The NRHA / Markel Insurance Futurity Sale Consignment is Tuesday, September 1!


The National Reining Horse Association / Markel Insurance Futurity Sale Consignment is Tuesday, September 1!

Oklahoma City, Okla., August 28, 2015 – Looking to sell a horse?  Bring it to the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) / Markel Insurance Futurity Sale!  The NRHA / Markel Insurance Futurity Sales are the prime place to consign reining horses for sale. It’s held with the largest reining event in the world – the NRHA Futurity.  New for 2015, NRHA is adding a Production section to the Marketplace Sale on Thursday, December 3.

This unique venue gives consignors access to a diverse group of buyers, and it’s the one sale everyone is still talking about where to find reining horses in a world-class facility. More information about the sale, as well as the one place to download forms is available at

Please note a few important reminders for 2015:

  • Sale Consignment Deadline is September 1!
    • Videos and Photos for Futurity Prospect and Select Yearling Consignments due September 1 (digital files preferred)
  • All NRHA Sire and Dam Offspring are eligible to consign to the Futurity Sales
  • All Consignment forms must have original breed paper(s) and signed transfer(s) if deducting consignment fees from sale proceeds
  • Digital Radiographs must be provided on all 2-year-olds that are accepted into the Futurity Prospect Sale and all yearlings accepted into the Select Yearling Sale. Digital Radiographs must be provided on all yearlings, 2-year-olds and riding horses consigned to the Marketplace Sale
  • Two-year-olds that are consigned to and are sold in the 2015 NRHA/Markel Futurity Prospect Sale (“graduates”) will be eligible to compete for an additional payout during the NRHA Futurity!
  • All forms and checklists are available at

Updated Sale Schedule:
- Marketplace Sale – Thursday, December 3 at 8:30 a.m.
  NEW for 2015! Production section! Learn more below!
- Futurity Prospect Sale Preview – Thursday, December 3 at 4 p.m.
- Futurity Sales Dinner – Friday, December 4 at 5 p.m.
- Futurity Prospect Sale – Friday, December 4 at 6 p.m.
- Select Yearling Sale – Saturday, December 5 at 9 a.m.
  Saturday’s sale will be only for a select group of yearlings

The Production Section of the Marketplace Sale!
The Production section of the Marketplace Sale is a new, special section where breeders can sell two yearlings at a time in the Sale Arena!  The highest bid gets the first pick, and the second yearling will sell immediately following.
Only available to eligible to breeders who consign more than 10 horses.

For questions about deadlines, consignment fees, commissions and pass out fees, visit or contact Tiffany Gonzales at (405) 946-7400. Interested parties are also welcome to email

2014 Sale Statistics:
•          Prospect: $225,000 high seller – $43,760 average
•          Select Yearling: $112,000 high seller – $21,310 average
•          Marketplace: $23,000 high seller – $6,100 average

The long-standing Corporate Partner Markel Insurance largely supports NRHA’s Sales.  Markel Insurance has continued their support for more than 20 years with NRHA. Known for providing immediate 24-hour “Fall of the Hammer” mortality coverage to sale consignments, Markel is proud to be a sponsor of the NRHA/Markel Insurance Futurity Sales, which include the Select Yearling Sale, Marketplace Sale and Futurity Prospect Sale. Markel has expanded to “Global Partner” status with going international in supporting the NRHA European Futurity, Derby and Affiliate Championships.

Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit

Media Contact:
Todd Branson
Sr. Director of Marketing
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400


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Beautiful Western Horsemanship in Beautiful Western Europe


Beautiful Western Horsemanship in Beautiful Western Europe

2015 HorsePower, Inc. European Tour, Featuring Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship off to a Great Start

Provided by Alden Corrigan of HorsePower, Inc., August 26, 2015 – Copenhagen, Denmark: Exceeding expectations in every way, the 2015 edition of HorsePower, Inc.’s Euro Tour is off and running, bringing world champion, internet sensation and western horse sport clinician Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship into these exciting emerging western horse sport markets.

The first of a six-week tour of events was held in beautiful Provence, France and hosted by David Roux & family’s Ranch Etalon Blanc. Outstanding horses, wonderful horsemanship and a weekend of development and growth crowned an exceptional kick-off for the tour, leaving behind horses and riders of greater talent and potential. The Roux family has been supporting western horse sport in the southerly French city of Avignon for five decades and the clinic was part of a warm-up into the highly successful Roux Trophy Reining event, an international show of great esteem throughout Europe. For more information about Ranch Etalon Blanc, click on:

For the second weekend, the tour made its way north to the shires and fertile farmlands of the East Midlands of England. Located not far from Nottingham, Oakridge Quarter Horses opened their stunning facilities and internationally renowned hospitality to sold-out clinic participants and more than 150 spectators for the two-day event. Oakridge is dedicated to the development of superior western horse sport throughout England and all of Europe and that mission was on full display from start to finish of this action-packed weekend.

Founder Lita Pocock, together with her daughter Becky and son-in-law (and resident Reining horse trainer) Lee Rutter have worked hard to develop world-class facility, breeding, training programs and social club for the western horse culture in England. Among many other awards and accolades, Lee represented Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games in 2010 and was part of the FEI bronze-medal winning team for Great Britain at the FEI European Reining Championship in 2009. For more information about Oakridge Quarter Horses, click on:

Debuting horsemanship clinics in Europe as a part of the HorsePower, Inc. tour, Dan James is the 2014 World Champion Freestyle Reining Champion, the 2015 People’s Choice Award Winner at that same competition, was the 2014 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle Champion, top-five in the Mustang Million, 2012 Road to the Horse Champion, plus many more titles and achievements. James comes from Australia and splits his time between his home nation and the United States, but can trace at least half of his heritage back to England, making the second stop dually special for the now-world-famous equestrian.

Commenting on the level of horses found here in Europe, James noted that the most striking thing is the surprisingly high quality. “I didn’t know what to expect coming to a new continent and a new set of traditions for western horsemanship, however the horses are really nice, are trained well and that helps a great deal in stepping up to the more advanced levels in education.” James continued, “It’s really great and a lot more fun for me, plus a much more hightened experience for the participants. It’s obvious that our new friends in the Roux family and the great folks at Oakridge Quarter Horses have spent a great deal of time and investment bringing western horse sport to a very high level for many, many years.”

The 2015 HorsePower, Inc. European Tour, featuring clinician Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship continues on in Denmark, followed by Stockholm, Sweden and finally concludes at the Scandinavian Derby and SRHA September Rundown in Axvalla (Gothenburg), Sweden.

Promotional considerations provided by 2015 Euro Tour sponsor Equiflight International Horse Transport Services.

Comprehensive information about the 2015 Euro Tour

More information about Double Dan Horsemanship


Media Contact: Brad Ettleman

HorsePower, Inc.

High resolution images are available to members of the media upon request and verification of recognized publication. Please click on the link below to access these images or use the email address above for additional requests, which we are happy to do our best to accommodate.


Required photo credit on all images: Holly Williams

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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Polo Ranch Announces the Passing of Gallo Del Cielo

Subject: Gallo Del Cielo “Rooster”
Contact: Susie Reed • 580-490-1103

Polo Ranch Announces
the Passing of Gallo Del Cielo

ROOSTER side view NEW SCANkcMARIETTA, OK – It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Rooster due to an accident the morning of August 20. Up to that day, he had enjoyed good health and had just finished a successful breeding season.

It has been a great privilege to own and stand Rooster and to have enjoyed the many friendships and people we have met because of him. Polo Ranch was the creation of Joe Schuchert and was successful because of the horses and family of people that it brought together.

Those of us who loved and cared for Rooster were together for many years and were also together the day of his passing. We will cherish the memories he left us and hope that all his fans will also enjoy the beautiful and talented foals that he sired.

As one of Equi-Stat’s leading reining sires since 2005, and with offspring earnings just under $6 Million, Rooster leaves behind an indelible legacy.


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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NRHA Advances Important Rule Changes To Help Grow The Sport Of Reining


National Reining Horse Association Completes Another Successful Board of Directors Meeting and Advances Important Rule Changes to Help Grow the Sport of Reining

Oklahoma City, Okla., Aug. 20, 2015 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) concluded their August 2015 Board of Directors meeting, making several recommendations and approving several important rule changes that will help advance the sport of Reining. In addition to important event conditions and guidelines, the Board also discussed all 2016 rule change proposals submitted to the body earlier this year. The board considered long-term administrative, global and fiduciary impact, in addition to member feedback provided via its website, direct contact and letters from the membership.

“This was a tremendously effective meeting and many important rule changes were put into place starting January 1, 2016. Several administrative changes to the handbook were also approved to streamline processes and help NRHA to continue to grow in the future. Most importantly, these changes make Reining better for all spectators and competitors leading us into our 50th Anniversary year in 2016,” commented NRHA President, Rick Clark. Clark added that he hoped the membership goes and votes on important bylaw change proposals and Executive Committee candidates before September 9 to have their voice heard.

In addition to the approved rule changes below, the NRHA Board of Directors approved a winter meeting in January 2016 in Oklahoma City, made exceptional strides to advance, rework and enhance NRHA’s technological backbone and approved a new deadline for submitting rule change proposals. Members also should note rule change proposal 81-02-16 that requires a rider and owner to be a current member before showing. The previous practice was to bill nonmembers for a membership and to award all monies on the competition record, however, nonmembers will now be disqualified, not billed and will forfeit all winnings. Join or renew your NRHA membership today to avoid being disqualified for a lapsed membership at events starting in January!

Below is a summary (with a brief of the intent of the change) on the action taken at this year’s August Board of Directors Meeting. All action taken will become effective January 1, 2016. For more detailed and complete information on each item, log onto the Members Only section

41-01-16 - Increases the protest filing fee to $250 to help cover legal costs.

44-01-16 - The appeal of a Hearing Body’s decision will be reviewed by the Executive Committee, reviewing only the information presented to the Investigative Review Committee and Hearing Body.  No additional information will be admitted.

44-02-16 - The decision of the Hearing Body will be released to the persons involved as soon as possible, as an immediate notification may not be possible.

47-01-16 - Maintains uniformity with other sections of Disciplinary Action.

47-02-16 Rewords the heading of the section to correspond with wording in the rest of the section and to maintain uniformity with other sections of Disciplinary Action.

48-01-16 – Includes not allowing contact with either the NRHA Board of Directors or Executive Committee in the course of a protest.

48-02-16 - Revokes the NRHA membership of any member who has been suspended for more than 5 consecutive calendar years, either through disciplinary action or failure to pay.

50-01-16 - These changes include more consistent references to the Animal Welfare and Medications Policies and the Medications Hearing Panel.

54-01-16 - Testing fees will be applied as described in the NRHA Animal Welfare & Medications Policy and NRHA European Region Animal Welfare & Medications Policy. A $7 fee will be assessed per horse, per event effective January 1, 2016. The updated policy (NRHA Policy 11-07-27 – Animal Welfare & Medications Policy (Excluding European Events)) can be found in the Members Only section of

60-01-16 - Allows current NRHA Professionals to maintain a Code of Conduct form on file as long as membership remains current. There is not a Lifetime NRHA Professionals membership, therefore annual membership fees still apply.

61-01-16 - Lowers the waiting period to three years for those members who are no longer an NRHA Professional and wish to become a Non Pro.

62-01-16 - Allows Non Pro competitors the opportunity to participate in our sport without the strict horse ownership restrictions that are currently in place. The lease fee is $100 with renewals being $20, only if completed prior to the lease lapsing on NRHA records. Money earnings during the term of the lease would track as if the lessee is the owner of the horse. All leases end December 31 of the calendar year.

64-01-16 - Improves timelines in responding to Apprentice Applications. All questionable applications will be passed forward to the Non Pro Committee for review.

66-02-16 - Makes the categories of competition and class eligibility easier to understand in a chart format.

68-01-16 - Eliminates duplicate information already included in the Rules for Judging.

74-01-16 - Creates a chart to allow exhibitors easier access to event type approval deadlines.

80-01-16 - Clearly defines the requirements and duties of the NRHA Show Representative position making this information easier to locate and read.

81-01-16 - This moves G. GENERAL SHOW CONDITIONS before F. EVENT APPROVAL and allows the Handbook to flow better from the perspective of the exhibitor.

81-02-16 - Removes the provision allowing all nonmembers to be fined and billed for the membership dues, and now DOES NOT allow earnings accumulated at that show to be recorded. Any nonmembers will be disqualified and forfeited. All riders and owners must be current or join at the time of entry.

82-01-16 - Now, the NRHA Handbook clearly states the need for riders in Para Reining classes to wear ASTM/SEI certified helmets at all times while mounted (during warm-up/practice and while showing).

89-02-16 - Allows Para-Reining classes and events to be held in conjunction with other Para Equestrian events such as but not limited to USA Reining and AQHA Para events. A Para-Reining show may be held as a stand-alone event.

89-03-16 - Correctly uses only the terms jog and lope when referencing the gaits typically referenced in the western stock horse industry – trot and canter has been removed.

90-01-16 - This edit gives exhibitors and show management flexibility to break ties other than using the coin flip option.

99-01-16 - This adds clarification to the rules and requires a youth to have a birthdate on file.

99-02-16 - This addresses the youth lease and follows the same approved changes outlined in 62-01-16.

100-01-16 - Removes the section concerning Youth Incentive Awards from the NRHA Handbook. Once removed from the Handbook, it will become a policy.

104-01-16 - This change now enhances the duties of the NRHA Steward to draw more attention to the welfare of the horse.

112-01-16 - This change adds a Judges Monitor job description, further defining what is expected of them and who will be able to utilize them.

117-01-16 - Allows for tails to be lengthened by hair-to-hair attachment, including weighted tails.

117-02-16 - Allows for riders to straighten the excess rein while in motion as long as they do not alter the tension or length of the reins.

118-01-16 - Adds further definition to actions resulting in a score of zero (for example, rollbacks and the center line).

119-01-16 - Adds further definition to actions resulting in a one-half point penalty (for example, center line).

123-01-16 - Approves the addition of two new official NRHA patterns.

125-01-16 - Rewords patterns 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 13 to describe the most desired way to accomplish the transition from circling to the stop.

158-01-16 - Allows AA and A events to utilize the two-point penalty review without having to put it in individual event conditions. Judges will be allowed to review break-of-gate, jogging more than two strides and freeze ups as long as one judge calls the penalty.

In addition to the above rule changes, the NRHA Board of Directors approves the below housekeeping changes in order to clarify the NRHA Handbook and to clean up language.

  • 39-01-16
  • 59-01-16
  • 61-04-16
  • 64-02-16
  • 74-02-16
  • 80-02-16
  • 86-01-16

NRHA manages the execution and factual representation of all National Reining Horse activities, awards and governance structure. For questions about NRHA’s policy, interpretation of the rules and handbook or governance structure, all inquiries should only be directed to NRHA at (405) 946-7400 or Any other source or resource not will be accepted as official and factual news about the Association or the competition structure.

Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit

Media Contact:
Todd Branson
Sr. Director of Marketing
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400


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$80,000-added ARHA Futurity: Cody Sapergia & Desire Big Chex lead after Open Futurity Go-round for 3-year-old Horses

$80,000-added ARHA Futurity:

Cody Sapergia & Desire Big Chex lead after Open Futurity Go-round for 3-year-old Horses

Cody_Sapergia_Desire_By_ChexAugust 20, 2015 - 63 horses had been entered for the Austrian RHA Futurity Open go-round for 3-year-old horses. Very early, NRHA Million Dollar Rider and past NRHA Open World Champion Cody Sapergia took the lead in the Level (L) 4 Open aboard Franz Josef Braidt’s Desire Big Chex (Big Chex To Cash x Topsails Desire) and kept it until the end. The flashy AQHA/APHA stallion, who was bred by Carlo Orsi, had some penalties in his turnarounds because of overturning, but his good circles and especially the stops earned him a 215.5.

”Desire Big Chex is a real fun horse,” said Sapergia afterwards. “He is a pretty mover and a great athlete. Dominik Reminder started him, and I got him last September. This is our first real show, and I’m happy with him. He stayed very relaxed. So for the final, we just try to stay out of penalties.” Cody also rode another horse into the final for owner Braidt: Whiz Electric Spark (Jacs Electric Spark x Remmicks Whiz) scoring a 213 (8th place in the go-round).

Three riders tied for second place in the L4 Open scoring a 215 each: FEI Reserve European Champion Grischa Ludwig aboard Coeur Lee Boon MM (Coeur D Wright Stuff x Jaci Lee Boon MM) owned by Andreas Dick, Manuel Cortesi aboard PC Magnum Step Dream (Magnum Chic Dream x Wimpys Precious Step) owned by Az Agr Cortesi Piero and Sylvia Rzepka aboard USS Nu Spook (Smart Spook x USS Nu Chex) owned by Guenter Fellinger.

Manuel Cortesi dominates L3 Open Go-Round, Massimo Bellani L 1 and 2

So, Manuel Cortesi and PC Magnum Step Dream were also leading the L3 Open go-round with  Massimo Bellani aboard  Matteo Gottardo‘s Valentine Trip (Taris Valentine x Dark Blue River) following in second place. Bellani and his stallion scored a 214.5, which was the lead in the L2 and 1 Open.

In the L2 Open, Raffaele Colacicco and OT Start Me Up owned by Marco Mele placed second scoring a 213.5, in L1 Open, Kristiaan Hermus aboard his  Checkmybarbiesturbo (Barbies Dun It x Golden Bueno Checker) scoring a 212.5.

Dominik Reminder wins Futurity Go-round for Open 4-year-old horses

It was NRHA Open Reserve World Champion Dominik Reminder who topped the Futurity Open go-round for 4-year-old horses. In a field of 37, he scored a 219.5 aboard Luga Quarter Horses‘ La Marka de Gunner. With this Paint mare by Gunner out of Smokin Marquita, Reminder placed sixth at the 2014 NRHA Breeders Futurity SBH Open.

Second place in the L4 Open division went to Giuseppe Prevosti aboard Wimpys Little Chees (Wimpys Little Step x Tuck Oak Enterprise). The stallion, bred by Ambrosini QH and owned by PL Partnership ASD, scored a 218.5.

Miroslav Baniari leading in L3, Manuel Cortesi in L2 and Fabio Alfonsetti in L1

In L3 Open, Miroslav Baniari took the lead aboard Starlit Spook (Smart Spook x Gay Light Star) scoring a 218. The AQHA gelding who was also third in the L4 Open, was bred by Sterling Ranch and is owned by Wolfgang Hammer. With a 216.5, Manuel Cortesi and the gelding MP Gun It To Go Mars (Dun Gotta Gun x Arc Martha Surprise) placed second. The horse was bred by Paolo Muccini.

Manuel Cortesi and his gelding also took the lead in L2 with Dennis Schulz and Whiz Ice (Laredo Whiz x Authentic Smarima) placing second with a score of 215. The stallion was bred by Helmut Schulz and is owned by Katharina Fahrner.

The L1 Open was won by Fabio Alfonsetti aboard Great Magnetic (Chic Magnetic x FQ Great Playgirl, owned by Giulio Trevisan) who scored a 212.5. Marco Vecchiutti and Sugar Yankee Chic (Rowdy Yankee x Dun It For Keeps) followed in second place scoring a 211. The mare was bred and is owned by Heike Nixdorf and Mario Karner.


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.


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Youth Reiners Score Big With Scholarships

Youth Reiners Score Big With Scholarships

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – August 18, 2015 – The Reining Horse Sports Foundation (RHSF) is excited to announce the recipients of more than $10,000 in academic and need-based scholarships for seven youth members: Jarid Walton, Alexis Daggett, Kaitlyn Schultz, Emma Holbrook, Wyatt Marshall, Jessie Parsons, and Joan Lehman.

Members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) submitted applications for the RHSF Scholarships. The seven recipients were chosen by a committee, and were based on academic achievement, financial need, future goals, and involvement in NRHyA and NRHA.

Jarid Walton (no photo) from Michigan, Alexis Dagget from Wisconsin, and Kaitlyn Schultz from California were each awarded $2,000 in RHSF Scholarship monies. Walton currently attends Delta Community College where he is majoring in business.  Dagget currently attends Trinity University where she is majoring in biology and chemistry and she intendeds to be a veterinarian. Schultz will be attending University of California, Berkeley in the fall where she will be majoring in English.


Emma Holbrook, Oklahoma, and Wyatt Marshall, Colorado, will each receive $1,500 in scholarship awards from RHSF. Holbrook will be attending Oklahoma State University in the fall where she will be competing on the equestrian team. Marshall will be attending West Texas A&M University in the fall where he plans on majoring in Animal Science and Agricultural Business with an emphasis on equine and plans to compete on the school’s equestrian team.


Jessie Parsons, West Virgina, and Joan Lehman, South Carolina, will each receive $750 in scholarship awards from RHSF. Parsons plans to seek out a career in veterinary medicine. Lehmans plans to get a degree in Business Management.


“The youth program is vital to our sport; the youth are our future. Being able to recognize our youth members for their involvement in the sport of Reining as well as awards them for all their hard work in school, is an honor. I can’t wait to see what outstanding things these individuals achieve after college,” said Frank Costantini, president of the Reining Horse Sports Foundation.

For more information about the RHSF Scholarship program, go to or  You may also call (405)946-7400 to speak to a representative about RHSF and the NRHA Youth Program.

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Walla Walla Whiz Newest NRHA Million Dollar Sire

168-DB07p1A.6--064-Shawn-Flarida-WallaWallaWhizOklahoma City, Okla. – August 17, 2015 – NRHA is excited to announce that Walla Walla Whiz (2003 stallion), owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA and bred by Terry T. and Jo L. Wiens, is the newest stallion to join the Million Dollar Sire group! He skyrocketed past this milestone with help from his offspring to boast $1,008,228 in official NRHA earnings.

Walla Walla Whiz is by NRHA Ten Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz and out of Shiney Walla Wanda by Four Million Dollar Sire Shining Spark. During his show career, Walla Walla Whiz and Shawn Flarida earned $187,819, winning the 2006 Tulsa Reining Classic Futurity and the 2007 NRHA Derby as well as landing a third-place finish in the 2007 National Reining Breeders Classic. He currently stands at Oswood Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas.

About the owner
Eleuterio Arcese of Arcese Quarter Horses USA an NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee, and Arcese Quarter Horses USA stands alone as NRHA’s only Two Million Dollar Owner. The Arceses, from Italy, are long-time NRHA supporters dedicated to owning and breeding the best reining horses possible. Walla Walla Whiz is further proof of their commitment to excellence in the sport of Reining.

About his offspring
Walla Walla Whiz’s top five money-earning offspring include, ARC Walla Dun Did It, NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) of $105,172.51, owned by Inge Magnusson, winner of the 2014 NRHA European Futurity ridden by Morey Fisk; Walla Whiz Affair LTE $53,349.98, owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, Top 10 NRHA Futurity finalist ridden by Todd Bergen; Walla Dun A Whiz, LTE $47,685.38 owned by Stacey Huska, 2013 NRHA Futurity Level 2 Open Champion ridden by Patrice St-Onge; Whata Whata Whiz LTE $46,115 owned by Anderson Performance Horses, 2012 All American Quarter Horse Congress Level 3 Open Co-Champion ridden by Matthew Hudson; Who Loves You, LTE $39,649 owned by Camela Essick, 2014 Cactus Reining Classic Derby Level 3 Non Pro Champion and Level 2 Non Pro Co-Reserve Champion.

NRHA welcomes Arcese Quarter Horses USA and Walla Walla Whiz to this outstanding list of NRHA sires and wishes them more success in the future.

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Dance Little Spook and Masi de Vargas win the gold in Aachen

FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 – Reining Individual Medals

Aachen (GER), 16 August 2015

Dance Little Spook and Masi de Vargas win the gold in Aachen

Individual_Reining_medallists_Aachen_2015_16_AugBy Simona Diale – Excitement and great reining were the key words at the FEI European Reining Championships in Aachen (GER) today. Twenty of Europe’s finest horses and riders performed in the Deutsche Bank Stadium with Giovanni Masi de Vargas of Italy clinching the individual gold with Quarter Dream’s Dance Little Spook between the reins. Last to enter the arena, the 22-year-old flawlessly guided the talented 7-year-old mare by NRHA Million Dollar Sire, Smart Spook, and out of Sailors Dance through pattern n.6. His deep stops, fast spins, smooth lead changes and perfectly painted circles pleased both the crowd and the judges who paid him back with an outstanding score of 222 and the highest step of the podium.

“Earning two gold medals here is unbelievable and so emotional,” said Giovanni who also posted the highest score in the team competition on Friday when Italy took home the gold. “I cannot thank my team, our coach and the president of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE), Cav. Vittorio Orlandi, for being here to cheer for us.”

The pressure was on for Giovanni once it was his turn to enter the arena. German veteran Grisha Ludwig and the 8-year-old stallion Shine My Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun x Shiners Mistress), owned by Stephanie Maudas, had thrilled the crowd with their run and their perfect spins. Once they had performed their last stop, a 221 appeared on the scoreboard. The duo ‘just missed out’ and settled for the individual silver on home soil. “I came here aiming for the gold,” said Grisha. “I did not have much luck in my last stop but it was a great fight until the very end and I am proud of our results.”

Germany also kept the bronze medal on home ground as Elias Ernst and USS N Dun It (Reminic Dun It x USS Entrprise) closed their run with a 219. The talented 10-year-old stallion is owned by Christine Wilinski. “I can’t describe my feelings! To show here is awesome and the crowd was super,” said the young German rider.

Setting the pace

Switzerland’s Daniel Schmutz and BH Cielo Dry opened the competition with a score of 214.5. Closing the first judging block, and raising the score by a point, was the duo that made it back from the 2nd qualifier, Verena Klein of Germany and her Olena Joe Cody.

Italy’s team veteran, Pierluigi Fabbri, was in the lead following the second of four judging blocks after posting a 217.5 aboard Broadway Jaba (Little Red Jaba x Tuff Lady Boss), owned by Az. Agricola Pollarini.

With a strong performance, Klaus Lechner of Austria and Cody Rooster Delmaso (Ricochet Rooster x Made Of Lacy), owned by Giulia Gaupmann, received a 218.5 from the judges, the high score prior to the last five competitors which also earned them fourth place overall.

Following the last drag, expectation and high class reining kept the public glued to their seatsand the final tussle between Masi de Vargas and Ludwig couldn’t have been a better advertisement for the sport. There was no better way to close the 2015 edition of the FEI European Reining Championships in Aachen!


Giovanni Masi de Vargas – “I started competing in 2009 in junior competition and this is my ninth FEI medal. This is the first time I’ve competed in a senior championship and it’s been an amazing experience.”

Grischa – “I was fifth in the World Equestrian Games in 2010, and fourth last time, then I was individual third in the European Championships in 2013 and now second here, so the tendency goes up!”

Elias – “I can’t describe my feelings! To show here is awesome and the crowd was super.”

Ralf Heselschwerdt, President of the Ground Jury – “We expected a very close run and it turned out to be that. Grischa ran a great pattern, performed awesome spins, and at that maneuver he was ahead of Giovanni, his horse anticipated the last stop and that pushed him half a point behind Giovanni. Giovanni was very consistent, his run reflected smoothness and finesse and nobody deserved it more than he did.”

The Reining family

Asked about the friendship/rivalry between them, the medalists answered:

Giovanni, better known as ‘Dido’ – “We compete every month against other. It’s a real friendship.”

Grischa – “I’m a bit older than Dido, and I’m a very good friend of his father’s, in fact we’ve had some fights on horses! I’ve known him (Giovanni) since he was that high (demonstrating with his hands) and I always told his father that he would grow to be a top top rider. When I saw him compete in junior competition through the years, I knew that he was a rising star. Reining is a family, we are the reining family. I’d like to thank the organisers here and say that this is probably the best organised reining show we’ve ever shown in. It’s unbelievable how much they’ve done for us.”

Reining competitors often refer to the connections they develop within the sport as being as close as family. That was literally true in Aachen. Filippo Masi de Vargas, Italy’s team coach and Giovanni’s father summed up his feelings by saying: “I’m bursting with pride and honored to be part of this team gold and individual gold all Italian experience. Each and every competitor here was wonderful and they all showcased the sport of Reining to the best of their ability.”

Audio Interviews

Giovanni Masi de Vargas  Italy Gold Medal English Audio


Giovanni Masi de Vargas  Italy Gold Medal Italy Audio


Grischa Ludwig germany Silver medal English Audio


Grischa Ludwig germany Silver medal German Audio


Photo Caption: The individual medal podium at the FEI European Reining Championships (from left), silver medalist Grischa Ludwig (GER), gold medalist Giovanni Masi de Vargas (ITA), and bronze medalist Elias Ernst (GER). (FEI/Dirk Car




The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.


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FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 – Reining Team Medals

It’s Gold for Team Italy!

By Simona Diale

vcsPRAsset_522461_585078_26d1d529-5719-487d-be32-45ecd2873f73_0Today, Italy claimed team gold ahead of Germany in silver and The Netherlands in bronze at the FEI European Reining Championships 2015 in Aachen, Germany.

In a field of 40 competitors, and with 8 horse-rider combinations to go, the podium was determined by a superb performance from Italy’s Giovanni Masi De Vargas and Dance Little Spook.

Aboard the 7-year-old Quarter Horse mare by Smart Spook and out of Sailors Dance, owned by Quarter Dream, the young Italian rider posted a 221.5. Equaling the top score of the day was Germany’s Grisha Ludwig and Shine My Gun. The 7-year-old stallion, an own son of Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Shiners Mistress, owned by Stephanie Madaus, thrilled the crowd executing the only +1 ½ spins of the day. Once the duo closed their performance, they secured Germany’s European team silver.

FEI European Championships - Aachen, Germany - 14 August 2015“I am simply thrilled,” said Italian team coach, Filippo Masi De Vargas. “This squad is made up of young riders, the future of our discipline, and they were just great, very professional and full of enthusiasm. The only ‘older’ rider is Pierluigi Fabbri, who was also on the team in the past edition. He had to endure the pressure of opening the competition today and did a great job giving the other athletes on the team the confidence they needed.”

In the 2013 edition of the Championships, Italy took team silver behind Germany and today, again on German soil, the battle was on from the first to the last competitor. With only 10 horse-rider combinations left to go, vying for the medals were Italy with 651 points, The Netherlands with 637 and France with 634.5. The situation was soon to change following Masi De Vargas’s performance, which did put Italy in the lead but still left the highest step of the podium undecided.

The gold and silver medals were determined after Ludwig’s run, but reining enthusiasts had to wait until the last competitor of the day to find out which nation would complete the podium. Rieky Young Van Osch of The Netherlands, who performed aboard her Brady Chex, the 10-year-old stallion by Buenonic Chex and out of Somethingtocrowabout, ending up posting a 214, enough to earn the bronze.

Just off the podium was team Great Britain with three competitors and a total of 635 points. Francesca Sternberg and Ten Reasons (Hand Ten Suprize x Hotroddin Catalyst) closed with a 215.5, enough to advance automatically to the individual competition on Sunday. “Ten Reasons just gave me another reason why my husband Doug chose him!” said an enthused Francesca following her run.


Frank Kemperman, Aachen 2015 Show Director, FEI Executive Board member and Chair of the FEI Dressage Committee said: “It’s nine years since we did reining at the FEI World Equestrian Games, but this was fantastic sport.”

Joe Hayes, judge: “I’m from Texas so I probably don’t need a mic! If you didn’t see the reining today don’t miss it next time! It was really fun to judge and congratulations to all three teams. It was like a heavyweight boxing match, very exciting to judge. It’s really fun to show a good horse and it’s fun to judge good horses.

Giovanni Masi De Vargas: “Being here in on German soil and being able to claim the gold is an incredible experience. The feeling we had when we got here was that this could be done but actually getting it done is a completely different story! The pressure was definitely on when I went in the arena, but I used that pressure to do the best I could. This is a tough arena to show in, especially considering the importance of this venue. I cannot express how I feel right now, the only thing I can say is that it’s simply great!” The 23-year-old De Vargas boasts multiple FEI team and individual gold medals in Junior and Young Rider competitions.

Dutch dressage champion, Anky van Grunsven, who holds the record for the most Olympic medals won by any equestrian athlete, and is the only rider to record three successive Olympic wins in the same event, was on Team Netherlands riding her own Whizashinningwalla BB. This is her first reining medal in an FEI event. “It’s amazing, so much fun and I’m so excited about it,” said Anky. “I know I can do dressage but to be on a bronze medal winning reining team that’s something else. Earning a medal at the FEI European Championships is so good for this sport and the reason that I enjoy this discipline is firstly because I’m not good at it and I like the challenge, and secondly, I love the atmosphere both in and outside the arena.”

Chefs d’Equipe quotes:

Filippo Masi De Vargas (ITA): “It’s really great to win here in Germany, especially as we’ve got some young team members and it’s their first time on a team.”

Nico Hoermann (GER): “We knew that the Italians had a very good team and in the end the final was really good sport. We only had a team of three, but in the end it was no difference as it was the scratch result.”

Dave Young (NED): “I’m very proud of my riders, all four of them worked really hard and showed very smart today. They worked hard on a strong team presentation today.”

The individual competition

Ten nations competed in the 1st individual qualifier (Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden). All except Austria presented full teams with Tina Kuestner Mantl and her Nu Chexomatic along with Klaus Lechner and Cody Rooster Del Maso both scoring a 215.5. The two secured a spot in the individual finals.

The 15 top scores from the 1st individual qualifier will automatically advance to the individual competition on Sunday, 16 August, at 10.00 CEST.

The next 20 scores will be able to compete in the 2nd individual qualifier with the first five also advancing to the finals. On Saturday 15 August, the second individual qualifier will begin at 18.15 CEST.

Audio interviews:

Giovanni Masi De Vargas (ITA), Team Gold – in English:

Giovanni Masi De Vargas (ITA), Team Gold – in Italian:

Anky van Grunsven (NED), Team Bronze:

For more information on the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen visit

FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 results.

Photo Caption: Italy claimed team gold today at the FEI European Reining Championships 2015 in Aachen (GER) – left to right: Giovanni Masi de Vargas, Francesco Martinotti, Pierluigi Fabbri and Edoardo Bernadelli. (Jon Stroud/FEI)

This image and wider images from today’s Championship are available free for editorial purposes here: with password FEI2016

Media Contacts

At Aachen
Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
+49 (0) 241 9171 182

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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Europe’s best reiners gather in Aachen for FEI European Reining Championships 2015

By Simona Diale

Europe’s best reiners are in Aachen, Germany, for the FEI European Reining Championships 2015, nine years after the hugely successful competitions were held in the framework of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2006.

Athletes representing 10 nations – Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden – will be vying for the coveted FEI medals.

Some 40 horse-and-rider combinations will enter the arena when the team competition and the first individual qualifier kicks off on Friday, 14 August, at 10.00 CEST.

All the nations, with the exception of Austria, will be competing with full teams including the defending champions from Germany who took team gold on home ground in Augsburg in 2013.

On Saturday 15 August, the second individual qualifier will begin at 18.15 CEST.

The second qualifier will give riders who did not make it in the first qualifier a chance to participate in the individual competition.

Closing the Championships will be the individual finals on Sunday, 16 August at 10.00 CEST, when the Individual FEI medals will be awarded.

Champions past and present

Europe’s best horses and riders have qualified to represent their country in this year’s FEI European Reining Championships. In the last held two years ago, team Germany composed of Alexander Ripper/Wild At The Bar; Grischa Ludwig/Custom Del Cielo; Volker Schmitt/Smokin Mifillena; Sylvia Rzepka/Hot Smokin Chex – took the gold. Grischa Ludwig and Volker Schmitt will be back next week to defend the title riding their 2013 mounts.

Team Italy consisting of Massimiliano Ruggeri/Spat Split And White; Pierluigi Fabbri/Rooster Nic; Giuseppe Prevosti/Chic Magnetic; and Mirko Piazzi/Cody Glo Phoebes claimed the silver. Fabbri will be back riding Broadway Jaba.

Team Austria – Rudi Kronsteiner/Whizoom; Tina Kuenstner-Mantl/Heza Sure Whiz; Martin Muehlstaetter/Chic N Roost – completed the podium claiming the bronze. Returning for Austria is Tina Kuestner Mantl who will be competing as an individual riding Nu Chexomatic. She will be joined by fellow countryman Klaus Lechner also competing individually aboard Cody Rooster Delmaso.

Alex Ripper of Germany riding Wild At The Bar took individual gold in 2013. Belgium’s Cira Baeck aboard Colonels Shining Gun was runner up.

In 2013, bronze medal honors went to Germany’s Grischa Ludwig and Custom Del Cielo.

Joining Europe’s best reiners will be Dutch Dressage great Anky van Grunsven who will be on team Netherlands riding her own Whizashinningwalla BB.

For more information on the FEI European Championships 2015 in Aachen visit

FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 results are here.

Photo Caption: Germany’s Alex Ripper riding Wild At The Bar took individual gold at the last FEI European Reining Championships in 2013. (Art&Light/FEI)

FEI Photo Catalogue: images for editorial purposes are available free of charge from

Media Contacts

At Aachen
Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
+49 (0) 241 9171 182

Grania Willis
Director Press Relations
+41 787 506 142

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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