recipient.”

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