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.

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