The High Roller Reining Classic wrapped up Sept. 16 with the Lucas Oil Derby and the Whizkey N Diamonds Stakes Open. With 142 horses and riders competing over Friday and Saturday, there were bound to be some big runs and even bigger competition.
ARC Gunnabeabigstar and Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Jordan Larson did not disappoint. They came from one of the final draws to score a big 230, taking the Derby Level 4 Open Championship and $16,465 for owner HDC Quarter Horses, of Coral Gables, Florida. “Big Star” is by Gunnatrashya and out of Wimpys Little Chic (by Wimpys Little Step), the first National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Triple Crown winner.
Big Star already had lifetime earnings of $271,740 before arriving at the High Roller. With his latest paycheck, the 6-year-old Arcese Quarter Horses-bred stallion was pushed to more than $288,000. He is Gunnatrashya’s highest-earning offspring and is a half-brother to Shesouttayourleague (by Walla Walla Whiz, $260,782).
Stakes Level 4 Open
The Whizkey N Diamonds Stakes showcases 4-year-old horses, allowing them to compete in their own division while also running against older horses. Ifwhizswereguns, bred by Tanya Jenkins, won the High Roller Futurity Level 4 Open the previous year, and a 226.5 by the stallion and Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Andrea Fappani held the top score for a little while.
Ultimately the duo settled for the Derby Level 4 Open Reserve Championship and the Stakes Level 4 Open Championship. Ifwhizswereguns (Spooks Gotta Gun x Ifwhizsweredollars x Topsail Whiz) collected a total of $24,658, elevating his lifetime earnings to $61,755. The stallion belongs to Rancho Oso Rio LLC, of Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Stakes Level 4 Open Reserve Championship went to Turnabout Farm Inc.-bred Modern Gun (Gunners Special Nite x Taris Modern Design x Mr Boomerjac) and Duane Latimer, who marked a 225. They also placed third in the Derby Level 4, collecting $16,426 for owner MS Stables.
Derby Level 3 Open
In the Derby Level 3 Open, Ruf Lil Magnum carried Thiago Boechat to a 223.5 for Silver Spurs Equine, winning the Derby Level 3 Open. They also tied for seventh in Level 4.
The stallion (Magnum Chic Dream x Dunit A Lil Ruf x Lil Ruf Peppy), who was bred by Ann Salmon Anderman, banked $12,374. He now boasts earnings of more than $71,000.
Stakes Level 3 Open
The Stakes Level 3 Open Co-Championship and a paycheck worth $6,305 went to two different horse-and-rider duos. Both The Best Gunner, ridden by Eduardo Salgado, as well as Gunnawowya, under the saddle of Todd Sommers, marked a 222 for the title. The pairs additionally tied for seventh in the Stakes Level 4 Open, Reserve in the Derby Level 3 Open and 14th in Level 4, adding another $8,217.
The Best Gunner (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Pearlly Handles x Gun Start) was bred by Darling 888 Ranch LLC and is owned by Ubere Agro Pecuaria, of Gainesville, Texas. He more than tripled his lifetime earnings to $21,197.
Stephany Monteleone, of Metairie, Louisiana, owns Gunnawowya (Gunnatrashya x Dark Pine Wheels x Wheeling Freckles), who had $6,930 in Equi-Stat prior to the High Roller Reining Classic. Now, the Andelia Robinette-bred stallion boasts $21,452.
Derby Level 2 Open
Earlier this year, ARC Gunna Mark Ya and Abby Lengel won the Classic Level 2 Open at the National Reining Breeders Classic. They came to the High Roller and marked a 221.5 for the Derby Level 2 Open Championship.
The duo also tied for fifth in Level 3 and 18th in Level 4, collecting a total of $7,135. ARC Gunna Mark Ya is by Gunnatrashya and out of the Shining Spark mare Shiney Miss Marker. She was bred by Arcese Quarter Horses.
Stakes Level 2 Open
Special Made Whiskey, a son of Gunners Special Nite, carried Amanda Antifaer to a 220.5 to win the Stakes Level 2 Open and also take Reserve in the Derby Level 2 Open. They additionally tied for seventh in the Derby Level 3 Open, sixteenth in the Stakes Level 4 and fourth in the Stakes Level 3.
The John Stiver-bred stallion (out of Starlight Acres x Paddys Irish Whiskey) took home a total of $10,728 for owner Gordon Robinson, of Granum, Alberta, Canada, greatly multiplying his previous earnings of $260.
Derby & Stakes Level 1 Open
Two horse-and-rider duos tied to take both the Derby and Stakes Level 1 Open co-championships. Both Baileys Sidekick and Trent Harvey, as well as Shiney Chexy Chic and Colin Fitzpatrick, marked a 219.5, taking $2,132 home each for their new titles.
Baileys Sidekick (Gunners Special Nite x A Shining Sidekick x Starbucks Sidekick) was bred by Turnabout Farm Inc. and is owned by Kathy Thompson, of Amarillo, Texas. He and Harvey also tied for 11th in the Derby Level 3 Open and sixth in the Stakes Level 3 Open, collecting another $3,171. Altogether, they went home with $10,409.
Victoria Lambert’s mare Shiney Chexy Chic (Shine Chic Shine x TH Great Big Chex x ML Great Badger) and Fitzpatrick tied for 11th in the Derby Level 3 Open and sixth in the Stakes Level 3 Open for another $3,171. The Robert Sutherland-bred mare is approaching $20,000 in lifetime earnings.
For complete coverage of the High Roller Reining Classic, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.