Casey Deary and Magnum Starlights are the 2016 NRHA Open Derby Champions!

Six NRHA Million Dollar Riders, one Two Million Dollar Rider, two Three Million Dollar Riders, one Five Million Dollar Rider, past NRHA Open and Non Pro Futurity champions, past NRHA Derby and NRBC champions, and an impressive number of horses with earnings that surpass the $100,000.00 mark in LTE. All on stage in the 2016 NRHA Open Derby finals on Saturday in Oklahoma City.

CaseyDeary_MagnumStarlightsNRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary aboard Magnum Starlights (Magnum Chic Dream x Starlights Sugarwhiz), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Antler Ridge Ranch LLC and nominated by George Lawrence with $84,378.60 NRHA LTE. The win was especially sweet for Deary. Not only did he show Magnum Starlights’ grand sire, he also showed the talented stallion’s grand dam. “We have a long history together, and Magnum Starlights was raised on our ranch,” said Deary following his win. “We won the Vegas Futurity and had huge runs at the NRBC, and we’ve always felt that he would achieve a major win sometime.”

Two riders posted a 222.5 for the reserve championship: NRHA Million Dollar Rider Jason Vanlandingham and NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani. Vanlandingham rode his past NRBC Open Champion, Not Ruf At All (A Sparkling Vintage x All Ruffed Up), a 6-year-old stallion owned by Vaughn Zimmerman and nominated by Petra Zeitler Connor with $416,766.08 LTE. Fappani rode Pinesail Jac (Tinsel Jac x Sailin Lil Ruf), a 5-year-old gelding owned by Rancho Oso Rio LLC and nominated by Raul Leal, who to date has won $93,487.29.

Fernando Salgado and Electric Cha ChingFernando Salgado and Electric Cha Ching (Jacs Electric Spark x Kipper Lady Nic) set the bar early in the second section of the Open finals by posting a 221. The 5-year-old sorrel mare is owned by Heritage Farms/ Silver Spurs Equine and was nominated by Haworth Family Partnership Ltd – score 221.

At a half point behind the champions, there was a three-way tie for reserve honors in the L3 division: Matt Mills and Wimps Cool Breeze (Tinsel Jac x Sailin Lil Ruf), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Janice Dickson and nominated by Raul Leal with $93,487.29 LTE; Martin Muehlstaetter and Late Night Stopper (Jacs Electric Spark x Best Stop), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Marc and Kathy Gordon and nominated by Wagman Ranch Inc. with $61,303.71 LTE; and Jimmy Van Der Hoeven and Black Hails Gold (Shine Like Hail x Dun Its Black Gold), a 6-year-old gelding owned by Casey and Kathy Hinton and nominated by Rhodes River Ranch with $147,166,92 LTE.

Daniel Schloemer and Electric GridThe reserve championship in the L2 division was claimed by the L1 champions, Daniel Schloemer and Electric Grid (Jacs Electric Spark x GVS Cherokee Jac). The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Jennifer T. Deweese and was nominated by Troy and Andrea Heikes. Before coming to OKC, his LTE were $34,125.91. “I am thrilled with these two titles and I cannot thank the owner enough for giving me this great opportunity,” said the German rider, now based in Arizona as assistant trainer for Arno Honstetter. “I was draw -17 in the go-round, having switched the horse from the Non Pro to the Open Derby, and my score held to top the L1 division. Tonight Electric Grid was just great and gave me all he had. It’s the first time that I made the Derby finals, and making it back in all four levels and competing against the best is just incredible.”

The Level 1 reserve championship went to Kari Anna Klingenberg – Schloemer’s girlfriend – riding Gunner Special Twist (Gunners Special Nite x Miss Boo Twist), a 5-year-old mare nominated by Teresa Wynn and owned by Angela Olson. “So much has happened in such a short amount of time! We moved from Washington to Arizona, I qualified to represent Team U.S.A. at the FEI World Reining Championships which will be held in Switzerland this coming August, and now this,” said an enthused Kari, also an assistant trainer for Arno Honstetter. “This is the first time I actually made the Derby finals, and riding against these incredible horses and riders here has been awesome.” The pair scored a 214.5 for the win.

Prime Time Open

Two riders tied to win the Prime Time Open Derby championship with a 220: Jamie Bissell and Todd Sommers. Bissell rode Who Dat Hot Chic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chic Aloha), a 6-year-old mare owned by Lisa Bissell and nominated by Labourdette Ranch LLC. Sommers rode Sparkin Whiz It (Who Whiz It x Sparin Personality), a 4-year-old stallion owned by Stephany S. Monteleone and nominated by Craig Schmersal. The two NRHA Professionals – whose friendship dates back to the ‘pleasure horse days’, as they both stated – decided not to run-off for the title

The Prime Time Open Division is open to riders age 50 or older, as of January 1st, entered in the Levels 1, 2 or 3. Winners are determined by the go round score, using a handicap system.

NRHA Markel Futurity consignments and graduates:

These past NRHA Markel Futurity Sale consignments and graduates made the 2016 NRHA Open Derby Finals: Legend Slides Wright, Whiz A Pretty Spook, Dun Lost My Mercedes, ARC Gunnabeabigstar, Not Ruf At All, FM Shine N Tag Chex, Shine N Spook and Xtra Voodoo Doc.

The 2016 NRHA Derby Numbers:
Open Derby Entries:
Level 4: 233
Level 3: 189
Level 2: 125
Level 1: 77

For all Derby and Ancillary results, visit