The 2016 National Reining Horse Assocation (NRHA) European Futurity crowned its Non-Pro champions on April 23 in the Ostbayerhalle in Kreuth, Germany. Claiming the €36,000-added Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro win was Gina Schumacher, of Germany, riding Whizzard (Topsail Whiz x Shiney Lil Miss x Shining Spark), owned by Chanay Sky Management, SA. The pair had already left their mark in the pen after winning the qualifying go-round with a 218.5.
Bred by Cottonwood Spring Ranch LLC and nominated by Corinna Schumacher, the sorrel stallion was shown by Schumacher in the 2015 NRHA Futurity Non-Pro, where the duo took home $5,374. In Kreuth, the pair scored a 216.5 to take home the coveted title.
“I’m thrilled to have been able to claim this prestigious title tonight,” said the young German rider. “I brought all three of my mounts back to the finals here and, though it wasn’t easy, we managed to earn top honors. Once again, Whizzard was really good for me, out of the three horses I showed here, he’s the one that I know best. This is my first European Futurity title and even though it’s not been easy to get to the top step of the podium, we’ve finally made it!”
Schumacher also rode Wham Bam Gunner Man (Gunners Special Nite x Super Olena Chic x Smart Chic Olena), bred and nominated by Robert Webb, to tie for seventh with a 213. She closed her day with her third mount, Walawhizsunlight BB (Topsail Whiz x Walla Walla Sunshine x Shining Spark), who was bred and nominated by Eifel Gold Ranch Baeck, to a 205.5 and 15th place in the finals, which counted 33 finalists.
Claiming the Reserve Championship in the Level 4 Non-Pro, as well as the championships in the €20,664-added Level 3, €11,808-added Level 2 and €5,904-added Level 1, was Lena Schmidl, of Germany, aboard her stallion Spooks Star Gun (Spooks Gotta Gun x Elites Wildbumblebee x Elite Eldorado).
“In the first go-round, I made a few mistakes so my score was not that good,” the 21-year-old rider said. “Tonight, ‘Bumble’ was with me all the way, and I was really confident. My trainer, Markus Gebert, really helped me a lot, and I am thrilled. I now look forward to showing him [Bumble] again this year, probably in the German and Italian 4-year-old futurities.”
Earning the Level 3, 2 and 1 Non-Pro Reserve championships with a score of 213.5 was Level 1 go-round leader Luisa Stickl and her Ruf Dun Honey (Dun It On The QT x Lil Ruf Sam x Lil Ruf Peppy), bred and nominated by Pia Kalle.
“This is the very first futurity for me and I am really happy with my results,” said the 17-year-old rider, who trains with Emanuel Ernst, of Germany.
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