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.

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