By Simona Diale – It took a 221 to win the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby Level(L) 4 Open Championship, sponsored by KL Performance Horses. When Cira Baeck of Belgium, riding Colonels Shining Gun for Katarzyna Roleska, burst in the pen, she set a 219.5 to beat. Her deep stops, fast spins and trademark circles earned her a 221 and the title!
“He was just amazing,” said the NRHA Professional about the 2007 stallion bred by KC Performance Horses, LLC. Colonels Shining Gun is by Gunner and out of Shining Little Peach (by Shining Spark) and boasts $80,270 NRHA LTE.
“We got back from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where we won the team silver medal, two weeks ago. He had time in the pasture at home, and I hardly ridden him. Tonight I nearly fell off during the spins but then everything went well. He was really great! I love this horse. He is amazing! He can stop so good, and yes, he is the most amazing horse I’ve ever ridden and probably will ever ride.”
Three horse-rider combinations tied for the L4 reserve championship: NRHA Professional Grischa Ludwig and Custom Del Cielo (Custom Crome x Lena Del Cielo x Gallo Del Cielo, owned by Fabian Strebel); Ludwig riding Lil Smokeing Gun (Smart Chic Olena x Playguns Smoking x Playgun, owned by De Bruin Reining Horses) and NRHA Professional Morey Fisk and Chic Dreamn Whizard (Magnum Chic Dream x The Roan Whizard x Whizard Jac, owned by Larissa Rizzi).
Winning the L3 open championship, with a score of 219, was Kelly Zweifel riding Dunnit Like A Master (Master Snapper x Justanother Dun It x Hollywood Dun It). The 5-year-old stallion, owned by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi and bred by Lewisville Development LP, has $20,670 NRHA LTE. In 2012, he was fourth in the L1 open and sixth in the L2 open at the NRHA Futurity with Bobby Barko. In 2014, he was 3rd in the L3 open division at the 2014 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Derby with Kelly’s husband Pietro Artinghelli.
“I had a baby boy last year, who is now 20 months old, and another this year, who is now 6 months old so I’ve been out of the show pen for a while,” said Kelly who placed her three mounts in the finals. “It’s great to be back, I had three great horses to show and am very happy to have made it to the winners circle.”
Guglielmo Fontana, riding Wimpys Smoking Gun (Gunner x Wimpys LIttle Scoot x Wimpys Little Step) for owners Paint Ranch Golden, took the L3 open reserve championship after scoring a 217.
Winning the L2 open championship with a 216 was young Giovanni Masi of Italy with Renata Vanzo’s Smart Whiz Delmaso. The 2008 stallion by Easy Otie Whiz and out of Playin Dress Up (by Smart Chic Olena) was bred by Renata Vanzo. He won the L2 open division and placed second place in the L3 open division at the 2014 IRHA Derby with Giovanni.
“Every time I show this horse he is amazing!” said Giovanni. “Even though he was a little bit tired after being here for over a week, he gave me all he had. When you are lucky enough to ride horses as this one, all you need to do is go in and trust them completely. I did and we won!”
Fabien Boiron of France took home both the L2 open reserve championship and the L1 open championship riding Jac Whiz (Conquistador Whiz x Honeys Melody Jac x Mr Melody Jac), owned by Philippe Castel. Aboard the 5-year-old gelding bred by Catherine Castel, the French rider scored a 215.5. The pair won two championships at the 2014 NRHA European Affiliate Championships, the Limited Open and Intermediate Open, and won the L4 and L2 open divisions at the 2014 French Derby.
“It was a little bit hard in the qualifying round where I made a big mistake in the first stop. I tried to do my best in the finals tonight, and it went well even though I had a bobble in my spins,” said Boiron. “This NRHA European Derby has been a great experience, and I am really happy to have won with a horse ‘made in France’!”
For complete results: http://www.showmanager.info/Eventliste.aspx?turnierID=331