The pedigrees of many of the finalists for the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) National Reining Horse Association Futurity contain names familiar to many American fans of the sport.
Multiple NRHA Open World Champion Ann Fonck, of Belgium, and Smart Little Ruffle had top scores in the €390,000-Euro-added Level 4 Open division with a 441.5. Owned by Brigette Steiner, the mare by Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Sire Smart Spook out of Ruffle Me Up (by Lil Ruf Peppy) was bred by Greg L. Hill.
The pair had tied for the highest score in the first qualifier with a 221 and went on to top the composite score after posting a 220.5 in the second go-round.
Before making her way to Cremona, where the Futurity is being held, Smart Little Ruffle had already accumulated more than $3,747 after placing sixth in the Belgium Snaffle Bit Futurity and taking third place honors in the NRHA Germany Breeders Futurity with Fonck in the saddle.
Another Belgian horsewoman, Cira Baeck, took the second-highest composite score, a 441. She and NF Shining Whiz (Colonels Shining Gun x Whowhizthispeppychic x Who Whiz It) marked a 220 after having posted a 221 to tie for the lead in the first qualifier. The mare is owned by David Perneel and Kim Windey and bred by David Perneel.
Level 3 Open
In the €75,000 Euro-added Level 3 Open, Manuel Cortesi topped the composite score by posting a 219 in the first go-round and a 220.5 in the second riding PC Tinsel Whiz (Hollywoodstinseltown x PC Sliderina Whiz x Topsail Whiz), owned and bred by Az. Agr. Cortesi Piero. The Italian rider also had the second-highest composite score, a 437.5 (218.5/219) aboard PC Fogger Dream, a reiner by Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Sire Magnum Chic Dream out of Fogger Lady (by Gemini Pine), also owned and bred by Az. Agr. Cortesi Piero.
Levels 2, 1
Gal Grahelj firmly holds on to the leading composite score, a 437, in the €35,00 Euro-added Level 2 & €15,000 Euro-added Level 1. Grahelj marked the composite aboard Katja Zrimsek’s Walla Whiz A Dun It, a stallion by Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Walla Walla Whiz out of The Bun Is Dun (by Hollywood Dun It), bred by Susan Jones.
The finals of Europe’s highest paying Futurity open to 3-year-old horses enrolled in the Italian breeding program IRHBA will take place on Saturday, Dec. 15. For more details, visit http://www.futurity.it/it/.
For more information on the Western performance horse industry’s leading stallions, order a copy of the Quarter Horse News Stallion Register at shop.quarterhorsenews.com.