Great reining action filled the air on the second day of competition at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show.
The first go-round of the NRHA Open Futurity continued with section 2, and the day concluded with Marco Ricotta and Shine Plum Shine leading the Level (L)4 and L3 qualifier with a 224 score. Bred and nominated by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Famer, Rosanne Sternberg, the stallion owned by Story Book Stables is by Shine Chic Shine and out of Plum Reyning. “I got this horse in training six months ago; because he came from a different program, even though I knew he had all the maneuvers, there were a couple of places I needed to work on. [NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider] Andrea Fappani helped me out, we solved the issues I had, and things have gone well since,” said the Italian professional, based in Arizona, about the 2015 NRHA/Markel Insurance Select Yearling Sale graduate. The duo closed their performance with a 224.
Setting the bar early in the L4 Open division draw with a 223 score was NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal aboard Face The Attitude, a mare owned by Hickory Creek Ranch, bred by KC Performance Horses LLC, and nominated by Ginger Schmersal. “I love this mare’s sire [Pale Face Dunnit], and I love her dam [Miss Lil Addy Tude]. I showed both of them, so it was great to see her doing so well today,” Schmersal said.
The second highest score in the L3 Open division – a 221 – was posted by Eduardo Salgado riding Gotta Shiney Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shiney Diamond Lady). The mare is bred, owned, and nominated by Bobby Lewis.
Leading the L2 Open qualifier with a 220.5 was Checksworthy (Big Chex To Cash x Banjoes Shining Star). The mare bred, owned, and nominated by Terry Leffew posted a 220.5 with Kole Price in the saddle. In the L1 division, Gabriel Bittar Borges riding his own Gotta Shiney Playboy (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shining Sage) scored a 220 to lead. The stallion was bred and nominated by Bobby Lewis.
Friday Adequan® NAAC Action: Ariana Kate Dejon and White Chocolat Chunk win the Adequan® NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship
The Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships had a suspenseful conclusion, with one horse after another outdoing the previous score. With two horses left to compete, Ariana Kate Dejong and White Chocolat Chunk (Chocolate Chic Olena x Meadow Jac) scored a big 218 to earn the Adequan® NAAC Limited Non Pro Championship. The 13-year-old and ‘Chip’ came to OKC representing the Great Western Reining Horse Association (RHA).
“This year my goal was to win the affiliate classes I qualified in, and the fact that I actually won the Limited Non Pro championship was amazing,” she said. “He was so good through the whole run, he was so soft. I couldn’t ask for anything more.” Dejong will show her 12-year-old gelding bred by Sally Brown in the Adequan® NAAC 13 & Under, and he will also be shown by her mother, Rejeanne, later this week.
The Adequan® North American Affiliate Limited Non Pro Champion received a Silver Spurs Custom Saddle [Official Saddle Sponsor of the NRHA], along with a custom Montana Silversmiths [Official Silversmiths of the NRHA] Trophy Buckle, a Platinum Performance Gift Certificate, a Classic Equine fleece cooler, Bluebonnet Feed, a $150 SmartPak Gift card, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, and an Avila Pro Shop Blanket.
Kathleen Roach and Freckles Nu Lil Gun (Lil Gun x Nu Bar Freckles) took reserve honors with a 216. “This was my last run in the Limited Non Pro division. I had a great year, and I will no longer be eligible to show in it,” she said. “My secret goal of the year was to be in the top 10 so that I could win a jacket!” Roach and her 9-year-old mare, bred by Paul and Pam Rohus, came to OKC representing the Intermountain RHA. The duo had a fan club of reiners from all over the country who knew the mare before Roach purchased her cheering them on. “This is amazing and so much fun. It is a dream come true, and I just can’t stop smiling.” Roach and her mare will compete in the Adequan® NAAC Prime Time later this week.
All Adequan® North American Affiliate Reserve Champions received a custom Montana Silversmiths [Official Silversmiths of the NRHA] Trophy Buckle, a Classic Equine fleece cinch, Bluebonnet Feed, an embroidered halter from Brandt Blankets, an Avila Pro Shop Blanket, and a gift from KO Trading.
All Adequan® NAAC third place winners received a Classic Equine Legacy System and Bluebonnet Feed, fourth place winners received Classic Equine Dyno No-Turn bell boots and fifth place winners received Classic Equine hanging groom bags.
For further information, live score and live stream, visit nrhafuturity.com.