The Euro 83,750-added IRHA/NRHA Derby Open finals attracted a large crowd and the horses and riders showcased the sport of reining at its best. Making the finals all the more thrilling were the champions: sharing the Euro 32,000-added Derby Level 4 Open title were husband and wife team Ann Poels Fonck and Bernard Fonck, after posting dual scores of 228.
The Foncks were last two riders to enter the arena in the second section. Riding Smart N Sparkin for owners 7 Heaven Reining Horses, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard burst in the pen to perform NRHA Pattern No. 9, and it was explosive from his first maneuver until his last. Former NRHA Open World Champion Ann, last to enter, went in with a smile on her face knowing that her husband would likely be crowned champion, but nonetheless teamed up with Rosanne Sternberg’s 6-year-old mare Ebony Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Whiz x Topsail Whiz) to give the best they had, which ended up being a 228. The Foncks chose not run-off in the best interest of their horses.
“Ebony Spook was just great and I am thrilled,” said Ann about the mare whose Equi-Stat record shows mare than $50,000 in lifetime earnings. “Being co-champions here with my husband is all about pure love!”
Bernard gave credit to the athletic ability of his 6-year-old stallion Smart N Sparking (Smart Chic Olena x Setting Off Sparks x Shining Spark), an earner of more than $43,000 prior to this show. “My horse was phenomenal tonight and I cannot thank his owners enough for their continuous trust and support.”
Claiming first place honors in the Euro 13,500-added Derby Level 3 Open with a 220 was Pietro Artinghelli riding Impresa Agricola Cuoghi’s Puregold Master. Bred by Roberto Cuoghi, the flashy stallion is by NRHA Derby Open Champion Master Snapper and out of Tivios Little Dun It, by Hollywood Dun It.
“I am thrilled with this title and now my wife, Kelly (Zweifel), after the birth of our second son, Luca, two months ago, cannot wait to show this horse herself!” said Artinghelli. “The best thing about this win is that once again we made it to the winners circle with a horse born and bred by Cuoghi.”
In the Euro 4,000-added Level 2 Open, young Giovanni “Dido” Masi de Vargas, riding Smart Whiz Delmaso (Easy Otie Whiz x Playin Dress Up x Smart Chic Olena) for owner Stefano Scardina, scored a 219.5 for the win. That was enough to also claim Reserve honors in the Level 3.
Winning the Euro 1,500-added Level 1 Open Derby Championship was French rider Ann Sophie Guerriero aboard Chicken Sandwich (Ricochet Rooster x Ms Sanditch Whiz x Topsail Whiz), owned by EricDefouilhoux.
The 2014 IRHA/NRHA Derby was held during the Salone del Cavallo in Reggio Emilia. The event attracted close to 60,000 visitors, more than 1,200 horses, close to 1,300 riders and 160 vendors. For complete results visit www.showmanager.eu