NRBC Day 4: Schmersal Tops Open Classic Prelims

The competition continued at the National Reining Breeders Classic on Thursday with the second section of the Open Classic Prelims. The tough competition featured big stops and smooth maneuvers inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum. The ancillary classes also saw big scores with the Novice Horse Open, Limited Open, Rookie Professional, Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Round 2 and American Quarter Horse Association classes.

Craig Schmersal held onto his lead in the Level 4 with Phantom Face and a score of 224. Phantom Face is a 2013 stallion by Pale Face Dunnit out of Blazing In Black, owned by the Wranglen Partnership. Schmersal and Phantom Face earned $13,554.

Loris Epis and Spooks Gotta Spark (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena) won the Level 3 and earned $3,500 for owner Gaynia Revenberg. The duo turned in a score of 222.5 for the win.

Gabriel Borges won both 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. Borges earned $1,102 for the Level 2 finish and $760 for the Level 1 finish.

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. Latimer and Modern Gun earned $650 for their efforts.

Willey Sweeps Limited Open

The ancillary classes continued with the Limited Open and Rookie Professional classes in the Wheless Arena where Ethan Willey took top honors in the Limited Open and Elisabeth Bourassa won the Rookie Professional.

Ethan Willey rode Slidin Smartly, (Smart Spook x Slidin On Sunshine) to a score of 73. Slidin Smartly is a 4-year-old mare owned by Brad and Amanda Kelly. The partnership with Willey and Slidin Smartly is young, but it is proving successful.

“I’ve only shown her one time before here and she was really good both times I’ve shown her,” Willey said. “She was really fun [today] I just tried to stay out of her way and let her do her thing. She’s a good mare.”

Bourassa Wins Rookie Professional

Bourassa won the Rookie Professional riding RR Gundun, who’s by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Dun It With Grace, to a score of 72.5. The relationship between Bourassa and her 8-year-old gelding can be seen from across the show pen. Bourassa holds “Bear,” as he’s affectionately known, close to her heart and it’s easy to see why.

“Usually older horses will cheat you somewhere, but he just let me show him,” Bourassa said. “He was so good. I really love my horse. This was my first show here and the plan was just to come here and get ready and I’m really for my first show to have that rhythm.”

Estival Wins Rookie Pro High Point

Glen Estival won the High Point Rookie Professional buckle riding Thatza Good Question (Wimpys Little Step x Sheza Bonita Whiz), owned by Janine Inmon. Estival and “GQ” won Tuesday’s Rookie Professional and tied for third with Leslie Bingham on two of her horses, in today’s class.

“I’m really happy, he’s a good horse and he did really good again today,” Estival said. “I was really happy with him.”

Smith Wins Novice Horse Open

In the Novice Horse Open Levels 1 and 2 Sam Smith rode Magnums Lil Hercules (Magnum Chic Dream x Great Black Cody) to a score of 145.5 to take the wins for owner Sherry Sumpter.

“I’m just trying to put him together and get him seasoned,” Smith said of the 4- year-old gelding. “I was thinking more about showing [in the Open Classic Prelims] I really didn’t do a lot to prepare him. He was real good in the circles, turned really good and that horse is really a good stopper. He was spot on today, so I was really proud of him for that.”

Rafacz, Tesmer Share Rookie Level 1 Win

High stakes in the Rookie classes resulted in top-notch performances from the Rookies competing in the Tellepsen arena. Along with awards going to the Rookie Levels 1, 2 and Prime Time the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists were name, which were determined by the top five scoring rookies from the two rounds.

Co-champions Madison Rafacz and Isabella Tesmer shared the win in the Rookie Level 1 with scores of 143.5.

Rafacz rode Whizenboonsmal (Peptoleap x She Whiz A Star) and also qualified for the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout about the 2012 gelding from a composite score of 215. “I didn’t have any bobbles today like I did yesterday,” Rafacz said.

“I had a nice clean run and I made it to the top five [Yellowstone Rookie Shootout].” Rafacz and Whizenboonsmal topped Wednesday’s Rookie Level 1 class and combine with today’s win she says she’s excited about the shootout. She plans to give it her all in Friday’s finals.

“I’m going to run really fast,” Rafacz said with a laugh of her game plan for the shootout.

Tesmer rode the 2009 stallion Itsa Last Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Itsas Last Chic) to the co-championship. Tesmer and Itsa Last Wimpy have been partners for a little over a year. Tesmer is new to the game having only been reining for about a year, but her standout partner makes her job as a rider easy.

“He’s a really good boy. He’s calm and he really does what I ask him to do,” Tesmer said.

Neudorf Wins Rookie Level 2

Rookie 2 winner was Jennifer Neudorf riding Blue Collar Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak Olena) with a score of 146.5. Neudorf says she enjoys riding the 10-year-old gelding for many reason, including his laid back personality, but she especially enjoys his big stops.

“He’s fun to ride and fun to stop, and I’ve never had a good stopping horse, so it’s really cool to ride him,” Neudorf said. “Today felt way better [than yesterday during the rookie classes], I felt more concentrated today… and our run felt way better.”

Neiberger Wins Rookie Prime Time

Todd Neiberger rode Who Dat Hot Chic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chic Aloha) to the Rookie Prime Time win with a score of 142.5. Neiberger and the 2010 mare also qualified for the Yellowstone Rookie Shootout in the No. 5 position with a composite score of 212.5.

“She’s a wonderful mare, always there and extremely talented,” Neiberger said. “[Today’s run] was good, I have been working on some things and the turns I didn’t quite get what I wanted, but that’s alright I kind of improve as we go, but it was good.”

Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Finalists Named

The Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists are Neudorf in the No. 1 position with a composite score of 218.5, followed by Rafacz with a 215 in second place. Nancy Brugato riding Mister Black Magic and Ava Bush riding Shes A Shining Gun tied for the third and fourth place qualifications with scores of 213. Neiberger finished fifth with a 212.5.

The Yellowstone Rookie Shootout finalists will meet Friday night in the Great Southwest Equestrian Center Coliseum for the finals, where one talented rookie will be crowned as the inaugural Yellowstone Rookie Shootout Champion and receive the cash prize and a custom golf cart. 

Tamarack Ranch Open Draw Party

The Tamarak Ranch Open Draw Party pulled together the Open Classic finalists, their friends and family for an evening of great food and entertainment. Along with the food and camaraderie, the Open finalists were given the chance to draw for their running positions in the Open Classic Finals.

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