ARDMORE, OK, (SWRHA) – The Open Finals of the 2012 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity presented by Billingsley Ford showcased huge talent, high-marking maneuvers and a lot of support from the sizable crowd in the Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Topping the field of 22 great 3-year-olds was CC Enterprise, shown by Craig Schmersal to a score of 226.5.
The Two Million Dollar Rider admitted that he is a huge fan of the horse he calls “Joker”. “He’s been a fun horse all year long and I’m excited to have this win going into the NRHA Futurity. This type horse deserves to get his picture in the Reiner!”
CC Enterprise (Wrangle Whiz X Rems Little Sugs) is owned by a partnership between Craig and Ginger Schmersal and good friends Kevin and Connie Wing. “We own the sire and partnered on the breeding and they raised him in Colorado,” said Craig, who added that the win was made sweeter by the fact that the Wings have been such loyal supporters of his training program. “I’m glad for them,” he added.
For the win of the 28th annual Southwest Futurity, CC Enterprise received $18,627, a Golf Cart plus a champion Skyline buckle.
Finishing in a tie for the reserve championship were Fred Thommson on CJ Whiz (Topsail Whiz X Dream Olena Chic) owned by Euro Vets, Inc. and Jason Vanlandingham on Wimpys High Bid (Wimpys Little Step X Lucky Little Jewel) owned by Vaughn Zimmerman. Each earned $9,948, and collected another $7,695 as they also tied for the Level 3 Championship with their 225.5 scores. And there were a lot of prizes, including the Level 3 buckle sponsored by Jim Lane.
For Vanlandingham, it was a return to the Southwest Reining Horse Association Open title as he won it in 2005 and he was thrilled with his horse and the results of the competition. “I’ve had him since midsummer of his 2-year-old year. We were a little late but he was so trainable that by the end of the year he had caught up.” He had gotten the horse from Mountain Creek Ranch to be trained and sold. Luckily when he was sold (to Vaughn Zimmerman) Jason got to keep training him.
I’ve had some extremely talented horses before but never one that was this talented and so good-minded and easy to train!” Jason’s confidence showed as he piloted the flashy palomino through the maneuvers in the Finals. “I know I can drape the reins and he stays hooked. When I say ‘whoa’ he is going to stop.”
Of course next on the agenda is the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.
Likewise, Fred Thomsson will be headed in that direction with his horse, CJ Whiz, and both trainers opted to save their horses for Oklahoma City rather than to runoff for the title.
Thomsson’s customer and friend, Per Spangfors owned Dream Olena Chic, a mare that Fred showed in 2005. When it came time to breed her, Fred remembers, “He said that we had to breed to the best to have the best baby and get the best results.” If only the best would do, Fred’s choice was Topsail Whiz and that choice proved apt in the Finals.
Since Fred was also eligible for the Level 2 Division, he earned another $3,327 for topping that division plus a buckle sponsored by Sebastian Petrol. During his run, Fred’s friends were holding up a Swedish flag. Originally from Sweden, Fred moved to the United States in 1993.
The Reserve Level 2 Champion was Bobby Barko for a score of 224 on Dunitlikeamaster by Master Snapper out of Justanother Dun It. Bobby earned $1,966 for that placing and he also finished in a tie for the Level 1 Championship with Matt Armenta on All Nite Spook (Smart Spook X Dun It Fri Dee Nite). That win came with more prizes plus a buckle sponsored by Southern Equine/Pat Garrett.
Barko was excited about how his Dunitlikeamaster (owned by Roberto Cuoghi) worked. “I’m in love with him. He was a little behind but we had a great time both in the preliminaries and the finals.” He noted his appreciation to Cuoghi “and to my boss Gabe Hutchins” for letting him ride the horse.
Bobby was quick to congratulate his friend, Matt Armenta. “He’s a great horseman and I’m happy to be co-champions with him!”
Matt interrupted, “Hey, can you say that I said that about him, first?”
Like Barko, Matt was happy with his horse and his score. “This was his first futurity – I’ve just shown him one other time at an AQHA show so this is a big confidence builder for Oklahoma City.”
Matt bought the gelding at the 2-year-old sale at the 2011 NRHA Futurity from Ron Thompson.
Two other signature Southwest Reining Horse Association golf carts were awarded on Saturday night.
One golf cart went to the Wimpys Little Step owned by Xtra Quarter Horses. That was for siring the highest-finishing get of a stallion that sold in the SWRHA Stallion Auction. The Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity receives the bulk of its added money from the annual SWRHA On-line Stallion Auction. Xtra Quarter Horses also received a buckle for siring a Level 3 Champion.
Following the awards presentation a special drawing was held for the owners who had donated stallion breedings that sold in the on-line auction. The lucky winner was Big Chex To Cash, whose owner, Silver Spurs Equine received a Southwest Reining Horse Association signature Golf Cart as well. Additional sire awards were a buckle to Level 2 Champion sire, Master Snapper owned by Impressa Agricola Cuoghi.
The Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity is known as the futurity “Where the Best Go First” and the 28 year old event is supported by a group of sponsors led by Billingsley Ford, Winstar Casino, Anderson Bean Boot Company, the South Farm and Jerry Kimmel. For information visit the web site at www.swrha.com.