On April 18, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity lit up the Ostbayernhalle arena in Kreuth, Germany. The qualifying go-round of the Futurity Open welcomed 97 horses entered in the € 92,000.00-added Level 4 (59 entries), in the € 47,343.30-added Level 3 (51 entries), in the € 27,053.31-added Level 2 (43 entries) and in the € 13,526.66-added Level 1 (18 entries).
Earning the highest score in the Level 4 was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck aboard Gunners Big Chex (PT) (Big Chex To Cash x Gunna B Dee One [PT] x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), owned by Steve Vannietvelt and Gina De Pauw. The flashy Paint horse mare was bred and nominated by Manuel Bonzano’s 23 Quarter Horses, Incisa Scapaccino, Italy.
With only five horses left to go, Fonck posted a 217.5 to take the lead after Dominik Reminder and Sliding To The Top (Gunners Special Nite x Dos Coronas x Hollywood Dun It), a stallion owned by Luga Quarter Horses of Italy, set the bar early in the draw by scoring a 217.
“I’m very pleased with Gunners Big Chex, who was bred and born at 23, and also with Spook Shine Spook who I also made the finals with,” said Fonck. “Unfortunately, I was not as lucky with my third horse, Sevenchextocash, but I guess that’s the name of the game.”
Tying to lead the Level 3 Open with a 214.5 were Emanuel Ernst and Cristian Dalla Pozza. Ernst was riding SR Holly Whizadream (Magnum Chic Dream x Holly Dun Conquista x Hollywodo Dun It) for owner Reinhard Orth, while Dalla Pozza – who also lead the Level 2 Open go-round – rode Holly Jolly Whiz (Whiz Ruf Peppy x Smart Dolly Hickory x Smart Little Sultan) for Ettore Baldazzi. For Emanuel, tying to lead the Level 3 Open and making it to the Level 4 finals was especially sweet.
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