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Luca Fappani Sweeps Derby Non-Pro

The Reining By The Bay Derby Non-Pro hosted 46 horse-and-rider teams, and it was 14-year-old Luca Fappani who marked a 220 to beat each one of his elders aboard Spooks N Jewels. The duo swept Levels 4, 3, 2 and 1, and took the Youth 13 & Under Championship, as well!

“It feels good; it feels good to do good on my mom’s horse,” Fappani said. “He’s really fun to ride, and I like having him at home and my Mom giving me the opportunity to show him.”

Fappani has only been competing for two years, but he has already amassed nearly $28,000 in earnings, including the $22,513 he won for his Derby Non-Pro titles in California.

“I’ve only been riding ‘Journey’ for a few months now. My mom bought him as a yearling, and we’ve been training him up since then,” Fappani said of the now 5-year-old stallion, bred by Courtney Brockmueller, of Whitesboro, Texas.

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Jose Vazquez took the Derby Non-Pro Level 4 reserve title aboard Like Shiner – Photo by Katie Marchetti

Fappani’s mom, Tish, has piloted Spooks N Jewels (Smart Spook x Whiz Jewels x Topsail Whiz) several paychecks, including the 2017 National Reining Breeders Classic Level 3 Non-Pro Championship. With his most recent wins, the horse pushed his Equi-Stat record past the $90,000 mark.

“The best thing about him is that he’s really solid,” Fappani explained. “He does everything really well. He turned really good and he stopped huge out there. I was very happy with him.”

Jose Vazquez and Like Shiner, who marked a 219 from the last draw, earned the Reserve title. The 2012 mare, who is by Smart Like Juice and out of Wind Her Up Shiner (by Shining Spark), traveled more than 2,000 miles to compete at the Reining By Bay.

“It was a long trip for us,” said Vazquez, who walked away from the pay window with $9,640. “I didn’t work the horses as hard preparing for the finals because they were tired from the trip. I’m happy that we still did well after that!”