Man riding a horse
Spook Sunburst & Bernard Fonck. Photo by Andrea Bonaga.

Dates Changed For Italian Reining Horse Association Futurity

The largest reining event in Europe is moving up in the calendar this year. The €647,000 (roughly $726,000)-added Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity show will now be held in November in Cremona, Italy.

The 2019 IRHA/Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association (IRHBA)/NRHA Futurity — held concurrently with the finals of the Italian championship—to November 22-30. The decision was made in accordance with the organizing committee and main partners of the event following the 2019 NRHA Futurity date change announced last week.

Last year, the Italian Reining Horse Futurity show was held from Dec. 7-15.  Equi-Stat Elite$2 Million Rider Bernard Fonck, of Belgium, took the Level 4 Open Championship aboard Spook Sunburst (by Great Sun Burst) and Spaniard Andreu Nogue Puig swept all four levels of the Futurity Non-Pro aboard A Whiz N Cash (by Custom Cash Advance).

The change in dates means the Italian show will now conclude just as the sport’s largest event, the NRHA Futurity and North American Affiliate Championship show, gets underway in Oklahoma City. The NRHA Board of Directors recently announced the 2019 NRHA Futurity will be held from Nov. 28 to Dec. 7 at State Fair Park.

Roberto Cuoghi, president of the IRHA, said the change will allow Europeans who show at the Italian event to also attend the NRHA Futurity finals.

“Reining today is truly an international sport and I believe it would hurt our industry to host the finals of two of the world’s most important events on the same date,” Cuoghi said in a statement. “Following the decision made by NRHA to move the dates back, we took on the responsibility of doing our utmost to allow owners, breeders, and European athletes to make their way to Oklahoma City for the NRHA Futurity finals. The response worldwide has been positive and I would like to thank the organizing committee and main partners of the event for accepting this challenge.”

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