The Stage is Set for the 2020 NRHA European Futurity

May 13, 2021

Mirko Midili and SG Icetopman, 2019 NRHA European Futurity L4 Open Champions

Cremona, May 13—The oval arena in CremonaFiere is set to welcome European riders vying for the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity titles.

Open to horses born in 2016 named and nominated in the NRHA European Nomination Program, the 2020 edition counts 111 horses entered in the €160,623,14-added Open division and 60 in the €135.810,00-added Non Pro.

Held concurrently with the 2020 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA)/Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association (IRHBA) Futurity and FISE (Italian Equestrian Sports Federation) Italian Championship Finals, the European Futurity will run class in class with the 2020 IRHA 4-year-old Futurity [this year 5 years old] with the first go of the Non Pro division officially opening the event on Saturday, May 15. The first section of the Open will follow.

Gina Schumacher and Colonels Danger Zone, 2019 NRHA European Futurity L4 Non Pro Champions

Run following strict COVID and EHV-1 protocols, the event hosting over 650 horses and managed by IRHA, is not open to the public and will be held behind closed doors. “My gratitude goes to both the IRHA and NRHA European Council board members and to the IRHBA directors for their support and collaboration with Giancarlo Doardo’s TFY organizing committee in drawing up the safety protocols,” said IRHA President Roberto Cuoghi. “The ride was exhausting but rewarding. The stage will now welcome the horses and riders: It’s your show and, even though the public will not be there to applaud you in person, they will do so from their homes and I am certain you will feel the warmth of your public, hoping that this will be one of the last times the stands will be empty.”

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Photos by Bonaga Communication

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SG Icetopman slides Mirko Midili to the European Futurity Open Championship

April 7, 2019

Cremona, April 7 – Provided by Simona Diale/IHP – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Euro 162.200-added European Futurity Open Finals closed the eleventh edition of the prestigious event held, for the third year running, in Cremona. Once the last horse and rider left the pen, Mirko Midili’s 220.5 score aboard SG Icetopman (SG Frozen Enterprize x AB Lady Topsailena) was enough to take home the European Level (L)4 Open Futurity Championship. For the Italian NRHA Professional, the win was special for more than one reason: With SG Icetopman’s sire between the reins, he won the first major event title of his career — the 2012 Italian Reining Horse Association Open Futurity. “I had set my eyes on this athletic stallion when he was a yearling and I wanted to buy him. Finally, last year Cappello purchased him and I had the opportunity to show him at the Italian Futurity where things did not go too well for us in the finals,” said Midili about the stallion bred and nominated by Marco Fraschini. “I was fortunate enough to ride him here and words cannot express how important it is for me to have been able to show off his incredible athletic ability and to put this title next to his name.”

Earning reserve honors with a 219.5 was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Cira Baeck riding NF Shining Whiz, a mare by Colonels Shining Gun out of Whowhizthispeppychic owned by David Perneel and Kim Windey, bred by Perneel and nominated by Windey. “My mare did so well for me tonight and I am very proud of her,” said Baeck.

Taking home the L3 Open Championship with a 219 was German Grischa Ludwig riding Gunnanicya MM JB (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya x The Knick Nic) owned by Alexandra Schmitz, bred by Sylvia Maile and nominated by Matthias Mueller. “I am thrilled with this win,” said Ludwig. “I have shown in every edition of the European Futurity but have only won one title here: The L2 Open Championship with Whizoom in 2009. We all want to bring this title home and making it on this horse that is so special to me is amazing. He has matured a lot in these past few months and during this show, he was really easy to prepare.”

Three-time NRHA European Open Champion Morey Fisk and A Wallflower (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz x A Gal With A Gun) owned by AB Annemaana, bred by Jana Leigh Simons and nominated by Shelli Ries posted a 216.5 for the L3 Reserve Championship.

Clinching the L2 Open Futurity with a 215.5 score was Giovanni Masi De Vargas riding Bugs At Nite (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite x Scats Ebony Shiner). The Markel Graduate bred ad nominated by Sheryl Kaefer was purchased as a yearling and is owned by Mariangela Di Pierro. “When I first saw this horse in Oklahoma City at the [NRHA/Markel] Yearling Sale, I knew he would be a good one,” said Masi about the stallion. “I broke and trained him myself and am thrilled with this win.”

Earning reserve honors with a 214 was Alessandro Frassa with his own Spat Gun Showtime (Spat Split And White x Jamie Showgune) between the reins. The pretty mare was bred and nominated by Ambra Alice Bergese.

Owned and ridden by Daniela Saupe, Smart N Surprising (NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook x Just Miss Enterprise) closed his run with a 215.5 and the L1 Open Championship. Bred by Nuith Linthorst and nominated by Lisbeth De Boer, the stallion was shown last year by Daniela’s husband, Michael, at the Italian Futurity where the duo earned the L1 Open Co-Reserve Championship, and by her at the NRHA of Germany Breeders Futurity. “We love this stallion’s breeding and decided to purchase him as a yearling,” said Daniela. “He is a great horse, that both of us love showing, and winning here was hoped for but, considering the level of competition, unexpected.”

Two points behind the winner, Clemence Neveux and Alessandro Meconi tied for the Reserve Championship.  The first was seen riding Sparkin Step (Horizons Big Step x Shining Sparktolena), a stallion owned, bred and nominated by Dominique Reynaud. The second rode Sonita Gotta Whiz, a stallion by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Starlights Gate, owned by Arturo Pappagallo who was bred and nominated by Carluccio Orsi.

2019 NRHA European Futurity Facts & Figures

  • Over 300 horses made their way to Cremona
  • Open Futurity entries: L4 (21), L3 (21), L2 (23), L1 (15)
  • Non Pro Futurity entries: L4 (41), L3 (42), L2 (42), L1 (31)
  • Seven Markel Insurance Grads were entered in the two divisions of the Futurity and all made the finals. Entered in the Open division: Joes Sweet Dream, Great Customer, Bugs At Nite, Walla Whiz A Dun It, Spooks Gotta Deal. In the Non Pro division: Shiney Dun Face and Il Be Automatic

Photos Courtesy Bonaga Communication

Gina Schumacher and Colonels Danger Zone steal the show!

April 6, 2019

Cremona, April 5 – Provided by Simona Diale/IHP – The very last horse-rider-combination to enter the show arena in Cremona tonight wore the first 2019 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity Champion crown: Gina Schumacher and Colonels Danger Zone. The young German rider, a multiple past NRHA Non Pro World Champion, had written her name in the books on the first day of competition after posting the highest score in the Level (L)4 Non Pro go-round aboard her second mount, Shiney Dun Face. On finals night, riding Colonels Danger Zone (Lil Gun x Step Un And Play), aka ‘Nils,’ Schumacher closed her run with a 217 to clinch the title.

“For some strange reason I really feel the pressure when I come to this show, so this win is twice as sweet,” said Schumacher. “We purchased this stallion last year in the U.S. and I showed him in the Tulsa Reining Classic Futurity. Once we brought him over to Europe, I rode him in the Belgium Futurity and then at the Italian Futurity where we won the go-round and placed third in the finals. He was great for me tonight, gave me the confidence I needed, and helped me bring home the second NRHA European L4 Non Pro Futurity title.”

Bred by Paul and Pam Rohus and nominated by Rachelle Valentine, the flashy stallion owned by CS Ranch Management SA boasts over $19,000 NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

A point behind the champions, Austrian Wolfgang Hammer and Chicago Lena (NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena x Bright Gun City), closed the evening with the L4 Reserve Championship as well as the L3 and L2 European Futurity Non Pro Championships. “Everything was perfect tonight. He is a super horse with a big heart and…he was bred in Austria,” said Hammer about his horse who was bred and nominated by Sabine Schmid. “I purchased him as a yearling since I loved the way he was bred, and from the moment I saw him, I knew he was going to be a champion.” Hammer was quick to give his trainer Thomas Martinek credit for helping him achieve this goal and looks forward to showing him again later on in the year in the 4-year-old futurities.

Taking the reserve championship with a 215.5 in the L3 and L2 divisions was Fabienne Kuratli-Sutter riding Alpha Top Gun (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown x Smoking Walla Wanda). The Swiss rider and her gelding bred by Roger Barral and nominated by Alpha Quarter Horses LLC had posted the highest score in the L3 and L2 qualifiers.

It was a special night for Janine Deana Ketterer as she rode Roadgunner (Gunwork x My Diamond Dunnit) to her first NRHA European Futurity title: The L1 Non Pro Championship.

Aboard the pretty mare bred by Fabienne Schadt and nominated by Reto Erdin, the German rider closed her run with a 209.5. “This is truly a very special night for me!” she said. “I’ve only had this mare — who I purchased from Sabine Schmid — for a month and I could not be any happier. I have been riding under the guidance of [NRHA Professional] Morey Fisk since I was a kid and he is the best; he is always there for me with his advice and support.”

With a 208, the L1 Reserve Championship went to Italian Alessandro Bardelli and his Hollywood Lena Whiz (My Showbiz Whiz x Ms Linton Lena), a mare bred and nominated by Ambrosini QH ASD.

Action in Cremona includes a full-slate of NRHA Ancillary classes and will close on Saturday, April 5 with the much anticipated NRHA European Open Futurity Finals.

Photos Courtesy Bonaga Communication

Gennaro Lendi and Showgirl Shining Gun hold the lead in the Open Futurity

April 3, 2019

Cremona, April 3 – Provided by Simona Diale/IHP – The second day of competition in Cremona, Italy, where the eleventh edition of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity is held, saw riders competing in the second section of the €162,223–added* (subject to change in nominations) NRHA European Open Futurity qualifier.

Once the last horse-rider combination left the show arena, leading the Level (L)4 Open division was Gennaro Lendi aboard Grey Stone Ranch’s Showgirl Shining Gun, a mare nominated by Vincent Miot. The duo had posted a 220 in the first section. A half-point behind the go-round leaders were the 2018 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA L4 Open Futurity Champions, NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck and Spook Sunburst (Great Sun Burst x All About Spook), a gelding owned and nominated by Koen Symoens. The pair posted the highest score in the second section. The bubble score to make the L4 finals was a 214.5.

Topping the L3 division with a 217.5 score was Davide Brighenti riding AR Spat Snapper (Spat A Blue x Doc Snapper Bar) owned and nominated by Renato Fiorio. For Brighenti, who posted a 217.5. For the Italian Professional, posting the highest score in the in this division he rode to the lead with a multiple leg fracture. The bubble score to make the L3 finals was a 214.5.

In the L2, Frassa Alessandro and Giovanni Masi De Vargas closed their runs with a 215.5 score. The first rode his own Spat Gun Showtime (Spat Split And White x Jamie Showgune), a mare nominated by Ambra Alice Bergese. The second rode Bugs At Nite, a Markel Graduate by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite out of Scats Ebony Shiner. The flashy stallion is owned by Mariangela Di Pierro and was nominated by Cheryl Kaefer. In the L1, Stefano Ladetto rode Nikola Neef’s White And Whizzy (Spat Split And White x Rooster Roohide), a stallion nominated by Nicola Roberto Occleppo, to a top score of 215. The bubble score for the L2 and the L1 divisions respectively was a 210 and a 208.5

Those riders who did not make the finals had the chance to make it back to through the Open Consolation Run held on Wednesday, April 3.

The NRHA European Futurity Open finals will be held on Saturday, April 6.

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Photos courtesy Andrea Bonaga

Gina Schumacher and Shiney Dun Face top the Level 4 European Non Pro Futurity Qualifier

April 2, 2019

Cremona, April 1 – Provided by Simona Diale/IHP – The 2019 edition of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity counted 66 horse-rider-combinations in the €69.207-added* European Non Pro Futurity qualifier (*subject to change in Nominations). Riding to the high score in the Level(L)4 division with a 216.5 score were Gina Schumacher and CS Ranch Management SA’s Shiney Dun Face (Pale Face Dunnit x Sheza Shiney Chic). With only three combinations left to go, the multiple NRHA Non Pro World Champion and her gelding beat the score posted by Fabienne Kuratli-Suter — a 215 — posted early in the draw. The Swiss rider and her Alpha Top Gun, a gelding by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown out of Smoking Walla Wanda topped the L3 and L2 divisions. A young Francesca Ferrarol of Italy, riding Spat Enterprise (Spat Olena x Fame Oak Enterprise), owned by Maurizio Ferrarol, posted the high score in the L1 division.

The first day of competition also hosted the first section of the €162,223– added* NRHA European Open Futurity go round (*subject to change in Nominations). The 2018 NRHA European L4 Open Futurity Champion Gennaro Lendi rode Grey Stone Ranch’s Showgirl Shining Gun (Colonels Shining Gun x Shes A Lil Showgirl) to a 220, the top score of the day.

On Tuesday, April 2, the second section of the Open Futurity qualifier, counting 119 horses, will open the day. Riders in the Non Pro European Futurity who did not automatically qualify for the finals will have a chance to earn a ticket to the finals through the Consolation run which will close the day.

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Photos courtesy Andrea Bonaga