Lyon, November 6 – The seventh edition of the National Reining Horse Assocation (NRHA) European Derby closed the 2017 Reining International de Lyon on Sunday afternoon. The historical French city of Lyon is host to one of Europe’s most prestigious equestrian events: Equita Lyon. High class reining was showcased during the Salon du Cheval de Lyon week which attracted over 130,000 visitors. The NRHA European Non Pro Derby did not disappoint and, for the third year running, Anna Lisec claimed the title.
Riding This Wimps So Fly, a 7-year-old gelding by NRHA Nine Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Fly Flashy Jac, owned by Sabine Lisec and nominated by Melissa Vandorp, the talented Austrian rider scored a 222.5 to win the Level (L)4 Non Pro Derby adding $7,889.78 to her earnings. Lisec had taken the all four levels of the European Non Pro Derby in 2015 riding This Wimps So Fly and rode back to the highest step of the podium with Tari Whizin last year.
“Once again I really tried to win this title! On my first horse, Start A Revolution, things didn’t go quite as planned so I was a little frustrated, plus, I only had eight horses between him and ‘Fly’ so it was a little crazy,” said Anna. “This horse is simply wonderful. I will never have a horse like him again…he carries you through the show pen always trying to do his best and always wanting you to like him. The crowd was great and my coaches, Ann and Bernard [Fonck], were with me all the way. They’ve impacted my riding a lot, and credit goes to them for all the success I’ve had since I started training with them.” The young Austrian rider also qualified her second mount, Start A Revolution, to the finals. The pair closed tying for tenth place with a 214 score adding another $1,083.31 to their earnings.
Claiming reserve honors in the L4 division was multiple NRHA Non Pro World Champion Gina Schumacher aboard Wham Bam Gunner Man (Gunners Special Nite x Super Olena Chic), a 5-year-old stallion owned by CS Ranch and nominated by Robert Webb. The pair closed their performance with a 222 which earned them a check worth $5,820.50.
Lea Freriks of the Netherlands and her own Ready For Revolution (Einsteins Revolution x Royal Paula Quixote), a 7-year-old stallion nominated by Tjeerd Elzinga, scored a 215.5 to take home the L3 Non Pro Derby championship along with $ 1,506.84. “This is a dream come true especially since I’ve have had this horse since he was three and I trained him myself,” said Freriks. “He’s a really sensitive horse but truly a special one and I am thrilled with this title that I was hoping to win.”
Bert Coeckelberghs took reserve honors by scoring a 214.5 on Spangled Heidi (Star Spangled Whiz x Heidi Sailor), a 5-year-old stallion owned by Steven Coeckelberghs and nominated by Angelucci Quarter Horses. The duo added $1,149 to their NRHA LTE.
17-year-old Axel Pesek riding Uncle Sparky (Shining Spark x Cats Okey Dokey), a 7-year-old stallion owned and nominated by Yannick Pesek, earned his first NRHA major event on home ground. He clinched the European L2 Non Pro Derby championship with a 215.5 earning a paycheck worth $1,506.84. “I came here hoping to leave with a title even though I knew it would be tough considering the level of competition,” said the French rider. “My horse was amazing here, just as he has been all year, and I really look forward to the coming show season. My dream now is to qualify for the French team that will be competing at the FEI World Equestrian Games ™ Tryon 2018.” Pesek, riding Uncle Sparky, left his mark in FEI competition this past August by bringing home individual gold medal in the inaugural FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and was part of the French team that clinched the silver medal.
Angelika Gebert and her Charly Step N Cool (Wimpys Little Step x Charlys Cool Running), a 7-year-old mare nominated by Michael Junger-Schubert, won reserve honors in the L2 division with a 214 taking home $1,083.31.
For Italian Sebastiano Scarpato, it was a last-minute decision to enter the Euro Derby…and it was a good one! Scoring a 215 riding his own Bet On A Step (Wimpys Little Step x A Classic Slide), a 7-year-old stallion nominated by Simona Cuomo, he left Lyon with the L1 Non Pro Derby championship under his belt along with a paycheck worth $1,203.52. “I am thrilled with this win. When I was told that I was the level 1 champion, I could not believe it,” said Scarpato. “A special thank you goes to [NRHA Professional] Gennaro Lendi for being there for me here in Lyon.”
Reserve honors in the L1 were claimed by Italian Verena Rigott aboard her own Lonesome Saturday (Saturdaynight Custom x Lonesome Sally Lena), a 6-year-old gelding nominated by Ambrosini Quarter Horses. The duo scored a 213 for the win and a check worth $958.20.
The Paint Reining Buckle Program makes its way to Europe
For the very first time, the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) offered custom awards to top Paint Horses at an international reining event. The Paint Reining Buckle Program was offered at four major reining events in the United States this year, as well as in the NRHA European Non Pro Derby. Presenting the award buckle to the highest-scoring Paint Horse in the European Level 3 Non Pro Derby, Wimpys Little Spook (Spooks Gotta Gun x Wimpys Lil Doll), ridden and owned by Stefan Jauer, was Executive Director Billy Smith of Fort worth Texas. Presenting the award buckle to the highest-scoring Paint Horse in the NRHA European Level 4 Non Pro Derby, Automatic Gun (Gunner x Scoot Lil Bo) ridden by Domenico Lomuto and owned by Slide & Die, was APHA resident Dr. Craig Wood of Owenton, Kentucky.
For complete results nrhaeuropeanderby.com
Communication: Martine Dolbeau
Press: Daniel Koroloff
Muriel De Moubray
NRHA Media Contact: Simona Diale
Photos by Andrea Bonaga
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