For Immediate Release – June 25, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – To kick off the competition at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby in the Adequan® Championship Arena, the first set of ancillary classes for non pro, open and rookie riders occurred over the course of two days: June 23 and 24.
It was no surprise when Madison Gustin of Weatherford, Texas took home three titles on the first day of the event. Riding Guns R Spooky by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Smart Spook and out of Berry Yer Guns, the duo won the $2,000-added Non Pro, $1,000-added Intermediate Non Pro and $500-added Limited Non Pro classes.
Clinching the last victory of the day was Morris Kulmer in the $500-added Prime Time Non Pro. Kulmer, who is from Bountiful, Utah, rode his own NVR What A Lucky Joe (Lil Joe Cash X What A Lucky Hit), with a score of 143.
The event also featured American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and American Paint Horse Association (APHA) approved classes. Winning the AQHA Open Reining was Thiago Boechat aboard SG Frozen Enterprize (Frozen Sailor x RS Rose SJ) for owner Silver Spurs Equine. Garret Gentry rode Jeremiah Keller’s Alwayshineyergunsup to win the APHA Open class.
In the second day, open and rookie classes took over the Adequan® Championship Arena. Taking home two titles was Luis Eduardo Maranho Giannasi of Aubrey, Texas riding Ruf Till The End. Owned by Cardinal Hill Training Center LLC, Ruf Till The End is by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Lil Ruf Peppy and out of Remedys Sure Slide. The two slid into first place for the $500-added Limited Open and $500-added Rookie Professional, scoring 140 ½ in both classes.
The next class winner of the day was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Cody Sapergia. Sapergia won the $1,000-added Intermediate Open with a 141 ½ on Berried Treasure, a mare by NRHA Ten Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Custom Red Berry and is owned by George and Carol Bell.
Matt Palmer piloted Dun Alotta Chics (NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire and Hall of Fame inductee Magnum Chic Dream x A Lotta Dun It), owned by J Marie Haring, to win the USA Reining Open with a score of 145.
Winning the $6,000-added Open was Shawn Flarida, NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame inductee. Riding AC Quarter Horses, LLC’s Oops Itsa Spooks (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Gun x Tejons Finally Dunit), Flarida slid out of the show pen with 148, which was the highest score seen all day.
Rounding out the night were the $1,000-added Novice Horse Non Pro Level (L)1 & 2. Taking the win in the L1 was Lynda Weaver riding Little Jo Spook (Lil Joe Cash X Spooks Remedy), who is owned by Belar Farm. Jessicah Keller of Sumner, Texas, took home the win in the Novice Horse Non Pro L2 aboard Hilldale Farm’s Malena Chic Olena, a mare by Hickory Chic Olena and out of Malena Chex.
During the NRHA Derby, the world’s best 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $1 million. For more information on schedules, live video coverage, hotel accommodations, sponsors and more visit nrhaderby.com