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Gary Bellenfant rode Gins Solano (Tanquery Gin x Solano Jill x Doc’s Solano) to a final-round score of 221.5 to win the 1985 Breeder’s Cup Open Championship.
Sale 2-year-olds, whether started under saddle or not, have the potential to give buyers a quicker return on investment than sale yearlings. Those that are previewed under saddle offer a glimpse of what their future potential in the show pen might be. Because of that, fewer 2-year-olds go through public auction than yearlings. In 2015, 462 2-year-olds went though sales rings at the major cutting, reining and reined cow horse sales, compared to 1,008 yearlings. But they were also more expensive overall than their younger counterparts.
The reining bug has taken Europe by storm. Just look at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Open World champions for the past five years. They have European ties in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria. NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck, who is from Belgium, has won four Open World championships since 2010, with the latest in 2015 aboard What A Wave.
When it comes to buying futurity prospects, many people prefer to buy unstarted yearlings. The yearling is a clean slate and can be started in any direction and by any method the new owner chooses. Conformation and pedigree play key roles when deciding whether or not to gamble on a yearling with unlimited potential.
Smart Chic Olena was bred by Emily Woodall, of Dallas, Texas. He was purchased as a weanling by The Venturous Five Partnership and placed into the hands of Bill Glass. He made it to the semifinals of the 1988 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open, where he lost a cow. He came back in the 1989 NCHA Super Stakes to place third, and life was looking up for this young show horse.
The Ike Derby & Classic (1988-2015)
Top 10 Horses
1) Spots Hot (01S), $46,699
2) Can You Handle It (95M), $46,223
3) Haidas Becky (86G), $42,351
4) Bet Hesa Cat, (06S), $42,261
5) Play Miss (03M), $39,082
6) Flash About (09M), $36,424
7) Playboys Ruby (87M), $35,908
8) Playguns Desire (97M), $34,647
9) Okay Peppy (86G), $33,851
10) Smart Time Pepto 10 (10S), $33,607
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Last October, Jake Telford, of Caldwell, Idaho, was able to finally accomplish what he had worked so many years for. He rode Starlight Kisses (Shady Lil Starlight x Kiss My Shiny Lips x Shining Spark), a homebred mare owned by Nancy Crawford-Hall and Phil Hall’s Holy Cow Performance Horses, of Santa Ynez, California, to win the 2015 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship.