Each year, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show features the world’s most elite competitors in the sport of reining. To highlight this talent, NRHA created a new event, thrilling for both spectators and reiners alike.
The Futurity Level 4 Open Silver Spurs Equine semifinal took place today in the Jim Norick Arena. Also sponsored by Not Ruf At All, the top 75 horses (plus ties) in the Level 4 Open division from the first go-round, with competitors giving it all they had in hopes of making it to the $575,000-added NRHA Open Futurity Finals on Saturday, rode into the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City today. The horse-and-rider teams with the highest combined score from the first go-round and semifinals will advance to the finals and will compete head-to-head for the winner’s $150,000 guaranteed paycheck on Saturday night.
The exhilarating competition closed with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary, who slid Tinker With Dreams (Tinker With Guns x This Chicsdundreamin x Magnum Chic Dream) to a 221.5, bringing his composite to a 443. Owned, nominated, and bred by Rhodes River Ranch, the stallion and Deary lead the Level 4 Open semifinal.
“This is an incredibly athletic horse, and I’ve had a lot of help from his owners since we showed in Las Vegas at the High Roller Reining Classic,” Deary said. “There is nothing physically he can’t do; he’s a fun horse to ride and very intelligent. You have to keep him occupied.”
With a composite score of 442.5, NRHA Professional Franco Bertolani took second-place honors in the Level 4 Open semifinal, riding Masked Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Dun It For Chex x Hollywood Dun It), a stallion owned, bred, and nominated by Cardinal Hill Training Center LLC.
The top score of the day in the Level 4 Open semifinal was Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Rider Andrea Fappani on All American Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x All Ruffed Up x Lil Ruf Peppy), an NRHA/Markel Insurance Sale graduate. The powerful stallion – owned by Cuoghi Reining Horses USA Inc., bred by Petra Zeitler, and nominated by Harper Conner – closed his powerful run with a 222.5, bringing his composite to a 441.
“He did pretty good for me today and has been wonderful for me this year,” said Fappani about his 2017 All American Congress NRHA Open Reining Futurity Champion. “In the first go, I tried to stay out of the penalty box, and usually when you show like that you have to make up for it afterward. I changed my mindset, and it worked out!”