From the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby: Draw 2 in the second section of the seeded Level (L) 4 Open finals were Bernard Fonck and Smart N Sparkin, a five-year-old stallion by Smart Chic Olena and Setting Off Sparks, bred by Rosanne Sternberg.
After running a flawless and powerful pattern, NRHA Pattern 5, the NRHA Million Dollar Rider thrilled both the crowd and the judges who paid him back with a score of 228. This score remained unbeaten in the field of 18 finalists.
The athletic stallion boasts $30,490.44 NRHA LTE and, with Fonck, placed fifth in the L4 at the 2012 NRHA European Futurity, was reserve champion in the L4 at the 2013 NRHA Germany Breeders Futurity, reserve champion in the L4 at the 2011 Western Event Snaffle Bit Futurity and claimed third place in the L4 at the the 2011 NRHA Germany Breeders Snaffle Bit Futurity.
“My wife Ann has been riding this horse lately and about a month ago we decided that I would show him here. He’s always been really honest in the pen and tonight, even though I asked a lot of him, he was there for me all the way. This is the result of team work between my wife Ann, the 23 Quarter Horses team, our farrier Carlo Vercesi and myself,” said Bernard. “The cherry on the cake tonight was that my wife earned the co-reserve championship here!”
Ann Poels-Fonck, riding Ebony Spook (Smart Spook x Ebony Whiz) for owner Rosanne Sternberg, Gennaro Lendi and Piccolo Spanish (Spanish Snapper x Jokin Peppy), owned by Giancarmine Sabatino, and Cira Baeck and Whizasunnysailor BB (Topsail Whiz x Walla Walla Sunshine), owned by Ruediger Diedenhofen, tied for second place honors after scoring a 225.
Winning the L3 Open Derby Championship were Francesco Martinotti and Rambo Bo Sun (Bars Jacson Bo x Be Aech Sabra) owned by Giulia Degiovanni. “I am really lucky to be able to ride such a super horse! He’s so generous. Tonight I really asked for all I could from him and he never hesitated to give me back exactly what I requested from him,” said the 22-year-old rider from Italy who closed his pattern with a score of 223.5. Bred by Franco Rosso, Rambo Bo Sun has won $16,550.04 in NRHA competition and with Francesco took the L1 and L2 open division championship at the 2012 NRHA European Derby and the L1 open division championship at the 2012 IRHA Derby.
The reserve championship in the L3 division, with a score of 221, went to the winners of the L2 Open Derby: Nicola Cordioli and A Reminic Star (Lenas Starfish x Miss Reminic Chex), owned by Allevamento Ongaresca. “This stallion’s blood line, bred is all about cutting horses and that’s exactly why he is so athletic,” said an enthused Cordioli. “It took us a while to finally manage to earn a title in the reining circuit: I have been riding him since he was two, but I think that now we’ve nailed it. For me this is a great result in more ways than one!” The 2009 stallion, bred by Lino Zivelonghi and who counts $2,219.37 NRHA LTE, was a L3 and L2 finalist at the 2013 NRHA European Futurity with Nicola in the saddle.
Reserve champions in the L2 division, after scoring a 219.5, were Pierluigi Fabbri and Rooster Nic (Gallo Del Cielo x Sanjos Pistolette) owned by Eleonora Felicita Malerba. The pair were on Team Italy, winners of the Silver medal in the past edition of the 2013 FEI European Reining Championship in Augsburg, Germany. The 7-year-old stallion bred by James Eakin had earned $38,932.24 NRHA LTE before coming to Manerbio.
Winning the L1 division, with a score of 215, was Klaus Lechner of Austria aboard his KH Hes A Smart Jac (Smart Spook x TT Playing Jacky). “I raised and trained this horse on my own,” said Klaus. “He was really good tonight and I just loved his stops. It’s my first title earned in Italy and it’s simply fantastic, I am so happy. My horse will now get a well deserved rest and then we’ll see what to do next year.”
Reserve champions in the L1 division, a half a point behind the winners, were Roberto Prevosti and his Whizzle N Smoke (Remin Whiz x Miss N Smoke).
For complete results, news and photo gallery, visit the event’s official website: www.nrhaeuropeanderby.com.