Andrea Fappani, an Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Rider and 2018 Equi-Stat Reining Open Rider of the Year, added a sixth Cactus Reining Classic Derby Open title to his collection as he rode Shine Plum Shine to victory in the Derby Level 4 Open at the Scottsdale, Arizona show. The 5-year-old gelding (Shine Chic Shine x Plum Reyning x Mr Solano Rey), bred by Rosanne Sternberg, of Aubrey, Texas, scored a 231 that earned them a $13,630 paycheck.
Fappani’s other Cactus Reining Classic Derby champions include: Tinker With Guns, who won back-to-back victories in 2011-2012; SG Frozen Enterprise, the 2015 Level 4 Open Champion; Platinum Vintage, who won the 2016 title; and 2018 Derby Level 4 Open Champion Epic Titan.
Marco Ricotta rode Shine Plum Shine to the 2017 High Roller Reining Classic Futurity Level 3 Open Reserve championship and to a tie for the Level 3 Open Championship at the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity. Fappani, who Ricotta used to work for, bought Shine Plum Shine from Story Book Stables.
“I always liked the horse when I saw Marco ride him,” Fappani said. “When I heard they would sell him, I decided to buy him for Pat Warren [who owns Rancho Oso Rio LLC, where Fappani trains]. I wasn’t sure if he would step up to be a top Level 4 horse for me, but I knew that if he didn’t, he would be a great non-pro horse for Pat.”
Fappani said the Cactus Reining Classic was Shine Plum Shine’s first big show he has taken him to.
“I spent the last few months trying to adapt him to my training and trying to get to know him as much as possible,” Fappani said. “I feel that we are closer to where we need to be but that, for sure, we still have a lot of work to do together.”
Shine Plum Shine’s very natural stops and spins were where he got most of his points toward the championship, Fappani said. He added the gelding’s circles are his weakest maneuver and are what they are working on the most.
“I didn’t push him as fast as I could in the circles, but I feel that it was a nice, clean run, and I’m very happy that his mind stayed with me the whole time.”
Shine Plum Shine was to be given a week off to relax following the Cactus Reining Classic, then, “he will be back to work to get ready for our next show [the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC)].”
“I love showing at the Cactus,” Fappani said about what keeps him returning to the show. “It’s the perfect place to see where you are in your preparation for the NRBC. And, it’s great because it’s close to home for us, and it’s a great facility.
The Cactus Reining Classic was indeed a great show for Team Fappani this year. Erik Caddeo, who has worked three years for Fappani and just started showing last year, rode Trashy Spookshow (Gunnatrashya x Spook Off Sparks x Smart Spook), a 5-year-old stallion bred by Arcese Quarter Horses, to a tie for the Level 3 Open Championship and to a win in Levels 2 and 1.
“I’m proud of him [Caddeo], as this was his first time to show a horse that was capable of contending for a victory, and he handled the pressure like a champ,” Fappani said. “He is a super hard worker that’s committed to my program and to improving his skills every day. It makes me happy to see him stepping up to be a big contender.”
And keeping success in the family was Fappani’s son, Luca, who rode Spooks N Jewels (Smart Spook x Whiz Jewels x Topsail Whiz), a 6-year-old stallion bred by Courtney Brockmueller, of Whiteboro, Texas, to the Derby Youth Non-Pro Championship as well as the Derby Level 2 Non-Pro Reserve Championship. They also collected a fourth place finish in the Derby Level 4 Non-Pro and third place in Level 3.
“Luca had a good week, also,” Fappani said. “He showed his great stallion and did awesome with him. The horse had got shown a lot last year, so the plan was to go in and have a nice, medium speed run without making any mistakes and to make sure we had the horse waiting on him [Luca] everywhere.
“Luca did a great job, I think, and even if he wasn’t at the top of Level 4 here, he’s ready to step up next month in Texas [at the NRBC]. I’m always so much more nervous for him when he shows than when I show.”
Derby Level 3 Open
Smokin Paleface & Brent Naylor
15S (Pale Face Dunnit x Lost In Tinseltown x Jacs Electric Spark)
Owner: Timothy Anderson, Milbank, SD
Breeder: Tim Anderson, Milbank, SD
Derby Levels 3, 2 & 1 Open
Trashy Spookshow & Erik Caddeo
14S (Gunnatrashya x Spook Off Sparks x Smart Spook)
Owner: Top Fuel LLC, Scottsdale, AZ
Breeder: Arcese Quarter Horses, Weatherford, TX