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Anna Clausen finished The Run For A Million Non-Pro Championships thinking she had placed second, but a review of the scores showed she had a lot more to celebrate. • Photo by Waltenberry.

Icecube & Luca Fappani Slide To The Run For A Million Non-Pro Championship

The excitement is growing by the day at the South Point Equestrian Center, where reining’s hottest show is well underway at The Run For A Million. Sixty-seven non-pros vied for the coveted $50,000 Non-Pro Championships, and when the dust cleared, everyone thought Luca Fappani and Icecube had topped the list with a 222 on Thursday, Aug. 20 in Las Vegas. 

However, a close examination of the initial scores revealed there were two champions, not one, after Fappani’s run was adjusted to a 221.5, making he and Anna Clausen Co-Champions. 

Anna Clausen & Smart Tinseltown

“I prepped my mind that I was second, and we were just watching horses last night and we figured out [that I had tied]. I was like ‘oh my gosh,’” Clausen said. 

Riding family horse Smart Tinseltown (Smart Spook x Tinseltown Lil Step x Wimpys Little Step), Clausen said the title had been a dream of hers for two years. Sister Shelby Clausen rode Smart Tinseltown to the Non-Pro Championship at the 2019 The Run For A Million and now, it was Clausen’s turn. 

“There was a lot of pressure because I knew I had the horse to win it and I had to make sure I had my stuff together and stayed out of his way,” Clausen said.

Luca Fappani & Icecube

Walking into the Southpoint Arena, Fappani was confident in his mount Icecubes’ ability to bang out a solid run. The 6-year-old stallion has been a goldmine for the Fappani family, carrying his mom Tish Fappani to a 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Non-Pro Championship and picking up checks at shows across the country.

Luca Fappani and Icecube continued to add accolades to their trophy case at The Run For A Million. • Photo by Waltenberry.

“We tried to keep him comfortable, keep him happy and keep him tuned up till it was time to go show,” Fappani said. 

Initially, the commotion and lights of the South Point venue were distracting to Icecube (SG Frozen Enterprise x Taris Designer Genes x Mr Boomerjac), according to Fappani. However ,after a couple days, he settled right in and felt “great” as Fappani prepared him to show. 

“I thought he’d be really good. I didn’t see anything that could go wrong unless I did something stupid myself. I was trying to focus on myself and make sure I was good for him. I was super excited to come [here] and I’m super proud to have [tied] it. It’s a huge, new event in the industry and I think it’s going to keep growing and keep growing,” Fappani said. 

Looking for the latest happenings from The Run For A Million? Click here for QHN’s comprehensive coverage of the 2021 The Run For A Million.