Tish Fappani Wins NRHA Non-Pro Futurity
Tish Fappani rides Legend Slides Wright to the Level 4 win at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity as first-timer William Rhoads sweeps three levels.
By Larri Jo Starkey | December 2, 2015
The American Quarter Horse Journal
In December 2014, Tish Fappani didn’t think she needed another horse.
She already had a gelding in training for the 2015 National Reining Horse Association Futurity, so she was skeptical when her husband, Andrea Fappani, bought Legend Slides Wright through the futurity sale.
“I love riding, but if I don’t show, it’s not the end of the world,” she said. “We’re really busy with our boys. But then I knew that he was a good one. Between Andrea and I and the team, we were able to make it work.”
On December 4, the day of the non-pro finals, Tish was also battling the loss of her voice.
“I was really worried about him hearing me,” she said. “And so we messed around before and made sure he was in my hands in case the voice didn’t come out. He was good. He hung with me. I didn’t get him turned one way like I can, but he was a good boy. I was really proud of him.”
Tish and “Steve-O” were the last team to ride before the drag – 20th overall in the draw – and their 220.5 held up through the entire 36-horse set.
Legend Slides Wright is a 2012 chestnut stallion by Custom Legend and out of She Slides Wright by Smart Little Lena. He was bred by Camela Essick of Clements, California.
In addition to the more than $36,000 Tish earned for her win, she got an additional check for $37,500 because she bought the horse through the NRHA Futurity sale.
Veterinarian Bill Rhoads came closest to matching Tish’s score on Legends Slide Wright with his 219.5. That 219.5 wasn’t just second in Level 4. Bill was riding in his first futurity, which made him Level 1 eligible. And Level 2 eligible. And Level 3 eligible – meaning he swept three competition levels on Mega Maggie Mae.
“That’s the biggest score I’ve ever marked,” Bill said. “I knew that she was good for me. I felt maybe I had a couple of bobbles here and there but I didn’t know if it was going to deteriorate my score. I knew I was going to get a good score, but I didn’t know it was going to be that high.”
Mega Maggie Mae is a 2012 chestnut mare by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Cinco De Mega by Marthas Mega Jac. She was bred by Martin Bonneson of New London, Wisconsin.
“I bought her as a yearling,” Bill said. “My trainer Richard Pokluda, my friend, trained her. We knew she was pretty special pretty early. She’s gotten better and better this year. Typically I let Richard show the 3-year-olds, but he thought that she would fit me – the kind of horse I like and get along with. He let me have her and I’m not giving her back.”
Bill found the mare when he was performing a prepurchase exam for a different buyer. That buyer passed, so Bill bought her himself.
“She had a kind eye,” he said. “She was stout. I’m a big guy, so I need a bigger horse. I was looking for a mare at the time to show and keep as a broodmare.
Bill plans to keep showing her for now.
“We’re going to do the derbies,” he said. “It’s too much fun showing her. We’re going to make some babies and probably have fun with those, too.”