Quarter Horses Shine in NRHA European Derby

Colonels Shining Gun and Cira Baeck claimed the Level 4 open title September 13 National Reining Horse Association event in Italy.

National Reining Horse Association European Derby

Colonels Shining Gun and Cira Baeck won the 2014 NRHA European Derby Level 4 open championship September 13 in Manerbio, Italy. (Credit: courtesy of NRHA) Scroll down to view photos of all the derby champions.

It took a 221 to win the National Reining Horse Association European Derby Level Level 4 open championship, sponsored by KL Performance Horses. When Cira Baeck of Belgium and Colonels Shining Gun, burst in the pen Saturday in Manerbio, Italy, the pair had a 219.5 to beat. Colonels Shining Gun's deep stops, fast spins and trademark circles earned him a score of 221 and the title.

“He was just amazing,” said NRHA professional Cira Baeck about the 2007 stallion owned by Katarzyna Roleskabred of Poland and bred by Trend Horses of Timnath, Colorado. Colonels Shining Gun is by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Shining Little Peach by Shining Spark and boasts $80,270 NRHA LTE.

“We got back from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where we won the team silver medal, two weeks ago. He had time in the pasture at home, and I had hardly ridden him. Tonight I nearly fell off during the spins but then everything went well. He was really great! I love this horse. He is amazing! He can stop so good, and yes, he is the most amazing horse I’ve ever ridden and probably will ever ride.”

Three horse-rider combinations tied for the Level 4 reserve championship: NRHA professional Grischa Ludwig and Custom Del Cielo (Custom Crome-Lena Del Cielo by Gallo Del Cielo, owned by Fabian Strebel); Ludwig riding Lil Smokeing Gun (Smart Chic Olena-Playguns Smoking by Playgun, owned by De Bruin Reining Horses) and NRHA professional Morey Fisk and Chic Dreamn Whizard (Magnum Chic Dream-The Roan Whizard by Whizard Jac, owned by Larissa Rizzi).

Open, Level 3
Winning the Level 3 open championship, with a score of 219, was Kelly Zweifel riding Dunnit Like A Master (Master Snapper-Justanother Dun It by Hollywood Dun It). The 5-year-old stallion, owned by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi and bred by Lewisville Development LP, has $20,670 NRHA LTE. In 2012, he was fourth in the Level 1 open and sixth in the Level 2 open at the NRHA Futurity with Bobby Barko. In 2014, Dunnit Like A Master was third in the Level 3 open division at the 2014 Italian Reining Horse Association Derby with Kelly’s husband, Pietro Artinghelli.

“I had a baby boy last year, who is now 20 months old, and another this year, who is now 6 months old, so I’ve been out of the show pen for a while,” said Zweifel, who placed her three mounts in the finals. “It’s great to be back; I had three great horses to show and am very happy to have made it to the winners circle.”

Guglielmo Fontana, riding Wimpys Smoking Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun-Wimpys LIttle Scoot by Wimpys Little Step) for owners Paint Ranch Golden, took the Level 3 open reserve championship after scoring a 217.

Open, Level 2
Winning the Level 2 open championship with a 216 was young Giovanni Masi of Italy with Renata Vanzo’s Smart Whiz Delmaso. The 2008 stallion by Easy Otie Whiz and out of Playin Dress Up by Smart Chic Olena was bred by Renata Vanzo. Smart Whiz won the Level 2 open division and placed second place in the Level 3 open division at the 2014 IRHA Derby with Masi.

“Every time I show this horse, he is amazing!” Masi said. “Even though he was a little bit tired after being here for more than a week, he gave me all he had. When you are lucky enough to ride horses as this one, all you need to do is go in and trust them completely. I did, and we won!”

Open, Level 1

Fabien Boiron of France took home both the Level 2 open reserve championship and the Level 1 open championship riding Jac Whiz (Conquistador Whiz-Honeys Melody Jac by Mr Melody Jac), owned by Philippe Castel. Aboard the 5-year-old gelding bred by Catherine Castel, the French rider scored a 215.5.  The pair won two championships at the 2014 NRHA European Affiliate Championships – the limited open and intermediate open – and won the Level 4 and Level 2 open divisions at the 2014 French Derby.

"It was a little bit hard in the qualifying round where I made a big mistake in the first stop. I tried to do my best in the finals tonight, and it went well even though I had a bobble in my spins," Boiron said. "This NRHA European Derby has been a great experience, and I am really happy to have won with a horse 'made in France!' "
For complete results, visit www.showmanager.info.   

Non-Pro, Levels 3-4 

With an impressive score of 220.5, Dutch Nuith Linthorst and her Just Miss Enterprise (Surprise Enterprise-Jiggs Partner by A Silent Partner), a 2007 mare bred by Evelien Geerlof of The Netherlands, took both the Level 3 and 4 non-pro championships. At the 2013 NRHA European Derby, the Linthorst and her mare won the Level 1 non-pro division and were reserve champions in the Level 2 and 3 non-pro divisions. This year, they earned the NRHA European Affiliate Championship in the non-pro and intermediate non-pro after having won the limited non-pro championship last year. Before their latest win, Just Miss Enterprise had earned $14,450 NRHA in lifetime earnings.

“She is great! She is my world and she surprises me every time. She’s a miracle,” said Linthorst, who enthused the crowd with her perfect circles and deep stops. “Every time I show, her she gets better and better. She is simply amazing!”

Earning the Level 4 non-pro reserve champion, with a 218, was Manuel Bonzano with Time To Mark Big between the reins. The 2007 gelding, by Big Chex To Cash and out of  Shes Markin Time by Mark Him High, boasts $37,250 NRHA LTE.  In 2011, the flashy buckskin won the NRHA Germany Breeder's Futurity with Bernard Fonck in the saddle, as well as third place at the 2011 NRHA European Futurity. 

“I feel sorry for my horse because he deserved more. As a matter of fact, I hoped to win, but I'm happy anyway. Congratulations to Nuith and her mare!" said Bonzano, who owns the renowned Italian breeding operation 23 QH Azienda Agricola.

Non-Pro, Levels 1-2
The Level 3 non-pro reserve championship, with a score of 216, as well as the Level 1 and 2 championships, went to Italian Monica Ghiorzo and Midnite Master. The 2009 gelding, bred by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi, is by Master Snapper and out of Spirit N Snapple by Mr Snapple. In this year's edition of the Italian Reining Horse Maturity, the pair were third in the Level 3 and 4 non-pro divisions, as well as fourth in the Level 1 and 2 non-pro divisions. 

“I really enjoyed myself!” said Ghiorzo, who rides under the guidance of Mirko Midilli. “My horse was very good and was with me during the whole go. We worked hard, but I really did not expect to win. I'm really happy.”

Earning the Level 1 and 2 non-pro reserve championships, with a 214, were Eric Ranieri Volpe and Exxcaliber (Master Snapper-Tivios Little Dun It by Hollywood Dun It), a palomino stallion bred by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi. 

“It was a really exciting show even though I really felt the pressure,” said the 17-year-old rider.  “I came here hoping to do well, because I know how good my horse is, and I am happy with how it went.”

The NRHA European Non-Pro Derby was sponsored by Cardinal Reining Horses of Aubrey, Texas.  

“This derby has just been great! It's one of the best horse shows I’ve been to, and I just love the European riders, owners and reining fans,” said Joao Marcos.  “I am very proud of these two ladies who took home the championships.”

For complete results, visit www.showmanager.info.