After the Arizona Reining Horse Association Best of the West reining, held Oct. 1-6 at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Fappani family had a lot of reasons to celebrate. Andrea, an Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Rider, took first and second in the Lucky 21 Futurity Level 4 Open, and his son Luca rode Spooks N Jewels to win the Friends of Reining Derby Levels 4, 3, 2 and Youth 14-18 Non-Pro championships a couple days before.
Fappani’s first-place mount in the Futurity Open was Rancho Oso Rio homebred stallion Guns In My Genes. The duo scored a 226, banking $19,817.
Guns In My Genes is by Tinker With Guns and out of Taris Designer Genes (by Mr Boomerjac). Fappani said Rancho Oso Rio has had a few other siblings to the stallion and he always thought the cross worked pretty well, but he believes Guns In My Genes is the best one so far.
“This is the first time I’ve showed him because he got hurt at the end of his 2-year-old year,” Fappani said. “He strained the suspensory [ligament] and we had to give him about three months off. At the beginning of the year, he was quite a bit behind the other horses. I didn’t really think he was going to be a futurity prospect just because I didn’t want to push him, so we just kind of took it easy.”
Fappani gave the stallion to one of his assistants to ride, but three months ago, he realized the horse was progressing quickly and making up for lost time. He started riding him again but didn’t take him to any of the early prefuturities because he didn’t think the horse was ready. Since the Best of the West is in his hometown of Scottsdale, it seemed like a good starting place, and the stallion stepped up.
“It wasn’t one of those runs where there were some exceptional maneuvers. I think everything was really consistent, and we didn’t make any mistakes, didn’t have any penalties, and the judges rewarded it,” Fappani said. “I watched my video and I think he made it look pretty easy, and that’s probably why they appreciated it.”
He planned to take Guns In My Genes to a small show and school him one more time, but even with the time off earlier this year, Fappani thinks the stallion could be ready for the National Reining Horse Association Futurity in November.
“Those three months are still in the back of my head because time is time on a horse, and no matter what, when we’ve lost that much, it shows up in the end,” Fappani said. “But I think I’ve been smart enough to where I didn’t push him too hard trying to make it up, and I think he’s really fresh; he’s ready to go. I think he’s peaking at the right time.”
Fappani was second on Legitness, another Rancho Oso Rio homebred stallion who is by SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Whizzen For Chex (by Topsail Whiz), both of which Fappani also showed. The duo’s 224.5 landed a $12,063 paycheck.
“I’m just really happy with all my horses right now,” Fappani said. “This year four out of the five that I still have right now, they’re all horses that I rode both parents, which makes it easier just in the fact that you see a lot of similarities. Some of the mistakes that maybe you made with them and didn’t work out, you know to stay away from with their offspring. It just makes it nice because you know both parents, and it helps a little bit.”
Lucky 21 Futurity Levels 3 & 2 Open
Super Marioo & Cade McCutcheon
16S (Gunnatrashya x HA Chic A Tune x Smart Chic Olena)
Owner: Freddie Brasfield, Oak Ridge, TX
Breeder: Hillis Akin Family Partnership, Gainesville, TX
Lucky 21 Futurity Level 1 Open
Stylish Gunner Chick & Billy Williams
16M (Gunnin For Chicks x UB Stylin With Me x Lean With Me)
Owner: Mark Bradford, Aubrey, TX
Breeder: Lorenzo Lotti, Whitesboro, TX
Story Book Stables Derby Level 4 Open
Pale Face Gunslinger & Craig Schmersal
14S (Pale Face Dunnit x Lost In Tinseltown x Jacs Electric Spark)
Owner: Tim Anderson, Milbank, SD
Breeder: Tim Anderson, Milbank, SD
Story Book Stables Derby Level 3 Open
Gunnaoutshineya & Marco Ricotta
17S (Gunnatrashya x Shiney Bay Hiney x Shining Spark)
Owner: Seven Sisters Trust
Breeder: Sergio Elia, Gainesville, TX
Story Book Stables Derby Levels 2 & 1 Open
Slidin Spook & Thiago Sobral
13S (Smart Spook x Slidin On Sunshine x Shining Spark)
Owner: George Ranzau, Findlay, OH
Breeder: David Hartman, Whitesboro, TX