The Florida Reining Classic, held Feb. 22-25 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in Jacksonville, Florida, beckoned limited-age and ancillary riders alike to its warmer climate. Both types of exhibitors competed together during the Open and Non-Pro derbies, allowing the horses to make fewer trips through the show pen and the competitors to run for more money.
The Derby Level 4 Open Championship went to Luckie Moonstone, a 5-year-old stallion son of Spooks Gotta Gun, and Equi-Stat Elite $6 Million Rider Shawn Flarida. The duo scored a big 230.5 for the win and banked $5,337.
“The little horse is just awesome-minded,” Flarida said. “I’ve had good luck with him. I made the [National Reining Horse Association (NRHA)] Futurity finals on him and the [NRHA] Derby finals, and had some success in other finals also. But last night, he just finally got it all together. He was just a ton of fun to show last night.”
With $36,045 on his record, the stallion is sitting fourth on dam My Lucky Moonstone’s offspring record. My Lucky Moonstone (by Topsail Whiz) has produced 21 money-earners that have collected a total of $379,221, and her top earners include Whiz N Starlight ($74,806, by Starlights Wrangler), What A Lucky Hit ($63,512, by Hit The Lights) and Moonstone Mega ($53,431, by Marthas Mega Jac). The 1995 mare boasts career earnings of $43,553 herself.
“He’s really docile, he’s been real quiet,” Flarida said of Luckie Moonstone. “He has a lot of feel when you’re riding him, with his belly and stuff. Super smart.
“His dad, Spooks Gotta Gun, I had a chance to ride him,” he continued. “He’s a really good horse, and of course this horse’s mother [My Lucky Moonstone] is just, she speaks for herself. She was awesome. He’s supposed to be a good horse.”
“Luckie” was bred by Loren Booth’s Booth Ranches, of Orange Grove, California, and sports the BR brand on his hip. He belongs to Jason Dobrinski and has been in Flarida’s program since he was 3 years old. Flarida said becoming a sire could be in Luckie’s future, but for now, they will continue to keep showing and trying to build up the stallion’s record.
“I can’t thank the horse and my owner enough for being patient with me and giving me the opportunity to keep riding such a nice horse,” he said.
Derby Level 3 Open
Taking the Derby Level 3 Open Championship were Tinseltown Flash and Robin Schoeller. They marked a 225.5 for the title, which also tied for Reserve in Level 4, and collected $2,528 for the Championship.
Prior to the Florida Reining Classic, Tinseltown Flash and Schoeller earned a whopping $32,843 when they won the All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Open. The 6-year-old stallion has lifetime earnings of $83,177.
Tinseltown Flash is by Hollywoodstinseltown and out of the Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) mare Billie Gun Flash. He was bred by McQuay Stables and is owned by Ruoff Dietter Reining Horses.
Derby Levels 2 & 1 Open
In the Derby Open, Twistin Da Nite Away carried Shannon Rafacz to the Levels 2 and 1 Championships after marking a 223. The 4-year-old mare (Gunners Special Nite x Wimpys Dun Twistin x Wimpys Little Step), who was bred by RJP Group II LLC, is owned by Grace Reiners LLC.
Their latest titles, which came with a total of $2,603, boosted Twistin Da Nite Away to earnings of $8,700 and Rafacz to nearly $560,000. They also collected the Derby Novice Horse Level 2 Open title and an additional $946.