To say that the NRHA European Open Derby finals on Saturday night in Manerbio, Italy, thrilled the crowds is an understatement! The 43 finalists that performed in the four levels wrote history and the scores prove it. In the Level (L)4, the top 15 scores went from a 229 to a 220, and posting the amazing high score of the show was Pierluigi Chioldo with Spooks O Lena (Spooks Gotta Gun x Lonesome Sally Lena) between the reins. The athletic 7-year-old mare is owned by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD and was nominated by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD & Davide Rossi.
“This mare is simply incredible and tonight was the best I’ve ever felt her in the show pen. I’ve had her in training for the past two years and she just gets better and better every time,” said the Italian NRHA Professional. “She was great in the go round but tonight I was so confident and felt that if I asked for more she would give more! She was awesome and deserved to show off what she is capable of. It’s the best way for her to retire and be a full-time brood mare.”
The L4 Open Derby co-reserve championship, half-a-point behind the winners, went to NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rudi Kronsteiner riding AB Peppy Diamond (OT Taris San Peppy x Mare Made), a 7-year-old stallion (owned by Jennifer Nixdorf and nominated by Antonello Businaro), and to NRHA Professional Markus Gebert aboard Sugar Little Step (Wimpys Little Step x AH Sugar Sugar), a 4-year-old stallion owned by Quarter Dream Srl and nominated by Wolf Dieter Luft.
Gebert and his mount also claimed the L3 championship. “We bought this horse last year before the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity. I rode him two days before that show and he was fantastic. This year, at the NRHA European Futurity, he was injured in his stall and we had to give him a resting period. When we brought him back to the show pen, we won the Swiss Open Derby and now, here we are! He is super, really amazing and is always quiet. He listens, he waits and this evening, everything was in the right place,” claimed the German rider.
The L2 Open title, with a 220 score, went to NRHA Professional Moreno Sacchi riding Spooks Midnight (Spooks Gotta Gun x Smart Dottie), a 6-year-old mare owned and nominated by Francesco Mazza. “I showed this mare for the first time at the Italian Derby. This is the second show for us and we made the finals thanks to the consolation run. I’m very happy because now we understand each other better and this evening she was super!” said the Italian rider.
Taking the L2 reserve championship back to Belgium was Matyas Gobert riding Koen Brutsaert’s CJ Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Dream Olena Chic). The 7-year-old stallion nominated by Euro-Vets Inc. closed his run with a 218.5 score.
Winning the L1 Open Derby championship was NRHA Professional Nicola Sergio of Italy and his Ruf Little Chex (Lil Ruf Trouble x Nu Dynamite Chex). The 6-year-old gelding, nominated by Luigi Parise, posted a 217.5 with Sergio in the saddle. “I’ve always believed in this horse, he is fantastic. We’ve made the final in every special event we took part in. This evening he was great and was with me all the way. He will now take a break until the end of the year and then we will see!”
Italian NRHA Professional Angelo Benedusi reined Little Hancock (Docs Tivio Hancock x Little Bay Solano), a 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding owned and nominated by Arianna Asteris, to the reserve championship in the L1 division with a 216.
Saturday Ancillary Action Champions
NRHA Youth 14-18 (8 entries)
Michelle Maibaum and Chics Lil Revolution, (Einsteins Revolution x Dun It By Chick), owned by Juergen Maibaum – score 142.
NRHA Rookie Level 1 (5 entries)
Janine Deana Ketterer and Miss Electric Spark (Jacs Electric Spark x Shania Snapper), owned by Laura Letterer – score 139.5.
NRHA Rookie Level 2 (6 entries)
Ann Braunger and BMS Ice Age, (Friscote x Shes A Joker Chic), 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, owned by Ann Braunger. Score 139.5.
€800-added NRHA Intermediate Open Michael Saupe and Lil Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Little Trash), owned by Christine Rippel – score 142.5
€400-added NRHA Limited Open 1. Maria Cisarikova and Spook You (Smart Spook x Solanos Pearl), owned by Martin Bolt – score 138.
€1.500-added NRHA Non Pro Champions: Tina Kuenstner-Mantl and Gotta Gold Chain (Jacs Electric Spark x Snip O Chex), owned by Jacpoint Quarter Horses – score 219
Michelle Maibaum and Gunners Jem (Colonels Smoking Gun x Scoots Remedy), owned by Kristina Maibaum – score 214.5.
Nicole Huebner and Starstruck Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Marilyns Benz), owned by Nicole Huber – score 214.5.