Run-Off Determines 2017 CINCH NRHA Non Pro Futurity Champions

Oklahoma City, December 1, 2017 – For veteran NRHA Futurity competitors Mandy McCutcheon and Kelle Smith, it’s still exciting to have your name associated with the high score at the end of Finals night. But it’s even more thrilling to go head-to-head in a run-off to determine the CINCH NRHA Level (L)4 Non Pro Futurity Champion.

After tying with a score of 216.5, the competitors chose to do a run-off to crown the winner. Smith was up first, riding her stallion, Night Time Spook (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Custom Night Time) into the pen. After a slight stumble, the pair’s score improved over their original with a 217.5.

McCutcheon and Best Nite Ever (Gunners Special Nite x Best By Benz), nominated by Lisa Stafford-Johnson, slid to a 219 and the crown of 2017 CINCH NRHA Non Pro Level 4 Futurity Champions.

“I just tried to be smoother the second time,” says McCutcheon, NRHA’s leading money earning Non Pro and Million Dollar Owner. “She does everything real dynamic and powerful; I tried to just be smoother instead of forcing her into things.”

The plan worked, as the mare – a Legacy Sale purchase for Mandy and her husband, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Tom [McCutcheon] – added $42.273.59 to the lifetime earnings of the NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider. The win was McCutcheon’s eighth NRHA Non Pro Futurity championship, and her first since 2013.

Smith’s original finals score of 216.5 was good enough to earn her the Prime Time Non Pro Futurity Championship on top of her reserve L4 Non Pro Championship. The check written for $28,639.62 was a nice bonus, considering she didn’t think her stallion, bred and nominated by Steve Simon, would make it to the big show.

“We didn’t have a lot of time together. I purchased him in June this year, and he was very green,” Smith says.

Another rider who did not have a lot of time to get to know his mount was 17-year-old Cade McCutcheon, winner of the CINCH NRHA Youth Non Pro Futurity Championship aboard One Stormy Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Whatta Royal Vintage), owned by Mandy McCutcheon and Tom McCutcheon. Cade got the last-minute ride from his father, Tom, after the gelding – bred and nominated by Turnabout Farm Inc. – did not make the Open L4 Futurity Silver Spurs Equine Semifinals, also sponsored by Not Ruf At All.

“I rode him as a 2 year old but have only ridden him three times since then before we showed this week,” says Cade. “He’s very easy to get along with.”

Cade’s third NRHA Youth Non Pro Futurity Championship and his seventh place in the L4 Non Pro Futurity earned him an additional $13,550.87 to his lifetime earnings.

Kevin Ball’s first foray into showing a futurity horse proved to be very successful. The mechanical engineer from North Texas showed his mare, This Chic Guns It (Gunner x This Chic Dun It), to win the Level 3, 2, and 1 Non Pro Futurity Championships and a paycheck of $67,102.46.

“She will give you 110 percent of what you ask, and she always has a good attitude and expression,” says Ball. “She’s just gotten better and better as the week went on. I was a little nervous going into the finals, to be honest, and she panicked a little in the left turns, but I got her confidence back as the ride went on.”

The Reserve Championship in the L3 Non Pro Futurity went to Kristen Darnall-Titov and her Gunsup In Tinseltown (Hollywoodstinseltown x Always Gotyer Gunsup), a stallion bred and nominated by McQuay Stables Inc.

André Lauzon and Sonia Smart Chic (Smart Chic Olena x Miss Poco Whizard), a mare bred, owned, and nominated Lauzon, took reserve honors in the the L2 Non Pro and in the Prime Time Non Pro Futurity divisions.

For complete results, live feed and live score please visit nrhafuturity.com

Youth Competition fills the Adequan® Arena at the 2017 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® Show

Oklahoma City, December 1, 2017 – Youth competitors of all ages, aiming for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) titles, took over the Adequan® Arena in Oklahoma City where the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® Show is taking place.

The Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under Championship went to Raeanna Thayn on Coded N Karma, who scored a 218. The 6-year-old gelding by Electric Code and out of Whiz N Snap is owned by her parents, Robert and Robbin Thayn. “He performs great for me every time,” said Thayn, representing the Southwest Reining Horse Association (RHA). “He was with me, and I am really excited to have this accomplishment.” The pair has had a successful year in the Youth 13 & Under, winning the class at the Southwest RHA show and placing third in the 2017 High Roller Reining Classic Level 1 Non Pro Derby and at the South Central Affiliate Regional Championship (ARC).

“We have been together for about one year and get better each time,” said Thayn. “We have really started to click.”

The Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under Champion received a Continental Saddle, a custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed product, a $150 SmartPak Gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket.

Earning Reserve Championship honors was Ariana Dejong on White Chocolat Chunk (Chocolate Chic Olena x Meadow Jac). Dejong and her 12-year-old gelding, bred by Sally Brown, scored a 216.5 for the honor. “I could not ask for a better little horse,” said Dejong. “This is my second year coming to this show with him, and he won this class last year. He has placed in the top ten in every class we entered last year and this year in OKC.” The pair already saw success this week, winning the Adequan® NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship, representing the Great Western RHA and Northwest ARC. “‘Chip’ will have a home with me for his entire life; I don’t know what I would do without him,” said Dejong. “I just love him so much.”

Third in the Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under and reserve in the USA Reining Youth 13 & Under class was Bo Van Duys on her own Aim Your Pistol (Custom Pistol x Topnotch Melody). Van Duys and 11-year-old mare, bred by Steven Simon, came to the finals in OKC representing the Eastern Plains RHA and the Mountain ARC. The pair scored a 215.5 for the honors.

All Adequan® NAAC Reserve Champions received a custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle, a Classic Equine fleece cinch, Bluebonnet Feed product, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, an Avila Pro Shop Blanket and a gift from KO Trading. All Adequan® NAAC third place winners received a Classic Equine Legacy System and Bluebonnet Feed product, fourth place winners will receive Classic Equine Dyno No-Turn bell boots and fifth place winners will receive Classic Equine hanging groom bags. All top ten winners received a jacket sponsored by SmartPak equine.

Winning the NRHA Youth 13 & Under with a 219 was Samuel Flarida and Wrighteous Man (Lenas Wright On x Sugar Pop Gun). The 10-year-old gelding is owned by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida.

Short Stirrup Talent

Kicking off the day was the NRHA Short Stirrup 10 & Under class, where Madison Rafacz and Kendall Wigen tied to win with a 217 score in a field of 24 riders.  Wigen rode her own Chexouthisreminic (Von Reminic x Miss Celebrity Chex), a 14-year-old gelding, to the co-championship. “‘Joe’ has a personality, a really big one,” said Wigen. “When I show, he memorizes the pattern, so sometimes it can cause a lot of mistakes, but sometimes he can be perfect.” Today was their last run together in the Short Stirrup class as Wigen will no longer be eligible to show in this class. “I have had such a great year on him, and I just came here to have fun,” said the rider representing the Snake River Reining Alliance and Northwest Affiliate Regional Championship (ARC). Two years ago, Wigen’s sister, Madison, came to the Adequan® NAAC Show and took co-champion honors in the Short Stirrup 10 & Under class – also with a 217 score – making the win even more special for the whole family. “It has been a really good year for me and Joe, and I am so thankful that I showed at the [2017 NRHA] Derby and even more thankful that I made it to the NRHA Futurity to participate in this class and that I was able tie for the win here.”

Rafacz, representing the Virginia Reining Horse Association (RHA), rode Better Not Rest (Custom Crome x Rest Stop) to the co-championship. “My run felt really good today,” said Rafacz. “I wasn’t really nervous because I was going to show in the Adequan® NAAC Youth 13 & Under after this class, so I tried to school him at the same time.” Rafacz and the 17-year-old gelding, who boasts over $177,000 NRHA life time earnings (LTE) and is owned by her father, NRHA Professional Mark Rafacz, came to the finals in OKC after qualifying at the Southeast ARC. “I love this horse and the [2017 NRHA Derby] was the first time I was able to get him shown,” she said. “Some people won’t believe it, but he is not the easiest to ride. It helps that my legs have gotten longer.”

Third in the NRHA Short Stirrup was Turner Thompson riding Vintage Nic Nac (Nic It In The Bud x Suddenly Shiney), after scoring a 215.5. The 8-year-old gelding is owned by Dianna Shafer and was bred by Irene Vogt. Thompson came to the finals in OKC representing the Central Plains RHA and the North Central ARC.

For further information, complete results, live feed and live score, please visit nrhafuturity.com

Kennedy Bryant and All Nite Spook are the 2017 Adequan® NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year Champions

Kennedy Bryant and All Nite Spook are the 2017 Adequan® NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year Champions

Oklahoma City, November 30, 2017 – The grandstands stayed filled with supportive friends, families, and coaches throughout the day on Thursday, November 30, to see which competitor’s dream of becoming the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year would come true. At the end of the day, the Adequan® Arena saw yet another run off. This time between Canadian Magalie Boulanger, representing Association Quebecoise de Reining Inc., and Kennedy Bryant, representing the Southwest Reining Horse Association.

Both competitors scored a 216.5 in their first run, but it was Bryant who took the Adequan® NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year title in a field of 65 competitors, after earning a 220.5 in the run off. Bryant rode her own All Nite Spook (Smart Spook x Dun It Fri Dee Nite), an 8-year-old gelding, to the highest score since they have been together.

“Becoming the [Silver Spurs Equine] Rookie of the Year feels amazing,” Bryant said. “This goal was something that my trainer [NRHA Professional] Bud Lyon suggested, and ever since then, we have worked towards that goal. He wants to be a good horse and listen most of the time. Sometimes he doesn’t, but it makes these moments mean even more.” Lyon speaks highly of his intelligent and determined 16-year-old student who qualified for the finals in OKC at the South Central Affiliate Regional Championship (ARC). “Her memory retention is her best asset,” he said. “I can tell her something one time, and she files that concept away and immediately knows how to implement it. Her ability to process information and put it into action is incredible.” Bryant also won the Adequan® NAAC Rookie Level 2 out of 63 competitors, the $200-added NRHA Rookie Level 2, and NRHA Rookie Level 1. “This moment was possible because of my parents, family, friends, and trainers,” said Bryant. “They all helped me get here, and I could not have done it without them.”

Boulanger and FS Hollywoodwrangler (Starlights Wrangler x MJ Malibu Barbie) took reserve honors in the Adequan® NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year, NAAC Rookie Level 2, and NRHA Rookie Level 1 after the run off. “I am very happy,” said Boulanger, representing the Eastern Canada (ARC). “We have been together three years, and it has been fantastic the entire time. We get along so well, and I just love him.” The 9-year-old gelding is owned by Boulanger and was bred by Bill and Patty Fingland. “I want to thank my coach, [NRHA Professional] Manon Moisan, who is back in Canada, and my family and friends for being here today,” she said.

Taking reserve honors in the $200-added NRHA Rookie Level 2 were Madison Gustin and her own Guns R Spooky (Smart Spook x Berry Yer Guns) with a 215.5. The 7-year-old gelding was bred by WT Waggoner Estate.

For more information on schedules, tickets, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more, visit nrhafuturity.com.

NRHA Open Futurity finalists are determined following the Level 4 Open Silver Spurs Equine Semifinal

2017 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® NAAC Show

NRHA Open Futurity finalists are determined following the Level 4 Open Silver Spurs Equine Semifinal, also sponsored by Not Ruf At All

Deary and Tinker With Dreams lead the Level 4 Open composite score as Fappani and All American Vintage score a 221.5 to top the Semifinal

Oklahoma City, November 29, 2017 – Each year, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show features the world’s most elite competitors in the sport of reining. To highlight this talent, NRHA created a new event, thrilling for both spectators and reiners alike.

The Futurity Level (L)4 Open Silver Spurs Equine Semifinal took place today in the Jim Norick Arena. Also sponsored by Not Ruf At All, the top 75 horses (plus ties) in the Level 4 Open division from the first go-round, with competitors giving it all they had in hopes of making it to the $575,000-added NRHA Open Futurity Finals on Saturday, rode into the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City today. The horse-and-rider teams with the highest combined score from the first go-round and semifinals will advance to the finals and will compete head-to-head for the winner’s $150,000 guaranteed paycheck on Saturday night.

The exhilarating competition closed with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary, who slid Tinker With Dreams (Tinker With Guns x This Chicsdundreamin) to a 221.5, bringing his composite to a 443. Owned, nominated, and bred by Rhodes River Ranch, the stallion and Deary lead the L4 Open Semifinal. “This is an incredibly athletic horse, and I’ve had a lot of help from his owners since we showed in Las Vegas at the High Roller Reining Classic,” said Deary. “There is nothing physically he can’t do; he’s a fun horse to ride and very intelligent. You have to keep him occupied.”

With a composite score of 442.5, NRHA Professional Franco Bertolani took second place honors in the L4 Open Semifinal riding Masked Gun (Gunner x Dun It For Chex), a stallion owned, bred, and nominated by Cardinal Hill Training Center LLC.

The top score of the day in the L4 Open Semifinal was NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani on All American Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x All Ruffed Up), an NRHA/Markel Insurance Sale graduate. The powerful stallion – owned by Cuoghi Reining Horses USA Inc., bred by Petra Zeitler, and nominated by Harper Conner – closed his powerful run with a 222.5, bringing his composite to a 441. “He did pretty good for me today and has been wonderful for me this year,” said Fappani about his 2017 All American Congress NRHA Open Reining Futurity Champion. “In the first go, I tried to stay out of the penalty box, and usually when you show like that you have to make up for it afterward. I changed my mindset, and it worked out!”

The new semifinal format provides more recognition to NRHA owners and riders and showcases the incredibly talented equine athletes in the sport of reining. Additionally, a guaranteed payout was made to each horse that qualified for the semifinals.

For more information on schedules, tickets, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more, visit nrhafuturity.com.

Gunners Bar Fly and Salgado lead the NRHA Level 3 Open Futurity Semifinals

Gunners Bar Fly and Salgado lead the NRHA Level 3 Open Futurity Semifinals

Spooks Grand Slam and Kim Muehlstaetter rise to the top spot of the NRHA Level 4 Non Pro Futurity qualifier

Oklahoma City, November 28, 2017 – As the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship Show (NAAC) moved into the second week of competition, more exciting reining action filled the Oklahoma State Fair Park, where one of the world’s most prestigious reining events open to 3-year-old horses is being held. Today, the NRHA Open Futurity Level (L)1, 2, 3 Semifinals concluded with the second section bringing excitement to enthusiasts of the sport who made their way to Oklahoma City from all over the world.

NRHA Professional Eduardo Salgado riding Gunners Bar Fly, a sorrel mare sired by NRHA Nine Million Dollar Gunner out of Blonde At The Bar, stepped up to a 220.5 – after scoring a 216.5 in the first section of the qualifying go round – bringing his composite score to a 437 to lead the Level (L)3 Open Futurity division once the Semifinals were completed. The NRHA/Markel Insurance Futurity Prospect Sale Graduate is owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Fame Inductee Rosanne Stenberg. She is bred by NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Clint Haverty and was nominated by McQuay Stables Inc. “My mare was really good and was perfect in all her maneuvers, and she stopped big,” said Salgado. “It was a really good performance, and I hope we will be just as good in the finals.”

In the first section of the L3, 2, and 1 Open Futurity Semifinals, NRHA Professional Bobby Avila, Jr. rode Pale Face Chex (Pale Face Dunnit x Lena Sugar Chex), owned by 6-K LLC and nominated by Kristen Avila, to a 219. The duo had scored a 216.5 in the first go-round, which brought them the highest composite score (435.5) to lead the L2 division. Their composite remained unbeaten following the second section.

Cashing In Diamonds (Lil Joe Cash x Diamond Steppin Whiz), ridden by NRHA Professional Vanessa Strotmann and owned by Stefano Calcagnini, posted a 218 in the Semifinals. With the mare nominated by Green Valley Ranch between the reins, Strotmann posted a 216.5 the first go. With a 218 scored in the first section of the Semifinals, their composite score of 434.5 remains the top score in the L1 division after the conclusion of the Semifinals. Cashing In Diamonds is an NRHA/Markel Insurance Sale consignment.

The following number of horses will qualify for the Open Futurity Finals in each level:
Level 3: Top 30 horses (plus ties)
Level 2: Top 20 horses (plus ties)
Level 1: Top 15 horses (plus ties)
Prime Time: Top 10 horses (plus ties)

Those horses qualifying for only the Level 3 and/or Level 2 and/or Level 1 Open divisions will show in the first section. The remaining qualifiers (Level 4 Open and Level 4 Open/Level 3 Open/Level 2 Open/Level 1 Open divisions) will compete in the second section. The finals in each division will be a clean-slate format.

The top 75 horses (plus ties) in the L4 Open division will advance to the Level 4 Open Silver Spurs Equine Semifinal, also sponsored by Not Ruf At All, to be held on Wednesday, November 29.

The 2017 NRHA Non Pro Futurity

Following the first section of the Non Pro Futurity qualifier, NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Mandy McCutcheon riding Gunner Be Custom (Gunner x Custom Made Dunit), a mare bred, owned, and nominated by McQuay Stables Inc. scored a 217.5 to lead the Level (L) 4 Non Pro Futurity division. Once the second section concluded, McQuay held on to the highest score. In the third section, Kim Muehlstaetter scored a 220.5 to take the top spot in the L4 Non Pro Futurity division on Spooks Grand Slam (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shiney Diamond Lady). The stallion, owned by Kim and Martin Muehlstaetter, was bred and nominated by Bobby Lewis.

“He went in there and executed every maneuver,” Muehlstaetter said. “He felt a little tired by the end of the run, so I need to keep him a little fresher for the finals. I really just wanted to get back to the finals; I did not care where I was sitting, I just wanted to make it. I was thrilled with what he marked, and knowing what he is capable of. He is the nicest futurity horse I have ever had, and he has been so much fun along the way at all of the pre-futurities.” Muehlstaetter said her plan is to keep her run in the finals penalty-free and keep him in the same mental and physical space that he was in today. “I wanted it so bad for him,” she said. “It was such a relief knowing that he showed to that ability.”

Debbie Hubbert and Allthewrightstuff earned a 216.5 to lead the L3 and L2 divisions in the second section and held on to the lead. The gelding, by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown and out of Shes Cowismatic, is bred, owned, and nominated by Hubbert.

A half point behind, Gunnin For The Gold (Pale Face Dunnit x Gorgeous Like A Star), owned and ridden by Terri-June Granger, also held onto the lead in the L1 division after posting a 216 in the first section. The gelding was bred by Greg Hill and nominated by Ginger Schmersal.

The following finalists have been determined and will make their way to the clean slate finals:

Level 4 Non Pro Top 25 horses (plus ties)
Level 3 Non Pro Top 20 horses (plus ties)
Level 2 Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties)
Level 1 Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties)
Prime Time Non Pro Top 10 horses (plus ties)
Youth Non Pro Top 15 horses (plus ties)

The top 5 horses (plus ties), following those who qualified for the finals in all four levels, have a chance to earn a ticket to the finals by taking part in the Consolation which will be held on Wednesday, November 29.

Riders in the Youth and Prime Time divisions are not eligible for the Consolation. The champions will be determined in the clean slate finals on Friday, December 1.

For complete results, news, live stream and live score please visit nrhafuturity.com

###