With only two horses to go, a Polish rider threw down a great run to win the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby Open in Lyon, France.
The rider, Lukasz Czechowicz, earned the winning 227.5 in the Level 4 Open aboard Frozen Shining Gun, a 2016 gelding by Colonels Shining Gun owned by Katarzyna Roleska. Bred by Andrzej Ciok, of Poland, the horse is out of Frozen Slide (by Frozen Sailor).
“He hasn’t been very fortunate at the shows,” Czechowicz said in a statement released by the NRHA. “We participated in several big shows but something always happened…tonight, everything went according to plans and I am so happy for him; he has always been my best horse. This year we took him to the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City and he had a really good run in the finals, but unfortunately, after the last stop, we backed up, so we got a zero score. I really wanted to make up for this so that he could show off what he could do and tonight I am much happier for him than I am for myself.”
The Reserve Championship went to Mirko Midili and Maytheforcebewhizyou, a double-registered 2014 stallion by Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Jac Golden Faith (by Jac O Rima). The horse owned by Alberto Capello marked a 227.
The Levels 3 & 2 Champion of the event held Oct. 30 was Italy’s Sebastiano Valtorta and Four Season Whiz, a 2013 gelding by Topsail Whiz and out of Dun It Preciously (by Hollywood Dun It). They marked a 222 to win for owner Luca Mauri.
An Italian also won the Level 1 Open Championship. Lena-Marie Maas and Gunnersbabe (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Shine Like A Babe x Shining Spark) marked a 217.5 to win for owner Bartolomeo Rubino.