Shawn Flarida Wins NRBC Open Championship on Spooks Gotta Whiz
FROM NRBC –The National Reining Breeders Classic Open Finals were held Saturday, April 21, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Tex. The field of 33 finalists posted high score after high score – in fact, the average of all the scored runs in the finals was over 223!
National Reining Horse Association Leading Rider Shawn Flarida claimed his fourth NRBC Open title on Spooks Gotta Whiz, a 5-year-old stallion by Spooks Gotta Gun out of Prettywhizprettydoes. Flarida and Spooks Gotta Whiz laid down a 236 to win the Open title.
During the awards ceremony, Flarida was presented with an oversized check for $75,000, a year’s use of a four horse trailer from Twin Cities Featherlite, a saddle sponsored by Pard’s Western Shop, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, Rios of Mercedes boots, a Catena watch from Catena USA, a Whisper Bit, and product from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies Animal Health and SmartPak. Flarida and owner Michelle Anne Kimball also took home the signature blue NRBC crystal as well as other NRBC memorabilia.
While many other horse and rider teams have been together for years, the NRBC was actually Flarida’s and Spooks Gotta Whiz’s debut reining! “I got him in January, and this was my first time to show him. He’s a super-minded horse and his foundation was phenomenal. Tanya Jenkins started him and did really well, and then Jordan Larson did a great job on him and won the NRHA Futurity,” he said. “Michelle called me and asked if I’d be interested in riding him. I said I didn’t think I could do any better than the other people who had ridden him, but I’d love the opportunity. She said ‘I think he’d look really good with a green shirt,’ so I said I’d love to try him.”
The Reserve Championship and $56,000 went to Andrea Fappani and Tinker With Guns, who finished the finals with a 233.5. Tinker With Guns, a 6-year-old stallion by Gunner out of Tinker Nic, is owned by Rancho Oso Rio.
Tanya Jenkins and No Wimpy Cowboys Win NRBC Level 3 Open Championship
Tanya Jenkins and No Wimpy Cowboys ran away with the National Reining Breeders Classic Level 3 Open Championship, winning the title by 5.5 points!
Jenkins and her flashy palomino gelding were a crowd favorite. Amidst the cheers and whistles, the pair executed a near flawless run – one that not only won the Level 3 Open title, but was also good for third place in the Level 4 Open division.
“I have never had so much fun in my life!” Jenkins, of Temecula, California, exclaimed following the awards ceremony. For the Intermediate Open Championship, Jenkins took home a check for $30,612, a saddle sponsored by San Juan Ranch, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, a Whisper Bit, product from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, as well as the traditional NRBC blue crystal trophies and awards. She collected an additional $37,000 for placing third in the Open.
“I’m very proud of him. I knew he could mark big, but it was just about keeping everything together – and he did. I have a great rapport with this horse. I love him – he’s just amazing,” Jenkins said of her 5-year-old, by Wimpys Little Step out of Dunnits Cowgirl. She added, “I love the NRBC. It’s my favorite show and it always has been.”
Jimmy Van Der Hoeven and Spooks Eclipse took Reserve honors in the Intermediate Open with a score of 227.5, collecting $18,633. Spooks Eclipse, by Smart Spook out of Chex Drive, is owned by Casey Hinton.
Jimmie Van Der Hoeven Takes NRBC Level 2 and Level 1 Open Titles at NRBC
Jimmie Van Der Hoeven had a big night. Competing in the National Reining Breeders Classic Open finals for the first time, the 24-year-old trainer won over $57,000 on Spooks Eclipse!
That was made possible by winning the Championship of the Level 2 and Level 1 Open divisions, the Reserve Championship of the Level 3 Open, and seventh place in the Level 4 Open.
“I was really happy with my horse – he worked really well,” he said of the 4-year-old stallion. “I actually rode him his 2-year-old year, and then my boss, Casey Hinton, showed him as a 3-year-old. I really appreciate Casey for giving me the opportunity to show this horse here. I also thank my brother, Roy Van Der Hoeven, for all his help.”
Spooks Eclipse is by Smart Spook and out of Chex Drive. Unofficially, his earnings at the NRBC helped Smart Spook, owned by Sterling Ranch, become the National Reining Horse Association’s newest Million Dollar Sire during the NRBC.
“I really hope I get to show him again,” Van Der Hoeven, originally from Holland, said following the awards ceremony, at which he took home a saddle from Bob’s Custom Saddles, a saddle from Martin Saddlery, two Gist Silversmiths products, Whisper Bits, product from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies, SmartPak, InfoMedia Video, as well as NRBC crystal and other awards.
Marco Formentin and Spooks Gotta Run, by Spooks Gotta Gun out of Prettywhizprettydoes, took Reserve honors in the Level 2 Open division with a score of 226.5. Spooks Gotta Run, a 4-year-old stallion, is owned by Michael Jeffcoat, who collected $7,331.
The Level 1 Open Reserve title and $1,050 went to Ben Baldus and Dainty Little Step, who marked a 224. Dainty Little Step, a 6-year-old mare by Wimpys Little Step out Tucks Little Poco, is owned by the WT Waggoner Estate.
Scott McCutcheon and Mc Gunner Take NRBC Open Prime Time Championship
With a score of 225, Scott McCutcheon and Mc Gunner took the National Reining Breeders Classic Open Prime Time Championship. McCutcheon was riding the 4-year-old stallion for long-time friend and customer Jack Covington.
“He was awesome today – he was really solid today. I was sixth on him here last year in the Level 3 Open, and he’s just a really nice horse,” McCutcheon explained following the awards ceremony, at which he received the check for $1,950, a trophy saddle from the NRBC, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, NRBC crystal trophies, and product from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies and M3 Products.
Mc Gunner is by National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Sire Gunner, and out of Mi Mega. “I actually showed Mi Mega here at placed third in the Level 3 Open, and Jack made the Non Pro finals on her. This horse is from really good families on both sides,” McCutcheon said.
Covington added, “This horse was at my house when my wife, Audrey, had some health issues. I told Scott that if he would like to partner with me on him to come pick him up – and we’ve been pleased with him ever since.”
Jamie Bissell earned the Open Prime Time Reserve Championship on West Coast Willie, a 6-year-old stallion by West Coast Whiz out of Cinderella Solano. The pair marked a 222.5 to win $1,350 for owner John Jackson.
Mandy McCutcheon and Always Gotyer Gunsup Win NRBC Non Pro Championship
The National Reining Breeders Classic Non Pro Finals on Friday, April 20, were arguably the best in the event’s 15-year history. No wonder – the 182 entries broke the record for the largest Non Pro ever. The average of all the scored runs in the finals was an astounding 218.5!
Four-time NRBC Non Pro Champion Mandy McCutcheon, of Aubrey, Tex., added both the Championship and Reserve Championship to her list of career accomplishments.
She competed first as draw eight on Shiney Enterprise. When NRBC Announcer Jayson Jackson announced the score of 227.5, the crowd inside the Great Southwest Equestrian Center went wild – sure that the Championship run had just been made.
But McCutcheon had another bullet in her gun – a 5-year-old mare named Always Gotyer Gunsup. McCutcheon and Always Gotyer Gunsup executed the first sliding stop to perfection, and held that standard throughout the run. The judges rewarded the pair a 231 and solidified McCutcheon’s fifth NRBC title.
“When I’m competing, I try to take the run apart. I do one maneuver at a time and then I forget about it. I know when I’ve made a mistake, but my mind is always on the next part.” McCutcheon added, “I knew this mare was good and was really happy with her. You never know quite how big the score will be – so I was really excited.”
The win netted a check for $40,948, as well as a saddle from Pard’s Western Shop, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, a pair of Rios of Mercedes boots, a Catena Watch from Catena USA, a custom embroidered jacket from Just Stitch It, product from M3 Products, Santa Cruz Animal Health, SmartPak Smart Omega 3, as well as the signature blue crystal trophy and other NRBC memorabilia.
Always Gotyer Gunsup, owned by McCutcheon’s parents, Tim and Colleen McQuay, is a 5-year-old mare by Gunner out of Always A Dun It. With McCutcheon at the reins, the mare won the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity and the Ariat Tulsa Reining Futurity, and finished third in the Non Pro at last year’s NRBC. “She’s a great mare for me. I thank Marco Ricotta for helping me with her,” she said. “I also thank my mom and dad – they have provided several great horses for me to ride.”
McCutcheon’s reserve champion entry, Shiney Enterprise, is also owned by the McQuays. The 4-year-old mare is by Smart And Shiney out of My Royal Enterprise. The Reserve Championship was worth $23,708, and came with a Gist Silversmiths buckle, product from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies and SmartPak, as well as other NRBC memorabilia.
When talking about her two finalists, McCutcheon, of Aubrey, Texas, said “I was really proud of both of them. From the time I ran through the gate they put their heads down and went to work.”
Francesca Sternberg Tops NRBC Level 3 Non Pro on Smart Like Valentino
Francesca Sternberg will return to England as the National Reining Breeders Classic Level 3 Non Pro Champion. In the finals on Friday, April 20, she rode her horse Smart Like Valentino, by Smart Like Juice out of Smart Little Jewel, to a 223.5, claiming the title and $13,106.
Sternberg and the 5-year-old gelding had also qualified for the Level 4 Non Pro finals, and finished in fifth place, worth an additional $13,547. She also collected a saddle sponsored by Kyle Tack, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, Rios of Mercedes boots, a Catena watch from Catena USA, as well as product from M3 Products, InfoMedia Video, and Santa Cruz Biotechnologies.
Sternberg was quick to credit her friends and family with the win. “I told them that success is where preparation meets opportunity. I had the opportunity, and they did all the preparation,” she joked following the awards ceremony. “Steffano Massignan got this horse ready for me, my sister gave me a wonderful opportunity, and the Sterling Ranch crew here was unbelievable.”
She added, “You can’t do this on your own. You have to have the right team behind you and horse under you – and both are hard to find.”
With a score of 222, Javier Melo and his horse Imasugared Pepto tied Ruben Pacheco Cuevas and his horse Sugar Chics Gunnit for the Reserve title. Each received a check for $6,980 and a Gist Silversmiths buckle.
Imasugaredpepto is a 5-year-old gelding by Imasmartpepto out of Sugarmans Belle, while Sugar Chics Gunnit is a 6-year-old stallion by Gunner out of Sugar Chics Dunnit.
Jose Vazquez Wins NRBC Non Pro Prime Time Championship on Moonshine Juice
With a score of 222.5, former National Reining Breeders Classic Champion Jose Vazquez claimed the Non Pro Prime Time Championship.
Vazquez and his 5-year-old homebred stallion, Moonshine Juice, won $1,725, a saddle from the NRBC, a Gist Silversmiths buckle, product from InfoMedia Video and Santa Cruz Animal Health, and the signature NRBC crystal. The pair also qualified for the Non Pro finals, finishing in a seventh-place tie, worth an additional $9,314.
Moonshine Juice is by Vazquez’s stallion Smart Like Juice, and out of the Blue Hen mare Wind Her Up Shiner. Moonshine Juice is actually a full sibling to his 2009 NRBC champion Wound By Juice. “My horse this year comes from a good family, and he is probably one of the most fun ponies to ride. I wish I could have marked higher, but he was good.” He added, “I have one more year to show him here and I plan to come back even better.”
“This show is great. The payouts are obviously very good, but the thing is that you can come here and find out what you need to do to be competitive. You see the greatest horses in the world here every year – and this year was exceptional,” Vazquez, of Markham, Illinois, said.
Lance Griffin took Non Pro Prime Time reserve honors and $1,050 with a 221.5 on his horse Kachina Tag Olena. Kachina Tag Olena is a 5-year-old stallion by Griffin’s stallion Whiz N Tag Chex out of Kachina Oak Olena. Griffin also tied for eleventh in the Non Pro, collecting an additional $4,657.
In just fourteen years, the NRBC has grown to include nearly 200 subscribed stallions. Annually, the payout at the National Reining Breeders Classic exceeds $1.4 million. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at www.nrbc.com or call 580-759-3939.