* Photo courtesy of NRBC.

Homebred Shots R Fired Wins SmartPak Non-Pro Futurity

The first week of the 2020 National Reining Breeders Classic culminated with the SmartPak Non-Pro Futurity on Saturday, Aug. 29.

The big winners were Ryan Humphrey and Shots R Fired, followed by a pair of big-performing horse-and-rider teams just a half-point behind.

Level 4 Non-Pro

Ryan Humphrey bred, raised, and trained Shots R Fired, and on Saturday afternoon, he showed the colt to his first futurity win. The pair marked a 219 to claim the Level 4 Championship of the SmartPak Non-Pro Futurity.

Shots R Fired is by Humphrey’s stallion Guns R For Shootin, and the colt’s dam, Freckled Whiz (by Topsail Whiz), is one of his former show horses. 

“We did pretty good today. He went in and did everything he was supposed to. I was happy with his circles, turns, and stops. I felt like he was good across the board,” Humphrey said.

It was the second event for Shots R Fired, who was second at his first show in Virginia. 

“He’s obviously going to go to the Futurity in Oklahoma City, but as for between now and then, we need to make some decisions,” Humphrey said. “First and foremost, I have to thank God. I also thank my wife and family, [trainer] Justin Michels, and everyone else who has helped us with this horse along the way.”

Humphrey also has an entry for the NRBC and will show on Tuesday. For him, the delay of the NRBC due to the COVID-19 pandemic worked out well. 

“We run a breeding farm, and because it wasn’t breeding season, I am able to show at NRBC. I probably wouldn’t have if it had been in April,” he said.

Level 3, 2 & 1 Non-Pro

Shelley Brien piloted Dirty Diamonds to a 218.5 – and racked up several titles. They tied for second in the Level 4 Non-Pro, tied for the win of Levels 3 and 2, and won the Level 1 outright, racking up more than $6,747 in earnings.

“I’m pretty ecstatic. I drew up at draw four; nice and early. I had a goal that I wanted to set the stage and show the judges horse much I wanted it. I wanted to show hard and confident,” she said. “I took him to the Denver Summer Slide, and we won the non-pro futurity there, too. Then Daniel showed him here and he did well and then we did this today. This horse is just mister consistent.”

Dirty Diamonds, by Whizkey N Diamonds, is out of Brien’s mare Wimpys Cat Step (Wimpys Little Step). 

“I showed this horse’s mom. This is her first foal, and I could not be more thrilled with him. He’s been a dream. He just wants to go in and be good and dependable, and that’s just what his mom was,” she said.

Brien rides with Daniel Schloemer, who rode the horse to high placings earlier at this year’s NRBC in the Tamarack Ranch Developing Horse Futurity.

“Daniel has done a great job with this horse. I thank him and Kari Klingenberg for all their help. They have been amazing. They are care much about us and what we want to accomplish. I’ve never had so much fun and so much confidence. I couldn’t be here without them,” she said.

Brien also said her husband Chris deserves special recognition. 

“I thank him. He supports me in this. He married into the horses and he didn’t know what he was getting in to,” she said. Chris and Sheley have two children; Jax, 10, and Reese, 8. “Reese is going to start showing this horse’s mom. To watch my daughter show her is going to be very special since I’ll be on the baby and she’ll be on the mom.”

Levels 3 & 2 Non-Pro

Level 3 Non-Pro Co-Champion Shes Big Timin caught George Lawrence’s eye when the stunning mare was just a 2-year-old, but it wasn’t only her good looks that got his attention. Her breeding also played a major role. 

“She’s by my stud Wimpys Littlecolonel, so I wanted to help prove the stud,” he said of the mare, who’s out of Plus Her Big Time (by Shine Big Time). “When Wimpys Littlecolonel was in between trainers we would ride him at home, and he had a nice, free stride and was really good in the face. She’s that way, too.”

Those traits helped Lawrence and the mare mark a 218.5 in the first event. They took Reserve in the SmartPak Non Pro Futurity Level 4, and tied for the win of Levels 3 and 2, earning a check for $6,145. 

“She was good and very calm. I was a little nervous because it was the first time to show her, but she just packed me around,” Lawrence shared. “She didn’t look around or anything; she just did what she was supposed to do.”

Part of the pair’s success could be credited to Lawrence’s new good luck charm – his 6-month old daughter Evalyn. 

“This was the first show with our newborn daughter. Chloe said she’s the good luck charm, so maybe I’ll start doing well if I take her to each show,” he said with a laugh. “I thank my wife and my good luck charm. I also thank Josh and Carri Visser. I bought this mare from Josh as a two-year-old, and have been taking some lessons with him, too.”

Although George is finished showing for this event, Chloe has two horses entered in the NRBC Non-Pro, which begins Monday.