The Developing Horse Futurity is a place for trainers to show their 3-year-old horses that are not, for whatever reason, ready for the big Open Futurity at the Tulsa Reining Classic. Like last year, there were again so many entries at this year’s show that the class was divided into two sections, with each section receiving the same amount of added money and identical awards.
Fernando Salgado rode Tour to the highest score of the Tulsa Reining Classic Developing Horse Futurity, a 220.5, on Aug. 30 to win Level 4 of Section A. The victory earned $3,484.
Salgado said the win was meaningful because he was able to improve on his efforts from last year on a different horse in addition to seeing Tour (Gunnatrashya x She Slides Wright x Smart Little Lena) step up to the plate over the past few weeks.
“Last year I won the Level 2 here on pretty much a full brother to this horse for the same owner [Cam Essick], so to come back and do it again and win the Level 4! It was a hard show,” Salgado said. “The last three weeks he’s getting so much better. He’s stepping up and feels like a show horse, so it was actually very easy and enjoyable to get him ready to show.”
Salgado said he was able to relax and enjoy showing Tour since the stallion has started maturing. The Gainesville, Texas-based trainer adds that he only needs to finesse the horse’s training before the big futurity.
“In a show situation he’s getting better and better, so I actually had fun,” Salgado said. “I am excited for him for the future, because I still had a couple penalties in there and could have scored even higher, so I’m very, very excited. [I need to fix] some little spots to be ready one-handed – I showed him two-handed today – so I don’t think I need to change anything. I just need to keep riding and be more one-handed and be ready for the NRHA Futurity.”
Salgado thanked Tour’s owners and his support team.
“Thanks to Cam Essick. She really trusted me and let me do my job,” Salgado said. “Thanks to my whole family – my wife Sabrina, always supporting me – and my whole team: my horseshoer, Seth Jordan, our vet, Marcello, and my assistants. It’s a blessing to come here.”
Tom McCutcheon finished Reserve aboard Guns Last Chance (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Shiners Woman x Shining Spark), owned by White River Ag Products, with a 219 for $2,121.
Developing Horse Futurity, Section A, Levels 3 & 2
Stefano Calcagnini clinched both Levels 3 and 2 with a 218.5 aboard Shines Smokin Gun (Shine Chic Shine x Gunners Miss Oak x Gunner), worth a total of $3,613. Calcagnini said he was pleasantly surprised with the horse’s efforts in the arena. The class is all part of his preparation leading up to the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity in December.
“He is owned by Amabile and Strusiner; they’ve been longtime customers of mine,” Calcagnini said. “I haven’t had this horse very long. He was at Nathan Piper Reining Horses, and I kept training him after Nathan. He was pretty broke, so we got along right away and started to play around.”
The Pilot Point, Texas-based trainer has had Shines Smokin Gun since May and said it’s been smooth sailing since he got the horse in training.
“I feel pretty good and pretty confident,” the Italian native said. “The horse actually showed pretty good for me, and I’m looking forward for the next one, the Southwest Futurity, in preparation for the big futurity.”
In Level 3, Tim McQuay rode Lil Jersey (Yellow Jersey x Whiz N Darlin x Topsail Whiz) to a 218 for Reserve honors and $1,191 for Saddle Horn Farms, LLC. Garth Brown and Tinseltowns Dollface (Hollywoodstinseltown x Gunners Doll Face x Gunner) earned second in Level 2 with a 217.5, earning $838.29 for owner Domingo Alvarado.
Developing Horse Futurity, Section A, Level 1
Barak Gibori rode Xtra Black Fantasy (Wimpys Little Step x Footworks Fantasy x Hollywood Dun It) to a 218 to win Level 1 and $734. Gibori has only ridden the mare for a short period, but they are already firing on all cylinders.
“I just got her two months ago from Xtra [Quarter Horses], and I really like her,” Gibori said. “Eyal Carmon from Israel bought her, and I’m still getting to know her but she’s a really special mare. She’s really sweet and keeps getting better every day. We’re still adjusting to each other and getting to know each other, but she’s really nice.”
Gibori said the horse performed every maneuver well in their winning run, and he looks forward to his future with her at the big futurities.
“She did everything good today; she was there for me everywhere,” Gibori said. “She’s going to show in the Southwest [Reining Horse Association] Futurity and then in Oklahoma City [at the NRHA Futurity], and then she’s going to go back to Israel. I want to thank the owner for trusting me and buying that nice mare for me, and Tim and Colleen McQuay and their crew and sponsors for supporting us and providing everything we need.”
Developing Horse Futurity, Section B, continued on page 2