On Saturday night the curtain fell upon the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity, the largest reining show held outside of North America. Closing the prestigious event was the €143,750-added Open Futurity. Counting 53 finalists in the four divisions, it was truly showtime in Cremona!
The public was glued to their seats until the very last horse-rider combination entered the pen. Leaving the best for last, was the 2018 NRHA European Futurity Open Level (L) four horse and rider that took the title: NRHA Professional Gennaro Lendi and Quarter Dream’s Colonels Dancing Gun. Aboard the American Quarter Horse stallion by NRHA Ten Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Dance Little Spook, Lendi performed a powerful and precise NRHA pattern #10; the crowd loved it, and so did the judges. The winning score was a 226.5! “I am thrilled with my very first [European Open Futurity] title,” said the Italian professional. “In the qualifier, we had a major penalty, so we made it to the finals through the Consolation. I’ve had this horse since the beginning of this year. He is truly a star, and I cannot thank the owners enough for giving me the opportunity to show him here.”
Owned, bred and nominated by Quarter Dream of Italy, Pietro Marseglia — owner of the Italian facility — was thrilled with the win. “We bred this horse and his dam, Dance Little Spook, won the Italian Open Futurity with [NRHA Million Dollar Rider] Rudi Kronsteiner in the saddle. Winning this event is twice as special for us!” he said.
NRHA Professional of Germany Dominik Reminder had set the bar early in the second section by scoring a 223 aboard Call Me Mr Voodoo (Shiners Voodoo DR x Arc Sassy Snapper), a stallion owned, bred and nominated by Elisabetta Zoccarato. The duo settled for the L4 Reserve Championship.
With two horses qualified for the finals, NRHA Professional Lukas Czechowicz of Poland clinched the L3 Open Futurity Championship with a 221 riding CGS Piggiemove, a stallion by Colonels Shining Gun out of Roosters Hot Piq, owned, bred and nominated by Katarzyna Roleska. A half-point behind, Czechowicz also took co-reserve honors riding Winchesteratomic (Colonels Shining Gun x BRS Freckles Payday), a stallion also owned, bred and nominated by Katarzyna Roleska. “These are my first European Futurity titles, and I could not be any happier,” said the young Polish professional who works out of Roleski Ranch. “I started working for Roleski four years ago and this was the first foal crop I broke and trained. It’s all very special, and I would like to thank Kate and all the Roleski team for supporting and trusting me with these super horses.”
Katarzyna Roleska’s breeding program proved its worth in Cremona. The Polish reining enthusiast, host of the past NRHA European Affiliate Championships, owned, bred and nominated five horses that made the Open finals.
Tying for reserve honors in the L3 division was NRHA Professional Mirko Midili of Italy with Angelina Shining Gun (Colonels Shining Gun x Miss Alex Cody) for owner Asia Vimercati. The mare was bred by Tamara Pavlovic and nominated by Fabio Polesel.
It was a special night for NRHA Professional Adriano Meacci who took both the Championship and Reserve Championship in the L2 Open division. The Italian professional claimed first place honors with a 214.5 aboard Topsail Chic Dunit (LMC Im Topsail Dunit x Topolena Pride) for owner Alessandro Tedone. The stallion was bred and nominated by Shenandoah Ranch. With a 214 score, Meacci rode Im A Bad Diamond (AB Captain Badger x Im A Queen Diamonds) for owners Amleto Angeletti and Romina Rossi to the Reserve Championship. The gelding was bred and nominated by Angelucci Quarter Horses.
With a 213.5 score, NRHA Professional Petra Van Ede of Holland tied to win the L1 Open Championship —her first NRHA European Open Futurity title — with Cee U In Tinseltown between the reins. Owned and bred by Gisela Haas, the mare by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown out of Miss Wimpy was nominated by Haas’ husband, Paulus Beurskens.
NRHA Professional Andrea Napolitano riding Calimero Whiz (Hesa Mega Whiz x Geny Olena), a stallion owned by Alessandra Sacchetti, bred by Sara Bevilacqua and nominated by Andrea Castrucci, tied for the L1 Championship.
Once again the NRHA European Futurity, open to 4-year-old horses nominated in the NRHA Nomination Program, proved to be a success. With over 15 nations represented, reining was showcased to its best.
A special thank you to the 2018 NRHA European Futurity main sponsors KL Performance Horses, presenting sponsors Markel Insurance —Official Insurance of NRHA — and all the platinum, gold, silver and bronze sponsors recognized at http://nrhaeuropeanfuturity.
For complete results: nrhaeuropeanfuturity.com
Photos by Andrea Bonaga