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No Smoking Required and Craig Schmersal had the highest score in the Open preliminaries at the NRHA Derby. • Photo by Waltenberry.

No Smoking Required Blazes Through NRHA Derby Prelims

The Run For A Million Co-Champions No Smoking Required and Craig Schmersal topped the Open preliminary competition at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby.

The Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider and 7-year-old son of Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) earned the go-round win with a 223 during the second day of preliminary competition. That was best in the Level 4 Open, enough to edge out previous leaders A Vintage Smoke and Jason Vanlandingham and Shine Yur Gun and Arno Honstetter, who marked a 222.5 on day one.

The trio was among 247 horses who competed in the Open preliminaries on June 17-18 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Unofficially, the bubble score to make the Open finals was 217.5 for Level 4, and 215.5 for Level 3. Riders in the Level 2 made it back to the finals on a 213, and Level 1 was a 202.5. The Open finals start at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 20.

Level 4 Open

No Smoking Required entered the NRHA Derby with an Equi-Stat record of $485,314. Bred by Carlo Orsi, of Gainesville, Texas, he is the leading earner out of Icing Required, a daughter of Smart Chic Olena.

The Level 4 Open field also will include 2019 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion Super Marioo, 2018 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion A Vintage Smoke and two-time NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion Guaranteed A Magnum among other accomplished reining horses.

Levels 3 & 2

The Levels 3 & 2 Open leader coming out of the preliminaries was Shine Yur Gun and Arno Honstetter. The 6-year-old stallion owned by Carol Rose is by Gunner and out of Lil Miss Shiney Chex (by Shining Spark).

Level 1

The Level 1 preliminary round went to Pale Face Gunslinger and Marie Kleiner, who marked a 220 for owner Tim Anderson. Pale Face Gunslinger is a son of Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Sire Pale Face Dunnit and out of Lost In Tinseltown (by Jacs Electric Spark).

Prime Time 

The Prime Time prelims went to Ann Salmon Anderman and homebred Maximum Mag, who marked a 221.5. Anderman bred and nominated the 4-year-old son of Equi-Stat Elite$6 Million Magnum Chic Dream and out of Dunit A Lil Ruf (by Lil Ruf Peppy). He’s a maternal sibling to earners of more than $347,000, including National Reining Breeders Classic Level 4 Open Co-Champion Patriot ($144,929, by Smart Spook) and American Quarter Horse Association Senior Reining World Champion Ruf Lil Magnum ($122,276, by Magnum Chic Dream). 

Novice Horse Champion

Fernando Salgado rode Gotta Shiney Peso to the Bob’s Custom Saddles Novice Horse Open Derby title with a 219. Owned by Pedro Hernandez, Gotta Shiney Peso is a son of Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Cee Bee Shine (by Shining Spark).