Dana Pastorino & Hesa Rockin Whiz Cash • Photo by Waltenberry

Dana Pastorino and Hesa Rockin Whiz Cash in at the Cactus Reining Classic

Dana Pastorino marked a big 220.5 aboard Hesa Rockin Whiz to win the Cactus Reining Classic Amateur class held on March 23 at WestWorld of Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The class had 61 exhibitors, and the top score paid $3,873. The duo also won the Level 1, Level 2, and Prime Time Derby Non-Pro Championships, adding another $9,444 to their winnings, which nearly doubled Pastorino’s previous lifetime earnings of $9,881. Hesa Rockin Whiz had total earnings of $29,475 prior to this event, according to EquiStat.

“He was with me the whole way. We were super connected,” she said. “He is so levelheaded and waits for the aid to spin. We start slow and build from there.”

Dana Pastorino & Hesa Rockin Whiz • Photo by Waltenberry

She credits NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dany Trembly and his team for setting her up for their huge success at the event.

“Dany gets them really soft in the bridle, which is good for me. If I can steer, I feel like I have control,” she said.

Pastorino bought the 2016 gelding (Topsail Whiz x A Bueno Poco Dunit x Hollywood Dun It) at the 2022 NRHA Futurity from Roxanne Capsule, who had the horse in training with Duane Latimer. Latimer and “The Rock” made it back to the Open Derby finals, and Pastorino took a test ride right after the qualifying run.

“I thought if I could sit on that horse and ride him after Duane ran him like that in a Level 4, he’s going to be just right,” Pastorino said. “And he was.”

Next, the pair heads to the National Reining Breeders Classic, Reining By the Bay, and the NRHA Derby. Pastorino and The Rock qualified for the 2023 Run For The Million.

Don Bell, riding Makin A Little Trash (Gunnatrashya x XTRA Voodoo Dora x Shiners Voodoo DR), and Patrizio Fumagalli, riding Valentina Baby Pale (Pale Face Dunnit x OT Lucky Highway Baby x Top Gun Whiz), finished as Co-Reserve Champions for their 218.5. Both riders earned $2,063.

Click here to get the full results for the Cactus Reining Classic Amateur.