The social media phenomenon of hashtags, or hash marks, are used as labels to identify a topic or subject in cyberspace. The term "hashtag" took on a new form when, on April 15, a 2013 blue roan stallion named Hashtags became the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Open Champion. Hashtags, ridden by Tatum Rice, scored a 220, earning $74,095 and bringing his total earnings to $154,441 for owner Jose Raul Garcia.
Inferno Sixty Six and Franco Bertolani drew a lot of attention when they tied with Shesouttayourleague in the finals of the 2015 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open. The tie necessitated a runoff, and when the dust settled, they were the Reserve Champions. Since then, Inferno Sixty Six and Bertolani have been multiple aged event finalists, that is, until they scored a 228.5 in the Lucas Oil Derby Level 4 Open at the Cactus Reining Classic. The Championship netted $13,788 for the horse's Italy-based owner, Slide Or Die LLC. Heading into the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), Inferno Sixty Six's total earnings are $185,056.
Taylor Zimmerman and Wimpys Little Jessie scored a 220 to win the Bluebonnet Feeds Derby Level 4 Non-Pro at the Oklahoma Reining Horse Association (OKRHA) Ride and Slide on March 10. They earned $4,903 for their first Level 4 win. The team has earnings of $71,717 since August 2016.
Game On Smooth has shown consistency in his young career for owner Mike Schraeder and trainer T. J. Good. Schraeder and the horse made the finals of the Limited Non-Pro at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity; Good and Game On Smooth made the 4-Year-Old Open finals at the Abilene Spectacular.
The World’s Greatest Horseman competition wrapped up on Feb. 18 with Canadian John Swales earning the Championship on Heza Diamond Spark. Swales and Heza Diamond Spark worked their way to a composite score of 874, which included the top score of 222.5 in the rein work and the top score of 226.5 in the fence work. Swales was rewarded with the $35,000 winner’s check.
Reyzurbetsonthiscat locked down his second Open win in January when he won the Ike Derby on Jan. 31. He scored a 223 with Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Craig Thompson in the saddle. The first win came when Thompson and Reyzurbetsonthiscat won the Augusta Futurity 4-Year-Old Open 10 days earlier.
The 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Non-Pro World Championship was won by Gina Schumacher and Gotta Nifty Gun, who earned $21,754. Schumacher’s father, Michael, is a European race car legend. Her mother, Corrina, established CS Ranch in Switzerland and XCS Ranch in Texas, both of which specialize in reining horses. Schumacher and Gotta Nifty Gun started competing together in 2015, the year they won the Austrian High Class Reining Maturity Non-Pro. Gotta Nifty Gun has earnings of $60,399, according to Equi-Stat.
Cattys Hope and Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Michael Cooper got the 2017 show season off to a good start with a win in the Abilene Spectacular 4-Year-Old Open. They earned more than $38,000, which included the stallion incentive bonus of $10,000 as the highest-placing eligible horse, for their score of 225. This gives Cattys Hope an Equi-Stat record of more than $133,280, much of which was earned with a sixth-place finish in the 2016 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open.
Matt Gaines has an Equi-Stat record of $7.8 million earned in National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Open competition, making him the leading open rider of all-time. Despite his success, he had never won the NCHA Futurity Open. That came to an end on Dec. 10, when he rode Second Spot to a score of 229, earning the elusive title of NCHA Futurity Open Champion. They earned $225,395 for Second Spot's owners and breeders Gary and Shannon Barker, of Madill, Oklahoma.
When Spooky Whiz and Equi-Stat Elite $4 Million Rider Andrea Fappani won the 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity Level 4 Open on Dec. 3, they wrote their names in history as the winners of the 50th renewal of the NRHA’s premier event. They did it in good style by scoring a 225.5 and earning the guaranteed winner’s check of $150,000 for owner Rancho Oso Rio LLC.