Ann Fonck had a night to remember at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby.
The decorated European reiner didn’t just win — she swept the top two spots and tied for third in the Level 4 Open during the finals in Kreuth, Germany.
Riding Shiners Voodoo for owner Kimberly Wegner, she performed an outstanding NRHA pattern No. 10 worth a 226.5 score which slid her straight to Level 4 Open Championship. The flashy 5-year-old stallion by Shiners Voodoo Dr out of BR China Rose (by Hollywood Dun It), bred by Patricia Blakeney Creson and nominated by Reto Erdin, has always been shown by Fonck and has an Equi-Stat record of more than $45,756 to his name.
Nine horses after showing Shiners Voodoo, Fonck rode her second mount, Made In Walla. She and the 7-year-old gelding by Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Hollywood Made (by Hollywood Dun It) owned by Sabine Lisec and Chuck Klipfel — bred by Leonardo Arcese and nominated by Ambrosini QH — laid down another great ride, worth a 225, which placed her second in the Level 4 Open.
They say good things come in threes; and the saying was definitely true for Fonck who also tied her third mount, Gunnerlicious (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Mifs Doll x Mifillena), for third place for owner Gina De Pauw after scoring a 222.5. McQuay Stables bred and nominated the 8-year-old double-registered APHA/AQHA stallion, who is a full brother to NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Champion Gunners Special Nite ($222,974).
“I am super thrilled with these results and I cannot thank the owners of these three horses for giving me the opportunity to train and show them,” said Fonck. “Voodoo was good for me from the go round we won straight to the finals. Made In Walla is the sweetest horse ever with a huge heart and Gunnerlicious is a super athletic horse with a personality you have to work around! Once again I have to repeat myself: there is no way I could have done all this without my husband, Bernard.”
The NRHA European Derby is open to 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-old horses nominated in the NRHA Nomination Program. Since 2009, foals have been required to be nominated to the program to be eligible to enter NRHA European Derby and Futurity. The nominator receives 5% of the money earned by the nominated horse at the two events, even if the horse is sold.
There has been overwhelming support of the NRHA Nomination Program since its inception. In 2017, the program’s eighth year, 1,589 weanlings were European-nominated, the most in the program’s history.
Derby Level 3 Open
French NRHA Professional Arnaud Girinon won the Level 3 Open by marking a 222 with DC Masterspecialnite. The 6-year-old stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Sire Gunners Special Nite out of Master Enterprise (by Master Snapper) is owned and nominated by Stephanie Benetierre, who purchased him in Argentina from breeder Haras Don Carlos.
“This is one of the best horses I have ever shown and I love him,” said the French professional. “I’ve had him in training for the past two years and he’s always been good to me. He truly deserves this win and I am thrilled for his owners who have placed complete trust in me.”
Derby Level 2 Open
NRHA Professional Markus Morawitz of Austria once again rode Josef and Tamara Ahorner’s Gunners Chic Magnet to another title after posting a 220.5. This time, it was the European Derby Level 2 Open Championship.
The 7-year-old stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $10 Million Sire Gunner out of Wind Her Up Chic (by Smart Chic Olena) was bred and nominated by Oldenburg Farm LLC. “This horse gets better all the time and I am really happy for this title especially considering the high number of entries and the incredible level of competition here,” Morawitz said.
Derby Level 1 Open
Taking reserve honors in the Level 2 division and claiming top honors in the Level 1 Open after posting a 218.5 was NRHA Professional of Germany Lena Felder riding Gunther Klose’s Lil Dunit Smart (Lil Peppy Dun It Right x Smart Katy Rio x Ill Be Smart), a 7-year-old stallion bred by Christine Bayer and nominated by Julia Giacalone.
“This win is particularity sweet since I got this horse in training only six weeks ago,” she said. “The level of competition here tonight was really high and I could not be any happier.”
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