The Florida Classic, hosted by the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA), was held Feb. 21-28 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. In addition to the high-dollar Derby Open and Non-Pro classes,the FRHA offered four Rookie and Green Reiner slates. There was something for everyone and prizes galore.
Shawn Flarida, of Springfield, Ohio, successfully defended his 2014 FRHA Classic Open Derby title with a Level 4 Championship this year. He won the $20,000-added division on Wimpys Littlecolonel (Wimpys Little Step x One Right Chic x Smart Chic Olena), owned by George Lawrence, of Fort Worth, Texas. His score of 225 earned $8,078.
Flarida credited Jordan Larson with this horse’s early career, but Flarida placed Wimpys Littlecolonel second at the 2014 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Show in Junior Reining. “I’m starting to trust him, and he’s starting to trust me. He was a blast to show,” Flarida said. “It’s fun to be here. It’s the first show of the year I get to go to, and I get to bring my family, too. It’s a great horse show. They do a wonderful job.”
Cashin Malibus Chex (Too Busy Cashin Chex x Malibu Whiz x Topsail Whiz), ridden by Dean Brown for Bob Santagata, of Campbell Hall, New York, scored a 224.5 for the Reserve Championship. He earned $5,554 for his dynamic ride.
Level 3 Open
There was a tie for first place in the $7,000-added Level 3 Open division between Mathieu Buton and Yonathan Baruch. Both riders scored a 219.5. Buton, of Overbrook, Oklahoma, rode Shiney Smart Sparks (Very Smart Remedy x Shirley Shine x Shining Spark), owned by John and Nancy Tague, of Pilot Point, Texas. Baruch, also from Overbrook, rode Smarts Like A Shiner (Smart Like Juice x Buf It Til It Shines x Sparks Well Dun), owned by Randy Shepherd, of Burneyville, Oklahoma.
Both riders earned $2,952. Buton earned an additional $2,390. His good score earned the $5,000-added Level 2 Open Championship as well.
Level 1 Open
Jorge Puente, of Miami, Florida, riding Southwest Ranches, Florida, resident Jeanette Shirley’s Gun Gotta Star (Dun It Gotta Gun x Scarlet Stars x Grays Starlight) scored a 214 to win the $2,000-added Level 1 Open division and earn $1,058.
Levels 4 & 3 Non-Pro
Lyndsey Jordan, of Georgetown, Kentucky, won the $10,000-added Derby Level 4 Non-Pro and $7,000-added Level 3 Non-Pro on her Made By Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Ready Make Cowboy x Master Cowboy Jac). Jordan scored a 218.5 for the win that earned $8,477. She raised this horse, who was bred by Lagle/Savage LLC, of Salesville, Ohio, and showed his dam.
“He’s like a dream come true,” Jordan said. “He’s got the best personality and he tries so hard. As far as I’m concerned, he has a home for life.”
Level 2 Non-Pro
Victoria Lambert, of Hempstead, Texas, riding her Memorable Walla Whiz (Walla Walla Whiz x Memorable Affair x Major Vaquero), scored a 215.5 to win the $5,000-added Level 2 Non-Pro and the $1,000-added Prime Time division. This team earned $3,071.
Level 1 Non-Pro
Wilmington, North Carolina, resident Elizabeth Cosper, riding Oties Tradition (Easy Otie Whiz x Freckles Tradition x Steady Tradition), owned by Monica Watson’s Double Run Farm, of Leland, North Carolina, scored a 212 to win the $2,000-added Level 1 Non-Pro division. She earned $1,110.
The Derby was judged by Bub Poplin, Ryan Potucek, Sebastian Petroll and Guy Vernon.
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