Andrea Fappani rode Starjac Vintage to the high score in round one of the Open prelims at the 2021 NRHA Derby. • Photo by Waltenberry.

Starjac Vintage and Andrea Fappani Lead Day One of NRHA Derby Open Prelims

Starjac Vintage and Andrea Fappani soared to the top of the pack during the first day of Open preliminaries at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel.

The 223 marked by the palomino son of Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire A Sparkling Vintage was the highest of any horse on Day One, and it put the horse well on his way to taking a shot of the NRHA Derby Open title his older brother, Platinum Vintage, won in 2015.

Another 126 horse-and-rider pairs will attempt to best that score on Thursday during the second section of Open preliminaries and earn a spot in the Open finals. Contestants in the prelim round are competing for a spot in the clean-slate finals. 

After the first day of Open prelims, the high scores across the divisions of the Open preliminaries are:

  • Level 4 – Andrea Fappani & Starjac Vintage (A Sparkling Vintage x Starjac Miss x Hollywood Jac 86) – 223
  • Level 3 – Justin Mathison & Shes Reddy On Line (Shine On Line x Guns R Reddy x Nic It In The Bud) – 222.5
  • Levels 2 & 1 – Franky Vazquez & Whizin Off With Guns (Tinker With Guns x Whizin Off Sparks x Topsail Whiz) – 217

4-Year-Old Classes

New to the Derby this year is a class especially for 4-year-olds, and that, officials say, combined with the Four Sixes Ranch guaranteed champion payout, is likely responsible for the increase in entry numbers. 

After the first day, leading the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes and the GlycoGuard Novice Horse Open Derby, which, along with the Prime Time, was:

  • GlycoGuard Novice Horse Open Derby – Craig Schmersal & Xtra Vintagemahogany (A Sparkling Vintage x Custom Mahogany x Custom Crome) – 219
  • Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes – Casey Deary & Down Right Amazing (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Shesouttayourleague x Walla Walla Whiz) – 220.5
  • Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes – Franco Bertolani & Blueyedgirl (Gunners Tinseltown x Shining Survivor x Shining Spark) – 220.5
  • Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes – Craig Schmersal & Xtra Kiss Me Again (Boom Shernic x SS Kiss Me Kate x Wimpys Little Step) – 220.5
  • Prime Time – Shawn Flarida & Guns And Dynamite (Gunners Special Nite x Chic Olena Starbuck x Smart Starbuck) – 220

The Open preliminaries continue Thursday. The top 30 in the Open Levels 4-1 will advance to the clean-slate finals on Saturday. The draw for the finals will be decided during the Virtual Platinum Performance Open Draw Party on Friday morning.