Equita Lyon is host to the seventh edition of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby. Open to 4-, 5-, 6- and 7-year-old horses enrolled in the NRHA European Nomination Program, the Open and Non-Pro Derby is run in a qualifier and clean slate finals.
As the Salon du Cheval de Lyon opened the doors to the public, the reining arena in Hall 6 opened the gate to 75 professional riders taking part in the € 93,647.90-added European Derby Open qualifier. Vying for a spot in the finals and showcasing reining at its best, NRHA professionals representing nine European nations left their mark in the show pen. Multiple past NRHA Open World Champion Ann Fonck led the rankings riding Chuck Klipfel and Sabine Lisec’s Made In Walla to a 221.5, the top score of the qualifying go-round. By Walla Walla Whiz and out of Hollywood Made (by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Hollywood Dun It), Made In Walla boasts close to $70,000 in lifetime earnings and is a past NRHA European Futurity Open Champion.
“He is simply a fantastic horse, and I love him to death,” said Fonck about the 6-year-old gelding.
The Belgian professional also posted the second-highest score of the day – a 221 – riding Golden Paint Ranch’s Spook N Perla (Smart Spook x Shine On Ruff x Lil Ruff Peppy). The pair already left their mark in Lyon in 2015 when they took the NRHA France 3- & 4-Year-Old Futurity Open Championship.
Once the last competitor left the arena, 38 open riders had secured a spot in the NRHA European Derby Open finals, which will be held on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The NRHA European Derby Non-Pro qualifier will be held Thursday, Nov. 2. The finals will be held on Sunday, Nov. 5.
NRHA European Derby Non-Pro
The NRHA European Derby Non-Pro go-round, counting 75 entries, saw Anna Lisec and This Wimps So Fly (Wimpys Little Step x Fly Flashy Jac x Boggies Flashy Jac), owned by Sabine Lisec, claim a 218.5 to lead the go-round.
“’Fly’ is Fly, and he is simply amazing,” said the young rider from Austria, who has been riding the flashy palomino – who boasts more than $51,000 in lifetime earnings – since 2014 and has won multiple titles on him.
“I am really happy to have also qualified my other horse, Start A Revolution, for the finals, even though we had a couple of bobbles,” Lisec added about her mount by Einsteins Revolution and out of Plenty Of Rest (by Custom Crome), owned by Sabine Lisec and Chuck Klipfel.
A half point behind, Edoardo Bernardelli, of Italy, rode his Wimpys Little Chees (Wimpys Little Step x Tuck Oak Enterprise x ARC Oak Enterprise) to the second-highest score of the day.
The NRHA European Derby Non-Pro finals will see 35 horse-and-rider combinations perform in the Equita Lyon reining arena vying for the title on Sunday, Nov. 5.