With 72 horses in the Derby Open, the Cactus Reining Classic showcased talented riders late into the night on March 24. For a while, Ifwhizswereguns and Andrea Fappani were in the lead after marking a 229.5, until Martin Muehlstaetter and Spooks Grand Slam took over with a 231. But Fappani wasn’t done yet.
Riding Epic Titan from the 66th draw, Fappani guided the striking sorrel and white stallion through pretty circles, fast spins and solid stops, and the judges awarded the duo with a 233.5. They collected a check worth $13,749 for owner Clinton Anderson.
Epic Titan, who is by Equi-Stat Elite $10 Million Sire Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner), is out of Anderson’s great mare Princess In Diamonds (by Shining Spark), a producer of more than $880,000. She is the dam of four horses that have won more than $100,000, including Whizkey N Diamonds ($224,020, by Topsail Whiz), Cromed Out Mercedes ($146,645, by Custom Crome), Surprizentheprincess ($141,256, by Jerry Lees Surprise) and Chicsdreamofdiamonds ($108,110, by Magnum Chic Dream). This was 5-year-old Epic Titan’s first paycheck.
Muehlstaetter and Spooks Grand Slam (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shiney Diamond Lady x Shining Spark) took the Level 4 Reserve Championship and were the champions in Level 3. Overall they garnered $14,533. The Bobby Lewis-bred stallion, who is owned by Muehlstaetter and his wife, Kim, now boasts $46,215. In 2017, he and Kim won the Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro at the Reining By The Bay and High Roller Reining Classic, then tied for third at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.
Fappani and Rancho Oso Rio’s Ifwhizswereguns (Spooks Gotta Gun x Ifwhizweredollars x Topsail Whiz), who was bred by Tanya Jenkins and landed the 2016 High Roller Reining Classic Futurity Level 4 Open title, ended up third, banking $6,277. Fappani also rode Arcese Quarter Horses-bred Wimpys Lil Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Wimpys Little Chic x Wimpys Little Step), who tied for fifth and collected $4,483 for owner Freddie Brasfield.