Cremona, May 27 — The €483.567-Added National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity held in Cremona, Italy, closed today with the Open Finals in the CremonaFiere reining arena. 48 horse-rider combinations across the four levels made the prestigious Finals following Wednesday’s qualifier with one run that stood out from the others. Italian Manuel Cortesi and July Joe Snap stormed into the arena and performed a breathtaking NRHA pattern #12 paid back by the judges with the highest score of the event, a 232.
No stranger to the winner’s circle, 2022 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity Champion Cortesi piloted the 4-year-old stallion by Master Snapper and out of San July Jo Magnetic, co-owned by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi and Eleuterio Arcese and nominated by Roberto Cuoghi, to the highest spot earning the €186.558-Added Level (L)4 Open Championship.
“I felt the horse was with me the whole time today, he was absolutely fantastic!” said the emotional Champion. “With a horse like this anyone can achieve great goals. I had seen him in action as a 3-year-old with his breeder, my friend Giacomo [Ronchi], who broke and trained him. Unfortunately, Giacomo passed away prematurely a month before the IRHA Futurity. I knew he could have won the Futurity with this one, the reins passed on to me and we claimed the Open Futurity title. The win was even more special as today would have been Giacomo’s birthday and all I can say is that I felt he was riding with me both times.”
Nico Sicuro rode West Coast Step (Sugar Little Step x Westcoast Mizzen) for owner and North American Option nominator Quarter Dream to a score of 224 to earn Reserve honors. The gelding was bred and European nominated by José Gutierrez. Sicuro was pleased with his run. “Today is a win for me! Considering Manuel’s performance, which was great, I can say that I am super satisfied with our run and the score. My horse was super and we did the best we could. I am really happy for the owner Pietro [Marseglia] also because the horse is by Sugar Little Step — who stands stud at Quarter Dream — and I would really like him to have a successful career as a sire.”
Francesco Pedretti and Carol Joe Cash opened the Finals by setting the bar high by scoring a 220.5. The score held until the end and the duo wore the €84.799,44-Added L3 Open Champion’s crown. Pedretti rode a fancy chestnut mare by the NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of Mobster Chex, owned by Giorgio Romanotto and nominated by Nicola Sola.
Pedretti didn’t hide the fact that the win was a surprise to him. “It was totally unexpected but I am really happy! The owner gave me the opportunity to ride the mare for the past two or three weeks. I must say she is incredible and has a huge heart. Showing her has been really easy. All I had to do was to keep her calm and relaxed. This is my second year working at Luga Quarter Horses and we couldn’t have hoped for anything better. We haven’t made any future plans for her yet; right now, I think I am just going to enjoy this win.”
Massimiliano Ruggeri scored 218.5 aboard AC Einsteins In Like (In Like Flinn x Einsteins Delight) to win both the L3 Reserve Championship and the €40.703,73-Added L2 Open Championship. The stallion is owned by Alessandro Marrapese and was nominated by Alessandro Cazzaniga. Ruggeri was really happy about his win as he mentioned his horse was quite particular. “I haven’t had him for a long time, but I had a feeling that he was talented and this evening he showed his true potential. I know that he can get even better as he has a huge heart, it’s just a matter of time and hard work. It’s a very emotional night for me as this week a dear friend of mine passed away after fighting cancer for seven years and I felt him close to me the whole show,” said Ruggeri.
Two riders shared the L2 Reserve Championship with a 217: French Jeremy Ropert and Emmabeastar (ARC Gunnabeabigstar x Lil Juice) owned by Anna Ciechanska and nominated by Katarzyna Roleska, and Italian Stefano Angelucci riding Frozen Gerda Tari (Frozen Sailor x Jessie Oak Tari) for owner and nominator Angelucci QH.
Stefano Ladetto and Be The Bees Knees (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Colonels Shining Gun x Dual Spirit), owned and nominated by Emma Villa, slid to a 216 score in the first section of the Finals, which earned them the €27.135,82-Added L1 Championship.
“I am really happy! He was extremely good and I would like to thank the owners for their help and support,” said Ladetto. “In the qualifier, he did not meet my expectations, but today I must say he was really good. I started riding him a week before the IRHA Derby and he behaved discreetly well. After that, we came here to show. The week started a little up-hill, we got a few penalties, which kept us qualified for L1 Finals only, but each day he got better and better and today he did really well.”
With a 212.5 score, L1 Reserve honors went to Maurizio Ferraris and Elektra Step (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Electric Code x Chica Little Step), owned and nominated by Emanuele Varale.
Winning the €1.635,51-Added APHA Open L4 Chrome Cash Incentive was Simone Schiavo with VD Snarling Miracle (BB One Miracled Gun x San River Clara Cay). A mare owned by Andrea Pedrotti and nominated by Mario Corteletti. The duo scored a 211 for the win.
“VD Snarling Miracle has been in our barn since the beginning of February. I had the possibility to show her at two regional shows before we came here and we tried to do the best we could. In the qualifier, she went really well and in the Finals tonight, she gave me all she had. There were some minor bobbles, but overall I’m happy.” Schiavo mentioned that it has been an intense week for him and the mare. “In the go round, I was a bit tense, but she was really good at helping me relax in the run.”
The 15th edition of the NRHA Euro Futurity closed in front of a full house with a very high level of competition offered by riders from 10 nations: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Italy, Israel, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Cortesi’s run is now one of the highest scores recorded in Europe, the highest being that of NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rudi Kronsteiner who piloted at the time Pavel Orel’s Star Spangled Whiz to a 236 score.
Photos by Bonaga Communication
For further information: www.NRHAEUROPEANFUTURITY.com
For results: www.SHOWMANAGER.eu
Simona Diale/International Horse Press
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