Champions Colonels Dancing Gun and Gennaro Lendi wowed the crowd in the NRHA European Futurity Open finals. • Photo by Andrea Bonaga.

Spectacular Finale: Lendi & Colonels Dancing Gun Stars of NRHA European Futurity

Spectators at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity were glued to their seats until the very last Open horse-rider combination entered the pen.

Leaving the best for last in the €143,750 ($177,800) -added event, was the duo that took the Level 4 Open title: NRHA Professional Gennaro Lendi and Quarter Dream’s Colonels Dancing Gun.

Aboard the American Quarter Horse stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $10 Million Sire Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) and out of Dance Little Spook (by Smart Spook), Lendi performed a powerful and precise NRHA pattern No. 10; the crowd loved it, and so did the judges. The winning score was a 226.5!

“I am thrilled with my very first [European Futurity Open] title,” said the Italian professional. “In the qualifier, we had a major penalty, so we made it to the finals through the Consolation. I’ve had this horse since the beginning of this year. He is truly a star, and I cannot thank the owners enough for giving me the opportunity to show him here.”

The stallion was bred and nominated by his owner, Quarter Dream of Italy. Pietro Marseglia — owner of the Italian facility — was thrilled with the win.

“We bred this horse and his dam, Dance Little Spook, won the Italian Open Futurity with [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Rudi Kronsteiner in the saddle,” he said. “Winning this event is twice as special for us!”

The Level 4 Open Reserve Championship went to NRHA Professional of Germany Dominik Reminder, who had set the bar early in the second section by scoring a 223 aboard Call Me Mr Voodoo (Shiners Voodoo Dr x Arc Sassy Snapper x Snapper Cal Bar). The stallion was bred and nominated by his owner, Elisabetta Zoccarato.

Level 3

With two horses qualified for the finals, NRHA Professional Lukas Czechowicz of Poland clinched the Futurity Level 3 Open Championship with a 221 riding CGS Piggiemove. The stallion by Colonels Shining Gun out of Roosters Hot Piq (by Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster]) was bred and nominated by his owner, Katarzyna Roleska.

A half-point behind, Czechowicz also took co-reserve honors riding Winchesteratomic (Colonels Shining Gun x BRS Freckles Payday x Big Red Solano), another horse owned, bred and nominated by Katarzyna Roleska.

“These are my first European Futurity titles, and I could not be any happier,” said the young Polish professional who works out of Roleski Ranch. “I started working for Roleski four years ago and this was the first foal crop I broke and trained. It’s all very special, and I would like to thank Kate and all the Roleski team for supporting and trusting me with these super horses.”

Katarzyna Roleska’s breeding program proved its worth in Cremona. The Polish reining enthusiast, host of the past NRHA European Affiliate Championships, owned, bred and nominated five horses that made the Open finals.

Tying for reserve honors in the L3 division was NRHA Professional Mirko Midili of Italy with Angelina Shining Gun (Colonels Shining Gun x Miss Alex Cody x Im A Topsail Cody) for owner Asia Vimercati. The mare was bred by Tamara Pavlovic and nominated by Fabio Polesel.

Level 2

It was a special night for NRHA Professional Adriano Meacci who took both the Championship and Reserve Championship in the Level 2 Open.

The Italian professional claimed first place honors with a 214.5 aboard Topsail Chic Dun It (LMC Im Topsail Dunit x Topolena Pride x Spat Olena) for owner Alessandro Tedone. The stallion was bred and nominated by Shenandoah Ranch.

In the Reserve Championship, Meacci rode Im A Bad Diamond (AB Captain Badger x Im A Queen Diamonds x Doctor In Diamonds) to a 214 for owners Amleto Angeletti and Romina Rossi. The gelding was bred and nominated by Angelucci Quarter Horses.

Level 1

The Level 1 Open Championship was a tie between NRHA Professional riders Petra Van Ede and Andrea Napolitano. Each rider marked a 213.5.

Van Ede, of Holland, nabbed her first NRHA European Open Futurity title with the Co-Championship aboard Cee U In Tinseltown. The mare (Hollywoodstinseltown x Miss Wimpy Hollywood x Wimpys Little Step) is owned and bred by Gisela Haas. She was nominated by Haas’ husband, Paulus Beurskens.

Napolitano earned the title aboard Calimero Whiz, a stallion by Hesa Mega Whiz (out of Geny Olena, by Spat Olena), owned by Alessandra Sacchetti. The horse was bred by Sara Bevilacqua and nominated by Andrea Castrucci.

The event open to 4-year-old horses nominated in the NRHA Nomination Program, once again proved to be a success. Riders from more than 15 nations participated in the competition.

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