Shootout at the NRHA Futurity

Lil Joe Cash returns to Oklahoma City to claim the National Reining Horse Association Shootout with Andrea Fappani.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Lil Joe Cash and Andrea Fappani win the $75,000-added Championship Shootout at the 2014 National Reining Horse Association Futurity. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from the event, scroll to the slideshow below.

Phooey on retirement.

After a year and a half out of the show ring, Lil Joe Cash returned December 5 to Oklahoma City to win the $75,000-Added Championship Shootout at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.

With Andrea Fappani in the saddle, same as he was for the Futurity win in 2011, “Lil Joe” worked 18th in the draw for a score of 223. His hard stops and the impulsion out of rollbacks had the crowd gasping.

“(He’s) much stronger and much more comfortable and mature mind-wise,” Andrea said. “He’s been a pleasure to bring back. It was a great surprise that he came back a stronger horse, for sure, than what I left him a couple of years ago.”

Since becoming AQHA world champion in junior reining in 2012, Lil Joe has been standing in Texas, Andrea said, explaining why he hasn’t been showing the horse.

“He’s breeding in Texas, and with me being in Arizona, it’s just too hard,” he said. “We tried one time to have someone leg him up and me just show him at the shows, and it just didn’t work out. The horse is too nice. It wasn’t fair to anybody.”

Trainer Casey Deary showed Lil Joe to a win in the derby at the Tulsa Reining Classic, but the stallion has been off until Andrea started legging him up about a month ago.

Lil Joe Cash is a 2008 sorrel stallion by Nu Chex To Cash and out of AQHA Superhorse RS Lilly Starlight by Grays Starlight. He was bred by Kurt and Angie Harris of Guthrie, Oklahoma, and is owned by Lil Joe Cash Inc. of Waco, Texas.

To date, Lil Joe Cash has earned $246,800 in NRHA competition. The Shootout paycheck added another $21,300 to his earnings. This is the fourth Shootout title for Andrea, a $3 million rider for NRHA, who earned two AQHA world championships November 15 showing Smoking Whiz to the world championship in senior reining and SG Frozen Enterprize to the world championship in junior reining.

Placing second at the Shootout was What A Wave, a 2008 sorrel stallion by Tidal Wave Jack and out of What A Sunrise by Sunrise Enterprise. He was bred by Sam and Tina Ellis of Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and is owned by Karl and Terri Roberts of Broomfield, Colorado. He was ridden by Craig Schmersal of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Third place went to the defending Shootout champion Shiners Chic, ridden by Jason Vanlandingham of Whitesboro, Texas. Shiners Chic is a 2005 sorrel gelding by Smart Chic Olena and out of Ebony Shines by Shining Spark. He was bred by Manntana LLC of Bigfork, Montana, and is owned by Rosanne Sternberg of Aubrey, Texas.