Smart Spook & Rudi Kronsteiner. • Photo by Waltenberry

Rosanne Sternberg the Newest NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner

Rosanne Sternberg is a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Famer, an Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Breeder and a successful non-pro reiner. Recently, the horsewoman achieved reached a new milestone as the second-ever NRHA Two Million Owner.

The NRHA announced the Aubrey, Texas, resident joined Arcese Quarter Horses as the only two owners to ever see their own horses win $2 million dollars in NRHA competition. During the 2019 show season, Sternberg’s horses earned more than $77,000 in official NRHA earnings, culminating at the NRHA Futurity.

The success of Shines Like Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Shines x Shining Spark) at the Futurity pushed Sternberg past the $2 million mark. Ridden by ridden by Martin Larcombe, Shines Like Spook earned more than $42,600 by winning the Prime Time Open, finishing third in Level 3 Open, and placing tenth in the Level 4 Open.

“I knew Rosanne when I lived in Europe and worked with reiners,” Larcombe said in a statement released by the NRHA. “I continued that relationship when I came to the U.S., and she’s had horses with me for the past few years. She understands the game because she’s been in it that much. She knows how it can be—the highs and the lows. She’s been a great support, and she trusts me with her horses.”

Sternberg splits her time between Sterling Ranch in Aubrey, Texas, and her home in Great Britain. Her European-based mare—Ebony Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Whiz x Topsail Whiz)—was the 2014 NRHA Open World Champion under the guidance of NRHA Professional Ann Fonck.

As successful as she has been as an owner, Sternberg has achieved even more as a breeder. As of mid-February, horses bred by Sternberg have won more than $3.5 million, according to Equi-Stat. Although the majority of that money came in reining events, she also has bred money winners in other Western performance and ranch events as well as horsemanship, hunter under saddle, longe line, showmanship, trail and Western pleasure.

“I am thrilled that after 34 years of owning, riding, breeding, and enjoying reining horses I’ve passed the milestone of becoming the second NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner,” Sternberg said. “I’ve been lucky enough to own many exciting and talented horses and have enjoyed seeing not only family show and enjoy my horses, but also have had the privilege of working with some of the world’s top trainers based in both the U.S. and Europe.”

With over $86,000 in NRHA earnings as a rider, Sternberg has competed as a non-pro at the highest levels, both in the U.S. and abroad. She anticipates continuing her tradition of excellence of owning, breeding, and showing reining horses as she pursues her next milestone: becoming an NRHA Three Million Dollar Owner.

Her leading earner as an owner with the association is NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion Smart Spook ($403,100, Smart Chic Olena x Sugarplum Spook x Grays Starlight): The stallion, who also won the NRHA Derby Level 4 Open, has gone on to sire winners of more than $6.3 million, according to Equi-Stat. He also is in the NRHA Hall of Fame. 

 Other memorable horses for Sternberg include Nijomi Sonny Reb, a 1989 son of Sonny Brownburn she rode for Team Great Britain at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain; $165,600-earner Tinsel Nic (Bueno Chexinic x Holly Tinseltown x Primary Pine) and NRHA Hall of Famer and NRHA One Million Dollar Dam Ebony Shines (Shining Spark x Ebony Whiz x Topsail Whiz).

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