He did it again; scoring a 218.5, National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Rider and former NRHA World Champion Cody Sapergia claimed the Austrian Reining Horse Association Futurity Level 4 Open Championship. This was Sapergia’s second straight win in the event, winning this year aboard Whiz Electric Spark (Jacs Electric Spark x Remmicks Whiz). The stallion was bred by Matthias Koch and is owned by Franz Josef Braidt.
Braidt and Sapergia also teamed up with Co-Reserve Champion Desire Big Chex (Big Chex To Cash x Topsails Desire), who scored a 217.5. The double-registered American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Asociation stallion bred by Carlo Orsi had been leading after the go-round.
“Whiz Electric Spark was great today – especially in the circles and the last two stops,“ Sapergia said. “I’ve had him since October, and this was our first real show. I’m really happy with him – as I am with Desire Big Chex. They are great, athletic horses!“
Manuel Cortesi and PC Magnum Step Dream (Magnum Chic Dream x Wimpys Precious Step) scored a 217.5 to earn the Level 4 Reserve Championship as well as the Level 3 Championship. Cortesi was the 2011 FEI European Champion Young Riders, ARHA Futurity and NRHA European Derby Champion non-pro.
The Level 3 Reserve Champion was Fabio Polesel aboard Venus Jabalina Star (RS Little Red Jaba x Little Jac), owned by Valentino Pettarini. They scored a 216.
4-Year-Old Futurity Open
In the 4-Year-Old Futurity Open, the last horse-and-rider team, Grischa Ludwig and Paint stallion Doctors Diamond (Jazalena Diamond x Nu Chex Rose), scored a 223 for owner Dr. Paul Van Hooft, claiming the 4-Year-Old Futurity Level 4 Open Championship.
For Ludwig, it was another great success in an already fantastic season that has included the FEI European Reserve Championship (both individual and team) only one week before this show.
“I got Doctors Diamond about a year ago,“ Grischa said. “They had just started him then and he was really green. This was our very first show. He is still green, and we had quite some penalties in the go-round, but we still got a 217, which shows the great potential of this horse.
“I would never have expected to have a chance of winning today. I simply wanted to have a smooth, flawless ride with him. And then this. Doctors Diamond is one of those horses you can simply show through a pattern without a big fuss, and he still looks great to the judges.“
Dominik Reminder and Luga Quarter Horses’ mare La Marka de Gunner (PT) (Colonels Smokin Gun x Smokin Marquita) were the Reserve Champions with a 221. Reminder, a past NRHA Open Reserve World Champion, previously finished sixth with La Marka De Gunner in the NRHA Breeders Futurity Open in 2014.
The Level 3 resulted in another success for Dennis Schulz and Whiz Ice (Laredo Whiz x Authentic Smarima). The stallion, bred by Helmut Schulz and owned by Katharina Fahrner, had already won the Level 2 Open and claimed the Level 3 as well, scoring a 217.5. In 2014, Schulz and Whiz Ice were Austrian Quarter Horse Association Futurity Champions.
The Reserve Championship went to Gerald Freitag aboard Gimme Spangled Stars (Star Spangled Whiz x Shawnee Buena Chex), who scored a 216.5 for owner and breeder Judith Ernst.