Indy Roper is still glowing from her big win just months ago in Oklahoma City when she and Spooks Show Time won the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Championship.
The pair are on a roll, because on Friday, Sept. 4, they added another line to their resume with the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Level 4 Non-Pro title.
“I’m over the moon,” she said following the awards ceremony.
Roper and Spooks Show Time marked a 221.5 in the finals, but had drawn up early and had to wait through many more runs.
“I just got out of everyone’s way and went back to the trailer and just took a breath. There were so many nice horses in the finals, there was no way to know what could happen,” she said.
The score held, and Roper received several great prizes, including a two-horse trailer from Twin Cities South, a saddle from Kyle Tack, and numerous other awards. She also was presented with a check for $30,000.
Roper was quick to give credit to her trainer Marco Ricotta.
“I’m so appreciative of him. He worked very, very hard, and had my horse so prepared,” she said.
For Ricotta, watching Roper show was even more nerve-wracking than competing himself.
“I get really nervous. My hands start sweating because it’s a lot of pressure on me, too,” he shared. “I was very proud. Indy is a dream non-pro rider. She’s super talented and has a lot of feel, and is very determined when she is going into the show pen.”
Spooks Show Time is a seven-year-old by Equi-Stat Elite $ 2 Million Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Dolittle Lena (by Shining Spark).
“This was definitely a bonus year for us,” Roper said, referring to the recent rule change that allows seven-year-olds to show in Derby competition. “He had some injuries last year and we gave him the time off he needed. He came back this year with vengeance, so having this year is a blessing.”
Ricotta added that Spooks Show Time’s demeanor is one of the qualities that makes him a winner.
“He is really good-minded, plus he doesn’t require a lot of tuning. It’s easy for me because he is super talented. We just keep him healthy and happy,” he said.
Next up is the Best of the West.
“We will give him a little more time off and then show him there,” Roper said. “Eventually this horse is going to home to Roper Farms, and there is a whole line of girls ready for him. We’re pretty excited to have him back home soon.”
Ricotta added, “It will be a fight. Everyone wants him.”
Roper said the win was made even more special because her mother was able to be in Tulsa to watch.
“She made the trip here this year. It was special to have her. I thank her and all my family,” she said. “I also thank Marco and Jenny Ricotta and their whole team.”