After leading the go-round, Craig Schmersal and Xtra Electric Meter returned to top the finals of the Rocky Mountain Summer Slide Futurity Level 4 Open on July 27 at the National Western Events Center in Denver.
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby concluded Saturday, June 28, with the $428,000-added Open finals at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. This year’s Derby finals were the richest ever, paying out approximately $961,000. At the end of the event, Not Ruf At All and Jason Vanlandingham were victorious in the Open.
New sponsors, new activities and increased opportunities for growth and learning insure that the Tulsa Reining Classic, set for Aug. 26-31, will be another hallmark event. As it begins its second decade, the popular show continues to focus on the horses, the exhibitors and the show experience.
The Euro 83,750-added IRHA/NRHA Derby Open finals attracted a large crowd and the horses and riders showcased the sport of reining at its best. Making the finals all the more thrilling were the champions: sharing the Euro 32,000-added Derby Level 4 Open title were husband and wife team Ann Poels Fonck and Bernard Fonck, after posting dual scores of 228.
The Team Challenge is a unique competition in the sport of reining, but its biggest guns turn out to contest it at the Kentucky Reining Cup. This year victory went to the Good Sports team, consisting of Shannon Rafacz on Jan Pence's Wimpys Dun Twistin, Mandy McCutcheon on father Tim McQuay's Yellow Jersey, and Mandy's husband Tom McCutcheon on Turn About Farm Inc.'s Dun Got My Rest.
It was a night full of costumes and music, but a remarkable performance by Australian Dan James and Smart Little Elan put him at the top of the podium with a score of 227 at the World Freestyle Championship at the Kentucky Reining Cup. Drake Johnson, aboard Sonic Chic Dream, and Rocky Dare, aboard Bruce and Sue Kuryloski's Squeaky Clean Genes, tied with a score of 226 for the silver medal.
Shawn Flarida is no stranger to winning the Kentucky Reining Cup, having won here the last three years, and this year he took the top spot again, by scoring 452.5 aboard Michell Kimball's Spooks Gotta Whiz.
Mandy McCutcheon was a close second (449) aboard father Tim McQuay's Yellow Jersey, and third was Jordan Larson (448) with Heritage Farm's HF Mobster. This competition also served as the selection trial for the squad for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, in August.