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Ridden by Tish Fappani, Joes Genes won the Level 3 Non-Pro at the 2020 NRHA Futurity. * Photo by Kelsey Pecsek Hruska.

Tish Fappani & Joes Genes Win NRHA Futurity Level 3 Non-Pro

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) finals were gratifying for Tish Fappani, who posted a crowd-pleasing 221 aboard Joes Genes to earn the Level 3 Non-Pro title.

Fappani also tied for Reserve honors in the Level 4 Non-Pro, collecting a total of $53,606 aboard the mare she owns with her husband, Andrea, an NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider.

Joes Genes

Joes Genes, by Lil Joe Cash and out of Electric Genes (by Jacs Electric Spark), has royal bloodlines. Her win helped unofficially push Lil Joe Cash above the NRHA Million Dollar Sire threshold, adding to the significance of the win.  

The Fappanis raised and trained Joes Genes at their Scottsdale, Arizona, training facility. Tish nominated Joes Genes to the Futurity program.

“She’s a special mare. We bred and raised her, and Andrea showed both her mom and dad,” Fappani said. “I climbed on her in April of her 2-year-old year. She’s just a cool mare. She’s got a huge stop. You would think the way she’s bred, knowing her mom, you would think she has some zing, and she does, but she is not a hot mare at all. She’s a blast.”

Fappani was proud to overcome her own nerves in the preliminary round to qualify for the finals where her mare’s full potential shone through.

“She was great in the prelims but I was really nervous,” she said. “Just knowing I had one that I could be up there with, I was a little nervous, but she just showed great for me.”

Fappani credits Joes Genes for making a rock-solid run in the Finals. “Tonight, I sent her in too fast and that hurt me, but other than that she was right there with me,” she said.  

The Fappanis hope to continue with Joes Genes’ genetics and plan to begin doing embryo transfer work so her derby schedule can go on uninterrupted. 

With Joes Genes’ win making it possible for her sire to gain NRHA Million Dollar Sire status, Tish was proud to have a part in Lil Joe Cash’s milestone. “It’s awesome to be a part of that. Lil Joe Cash has been a special horse – including when Andrea got him back for Run for a Million,” she said.

Time To Give Thanks

Expressing thanks for her family and the team behind her, Fappani says the win is even sweeter with her son Luca riding in the same Finals.

“I’m missing my son Jeremy who is in Arizona racing, but of course I thank Andrea and the whole gang. I’m thankful for Luca and for everyone, including Dr. John Newcomb and our amazing farriers,” she said.

Fappani was grateful not only to win a title at the NRHA Futurity but also happy that the event was able to happen.

“To show here is huge. It was huge we could hit fall futurities. Since the horse shows started rolling it’s been great. We try to follow rules, and it’s a different futurity feeling, but everyone is really happy to be showing.”