Tulsa Reining Classic – Fernando Salgado Wins Level 4 Developing Horse Futurity Section A

FernandoSalgado_SecAL4_webFernando Salgado rode Tour to the highest score of the Developing Horse Futurity, 220.5, at the Tulsa Reining Classic on August 30 to win Level 4 of Section A. The victory earned $3,484. 

Salgado says the win is meaningful because he was able to improve on his efforts from last year on a different horse in addition to seeing Tour (Gunnatrashya x She Slides Wright) step up to the plate over the past few weeks.

“Last year I won the Level 2 here on pretty much a full brother to this horse for the same owners [Cam Essick], so to come back and do it again and win the Level 4; it was a hard show,” Salgado said. “The last three weeks he’s getting so much better. He’s stepping up and feels like a show horse, so it was actually very easy and enjoyable to get him ready to show.”

Salgado says he was able to relax and enjoy showing Tour since the stallion has started maturing. The Gainesville, Texas-based trainer adds that he only needs to finesse the horse’s training before the big futurity.

“In a show situation he’s getting better and better, so I actually had fun,” Salgado said. “I am excited for him for the future, because I still had a couple penalties in there and could have scored even higher, so I’m very, very excited. [I need to fix] some little spots to be ready one-handed-I showed him two-handed today-so I don’t think I need to change anything, I just need to keep riding and be more one-handed and be ready for the NRHA Futurity.”

Salgado thanked Tour’s owners and his support team.

“Thanks to Cam Essick, she really trusted me and let me do my job,” Salgado said. “Thanks to my whole family; my wife Sabrina always supporting me, and my whole team: my horseshoer Seth Jordan, our vet Marcello, and my assistants. It’s a blessing to come here.”

Tom McCutcheon finished reserve aboard Guns Last Chance (Colonels Smokingun x Shiners Woman), owned by White River Ag Products, with a 219 for $2,121.

Stefano Calcagnini clinched both Levels 2 and 3 with a 218.5 aboard Shines Smokin Gun (Shine Chic Shine x Gunners Miss Oak), worth a total $3,613. Calcagnini says he was pleasantly surprised with the horse’s efforts in the arena. The class is all part of his preparation leading up to the NRHA Futurity in December.

“He is owned by Amabile and Strusiner; they’ve been longtime customers of mine,” Calcagnini said. “I haven’t had this horse very long. He was at Nathan Piper Reining Horses, and I kept training him after Nathan. He was pretty broke, so we got along right away and started to play around.”

The Pilot Point, Texas-based trainer has had Shines Smokin Gun since May and says it’s been smooth sailing since he got the horse in training.

“I feel pretty good and pretty confident,” the Italian native said. “The horse actually showed pretty good for me, and I’m looking forward for the next one, the Southwest Futurity in preparation for the big futurity.”

In Level 3, Tim McQuay rode Lil Jersey (Yellow Jersey x Whiz N Darlin) to a 218 for reserve honors and $1,191 for Saddle Horn Farms, LLC. Garth Brown and Tinseltowns Dollface (Hollywoods Tinseltown x Gunners Doll Face) earned second in Level 2 with a 217.5, earning $838.29, for owner Domingo Alvarado.

Barak Gibori rode Xtra Black Fantasy (Wimpys Little Step x Footworks Fantasy) to a 218 to win Level 1 for $734. Gibori has only ridden the mare for a short period, but they are already firing on all cylinders.

“I just got her two months ago from Xtra [Quarter Horses], and I really like her,” Gibori said. “Eyal Carmon from Israel bought her, and I’m still getting to know her but she’s a really special mare. She’s really sweet and keeps getting better every day. We’re still adjusting to each other and getting to know each other, but she’s really nice.”

Gibori says the horse performed every maneuver well in their winning run, and he looks forward to his future with her at the big futurities.

“She did everything good today; she was there for me everywhere,” Gibori said. “She’s going to show in the Southwest Futurity and then in Oklahoma City [NRHA Futurity] and then she’s going to go back to Israel. I want to thank the owner for trusting me and buying that nice mare for me, for Tim and Colleen McQuay and their crew and sponsors for supporting us and providing everything we need.”

VanlandinghamBertolani_SecBL4_webFranco Bertolani, Jason Vanlandingham Tie For Level 4 Developing Horse Futurity Section B 

Two Paint horses sired by Gunner rose to the top of Level 4 in Section B of the Developing Horse Futurity at the Tulsa Reining Classic on August 30. Jason Vanlandingham showed Smoking Oak Gun to a tie for first place in Level 4 with Franco Bertolani and FM Cottonwood, both scoring a 220 and earning $3,522.

Vanlandingham has had Smoking Oak Gun (Colonels Smokingun x Kachina Oak), who’s owned by Lazaro Elizondo, in training since the start, and he knows the stallion inside and out.

“We started him; they sent him to us as a coming 2-year-old and we’ve done all the work on him, so I know the horse pretty good,” Vanlandingham said. “He’s always had a lot of style and look going around, and he’s a very stocky-made horse so he’s able to handle different types of ground, so that part of him is good.”

Although it was Smoking Oak Gun’s first time in the show pen, the Whitesboro, Texas-based trainer says the stallion showed like a seasoned veteran.

“He seemed like a really good show horse today, it was his first trip out so I didn’t really know what we were going to have. He went in there and stayed locked in the whole time, so I was pleased with him,” Vanlandingham said. “The way he circles, he’s real low-necked and when he slows down he sticks his hock way up underneath him and makes a nice smooth transition. I really love the way he circles; that’s what stands out the most.”

Vanlandingham will continue preparing the stallion for the fall futurities and play it by ear as the big December futurity approaches.

“He’ll go to the Southwest Futurity, and then we’ll see where he falls into my string from there,” Vanlandingham said. “I want to thank my wife Adrienne; I wouldn’t be anywhere without her, and we know all this good stuff comes from God.”

Franco Bertolani also scored a 220 to tie for first riding Carlton and Khris Crowe’s horse FM Cottonwood (Colonels Smokingun x Sonita Lena Chick).

Gunner progeny continued to rule in the Developing Horse Futurity. Eduardo Salgado won Level 3 on Gunners Bar Fly (Colonels Smokingun x Blonde At The Bar), owned by Roseanne Sternberg, to a 218.5 for $2,375. The score also notched third place in Level 4 for $2,035. Yonathan Baruch took second in Level 3 with a 218 riding Yank Your Guns (Colonels Smokingun x Rowdys Money) for $2,009.

Hava Vital piloted Loaded Lady Bug to a $2,172 victory for winning Levels 1 and 2 with a score of 219. The 3-year-old mare by Hes A Loaded Gun and out of BH Lady Bug is owned by Mary Jansma and has been in Vital’s hands for about a year.

“I’ve had her since she was 2, so it’s been a long road, but we finally did it,” Vital said. “Hopefully we can keep up the good work and do it again.”

Vital, who works for Justin “Gunny” Mathison out of Tioga, Texas, says her mare stayed tuned in during the futurity class, which gives Vital confidence moving forward.

“She felt really good, very honest and super ‘with’ me,” Vital said. “I can count on her; she was just awesome. We’re going to the Southwest and then the big futurity.”

In Level 2, Stefano Calcagnini took second place with a 216.5 riding Shine Superboy Shine (Shine Chic Shine x Spooks Stylin) for a paycheck of $1,115. Barak Gibori placed reserve in Level 1 with a 217 on Showin Off My Dually (Mister Nicadual x Showtimes Tinseltown) to earn $535.

Kelly Shepherd
Kelly Shepherd

Green Reiners Shine in Mustang Arena

Green Reiner classes kicked off in the Mustang Arena at the Tulsa Reining Classic, and Kelly Shepherd and Kayla Neill took top honors.

Kayla Neill rode her horse Timber Tomorrow to victory in the Green Reiner Level 2 class with a score of 72. Neill says her 7-year-old gelding by Boggies Timber Jack and out of Footworks Finest Lace is a major confidence booster.

“He’s super easy going, very honest in the show pen and a big clown. Huge stopper, great turner, and he’s really built my confidence,” Neill said. “He was fabulous in his spins-the best set of spins we’ve ever done. His circles, he’ll pick up speed and then comes back really hard which is what I really like about him. Lead changes we need to work on a bit, but then his stops are phenomenal. Super fun to take down the pen, easy stopper and rolls back very nice.”

Kayla Neill
Kayla Neill

The former Western pleasure competitor from Poolville, Texas, has only been reining for a few years but has always been immersed in horses and the agricultural industry, especially through her work with 4-H.

“I’ve shown pleasure horses all my life and just started showing reiners about 3 years ago,” Neill said. “I’m the county extension agent for 4-H and youth development for Parker County, so I actually have two of my 4-Hers here; Kate Lilly and Maddie Guston are here showing, so that’s been fun.”

Maddie McGee Pritchett took second place in both Levels 1 and 2 riding Reeboks Rerun (Reeboks Kid x Worksman Fisty) to a score of 70.

In the Green Reiner Level 1, Kelly Shepherd took the victory with a score of 71 on her horse Magarita. Though she’s only owned the 2012 mare by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Pretty Pirate for about three months, Shepherd says it was an easy transition.

“She’s been easy. She’s won a lot of money already; she’s nice horse,” Shepherd said. “The spins started out kind of rough, but it didn’t look as bad as it felt. Circling she was good, her lead changes and rundowns were good, and everything felt really good.”

Shepherd has had a busy schedule after recently moving to Gainesville, Texas, and getting married only two weeks before the Tulsa Reining Classic to trainer Kinzy Donnelly. She has a long background with horses and has recently taken up reining.

“I team roped and did cutting, so I just got into the reining a couple years ago,” Shepherd said.

Mike Flarida Claims $1,000 Open, Trent Harvey Wins $750 Intermediate Open, Leslie Bingham Takes $500 Limited Open and Rookie Pro

The Mustang Arena hosted several Open classes August 30 at the Tulsa Reining Classic.

Georgetown, Kentucky-based trainer Mike Flarida marked a 143.5 aboard Xtra Playful Chic to win the $1,000 Open. Patrice Schreiber owns the 6-year-old mare by Custom Crome and out of Play For Chic.

“My mare was good today, honest all the way through the pattern, easy to show, easy to prepare-she’s been a nice mare,” Flarida said. “Patrice has been great to work for, she’s given a lot of time to train that mare up and prepare her for a show.”

Flarida says Schreiber’s patience in allowing the mare to blossom has been imperative. He adds that his history with Custom Crome has helped the training process.

“I’m very happy to have her, and I know how to ride the Custom Cromes because I trained him and won the Futurity on him in 1993,” Flarida said. “She’s been a little slow getting here, but she’s actually turned into a very good show horse-the owner has been very patient.”

Mirjam Stillo came in second place riding Gunna Sassya (Colonels Smokingun x Shining N Sassy) for Janet Peterson.

In the $750 Intermediate Open, Trent Harvey and Baileys Sidekick claimed victory with a score of 144. The Deary Performance Horses trainer is riding the 2013 gelding by Gunners Special Nite and out of A Shining Sidekick for owner Kathy Thompson. Harvey used Tulsa to prep him for the High Roller Reining Classic.

“He belongs to a non-pro customer of Jordan Larson’s, and we’re taking him to Vegas for the 4-year-old Derby and Stakes, so here I wanted to just get him prepped and ready and see what I had in a show situation before I went there,” Harvey said. “He felt very good, there’s a couple spots I need to get him where he moves fluid and more forward, but for the most part I have him broke like I needed to.”

Flarida and Xtra Playful Chic’s 143.5 placed second in the class.

Leslie Bingham and Who Dat Hot Chic swept the $500 Limited Open and $500 Rookie Pro classes with a 144.5. The 6-year-old Neiberger Performance Horses-owned mare is by Wimpys Little Step and out of Smart Chic Aloha. Ashley Stroh and Jerrys Mizzen Money (Jerry Lees Surprise x Miss Moth Money) placed second in the Limited Open with a 141.5. Glen Arthur Estival’s 142 on Gunners Goldster (Colonels Smokingun x Spooks Goldstar) was good for second in the Rookie Pro.

Adam Donahue, Kim Sauerwein Tie $500 Novice Horse Level 1, Stephanie Gripp Wins Level 2

Non pro riders filled the Super Duty Arena sponsored by Yellow Jersey on Wednesday morning, August 30 at the Tulsa Reining Classic. In the end, Stephanie Gripp rode off with the $500 Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 title aboard Gunners Glory with a 142.5, while Adam Donahue and Thata Shiner tied for Level 1 with Kim Sauerwein and Commandersparkinchic, both scoring 141.5.

Gripp says it took about a year to get into winning form with her 5-year-old mare (Colonels Smokingun x Dun It Fir Chex) in the non-pro division, but the pair has really come into form this year.

“In June, we won the Non Pro NRHA Derby Levels 3, 2, 1 and Youth, and we showed her today in the novice horse. She’s been phenomenal for me all year,” the 16-year-old of Sheffield, Illinois, said. “We got her in 2016 from Cardinal Reining Horses, and it took about a year to dial her down to non pro where we wanted her.”

“Glory” performed exactly how Gripp hoped in Tulsa, and they both kept a level head in competition.

“Today she was so focused and calm, and that’s exactly what we wanted,” Gripp said. “We didn’t want to get her riled up at all, and she was perfect for me.”

Jessicah Keller placed reserve in the Level 2 with a 141.5 aboard Malena Chic Olena (Hickory Chic Olena x Malena Chex).

In Level 1, Donahue and his talented 2009 sorrel mare Thata Shiner (Smart Spook x SLJ Smartlikewhinny) continued their prosperous year with another victory. Donahue had a banner week in the ancillary classes at the NRHA Derby in June, which was his first show in 16 years. His mare was supposed to be a broodmare, until Donahue decided to bring her back into the show pen.

“We bought her three years ago from Jose Vazquez. She was just standing in the pasture, so we thought she needs a little more money on her,” Donahue said in an interview at the NRHA Derby.

Donahue says Thata Shiner never fails to give her all in the show pen, even with a few mistakes in the run. His favorite traits about the mare are her sweet demeanor and work ethic.

“It was a nice run. We had a few issues-she was tired today. But she’s a really nice mare and I just enjoy showing her,” Donahue said. “She’s a real kind horse. She doesn’t require a lot of work-I just go ride her every day and she shows up.”

Sauerwein tied with Donahue for the first-place victory with her 141.5 aboard Commandersparkinchic. She used the class to prepare for her runs in the derby later this week.

“We’re preparing for the derby, so that was my trainer Jason Torpey’s plan for me, to get ready for the derby,” Sauerwein said. “I guess we did a good job getting ready, because we ended up tying for first. I’m pretty happy!”

Sauerwein’s 6-year-old mare by Commanders Nic and out of Sparkin Personality has performed well for her and has a future in the rookie classes with Sauerwein’s husband.

“I’ve had her for two years now. We were here at Tulsa the first year I had her, and then she got hurt in the pasture so she had her whole 5-year-old year off,” Sauerwein said. “Actually she’s going to be my husband’s horse, he’s a rookie rider so we’re hoping that in addition to being a Novice 1 winner, he’ll do really well in the rookie on her.”

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