Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the Tulsa Reining Classic continued with flashy reining horses and top-notch competition at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with the advent of two highly competitive but separate futurities.
Ruben Vandorp and Spooks Gotta Shoot (Spooks Gotta Gun x Lipstick Lies x Dynamite Badger), owned by Laurie Hauck, topped the Equo Developing Horse Futurity in both Levels 4 and 3. They scored a 218 to claim the championships.
Vandorp and the 3-year-old stallion worked well as a team despite their short partnership together, and their showing in Tulsa promises a bright future.
“We’re just getting to know each other,” Vandorp said. “I had a blast on him. He did everything I asked him to do and I was so happy; he felt like a real show horse in there.”
Vandorp said the win is special for him because it was the first time Hauck had the opportunity to watch him show, making the day especially emotional for the team. All totaled, they collected $5,586.
The Equo Developing Horse Futurity Levels 2 and 1 champ was Nicole Schneider-Westset riding Donttinkerwithmygun (Tinker With Guns x Starbucks Sassy Sara x Smart Starbuck), owned by Triple U Quarter Horses. The duo marked a 217 to take the win.
“This horse can really, really stop,” Schneider-Westset said admiringly. “She’s a pretty special mare with a big heart and always tries.”
Schneider-Westset said she took each maneuver one at a time and focused on showing the 3-year-old mare correctly.
“I tried to show the horse I had and not over-show her, and it worked out,” she said.
Schneider-Westset and Donttinkerwithmygun also took home the reserve championships in the Equo Developing Horse Futurity Levels 4 and 3. The duo collected a total of $5,444.
Stefano Calcagnini and KR Crackerjack won the championship in the Tamarack Ranch Developing Horse Futurity in both Levels 4 and 3 with a score of 219.5 for owner Donadeo Stables ASD.
For their first time in the show pen, Calcagnini couldn’t have been more proud of the 3-year-old stallion, who is by Smart Spook and out of A Ruf Mistress (by Lil Ruf Peppy).
“My run was consistent. I just tried to stay out of his way,” Calcagnini said. “He was pretty focused and went through the pattern really easy.”
For Calcagnini it was two in a row, as he won the Developing Horse Futurity in 2017 as well. He and KR Crackerjack earned a total of $5,603 for their efforts in the Tamarack Ranch Developing Horse Futurity.
Patrice St Onge and Little Thunder Whiz topped the Tamarack Ranch Developing Horse Futurity Level 2 with a score of 217. The duo’s first time in the show pen together started rather conservatively, but they finished strong for the win. St Onge said the 3-year-old, by Who Whiz It and out of Little Smart Jac (by Smart Little Lena), came into his stride during the run.
“I could have trusted him a little bit more in his turn around — that was my fault,” St Onge admitted. “The more he went, the more I felt like he was really hooked up and doing his job, so I just relaxed and let him do his job and he got better and better. I’m very, very excited about it.”
St Onge has had Little Thunder Whiz since he was a yearling, and after their performance, he is hopeful for his future. The duo picked up $1,310 for owner Cheryl Lauder.
Mike Flarida and Xtra Little Playgirl scored a 216 to claim the Tamarack Ranch Developing Horse Futurity Level 1 Championship, worth $792 for owner Patrice Schreiber.
Flarida took the opportunity to school the 3-year-old mare by Wimpys Little Step and out of Playin For Crome (by Custom Crome) in Tuesday’s schooling class, which boosted his confidence going into Wednesday’s show.
“I let her down a little bit in my last stop because I kind of leaned back. I didn’t look forward and I leaned back,” Flarida admitted. “But, she was good everywhere else. She showed really true.”
Xtra Little Playgirl’s joyful personality made an impression on Flarida. He enjoys riding her and showing her well.
“She’s probably one of the most fun horses I’ve shown in a long time. She’s very easy to show and she’s got a lot of personality,” he said. “She’s an easy horse to get along with.”