National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), held April 13-19 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, in Katy, Texas, everyone made their way to the arena to find a seat so they could watch the Open finals. After some very exciting runs and one fierce runoff, one horse-and-rider team rose above their competitors.At the
On the afternoon of April 18, 33 competitors gave it their all during the Open finals. After the seventh draw left the pen and scored a 227, it became evident that everyone was going to have to step up their game if they wanted the $75,000 paycheck. As draw 28, Casey Deary piloted ARC Gunna Sparkya (Gunnatrashya x Sailing Spark x Shining Spark), bred by Arcese Quarter Horses, of Weatherford, Texas, to score a 227.5 and take the lead.
However, only one draw away, Andrea Fappani piloted SG Frozen Enterprize (Frozen Sailor x RS Rose SJ x SJ Enterprise), bred by Marco Franchini, of Seveso, Italy, to also score a 227.5, and then asked for a runoff. Deary got back on Rabboni Reining Horses’ 4-year-old stallion and ran the pattern again to mark a 225. Fappani is no stranger to runoffs and asked just as much from the 6-year-old stallion, owned by Silver Spurs Equine, of Cave Creek, Arizona, because he knew the horse was capable of giving it his all just one more time. Once the duo left the arena, the announcer called out a score of 225.5 and SG Frozen Enterprize and Fappani were dubbed the NRBC Level 4 Open Champions.
“It feels great to win here. It’s tough, but once you win it once you want to do it again,” Fappani said. “This year I knew I had the horse that could do it. I did it with the runoff and that makes it even more exciting. It’s special when you know you have a horse that can runoff and go do it again and not get tired. This is a special horse and I was proud of him.”
Taking home the Level 4 Open Reserve title worth $51,000 was ARC Gunna Sparkya and Deary. ARC Gunna Sparkya now boasts lifetime earnings of more than $117,000. Deary also placed fifth on Magnum Starlights (Magnum Chic Dream x Starlights Sugarwhiz x Little Bay Starlight), who he also won the preliminaries with, and earned a $34,221 paycheck. Deary now boasts an Equi-Stat record of more than $920,000.
“There’s no way you can be disappointed in that,” Deary said. “To have both 4-year-old’s in the finals like that and have them both step up and play with these guys, disappointment is not even in the picture. I couldn’t be happier with both of them.”
Levels 3 & 2
All the way from Brazil, Gunner Dun It Again and Joao Felipe Lacerda came to the NRBC with hopes of bringing home a championship, and that’s just what they did. As the 17th draw, Lacerda piloted the 4-year-old stallion, owned by Paulo Tripoloni, to score a 223 and earn the Levels 3 and 2 Open Championship.
“It’s a dream come true,” Lacerda said. “We came from Brazil and brought the horse here. I won the Super Stakes in Brazil and he was really good and I think he can win some money here.”
Gunner Dun It Again (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Dun Its Deja Vu x Hollywood Dun It), bred by McQuay Stables Inc, of Tioga, Texas, and rider Lacerda earned a $23,422 paycheck for their Level 3 win, and $9,169 for their Level 2 win. They also earned a $17,500 check for placing in the Level 4. In total, the duo garnered $50,091.
Taking home the Level 3 Open Reserve title was Thiago Boechat’s Sugar Pop Step Ahead (Wimpys Little Step x Sugar Pop Gun 1998 x Gunner) and rider Trevor Dare. The 5-year-old stallion, bred by Deborah Strahman, of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Dare scored a 221.5 and received a $14,257 paycheck for Level 3, and also received a $5,581 paycheck for taking the Level 2 Open Reserve title as well.
Earning the Level 1 Open Championship was Wimpys Wrangler AC (Wimpys Little Step x Wranglers Gay Bar x Docs Wrangler) and Marie Kleiner. The 6-year-old gelding, owned by Courtney Battison, of Purcell, Oklahoma, carried Kleiner to score a 218 for the title.
“I just recently started riding him and he is an incredible horse. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten to show him. This is our first event and first finals, so it felt really awesome,” Kleiner said. “I was really excited to get to run in because he’s a big stopper. And we got to the stops and we finished good.”
The duo garnered a $3,249 paycheck for their win, boosting Kleiners lifetime earnings to more than $3,750.
Earning the Level 1 Reserve title was Chiquitas Valentine (Starlights Wrangler x Spanish Dun It x Hollywood Dun It) and Colin James Fitzpatrick. The 6-year-old mare, bred by Jim Hendricks, of Pilot Point, Texas, and Fitzpatrick scored a 217 and received a $1,978 paycheck for owners Dell and Terri Hendricks.
Earning the Prime Time Open Championship was Da Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x Cowboys Belle Bar x Dunnit Like A Cowboy) and Duane Latimer. Latimer and the 5-year-old gelding, bred by Petra Zeitler, of Valley View, Texas, owned by Harper Conner, also of Valley View, scored a 222.5 for the win and earned a $1,950 paycheck.
“He was good here,” Latimer said about Da Vintage. “It was the first time I ever showed him for real and I was very happy with him.”
Latimer and Da Vintage also placed in the Level 3 garnering an additional $10,693 paycheck. In total, they earned $12,643 posting the first check to Da Vintage’s Equi-Stat record.
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