Four Paint horse took top honours at the recent National Reining Horse Association European Futurity and Show in Germany, beating some of Europe’s finest reining horses.
An “Open to the World” show for Europe’s premier 4-year-old reining horses, the NRHA European Futurity featured more than €200,000 in added money and also included a full NRHA show and exhibitors from 12 countries.
Despite logging the second highest score – a 216 -in the Non Pro Futurity’s first go-round on March 19 out of 42 competitors, Susy Baeck of Montenau, Belgium, wasn’t about to settle for second place. Returning aboard Sugar Pop Gun Cash BB for the finals on March 23, the duo repeated their 216 score, tying them for first place in the Roleski Ranch NRHA European Non Pro Futurity Level 4 with Italian Manuel Bonzano and Nic Ricochet (QH). Susy and her 2008 palomino overo stallion also won the Level 2 and Level 3 Non Pro championships.
“My horse was really good for me here,” Susy said. “He’s not an easy horse, but he was great both in the first go-round and, of course, in the finals tonight. In the beginning of the run he was a little nervous, but by the end he was relaxed and it paid off!”
Bred by Deborah Strahman of New Smyrna, Florida, the stallion is by Nu Chex To Cash (QH) and out of Sugar Pop Gun by NRHA $3 million sire Colonels Smokingun. Cira Baeck of Montenau owns Sugar Pop Gun Cash BB.
With both Susy and Manuel scoring 216 in the finals, the competitors had the option to be named co-champions or compete in a run-off for the outright title; Susy and Manuel agreed to share the Level 4 championship.
“Since I knew that the Level 2 and 3 championships were mine, I did not want to push him in yet another run, and since Manuel agreed, we called it a day,” Susy said. “I am really happy, and I hope to be able to show him again this year!”
On March 20, Lisa Buescher-Pfohl of Meerbusch, Germany, and her 7-year-old bay tobiano mare Smart Like Delta scored a 213 in the Intermediate Non Pro class, besting a field of 31 to win the championship. Bred by Sigrid Buescher and Bruno Pfohl of Meerbusch, the mare is by As Smart As Charley (QH) and out of EK Peppy San Delta.
Martine Groenendijk of Kaag, The Netherlands, piloted RS Miss Olena Doco to a score of 212.5—a full 3.5 points higher than the second-place horse in the field of 31. Their effort was enough to clinch the NRHA Rookie Level 2 Champion title on March 24. The duo also placed eighth in the Limited Non Pro competition on March 23.
A 2006 bay solid Paint-bred mare by Spat Olena (QH) and out of Sun Chic Podoco, RS Miss Olena Doco was bred by Claudio Risso of Villa Faletto, Italy, and is owned by Martine.
A score of 218 sent Wimpys Snow Step to the top of the charts, netting the Novice Horse Open championship for the 2008 sorrel overo stallion. Piloted by Bernard Fonck, Wimpys Snow Step’s victory came in the largest ancillary class – 68 strong – of the competition.
By Wimpys Little Step (QH), Wimpys Snow Step is out of Snow Gun, a daughter of Colonels Smokingun and third-place winner at the 2002 NRHA Open Futurity. The 4-year-old stallion was bred by Andre De Bellefeuille of St. Basil Le Grand, Quebec, Canada, and is owned by 23 Quarter Horses of Incisa Scapaccino, Italy.
Several other Paints also placed well in the finals, including RR Hi Ho Star, who was third in the Limited Open; Docs Lil Gun, who was third in the Youth 13 & Under and Rookie Level 2; Gun At The Gate, who was fourth in the Level 3 Non Pro and seventh in the Level 4 Non Pro; Gunners Hollywood Dol, who was fourth in the Level 2 Non Pro and fifth in the Level 3 Non Pro; Gunner Be Really Good, who was third in the Level 1 Open and sixth in the Level 2 Open; and Sugars Lil Gun, who was fourth in the Level 1 Open and seventh in Level 2 Open.