Shawn Flarida, of Springfield, Ohio, excelled at the Florida Reining Classic, hosted by the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA). The event, judged by Brad Kelsall, Kim Myers, Rick Weaver and Ricky Bordignon, was held at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida, from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28. The highlight of the show was the $20,000-added Santa Hill Ranch Derby Level 4 Open, in which Flarida placed first and second.
Flarida scored a 227.5 to win the class on Patricia Holtzman’s Tinseltown Fly Guy (Hollywoodtinseltown x My Flashy Jac x Boggies Flashy Jac). He scored a 225.5 on Shine N Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Shines x Shining Spark), owned by Clark Reining Horses LLC, of Catlettsberg, Kentucky, for the Reserve Championship.
“It was great and it also makes it great for the owners, Patricia Holtzman and Rick Clark. I think they had a side bet on the competition,” Flarida said with a chuckle. “Both horses are close in talent. ‘Fly Guy’ has a little bit more experience and he’s been shown more recently than Shine N Spook, but I thought they were both awesome.”
Flarida earned $8,389 on Tinseltown Fly Guy and $6,662 on Shine N Spook, adding $15,051 to an already impressive resume. Flarida is the National Reining Horse Association’s only Five Million Dollar Rider.
Matt Palmer, of Elverson, Pennsylvania, was last to go in the field of 39 contenders. He dazzled the crowd on Marie Haring’s Dun Alotta Chics (Magnum Chic Dream x A Lotta Dun It x Hollywood Dun It). This team scored a 225 which won the $5,000-added Level 3 Open and placed third in Level 4. They earned a total of $7,635.
Ruben Vandorp, of Aubrey, Texas, dominated the $3,500-added Level 2 Open. With a score of 224.5, he won the division on RC Fashion Chic (RC Fancy Step x Shesa Fashion Chic x Smart Chic Olena), owned by Peter and Courtney Morgan, of Ocala, Florida. With a score of 223.5, he placed second on She Whiz Pretty Juicy (Smart Like Juice x Prettywhizprettydoes x Topsail Whiz), owned by Green Valley Ranch, of Aubrey, Texas. Vandorp earned a total of $3,260.
Spookynic (Spooks Gotta Gun x Litanic x Reminic), ridden by Kyle Show for Bob Santagata, of Santa Hill Ranch in Campbell Hall, New York, scored a 216.5 to win the $2,000-added Level 1 Open. They earned $1,009 for the win.
“Bentley is the horse of a lifetime,” Jordan said. “None of this would have been possible without the entire Robin Schoeller team, my mom and dad, and my amazing fiancé who spent his birthday helping me. I’m a blessed girl.”
Sherry Sumpter, of Ocala, Florida, was second in the Level 4 Non-Pro and won Levels 3, 2, 1 and Prime Time! Coached by Sam Smith, of Marietta, Oklahoma, Sumpter scored a 218.5 on Ginger Dwyer’s homebred This Guns The Won (Gunners Indian x Spin Some Majac x Jacspin) aka “Apache.” They won $9,421 and needed a van to haul all their prizes out of the arena.
“I am so proud of Sherry and Apache. What a great run,” Dwyer said.