There’s mare power and then there is MARE POWER.
Highly-regarded from the get-go, Andiamoe lived up to the hype in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open Championship with trainer Shawn Flarida.
The score of 230 was a brilliant victory for the mare, who had had the Futurity crowd buzzing earlier in the show when she marked a 228.5 in the first go-round. Add that to the massive score she marked back in October during her show debut at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, and Andiamoe was definitely the horse the spectators were waiting for during the Level 4 Open finals on Saturday, Dec. 2 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Flarida could feel the crowd’s energy as he and the sorrel mare owned and bred by Arcese Quarter Horses USA came down the Gateway of Champions late in the draw.
“My hat’s off to the crowd. They were amazing and they were so, so, so, so loud,” Flarida said. “That made it exciting for me, but that lead up when you run through that gate, they’re so loud and there’s so much energy there I was hoping that my horse would stay with me and she wouldn’t panic.
“She was absolutely awesome,” he said. “She ran in there, [and] she stopped huge.”
The crowd was so loud Andiamoe got a little nervous while doing her spins, but Flarida got her calmed down and into her lead departure and that was all she wrote.
He explained, “She just tied into me like, ‘I got this.'”
Their 230 caught the previous leaders and eventual Level 4 Open Reserve Champions Casey Deary and Customize My Dream (Magnum Chic Dream x Gunna Be Custom x Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner]), who marked a 228.5 to earn the second spot for owner Devin Warren.
With the win, Andiamoe became the fourth offspring out of her mother, the great show mare Wimpys Little Chic, to win the coveted reining event in the sport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The win was gratifying for Flarida as a horseman, who said the only pressure came from himself — he didn’t want to do anything that would get in the way of Andiamoe being able to show the world how good she really is.
“That’s a big deal to me,” he said. “I want her to go be successful and for the world to see how great she is.”
A Cut Above
As the reining horse breeding industry continues to grow, it seems as though more and more horses at major NRHA events sport royal pedigrees or come from prestigious beyond programs. However, it could be argued that Andiamoe’s family is at another level.
Her father, EquiStat Elite $8 Million Sire Gunnatrashya and her mother, Wimpys Little Chic, both won the NRHA Futurity during their show careers. Flarida rode them both, and also won the NRHA Futurity Open Championship back in 2002 with Wimpys Little Chic’s father, the great Wimpys Little Step.
Andiamoe was special since Flarida got her as a 2-year-old, and the family connection means something to him.
“Her mom obviously was special, her dad was special for me and her grandpa was special,” he said. “So, I feel like I have known her before she was born. I just have a really good connection with her, but she just gives you an awesome feeling when you’re riding her.”
Gunnatrashya and Wimpys Little Chic were great show horses that turned into equally fantastic breeding animals, with Gunnatrashya previously siring two NRHA Futurity Open Champions — last year’s champion, Ten Thirty, as well as Andiamoe’s full brother, 2014 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Co-Champion ARC Gunnabeabigstar.
In addition to Andiamoe’s win in the 2022 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open, two sons of Gunnatrashya sired winners at this year’s NRHA Futurity: ARC Gunnabeabigstar (by Gunnatrashya) fathered Level 3 Open Champion Walla Be A Bigstar and ARC Gunna Spark Ya (by Gunnatrashya) sired Level 2 Open Champion CD Gunnas Chex Olena.
In addition to Andiamoe and ARC Gunnabeabigstar, Wimpys Little Chic foaled 2015 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion Shesouttayourleague (by Walla Walla Whiz) and 2020 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion All Bettss Are Off (by Colonels Smoking Gun[Gunner]).
The massive $352,190 first-place paycheck Andiamoe earned for winning the Level 4 Open and the Prime Time Open, combined with the $34,302 she and Flarida won at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, pushed her lifetime earnings to more than $386,492, making her Wimpys Little Chic’s leading money-earning offspring.
With the NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open purse money, Wimpys Little Chic now has more than $1.76 million in progeny earnings and Gunnatrashya has more than $8.69 million, according to EquiStat. Flarida now has more than $7.7 million in earnings recorded in the database.