Ann Fonck was fourth to enter the first section of the first go of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby Level 4 Open, but 75 horses later nobody had been able to knock her and Shiners Voodoo off the top of the leaderboard.
The 222.5 marked by Fonck and the 5-year-old stallion by Shiners Voodoo Dr out of BR China Rose (by Hollywood Dun It) was the highest score of the first section of the prestigious show held in Kreuth, Germany.
Following the second section of the Derby Open qualifier, which will take place on Tuesday, July 25, the Derby Open finalists will be determined. Those that did not make it to the finals will have a chance the following day to make their way to the closing night finals on Saturday through the Open Consolation.
The 2018 NRHA European Derby is open to 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-old horses. The NRHA European Affiliate Championships are held in conjunction with the Derby.
Since 2009, foals have been required to nominate to the NRHA Nomination Program to be eligible to enter both the NRHA European Derby and Futurity to win added money created by the program and to earn nominator incentives.
Derby Level 3 Open Qualifier
The highest score in the Derby Level 3 Open qualifier went to Italian NRHA Professional Lorenzo De Simone and Smoking Dun It. He and the 2011 gelding (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Dun Its Déjà Vu x Hollywood Dun It) owned by rode Azienda Agricola 23 marked a 220 in the $40,585-added class.
The horse was nominated by his breeder, McQuay Stables, of Tioga, Texas. Last year, De Simone and Smoking Dun It won the NRHA European Derby Level 2 Open Championship.
Derby Level 2 Open Qualifier
Two riders marked a 218 in the Derby Level 2 Open qualifier
Israeli NRHA Professional Yoav Sugar hit the mark with Heidigun (Gunnatrashya x Heidi Sailor x Frozen Sailer), a 2013 mare owned by Eyal Carmon and nominated by Angelucci Quarter Horses, of Ladispoli, Italy.
NRHA Professional Markus Morawitz also scored a 218 in the $23,191-added division riding Gunners Chic Magnet, a 7-year-old stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $10 Million Sire Gunner out of Wind Her Up Chic (by Smart Chic Olena). Owned by Mag. Joseph and Tamara Ahorner, Gunners Chic Magnet was nominated by Oldenburg Farm LLC, of Mequon, Wisonsin.
Derby Open Level 1 Qualifier
In the $11,595-added Level 1 division, two NRHA Professionals scored a 213.5 to lead the first section. The first was Jonas Bujnoch of the Czech Republic, who rode his own Mercedes Rooster (Cromed Out Mercedes x Rooster Ata Party x Gallo Del Cielo [Rooster]), a 6-year-old stallion bred and nominated by breeder Werner Filler, of Schweiggers, Austria.
Italian Nico Sicuro secured the mark with Spooks Midnight, an 8-year-old owned by Francesco Mazza, of Vanzghello, Italy. The son of Spooks Gotta Gun out of Smart Dottie(by Arc Tora Tora) was bred and nominated by his owner.
Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Qualifier
Austrian Ulrike Krueger forged her way to the lead in three divisions – Levels 4, 3, and 2 – of the European Derby Non-Pro qualifier. She did it by marking a 218.g aboard SL Shesgotmesparklin, a 6-year-old daughter of Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Sire Jacs Electric Spark out of Shes Customized (by Custom Crome). The mare was bred and nominated by Sandra Linnig-Foehl, of Deggenhausertal, Germany.
“I’ve had my mare ever since she was 18 months old and it’s been great to grow up with her, get to know her and better my riding skills,” Krueger said in a statement. “Along with my ‘reining dad’ [NRHA Professional] Chuck Klipfel, I have to give credit to [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Bernard Fonck and his wife Ann, who always help me at shows, and to my companion of 13 years who has always lived my reining journey with me.”
Derby Level 1 Non-Pro Qualifier
In the Level 1 Non-Pro, German rider Christian Orth took the lead in the qualifier with SR Holly Whiza Dream. He and the 6-year-old mare (Magnum Chic Dream x Holly Dun Conquista x Conquistador Whiz) marked a 215.5. The mare was nominated by her breeder, Reinhard Orth, of Neukirchen-Seelscheid, Germany.
The European Derby Non-Pro Consolation will be held on Tuesday, July 24. Riders who did not qualify for the finals will have a chance to earn a ticket to the Friday finals through the Consolation itself.
For complete coverage of the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.