The NRHA Open Futurity First Go Round is in the Books

The NRHA Open Futurity First Go Round is in the Books

Sarah Cunningham and Gotta Get A Diamond are Adequan® NAAC Limited Open and Rookie Professional Championship

Oklahoma City, November 25, 2017 – The first go round of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open Futurity concluded today with the third section. Of the 370 horses entered in the four divisions, 75 horses (plus ties) will advance to the Level 1, 2, and 3 semifinals to be held on Monday, November 27. The top 75 (plus ties) will advance to the Level 4 Open Silver Spurs Equine Semifinal, also sponsored by NRHA Corporate Partner Not Ruf At All, to be held on Wednesday, November 29.

Following the second section, Marco Ricotta and Shine Plum Shine led the Level (L)4 and L3 Open qualifier with a 224 score. Bred and nominated by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Famer Rosanne Sternberg, the stallion owned by Story Book Stables is by Shine Chic Shine and out of Plum Reyning. Ricotta has had the 2015 NRHA/Markel Insurance Select Yearling Sale graduate in training for six months and is quick to give NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani credit for helping him get together with his horse.

Today, in the third section, Brazilian native Franco Bertolani equaled Ricotta’s score riding Masked Gun, a stallion by NRHA Nine Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Dun It For Chex, the 2016 NRHA Leading Dam. “This horse was born at our place, and we broke and trained him,” said the NRHA Professional. “He is yet another product out of Dun It For Chex, the best mare we’ve ever come across. All of her babies have been great for us. From the beginning, he has always been exceptional, and today he proved his worth. His stops were great, he’s still a little behind in his spins, but he surely made up for those in all the rest of the pattern.” The flashy stallion is bred, owned and nominated by Cardinal Ranch Training Center LLC.

The second highest score in the L3 Open division – a 221.5 – was posted in the third section of the first go round by Martin Larcombe aboard Me And Julio (Gunners Special Nite x Darlins Not Painted), a stallion bred, owned, and nominated by Turnabout Farm Inc.

Leading the L2 Open qualifier with a 220.5 was Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). The mare bred, owned, and nominated by Terry Leffew posted a 220.5 in the second section with Kole Price in the saddle. In the L1 Open division, Gabriel Bittar Borges, riding his own Gotta Shiney Playboy (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shining Sage), held on to the 220 scored in the second section for the lead. The stallion was bred and nominated by Bobby Lewis.

Bubble Scores for the Semifinals are as follows:
Level 4: 217.5
Level 3: 215
Level 2: 211.5
Level 1: 204.5

In order to run for the NRHA Prime Time Open Futurity Champion title, the horse-rider combination must have qualified for the Level 3, 2, or 1 semifinals.

Adequan® NAAC Show

Sarah Cunningham and Gotta Get A Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Brillante Diamantes) swept the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) Limited Open and Rookie Professional, along with the $500-added NRHA Rookie Professional and $500-added NRHA Limited Open classes, representing Southwest Missouri Reining Horse Association. The NRHA Professional rode the 4-year-old gelding, bred and owned by Cross C Ranch, to a 221.5 for the titles. “It has been a thrill,” said Cunningham. “It is my first year on my own, even though I have some experience and worked here and there for trainers, I have never stepped out on my own and shown consistently.” To make the wins even more special, the gelding was raised and trained by her husband, NRHA Professional Matthew Cunningham, whom she married in January.

“Having this kind of success my first year has been phenomenal, especially for my husband who works so hard and trained the mare,” she said. “It is incredible that we get to share this together.”

Jennifer Robinson on Chics Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Wind Her Up Chic) earned the Adequan® NAAC Limited Open Reserve Championship and the NRHA Limited Open after scoring a 218.5. “I got her as a long 3-year old, and my husband shows her in the non pro,” said the NRHA Professional. “She is athletic enough to compete in the open and do well, yet good-minded enough to throw a non pro on her and say ‘put your hand down and go show.’” The 5-year-old mare, owned by her husband Maurice Robinson, qualified him for the 2017 NRBC Finals in Levels (L)1, L2, L3 and Prime Time Non Pro. Bred by Oldenburg Farm LLC, the mare and her mount came to the NAAC representing the Tennessee Reining Horse Association. “It is pretty rare to find one that is this good minded, nice to be around, athletic, and with that work ethic.”

Earning the Adequan® NAAC Rookie Professional Reserve Championship and reserve in the NRHA Rookie Professional, was Josh Tishman on Chics Love Me Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Dream About Magic), earning a 215.5. The NRHA Professional and 7-year-old gelding, bred by Megan Lindberg, had an unexpected start, as the horse was purchased by Debbie Good of DAG Ventures LLC, strictly for her to use as a non pro horse. “He could be a +1 in every maneuver, and then has the ability to slow down and do the same thing for her,” Tishman said. “He has shown all year for both of us and still has the heart to give it his all every time he goes in the pen. Based on his conformation, you would never think he can do what he is capable of; it was so much fun to get on him the first time and feel what he could do.” The NRHA Professional, representing the South Texas Reining Horse Association, received a Silver Spurs Custom Saddle, Official Saddle Sponsor of the NRHA, a custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed, a $150 SmartPak gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket.

Winning the $6,000-added NRHA Open class was NRHA Professional Robin Schoeller and Tinseltown Flash (Hollywoodstinseltown x Billie Gun Flash) with a score of 222. The 5-year-old stallion is owned by Ruoff Dietter Reining Horses LLC.

For further information, results, live stream and live score visit nrhafuturity.com

Marco Ricotta and Shine Plum Shine lead the NRHA Open Futurity

Marco Ricotta and Shine Plum Shine lead the NRHA Open Futurity

Ariana Kate Dejon and White Chocolat Chunk win the Adequan® NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship

Oklahoma City, November 24, 2017 – Great reining action filled the air on the second day of competition at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show.

The first go-round of the NRHA Open Futurity continued with section 2, and the day concluded with Marco Ricotta and Shine Plum Shine leading the Level (L)4 and L3 qualifier with a 224 score. Bred and nominated by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Famer, Rosanne Sternberg, the stallion owned by Story Book Stables is by Shine Chic Shine and out of Plum Reyning. “I got this horse in training six months ago; because he came from a different program, even though I knew he had all the maneuvers, there were a couple of places I needed to work on. [NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider] Andrea Fappani helped me out, we solved the issues I had, and things have gone well since,” said the Italian professional, based in Arizona, about the 2015 NRHA/Markel Insurance Select Yearling Sale graduate. The duo closed their performance with a 224.

Setting the bar early in the L4 Open division draw with a 223 score was NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal aboard Face The Attitude, a mare owned by Hickory Creek Ranch, bred by KC Performance Horses LLC, and nominated by Ginger Schmersal. “I love this mare’s sire [Pale Face Dunnit], and I love her dam [Miss Lil Addy Tude]. I showed both of them, so it was great to see her doing so well today,” Schmersal said.

The second highest score in the L3 Open division – a 221 – was posted by Eduardo Salgado riding Gotta Shiney Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shiney Diamond Lady). The mare is bred, owned, and nominated by Bobby Lewis.

Leading the L2 Open qualifier with a 220.5 was Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). The mare bred, owned, and nominated by Terry Leffew posted a 220.5 with Kole Price in the saddle. In the L1 division, Gabriel Bittar Borges riding his own Gotta Shiney Playboy (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shining Sage) scored a 220 to lead. The stallion was bred and nominated by Bobby Lewis.

Friday Adequan® NAAC Action

The Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships had a suspenseful conclusion, with one horse after another outdoing the previous score. With two horses left to compete, Ariana Kate Dejong and White Chocolat Chunk (Chocolate Chic Olena x Meadow Jac) scored a big 218 to earn the Adequan® NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship. The 13-year-old and ‘Chip’ came to OKC representing the Great Western Reining Horse Association (RHA).

“This year my goal was to win the affiliate classes I qualified in, and the fact that I actually won the Limited Non Pro championship was amazing,” she said. “He was so good through the whole run, he was so soft. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” Dejong will show her 12-year-old gelding bred by Sally Brown in the Adequan® NAAC 13 & Under, and he will also be shown by her mother, Rejeanne, later this week.

The Adequan® North American Affiliate Limited Non Pro Champion received a Silver Spurs Custom Saddle [Official Saddle Sponsor of the NRHA], along with a custom Montana Silversmiths [Official Silversmiths of the NRHA] Trophy Buckle, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed, a $150 SmartPak Gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket.

Kathleen Roach and Freckles Nu Lil Gun (Lil Gun x Nu Bar Freckles) took reserve honors with a 216. “This was my last run in the Limited Non Pro division. I had a great year, and I will no longer be eligible to show in it,” she said. “My secret goal of the year was to be in the top 10 so that I could win a jacket!” Roach and her 9-year-old mare, bred by Paul and Pam Rohus, came to OKC representing the Intermountain RHA. The duo had a fan club of reiners from all over the country who knew the mare before Roach purchased her cheering them on. “This is amazing and so much fun. It is a dream come true, and I just can’t stop smiling.” Roach and her mare will compete in the Adequan® NAAC Prime Time later this week.

All Adequan® North American Affiliate Reserve Champions received a custom Montana Silversmiths [Official Silversmiths of the NRHA] Trophy Buckle, a Classic Equine fleece cinch, Bluebonnet Feed, 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, fourth place winners received Classic Equine Dyno No-Turn bell boots and fifth place winners received Classic Equine hanging groom bags.

For further information, live score and live stream, visit nrhafuturity.com

Brian Bell and Makeit In Hollywood lead the first go, section 1 of the NRHA Open Futurity

The 2017 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® NAAC Show

Brian Bell and Makeit In Hollywood lead the first go, section 1 of the NRHA Open Futurity

The first NAAC Adequan® Champions are crowned

Oklahoma City, November 23, 2017 – The Oklahoma State Fair Park, the center of Oklahoma City’s status as “Horse Capital of the World,” came alive on Thanksgiving Day as the 2017 National Reining Horse (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show officially opened the in gate of the Jim Norick and Adquan® arenas.

The Coliseum welcomed the first go, section 1 of the NRHA Open Futurity which counts 370 entries. Earning the highest score on the first day of competition and leading the Level (L)4 division was Brian Bell riding Makeit In Hollywood. The NRHA Million Dollar Rider posted a 221.5 riding Julie Ridgeway’s gelding by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown and out of SR Mischief Maker, a NRHA/Markel Sale Grad. “I’ve shown him several times this year, and he’s won a paycheck every time, but he just didn’t go the way I would have wanted him to,” said Bell. “Today I was really happy with him, and he was really easy, too.”

NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Duane Latimer rode Rosanne Koepsell’s stallion, Dun Its Shiney Son (Hollywood Dun It x Shining N Sassy), to a 221, earning the second highest score of the day.

Leading the L3 Open division with a 219.5 was Casey Hinton aboard Mega Mag, a stallion by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Big Gold Chex owned by Kathy Hinton and Casey Hinton. In the L2 Open division, Brent Naylor rode Trashy Spookshow (Gunnatrashya x Spook Off Sparks) to the top score, a 218. Leading the L1 division with a 216.6 was Vanessa Strottman riding Stefano Calcagnini’s Cashing In Diamonds (Lil Joe Cash x Diamond Steppin Whiz), a 2016 NRHA/Markel Prospect Sale consignment.

The reining family celebrated Thanksgiving at the Thanksgiving buffet hosted by the Reining Horse Foundation.

Shauna Larcombe dominates the first day of Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships

Horse and rider combinations from across the country filled the Oklahoma State Fair Park on Thanksgiving Day to kick off the NRHA 2017 Futurity, some of these competitors with hopes of earning the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships. Arriving here to compete was no easy feat as competitors must have placed within the top 10 at an Affiliate Regional Championship (ARC) to earn their spot in OKC.

Shauna Larcombe and Designed With Shine (Smart And Shiney x Taris Designer Genes) earned the Adequan® NAAC Open and Intermediate Open Championships with a score of 222.5. The 6-year-old mare was bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Rancho Oso Rio LLC, and is owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Fame Inductee Rosanne Sternberg. “This mare is just awesome; she is getting better and better,” said the NRHA Professional. “It was almost perfect; until the last horse, we were first, second, and third. Now she is getting a deserved holiday.” The wins were even more special, as each of the horses she competed on is owned by Sternberg.

“Rosanne [Sternberg] has been fantastic,” she said. “I have been in the United States just over a year, and she asked me to come to her place and ride some horses; it has been awesome. The opportunities, shows, and horses she has given me are just fantastic. Today has been the icing on the cake, and I can’t wait for next year.” The duo qualified at the South Central ARC representing the Southwest Reining Horse Association (RHA).

For the Adequan® NAAC Open Championship, Larcombe will receive a Bobs Custom Saddle along with a custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle, a pair of Anderson Bean boots, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed, a $150 SmartPak Gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket. She will also receive a Continental Saddle, a custom Montana Silversmiths Trophy Buckle, a pair of Anderson Bean boots, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed, a $150 SmartPak Gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket for the Adequan® NAAC Limited Open Championship.

Matthew Noel Palmer and Gunner Be A Maverick (Gunner x Dun It Preciously) earned a 221.5 to win the Adequan® NAAC Open Reserve Championship and the USA Reining championship, representing the Eastern Pennsylvania RHA, after their success at the Northeast ARC. The gelding, bred by Nathalie McEntire, had less than $400 in NRHA LTE as a 7-year-old when Palmer found him for his client, Mark Hurd. “He has been a steady eddy; it has been unreal,” said the NRHA Professional. “He has won five or six times out of the eight I have showed him. His previous owners must not have showed him a lot. It is a unique situation, but every time I have shown him, he has been there for me. He has stepped up to the highest level with success, which is fun and gratifying. It was my third year showing in this for the same owner, and we won the other two years, so today is a little bittersweet but very special.” ‘Maverick’ will now be ridden by Hurd, who has never shown before, in Green Reiner classes.

Emily Emerson and Wind Er Up Wimp (Wimpys Little Step x Wind Her Up Doc) earned the Adequan® NAAC Intermediate Open Reserve Championship for owner Susan Geiger with a score of 220.5. “He warmed up so good,” said the NRHA Professional. “He was good-minded, everything was easy, and I knew I couldn’t warm him up too much or I wouldn’t have enough horse. He is honest, and I know what it takes to get him ready to go. It was fun to win at the Mountain ARC [representing Rocky Mountain RHA] and then come here and win second.”

The 8-year-old stallion, bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Fame Inductee Vaughn Zimmerman, will get time off before preparing for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018. “I know I have the horse; that is the nicest thing,” she said. “He is good enough. It is just a matter of getting the run put together when we need it; today is a confidence boost.”

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

For further information, livestream and livescore visit nrhafuturity.com

Rafacz Lawsuit Resolved

Lifelong horsewoman Shannon Rafacz and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) have settled the lawsuit Rafacz filed against the Association in September 2017. The lawsuit sought reinstatement of her membership and Non Pro status and damages in excess of $75,000. As a result of the settlement, Rafacz is eligible for NRHA membership (as a Professional) and participation in Open competition after a 90-day suspension (August 17 – November 15, 2017). Rafacz’s membership is subject to a probation period following payment of a fine to the Association.

Rafacz submitted a letter of apology to NRHA President Mike Deer and agreed that the letter could be shared with the membership so a link has been provided below.

NRHA President Mike Deer said, “We are pleased to have come to an agreement. We wish Mrs. Rafacz the best in the future as an NRHA Professional.” He continued, “Non pro competition is a cornerstone to NRHA. It is vitally important that we stand strong to uphold those conditions set forth in our Handbook.”

Rafacz Letter

National Collegiate Equestrian Association 2017 National Champions Honored at White House

IMG_0421Texas A&M Equestrian Team Recognized by the President

WACO, TX (November 21, 2017) – For the first time in history, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Equestrian team traveled to the White House for a ceremony honoring its accomplishments. On Friday, November 17, President Donald J. Trump recognized the Texas A&M Equestrian Team for besting a field of twelve other NCAA Equestrian teams to capture the 2017 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship. During the ceremony, the Texas A&M Aggies presented President Trump with a custom pair of Anderson Bean cowboy boots personalized with the Texas A&M logo.

Members of the National Champion Texas A&M team attended the ceremony along with head coach Tana McKay and Senior Associate Athletic Director, Kevin Hurley. The team also had a chance to tour the Capitol guided by U.S. Representative Bill Flores of Texas.

“This was a tremendous experience for our student-athletes and my team, staff and I are humbled and honored to have had this opportunity,” McKay said. “This is an exciting time to be part of NCAA Equestrian and to be recognized at this level means so much to me and is a credit to the work the NCEA has been doing to grow the sport.”

The White House has a long standing tradition of honoring national championship teams, dating back to 1865.

“We are thrilled that the White House has recognized the sport of Equestrian by honoring the Texas A&M Aggies on their 2017 national championship title,” NCEA Executive Director Dr. Leah Fiorentino said. “These young women are excellent models of the finest student-athletes in the nation and are strong ambassadors for the sport of Equestrian at the collegiate level.”

The NCEA titles the National Championship award based on a bracket style tournament where the winning team advances to the next round. Riders from two teams compete on the same horse and earn scores from a panel of judges during the head-to head competition. The judges score each ride and the higher score earns a point for the team. The Texas A&M Equestrian team is comprised of elite caliber riders who compete in two disciplines, Hunter Seat and Western. The Hunter Seat riders compete in over-fence work and flat-work, whereas the Western riders compete in reining and horsemanship classes.

“The National Champion Texas A&M Aggies take tremendous pride in carrying the NCEA championship banner, representing all the riders across the country in collegiate equestrian,” said Kevin Hurley, a longtime advocate for collegiate equestrian and critical to the expansion of the sport across the nation. “As we continue to grow our sport, we are grateful for opportunities of this stature to nationally showcase our young women as role models in our sport.”

About the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)

The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), a non-profit corporation, was created as a governing body to advance the sport of Equestrian for women at the collegiate level. In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee of Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. The NCEA, in concert with the mission and vision of the NCAA, is committed to providing collegiate opportunities for female equestrian student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while embracing equity, diversity and promoting academic and competitive excellence. www.collegiateequestrian.com

CONTACT: Dr. Leah Fiorentino
director@collegiateequestrian.com
(910) 674-0296

National Collegiate Equestrian Association | P.O. Box 712, Waco, TX 76703