Rodrigo Nieves had a big year at the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, topped by his co-championship in the Level 1 Open with Tagin Stiletto Chics.
Nieves, who had never made the finals at the NRHA Futurity before this year, qualified all three of his entries back to compete in the Open finals. And, the 217.5 he earned with Tagin Stiletto Chics not only tied for the Level 1 title, it also put him in a three-way tie for the Level 2 Open Reserve Championship.
“We came here, and the first two runs weren’t like we expected, but today’s run was really good, and we are grateful for that,” he shared. In the first go, he and Tagin Stilleto Chics marked a 216.5 but followed that with a 214 in the semi-finals for a 430.5 composite.
Tagin Stiletto Chics is by Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Stiletto Tag (by Whiz N Tag Chex). “I like how honest he is. He is super honest and a special show horse,” Nieves said of the colt.
Tagin Stilleto Chics earned a paycheck of $8,959. He is owned and was nominated by Jennifer Marley.
“Duane Latimer started to ride the horse, and then gave me the opportunity to ride him in Ardmore at the Futurity there,” Nieves said, referring to the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity, where he and Tagin Stiletto Chics claimed the reserve title for Levels 1 and 2. “I thank Duane Latimer, the owner, the team at XCS Ranch, my wife and daughter, and my family in Uruguay.”
Although originally from Uruguay, Nieves spent 10 years in Brazil, where he got his start with reining horses before moving to the United States. He has worked for Duane Latimer for a year and a half.
In addition to Tagin Stiletto Chics, Nieves qualified Alphasushienterprize (owned by Fernando Botteon) and Theoneyourelookinfor (owned by Eduardo Salgado) back to the Level 1 Open Futurity Finals.