The great Yellow Jersey, the hugely attractive palomino stallion with an impressive show record, whose career advanced between the reins of six different riders all the while maintaining excellent results, is coming home – or, at least, to the country, Italy, where his fame as a great athlete was initially built and established. The news is as fresh as it comes: the prestigious Elementa Centre will now be home to the ‘golden’ Champion who is due to arrive in the coming weeks. Thus, the Facility adds a second World Equestrian Games Gold Medallist to its collection of “happy” horses – because welfare is top among the priorities that Cecilia Fiorucci, owner of the magnificent Centre near Rome, has for her equine guests.
Yellow Jersey, who won a Gold medal with Team USA as well as Individual Bronze at the 2014 Normandy WEG, preceded by a team Bronze medal with the Italian squad in 2010 in Lexington, is currently the only horse that has participated and won medals in two World Championships. In the prestigious location at Bracciano, he will be joining the now “Roman” Custom Made Gun, who brought home the same medals (team gold, individual bronze) from Tryon 2018. What makes this encounter even more extraordinary is that the riders on these two special occasions were mother and son: respectively Mandy and Cade McCutcheon: “Cade and I owe so much to these two horses and it was extremely difficult for us to see them go,” says Mandy. “However knowing they are with Cecilia and her amazing staff makes it easier for all of us. We visited them last February at their beautiful facility and this is why we knew it was the best decision for Jersey to join the team at Elementa. Both Custom and Jersey will have the best care and be able to continue great breeding careers with first class work of E-Genetics.”
And while Custom Made Gun gave 18-year-old Cade the chance to become the youngest Gold medallist in the USA Dream Team and mark top score in the 2018 WEG, Yellow Jersey has probably done even more for Mandy McCutcheon. Indeed, this horse contributed greatly to taking her across the threshold of two million dollars in Lifetime Earnings to become the first woman and first Non Pro to reach this milestone as well as accompanying her when she was the first woman and the first Non Pro to represent the USA at the WEG. “This was not an easy decision for Colleen and I,” says Yellow Jersey’s former owner and Mandy’s father Tim McQuay, “but knowing Jersey and Custom will have the best care and homes to live out their lives and breeding careers made it much easier for all of us. We currently have several Yellow Jersey offspring we are looking forward to showing and can’t wait to start riding the Custom babies.”
Before being bought by the McQuays in 2014, Yellow Jersey had belonged to Bob Thompson and Lisa Coulter. Bob bought him after his trainer, Andrea Fappani noticed the stallion at the 2010 WEG where the horse was ridden by Stefano Massignan, the trainer who had guided Jersey to his first round of brilliant successes. In fact, while still under the ownership of Eleuterio Arcese, currently the NRHA’s only Two Million Dollar Owner, and with Massignan in the saddle, Yellow Jersey garnered a host of triumphs: at the age of four, Italian Open Maturity Co-Reserve Champion and finalist at the Italian Open Derby; at five, NRHA European Futurity Open Champion, Italian Open Derby Co-Champion and Italian Open Maturity Reserve Champion. Then, after winning the Bronze medal at the WEG in Lexington, Yellow Jersey returned to the US, where he had been born in 2004, sired by NRHA 10 Million Dollar Sire, NRHA Hall of Famer, 2018 Equi-Stat # 2 Reining Leading Sire and # 3 All Time Reining Leading Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Ms Clara Melody. Jersey had departed the US for Italy three years earlier after finishing among the Top 12 of Okla’s Futurity between the reins of Brent Wright. In 2010, it was Fappani who showed Yellow Jersey in the $100,000 Shootout and despite the pair’s short time together they won, thereby significantly advancing the horse’s annual NRHA earnings and enabling him to capture the title of 2010 NRHA World Open Reserve Champion.
Yellow Jersey continued to earn credit and dollars as an aged horse until 2014, closing his competitive career at the grand age of 10 having reached total career winnings of over
$153,000 in NRHA events as well as being AQHA Senior Reining World Show qualifier and receiving the AQHA Register of Merit (ROM). Despite going to the breeding shed relatively late, he has sired offspring that have earned over 164,200 dollars. The Top 5 performers among his offspring: The Star Jersey ($36,444, 2018 High Roller Reining Classic Futurity Open L4 Reserve Champion with Craig Schmersal), Yellow Bug (+$23,830, Half Arabian 4/5YO Reining Futurity Open Champion), New Jersey (+$17,310, 3rd Arhfa World Championship Roping Futurity Heeling), Ruf Up My Jersey ($12,503, 3rd Reining Southwest Futurity with Brian Bell), Lil Jersey (+$10,000, Reserve Champion at the Tulsa Reining Classic L3 Developing Horse Futurity with Tim McQuay). In Europe, not to forget Arc Jersey Out (French Futurity 3-yr-olds Reserve Champion) and Arc Snap Chic (Austrian Futurity 3-yr-olds Reserve Champion), all of which were shown by Gennaro Lendi. Now, managed in Europe by E-Genetics, he will be able to further consolidate his talent as a sire.
“Yellow Jersey’s long and healthy career is exactly what Elementa would like to see made possible for any reining horse”, explains Communications Director, Domenico Lomuto. “While it takes special mettle to do what he did, we would like to see the same conditions created everywhere for other horses to enjoy the same chance. It is clear that the well- being of our athletes depends on a long list of care and skills related not only to their training but also to their daily management. Elementa will ensure that Yellow Jersey, like all the other residents of our Centre, is guaranteed the highest standard from this point of view. Therefore, we are certain that our new guest will enjoy the optimum conditions to best express his potential as a sire”.
The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.