It took a 226 to win the Level (L)4 Open Derby qualifier, and that is exactly what NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani posted riding Silver Spurs Equine’s Chic Dreamin (Magnum Chic Dream x Skeets Red Dunit).
With the 5-year-old stallion (nominated by Casey Hinton) between the reins, Fappani came away from the 2017 NRBC with the Level 4 Open title, a feat that put the pressure on his performance in OKC. “I was really nervous coming in today,” said the Arizona-based NRHA Professional. “My horse felt really good but, when you come away from the NRBC with the championship, the pressure is on. Especially if you have to wait until the end of the week to show!”
“Chic Dreamin is such a great horse and Andrea [Fappani] is such an amazing rider,” said Michelle Miola of Silver Spurs Equine. “I am so excited with their performance today!”
Jimmy Van Der Hoeven and Electro Star (Electric Code x Rg Miss Starlight), owned by Kathy Hinton and Casey Hinton and nominated by David Hartman DVM, had posted the highest score of the first go round, first section of the L4. Fappani bested his score by one point.
NRHA Professionals Billy G Williams and Bud Lyon both posted a 222.5 to lead the L3 division. Williams rode his own 4-year-old stallion nominated by Vicky King, Prety Fashionable (Pretty Peppy Chec x Sheza Fashion Chic). Lyon rode Madison Quintanar’s 5-year-old stallion Einsteins Top Whiz (Einsteins Revolution x KR Samantha), nominated by Shady Grove Farm Inc. The duo also lead the L2 division.
Gotta Get A Diamond (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Brillante Diamantes), owned by Cross C Ranch and ridden by Sarah Cunningham, held on to the top L1 score, a 220, earned in the first section of the Open Derby qualifier.
Open Derby Bubble scores:
Level 4: 220.5
Level 3: 218.5
Level 2: 217
Level 1: 214
Thursday Ancillary Action
As open riders provided reining action in the Jim Norick Arena, the Adequan Championship Arena offered the non pro competition.
Graycen Hess and her own Chromed Olena (Cromed Out Mercedes x FS Smart Dot Chic) posted a 143.5 to win the $500-added NRHA Limited Non Pro show #2 class. “I came here to compete in my first Derby ever. We went in and did really well, but in our first turn we kind-of bobbled a little bit, so sadly we missed the finals by a point,” said the young rider. “We came into this class and, being the same pattern, I wanted to go in and fix that turn. It worked…he was right there with me and was awesome.”
Hess rides with NRHA Professional Josiane Gauthier, who found him for her in January. “I wanted a step-up horse that would be able to get me here and take care of me in the show pen. She found him and we just clicked,” she added. “Saturday and Sunday I’ll show in the Youth 14-18 and then on Sunday I’ll be showing in IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association).”
It took a run off to determine who would take home the $1,000-added NRHA Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 show #2. Both Kelsey Delaplaine, riding Boom Sail Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Cheeky Boom), and Adam Donahue aboard Thata Shiner (Smart Spook x SLJ Smart Like Whinny) scored a 142 to tie for the lead. Once they came back in the pen, first place honors went to Delaplaine and her mount.
James Windham and his Walks With Swagger (Topsail Whiz x Princess In Diamonds) rode to a 146.5 and the win in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 show #2. A point behind the winner, Greg Hall and Mary Hall’s Chics Mainattraction (Conquistador Whiz x Chicstatic) placed second.