horse running
Jonas Bujnoch and Mercedes Rooster • Photo by Tom Hautmann Photography

Czech Rider Leads Trio Of NRHA European Affiliate Champions

Jonas Bujnoch scored a historic first for his country at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Affiliate Championships in Kreuth, Germany.

It was a first for the Czech Republic as NRHA Professional Bujnoch claimed the highest step of the podium in the $570-added NRHA European Affiliate Rookie Professional Championship.

In a field of 17 riders, Bujnoch rode his own 6-year-old stallion, Mercedes Rooster (Cromed Out Mercedes x Rooster Ata Party x Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster]), to a 212.

“I expected to earn a higher score but I never imagined I would go home with the European title,” said the young professional who runs his own facility in the Czech Republic. “He’s an amazing horse with great looks, talent and is super minded.” Bujnoch also qualified his mount in the NRHA European Derby Level 2 and Level 1 Open finals.

The NRHA European Affiliate Rookie Professional Reserve Championship went to NRHA Professional Barbara Bayer of Austria and Where Does Rosy Go (Dancing On Diamonds x Sugar Bay Miss x Miss N Cash). The Austrian professional and Brigitte Polly’s 7-year-old mare closed their run with a 210.5.

Intermediate Non-Pro

Winning the $3,520-added NRHA European Affiliate Intermediate Non Pro Championship with a 216 was Dries Verschueren riding Smart N Sparkin, a 10-year-old stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $13 Million Sire Smart Chic Olena owned by Golden Paint Ranch.

“This is a great horse that I have the honor of owning and riding. He has won over $106,000 NRHA Lifetime Earnings with [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Bernard Fonck in the saddle,” said an enthused Verschueren. “I am thrilled with this Championship and am very fortunate to have the best coach ever, Fonck!”

Smart N Sparkin is a son of Setting Off Sparks, a Shining Spark mare that has produced winners with an Equi-Stat record of more than $581,763.

Limited Non-Pro

Emma Villa, of Italy, claimed the Limited Non-Pro Championship and the Intermediate Non-Pro Reserve Championship, with Kidding Chicory.

She and her 13-year-old stallion took the title with a 215.5. He is a son of Mr Tori Kid out of Genuine Chicory (by Genuine Doc).

“I have owned this horse since last year after one of [NRHA Professional] Davide Brighenti’s clients sold him to me. He’s an incredibly talented and sweet stallion and I love him to death,” said Villa. “Earning the Championship as well as a Reserve Championship, on top of second place in the NRHA Limited and Intermediate Non Pro ancillary classes is simply incredible and he truly deserves to be on the podium.”

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Ann Fonck