The tenth anniversary edition of the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic has shown growth in every aspect - and entry numbers in the Hollywoodstinseltown Open Futurity were up about 10 percent from last year. Always a highlight of the week of intense reining competition, the Futurity featured 94 horses with most of the top Open riders in the industry in attendance. And when the last horse had gone, it was the draw 15 that retained the lead throughout the rest of the event. Jason Vanlandingham rode Vaughn Zimmerman's Not Ruf At All (A Sparkling Vintage X All Ruffed Up) to a score of 222.5, then had to wait it out as 79 more horses tried to best his score.
Jason laughed, "There were so many great horses, we just left for a few hours. I didn't want to root against my friends."
Jason got Not Ruf At All in January. "Bobby Avila, Jr. rode him as a 2- year old, and did a great job. Then Vaughn sent him down to me."
Tulsa was the first show for the stallion but his rider had a lot of confidence in him. "I've never had a horse that can stop like he can. I know I can run down there and have something big happen!" He'll show the horse at Las Vegas and possibly the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity "if everything is OK. I just want to build his confidence as we get closer to Oklahoma City."
Jason won $14,631 for the win, along with a saddle sponsored by Kyle Ranch Tack, a Lawson Trophy, Ariat Jacket, Ariat Denim Certificate plus a Gift Certificate from Santa Cruz Animal Health
The Reserve Championship and $8,906 went to Tim McQuay with a score of 221 on Gunna Sassya a son of the late Gunner out of Shining N Sassy, the mare Tim won the NRHA Futurity on for then-owner Carol Rose.
In the Level 3, there was a tie between Franco Bertolani on Madeof Pure Spangled owned by Bevilacqua Quarter Horses and Gabe Hutchins on Darling 888 Ranch's Electric Outlaw. Both scored 219.5 to win $4,590 plus both were part of a 5-way tie for third in the Open that netted them each another $5,152.
Franco had already had a winning week in Tulsa since the very first class, but the Futurity win was definitely the highlight. Madeof Pure Spangled is part of the first foal crop by Star Spangled Whiz, owned by Bevilacqua Quarter Horses. Franco has been riding the good mare since she was shipped to the US from Italy mid-year in 2012 and he's definitely excited about her potential. "She gives everything; she has such a big heart!"
This was her first show and the plan is to take her to the SWRHA Futurity in Ardmore, then to Oklahoma City.
Gabe Hutchins started riding Electric Outlaw (Jacs Electric Spark X Docs Lil Bullet) after the Oklahoma City Futurity last year. Rick Darling, owner of Darling 888 Ranch, bought him at the futurity sale. "He's a huge stopper – and I think he's starting to figure things out. He turned well and circled hard. "
Next on the agenda is a break before the NRHA Futurity. "We'll give him about three weeks off, then school up and get ready for Oklahoma City."
The Level 2 Futurity Championship went to Martin Larcombe for a score of 218.5 on Revolution Is Dun (Einsteins Revolution X Miss Whiz Done Dunit) owned by XCS Ranch of Gordonville, Texas. Larcombe got the horse right after the NRBC from Richard Pokluda and Dr. Bill Rhodes.
He was impressed from the beginning by the horse's seemingly effortless stopping style. "He really curls up and has a stylish stop and the other parts are coming along."
He was happy with the day's turnarounds and thought the circles were good although "he popped out of lead in a circle and that cost me." The horse had only been out one time before when he took him to Waco and loped him through a novice class. "Today was the first time for real. We'll school him some, then go to the Southwest Futurity.
The win was worth $2170 and a Lawson Trophy, award headstall, Ariat Jacket, Ariat Gift Certificate and Santa Cruz Animal Health Gift Certificate.
The Reserve Championship in the Level 2 went to Gabriel Diano for a score of 216 on The Chex Come Easy owned by Luis Fernando Simas.