The Wild Card Reining Challenge 4-Year-Old Futurity Open showcased 21 horses that had not been shown in any 3-year-old National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) category 2 aged-event reining or reined cow horse competitions. And of those 21 horses, it was Wallawhizagun, ridden by Gabe Hutchins to a 219, that took home the Levels 4 and 3 championships for owner Tamarack Ranch LLC, of Joseph, Oregon.
Wallawhizagun (Walla Walla Whiz x Snow Gun x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), who was bred by Andre deBellefeuille, picked up checks totaling $11,030. Hutchins said that he saw a lot of talent in the mare last year, but they could not get her ready for the 3-year-old futurities. Fortunately the Wild Card Reining Challenge was created just in time.
“I think it’s a great idea. I think it’s been one of the best ideas in the industry in a long time,” Hutchins said of the 4-year-old futurity.
There was a tie for the Level 4 Open Reserve Championship. Gunners Hitman, ridden by Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Andrea Fappani, along with Ruf Nite, guided by Abby Mixon, each marked a 218 and received $4,877. Gunners Hitman (Gunner x Tinker Nic x Reminic) is a stallion that belongs to Rancho Oso Rio LLC. Ruf Nite also picked up the Level 3 Open Reserve Championship, worth $2,734, and the Level 2 Open Championship with his score.
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