The XOChic arena hosted scores of Derby competitors vying for a slice of the Tulsa Reining Classic pie, but it was the arena’s namesake that took home the top honor.
The stallion XOChic and Andrea Fappani earned the Level 4 Open championships in both the Elementa Open Derby and Markel Horse Insurance Novice Horse Open Derby on Sept. 4 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“He enjoyed showing in his own arena,” Fappani said with humor.
With a score of 223, Fappani and the XOChic earned $10,551 for owner Tim Anderson. The 4-year-old stallion was bred by Rosanne Sternberg and features some royal lineage. He’s sired by EquiStat Elite $14 Million Sire Smart Chic Olena and out of EquiStat Elite $1 million mare Ebony Shines (by Shining Spark).
“Tim Anderson bought him as a baby from his breeder, Rosanne Sternberg. He always stood out to him as a stallion prospect because of his breeding, color and conformation. He had the whole package early on,” Fappani explained.
Like other 4-year-olds in the Fappani program, this year was more about getting XOChic’s mind attuned to reining and less about hitting every show on the schedule.
“I didn’t feel like showing him at all the derbies against all the other horses was too fair to him. He still needed to grow mentally and get stronger in the show pen,” Fappani said.
With several more months of riding under XOChic’s belt, Fappani felt it was time to put the pressure on and see what he could handle ahead of The High Roller Reining Stakes later this month.
“I showed him hard enough where, if anything was going to come apart, it would have come apart. I wanted to step him up a little bit. I called for him in the circles and asked for more speed and he showed really well,” Fappani said.
According to Fappani, some of XOChic’s best qualities include maintaining his frame throughout the pattern and presenting a beautiful picture to the judges.
Reserve Champions in the Tulsa Reining Classic Level 4 Open Derby were Gangsta Sixtysix and Trevor Dare, who marked a 222 for $4,455 in earnings. Gangsta Sixtysix (Inferno Sixty Six x Rush N Cat x Little Rush) was bred by Lorenzo Lotti and is owned by Julio Hernandez.