Gangsta Sixtysix became the first Level 4 Open Champion for freshman sire Inferno Sixty Six when he and Franco Bertolani won the Southwest Reining Horse Association Billingsley Ford Open Futurity.
Bertolani and Helga Smith’s 3-year-old stallion won the title with a 222.5 on Saturday, Oct. 24. They earned $17,591 for the win.
“He was awesome today. He gave me what I expected and I’m very proud of him. He turned nice one way and pretty big the other,” said Bertolani, who trained the colt’s sire, Inferno Sixty Six. “He circled great and had three pretty nice stops. He ran and rolled back pretty good.” He added, “He gave me everything I wanted, and I am very proud of him.”
The horse previously competed at the High Roller Reining Classic Futurity in Las Vegas, and in the futurity held at the National Reining Breeders Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Though the horse didn’t win at those events, Bertolani could feel the youngster’s talent.
“He’s been a great horse all year. I showed him at Tulsa and he was a 17.5, and then I showed him at Vegas and had some bobbles, but he was still a 16.5,” Bertolani explained. “I know he has a lot of potential, so I just wanted to show him one time harder before the big futurity.”
The “big futurity” of course, is the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity in Oklahoma City. The sport’s premier futurity is slated to be held Nov. 26 to Dec. 5.
Gangsta Sixtysix was bred by Lorenzo Lotti, of Whitesboro, Texas. He is out of the mare Rush N Cat (by Little Rush). He now has lifetime earnings of more than $18,904, according to Equi-Stat.
Bertolani also won the Toyon Ranch Open Mare Bonus and placed sixth in the Open Level 4 on his other entry, Blueyedgirl, worth $6,353. Blueyedgirl, owned by Bruce Bertolani, is by Gunners Tinseltown out of Shining Survivor (by Shining Spark).
The Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity offered bonuses for the top-placing Open and Non-Pro mare at the show held in Ardmore, Oklahoma.