Oklahoma City, November 27 – It was an action-packed Sunday at the 2016 NRHA Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show (NAAC). The first section of the second go-round of the $472,500*-added (*subject to change based on nominations) Open Futurity opened the day, and once the last horse ran through the in-gate, the highest composite score was earned by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida riding E. Alberto Casasco’s Whiz Gata Prize. Aboard the talented stallion (by NRHA Eleven Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz and out of Smart Little Prize) nominated and bred by Robert Santagata, Flarida closed his performance in the first go-round with a 221.5. The duo posted a 223 today, earning the highest composite score in the Level (L)4 Open presented by Lucas Oil, a 444.5.
NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani, rode Ifwhizwereguns (Spooks Gotta Gun x Ifwhizweredollars) for owner Rancho Oso Rio LLC, a stallion nominated and bred by Tanya Jenkins, to a 222.5 which brought his composite score to a 442 after having posted a 219.5 in the first go-round. The duo retains the second highest composite score in the L4.
Topping the L3 Open division with a composite score of 436 (217/219) was Nathan Piper riding High Rolling Spook (Smart Spook x Shining High Roller) for owner Toyon Ranch LLC. Nominated by Rosanne Sternberg, the sorrel stallion is an NRHA Markel Insurance Select Yearling Sale Graduate.
In the L2 Open division, Pedro Baiao and Hollywood Nites (Gunners Special Nite x Dun It For Chex) took the lead with a composite score of 433.5. Bred by Oldenburg Farm LLC, the pretty mare is owned by Michael A Garnett and was nominated by Cardinal Hill Training Center.
In the L1 Open division Little Step (Wimpys Little Step x Ms Colleena Olena), owned by Holy Cow Performance Horses Texas LLC, with Titus Covington in the saddle, holds the highest composite score (428.5).
NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 & Level 1 Champions
Excitement built in the Adequan arena in Oklahoma City as qualifiers rode for the NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 and Level 2 titles. Multiple past NRHA Non Pro World Champion Shannon Rafacz won the Level 2 championship with a 219 score riding Iboom, a 5-year-old sorrel gelding by Boom Shernic and out of Bonitas Latin Chic.
“I’m pretty proud of my horse who I got just before the NRHA Derby through the lease program. I bought him a week before this show and am really excited about the fact that the program worked out the way it was intended to,” said an enthused Shannon. “He’s been in our barn since he was 3, and then his owner went to college, so I tried him. I really love him, he has taught me a ton in six months, and we are truly two peas in a pod!”
The reserve championship honors in the Level 2, a half-a-point behind the winners, went to the NAAC Novice Horse Level 1 Champions, Kara Gray Frye and her 5-year-old chestnut gelding, Juice N Silk (Smart Like Juice). “It was a lot of fun, he was there for me today just as he was there for me all year!” said an emotional Kara following the awards presentation. “Because of an eye injury, that fortunately is healing up beautifully thanks to my vet, I was unable to ride him until yesterday! I bought him last year in May from Jill Walton – who did an amazing job with him – and he’s really become solid. He spent last winter with Mark Rafacz, I flew down several times to ride with Mark, and since then I’ve been riding him myself, so this is a dream come true!”
Claiming reserve honors in the Level 1 with a 216.5 was Shannon Kasten aboard Bill Kasten’s Schoen Smart (Smart Starbuck x Schoen Melody), a 5-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding.