Capturing the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Level 1 Open win was Lucio Pontes Casalecchi riding Ruffed Up Spooks for owner Ixtul Quarter Horses, LLC.
Ruffed Up Spooks, sired by Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Spooks Gotta Gun and out of All Ruffed Up (by Lil Ruf Peppy), is a 2016 stallion that was bred by Silver Spurs Equine.
The pair marked a 217.5 to win the Level 1 Open, and also made the Level 2 Open finals.
“[This is] my second time to show here at the NRBC,” Casalecchi said. “I made the L1 finals the first time, but this year I made Level 1 and 2.”
“I think he gave me everything he had,” Casalecchi said of the horse’s effort in the finals. “He stopped really big, and it was all good. Ruffed Up Spooks is a five-year-old now and is a real consistent horse. I love him. I have been riding him for one year.”
Casalecchi, who is 24 and hails from Brazil, has ridden reiners since the age of 12.
“My uncle is a horse trainer, so I started to ride with him. I came to the United States two years ago where I work for Thiago Boechat. I thank my boss, Thiago Boechat [in Purcell, Oklahoma], and the owner of the horse, Lorenzo Vargas.”
When asked how he felt about competing at NRBC, Casalecchi replied, “It’s awesome. I love this place!”
Casalecchi is looking forward to the upcoming NRHA Derby and said he plans to stick the same winning strategy he employed here at NRBC. He qualified two horses to the Open Classic Finals; the other is Xtra Voodoolicious owned by Boechat, which he guided to a top 10 finish in the Level 1.