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