The 2016 High Roller Reining Classic opened its doors and welcomed the horse world to “come on in” this morning in Las Vegas, Nevada. The nine year old show is offering a cool half-million in cash and prizes over the next ten days, September 9th through 17th, at the South Point Event Center, Hotel and Casino. It’s the largest of the four major reining competitions presented annually by the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Brumley Management Group, LLC. This show is actually listed as the fourth largest NRHA competition globally!
The first reiner stepped eagerly into the Priefert Arena at 8:30 am and when the dust had settled, the outcome proved to be a very nice win in the High Roller Classic Open for Tom Foran and Blue Collar Tag. Blue Collar Tag is owned by Sleipner, LLC of Beverly Hills, California. The 8-year-old bay gelding is sired by Two Million Dollar Sire, Whiz N Tag Chex. Foran and Blue Collar Tag turned in a 74, which was also the high score of the day. Crystal McNutt and White Gunpowder placed second with a 73.5. Owner Kim Niven won on White Gunpowder last spring at the Wild Card Challenge in the Prime Time Non Pro.
The Intermediate Open was won by Maya Stessin and Gunsmokes TNT, the Limited Open by Spook Dunit and Jesus Chavez, the Rookie Professional by Daphne Thompson and Check Your Gun Lad, and the Open Cat 4 by Jessica Dooley and Maybe Lou Dunit.
On Saturday the Rookie Non Pro classes will take center ring at the Priefert Arena, along with the DRHA Rookie and Green As Grass reining. The World Para Reining riders will compete for money and prizes as well. The HRRC kids will be riding in the 2016 NARHA Youth Tournament across the way in the Lucas Oil Arena beginning at 8 am. Oklahoma Equine is scheduled to sponsor the annual NARHA Pizza Party at 1 pm in the upstairs, commercial exhibit’s area of the Lucas Oil Arena, near the High Roller Trophy Room. Friday’s show ended with a Draw and Bowling party for the kids upstairs in the South Point Bowling Center. They had a terrific time.
Sunday features more of the same exciting reining entertainment and mixes in the NARHA purebred and Half-Arabian Open Futurities for good measure. The program that began several years ago as the ARBC has now evolved into the NARHA, the National Arabian Reining Horse Association. This continuing innovative Arabian reining incentive offering has provided the Arabian horse community over $250,000 in NRHA prize money over the last few years!
Day two of the 2016 High Roller Reining Classic spotlighted the kids and it’s so much fun to watch them compete. From the tiniest Short Stirrup competitors to the teens that are already eyeing Non Pro buckles, they are a delight to catch in action. In the Short Stirrup division Addisyn Schmersal teamed Cromer Out Whiz to win with a solid 70 score. The Youth 13 & Under class was the largest of the “kid” classes with 19 entries, though the Youth 14 -18 was not far behind with 18 teenagers participating. Winner of the 13 & Under was Luca Fappani, riding Custom Spook, the horse Andrea Fappani rode at the HRRC last year to win the USEF Open. Luca tied for second as well, riding his mom’s horse, Premier Diamond. Caroline Buchanan tied with him for second, riding Lucky Cee Blair. Caroline won the individual Gold Medal at last year’s HRRC Youth Tournament. Kate Buchanan (Bronze individual Medal in the 2015) won the 14-18 with her good Vintage Neptune. Kaylee Naylor was second with Spookamatic. All of these winning kids are from Scottsdale, except for Addisyn who hails from Oklahoma. In the Breed Restricted Arabian competition Siena Krueger won the 13 & Under with VLQ Friendly Fire and Abbey Weiss won the 14-18 on Dun With Style RA.
Both the Lucas and the Preifert Arenas were very active on Saturday. The Youth classes were larger than anticipated and ran late, eventually pushing the show up to 10 pm Saturday night. In the Rookie competition Laura Johnson and Vintage Sparks won the Level 2 and 1 Rookie, as well as the DRHA Rookie and the Green Reiner. Joe Moran and AR Guns N Roses won the Prime Time Rookie and Leah Miller and Jac Be Whizard won the Green As Grass. After the kids finished up in the Lucas Arena, Robyn Schiller teamed Plenty Of Guns to win the Novice Horse Non Pro with a solid 72 and then took second as well, posting a 71.5 with CD Star Commander and taking home total prize money just over a $1000 for her efforts. Dan Huss won the Novice Horse Level 2 with Chics Dream for owner, Morris Kulmer of Bountiful, Utah. Shane Brown and Wimpys Lucky Girl were a half point behind to take second place for Holly Van Duys of Westcliffe, Colorado. At evening’s end Crystal McNutt teamed Zee Gunslinger to win the NARHA 4/5 Yr Old Open Arabian Futurity, taking home over $1,600 for the run.
Following the WPR (World Para Reining) competition was television coverage for the local Tina Montana show, “What’s Country in Vegas”. The camera crew was visible all Saturday afternoon, interviewing and filming the WPR riders especially the charming and energetic Freddy Win and his talented Reiner, Downright Juicy (Trucker). “Trucker” is owned by Juli Moran and trained by Ashley Kelkenberg.
In addition to all of the above competition on its “day two”, Sunday will showcase the much anticipated NARHA Half-Arabian Open Futurities. The program that began several years ago as the ARBC has now evolved into the NARHA, the National Arabian Reining Horse Association. It’s a fledging group with a lot of energy and promise for tomorrow.
On Sunday the kids started the ball rolling once again and continued to entertain and earn our applause throughout the morning session and into the afternoon at the Lucas Oil Arena. In the Short Stirrup division Addisyn Schmersal held on to the lead she took yesterday with Cromer Out Whiz to win, besting her Saturday 70 score with a 71. Luca Fappani did the same thing in the Youth 13 & Under class riding Custom Spook into first place and tying for second on Premier Diamond with Ashley Jackson and Smart Like Steady, Caroline Buchanan (on BOTH Spark Me Again and Lucky Cee Blair) and Bo Van Duys on Aim Your Pistol. Gina Schumacher won the 14-18, posting a sterling 73 with Judys A Little Moody. Kaylee Naylor was second with All Natural Shine (same young lady as yesterday but on a different horse). In the Breed Restricted Arabian competition Siena Krueger won the 13 & Under again with VLQ Friendly Fire and Abbey Weiss owned the 14-18 one more time with Dun With Style RA.
Later on in the afternoon, the NARHA Youth Tournament prizes were awarded in front of an appreciative crowd, with the Gold Medal award and the big scholarship money going to Team 19 – Luca Fappani, Custom Spook; Adrianna Adams, Cashen Big Chex; Siena Krueger, VLQ Friendly Fire; Sophia Polumbo, Miss Trashy Lady and McKenna Bein, MK Check Please. Luca also took the individual Gold Medal. Individual Silver Medal went to Kate Buchanan on Vintage Neptune and Individual Bronze went to Kaylee Naylor and her two good Reiners, Spookamatic and All Natural Shine.
Late afternoon in the Lucas Arena brought the Open Novice Horses and a nice score of 74 plus the win for Pedro Baiao and Hesa Sparklin Crome. Dan Huss grabbed the Reserve spot with a 73.5 on Maximum Dream. Robyn Schiller teamed Plenty of Guns to win the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2, followed by a 4-way tie for second with Melinda Cresap, ARC King Snapper; Derek Brummett, Thischicsamistress; Melissa Wigen, Dunit In Wranglers and Gillian Galligan, Magnums Chic Dun It, all claiming a piece of the action! Meanwhile in the Preifert Arena, across the way, well over a hundred entries were slugging it out until 7:30 pm in the early evening for the Rookie titles. When the dust settled, Tracy Burnside and Honky Tonkin Dream had won the Rookie Level 2 and the Prime Time Rookie. Laura Johnson had tied for fourth in the Rookie 2, while winning the Rookie Level 1, the DRHA Rookie and the DRHA Green Reiner. That left the Green As Grass title to a delighted Jac Bee Whiz and rider Dana Pastorino. The WPR group finished up their competition with newcomer Erin Reid winning the first day’s competition on Twylite Zone, owned by Ashlye Daniel. On Sunday, Kim Olivetto and Optimus Shine tied for first with Briana Bartlett on Western Whiz.
At evening’s end Debbie Brown and Arkys Smart Leo Lad won the NARHA 4/5 Yr Old Half-Arabian Futurity Level 4, taking home over $1,200 for their efforts. Tyson Randle missed by a half-point to take Reserve honors with Destined To Shine and nearly $1,000 for his trouble. Arkys Smart Leo Lad is *Bask, Bay El Bey and *Serafix-bred on his Arabian sire’s side and Peppy San Badger plus Smart Little Lena breeding from his Quarter horse dam. The NARHA Futurity Level 1 was a duel between brothers Nathan Kent and SH Smoke N Sparks and Preston Kent and SH Rockin Reminic with Nathan edging his brother out this time.
Monday and Tuesday the Lucas Oil Arena is dark and the Priefert will be hosting lots of exciting Non Pro competition daily. Things heat up again on Wednesday with the $21,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Non Pro Futurity, $10,000 Added Smartpak Non Pro Maturity and the NARHA Arabian/Half-Arabian Non Pro Futurity. Then, it’s heavy duty, non-stop HRRC action right through Saturday evening!
There were almost a hundred entries in the Non Pro and that kept all of us busy until after 7 pm. Paige Diamond beat this big bunch with a solid 73 on her great champion, Diamond Oak. Kylie Robinson and Wimpys Tonnob took Reserve with a 72 and Megan Dante teamed Lookies Gotta Gun to mark a 71.5 for third.
Things heat up again in both rings starting Wednesday with the $21,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Non Pro Futurity, the $10,000 Added Smartpak Non Pro Maturity and the NARHA Arabian/Half-Arabian Non Pro Futurity. Wednesday afternoon there’s a not so serious Call To The Races. Pony Pals and big name trainers teaming up to compete for non-stop laughter, a Calcutta and big Party. Then, we’re at a dead run right down the middle of Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The $80,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Open Futurity, The Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro and Open and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby and the Lucas Oil 4/5/6 Year-Old Open Derby. Don’t miss a single minute!
There were over a hundred entries in the Non Pro Tuesday and that held all of our attention from dawn until early evening. Top team of the day was Gina Schumacher and Snip O Lution. The Texas duo posted a 72.5 early on and held the lead throughout the competition. Snip O Lution (Einsteins Revolution) was a 2012 NRHA/Markel Insurance Marketplace Sale graduate that came to national notoriety in 2014 by winning the Lucas Oil Open go around Level 4 NRHA Futurity. The 5-year-old Palomino is both handsome and talented. Second place honors went to Michael Garnett and Spooksgottachicolena. Four teams tied for third by posting 71 scores: Jeanne Levine and Whizen Thru The Cash, Gina Schumacher and Judys A Little Moody and Cady Shaw, riding both Bulletproof and Dream Whiz Me.
The title in the Prime Time Non Pro division went to Jeanne Levine and her great gelding Whizen Thru The Cash. Jeanne and “Champ” have been hitting some serious high notes over the past year following their big win at Reining By The Bay in 2015. Second and third went to Cady Shaw and her two horses, Bulletproof and Dream Whiz Me. In the NP Masters and the Intermediate Non Pro Jackie Redish and Custom Smart Juice were on top with Kathy Copus and Gunball Machine slipping into second place. Also in the NP Masters and Intermediate Non Pro money was the familiar star of television and motion pictures, William Shatner, riding Smart In Coryagable. The “Captain of the Starship Enterprise” was vocal and aggressive in his warm-up and his time in the show pen, particularly impressive when you consider that he is now 86 and still riding and competing in Reining!
In the NRHA Non Pro Category 4, fourteen Arabians competed. Audrey Hart took the top spot riding Dunit On Fyre RA, with Linda Jacobs in the Reserve spot on Al Marah Matt Dillon. Abbey Weiss was third on Dun With Style RA.
Wednesday the $21,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Non Pro Futurity, the $10,000 Added Smartpak Non Pro Maturity and the NARHA Arabian/Half-Arabian Non Pro Futurity take the spotlight. Wednesday afternoon there’s a not-so-serious Call To The Races … Pony Pals and big name trainers teaming up to compete for non-stop fun, a Calcutta and big Party. This is a fund raiser for the NARHA programs and a chance to enjoy a good laugh. Then, hang on to your Stetsons for the next three days and the $80,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Open Futurity, the Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro and Open and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby and the Lucas Oil 4/5/6 Year-Old Open Derby.
Just as promised the action began early on Wednesday morning and simply never stopped. The Limited Non Pro took over the Priefert Arena and 78 competitors lined up to back their horse and rider team’s athletic ability with real reining action. Midway through the day, Megan Dante and Lookies Gotta Gun posted a sizzling 73 and held on to the lead to win the title. Jenny Ricotta and SS Spyderman posted a 71.5 to take reserve and Patricia Cooley and Irishdotcom tied with Laura Thomas and Dun With Me for third place honors.
Wednesday in the Lucas Arena showcased the $21,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Non Pro Futurity, the $10,000 Added Smartpak Non Pro Maturity and the NARHA Arabian/Half-Arabian Non Pro Futurity. In the Tamarack Futurity, James Morgan rode Partychicatrashya to win both the Level 4 and 3, taking home a handsome $6,113.13 for his efforts. Colton Wong and Such A Smart Spark won the Level 1 and were second in Level 4 and 3 to make take-home pay of $4,913.88. Kelsey Huffman and All You Need Is Luv won the Level 2, with Sara Silva and Whizkeys Smart Chic taking reserve in both the Level 2 and Level 1.
In the $2,500 Added NARHA Arabian/Half-Arabian Level 4 Non Pro Futurity, the Manager of the Brumley Management Group, Amanda Brumley, won the competition and the $1,856.25 on her handsome Arabian gelding, TS Mae Gossip. Abbey Weiss and TR Flash Flood took home $1,237.50 for reserve.
In the Level 4 Smartpak Non Pro Maturity, Dana Cohen rode Magnum Refund to win both the Level 4 and 3. Cori Vokoun was reserve in those two divisions with Whizin Off Sparks, and won the Level 2 and 1 for good measure. Melissa Wigin and Dunit in Wranglers was reserve in Level 2 and 1. Brenda Joyce teamed Wimpys High Bid to win the Prime Time and Jackie Redish and Custom Smart Juice took the Masters title.
Some top Arabian and Half-Arabian reiners showed up for the NARHA class with Audrey Hart scoring the top money on Dunit On Fyre RA. Linda Jacobs and Al Marah Matt Dillon were reserve and Chandler Hiser teamed Hollywood Honey to take third.
One of the day’s great highlights was the Pony Races, a fund raiser for the NARHA and their outstanding Youth program. The races featured some big name NRHA trainers, cute little toy ponies and a very grown up Calcutta. There were three preliminary races and a final Big Race. Several hundred people turned out and several thousand dollars were raised for the NARHA. The Calcutta auction and the races were all live streamed on a Horse Show Global channel, at the same time as the Reining rings were being broadcast. Over a dozen NRHA trainers participated. Race winner and Calcutta winner was Jordan McBurney and her husband Sean. It was a wonderful and entertaining evening and a great High Roller Reining Classic moment.
Thursday, the Priefert Arena will feature nonstop Non Pro action, while the Lucas Oil Arena hosts the $80,000 Tamarack Ranch Open Futurity. All of this to be followed on Friday and Saturday by the Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro and Open and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby and the Lucas Oil 4/5/6 Year-Old Open Derby!
Thursday was the final morning for Non Pro action in the Priefert Arena at the 2016 High Roller Reining Classic. After warming up with great runs in the Maturity yesterday, Melissa Wigen and Dunit In Wranglers came back to win this morning in the Non Pro, while Wimpys Little Nite and Courtney Battison took home the reserve. In the Prime Time, DeWayne Copus and Daddy Day Care scored a 72 to win both this and the Masters, while Britta Jacobsen and Okie Wimpys turned in a 71.5 for second place honors in the Prime Time. Gayle Samuelson and Doubleshot Shotgun were reserve in the Masters. The two big Non Pro winners of the day, Melissa Wigen and DeWayne Copus, then tied for first in the Intermediate. The Arabians enjoyed their Non Pro competition too, with Chandler Hiser winning on his Hollywood Honey and Linda Jacobs taking reserve with Al Marah Matt Dillon, capping off a great day of Non Pro competition.
Of course, the day’s main focus was on the Lucas Oil Arena where the Pros were showing off many of their very best 2016 National three-year-old prospects in the $80,000 Added Tamarack Ranch Open Futurity. Almost a hundred young horses showed up to try out their legs and show off their young talents. It was definitely the Class of the Class of 2013. In the Level 4 it cost a minimum score of a 217.5 just to make a paycheck at this party. In the first hour Franco Bertolani and Hollywood Nites set the tone with a solid 217.5. Then Craig Schmersal with Wimpys Little Spook and Casey Deary with HA Calico Joe posted 219’s, and that was before lunch. At lunchtime Jordan McBurney and Gibsons Finest (the only lady in the Level 4 money and the winner of the Level 3) and Jason Vanlandingham both threw down 220’s. Those scores held well until 2:45 when Shawn Flarida and Spooks The Hard Way turned in a beautiful run and posted a 221. Most of us thought that was the end of it, until about 5 pm with just a single handful of horses left to show, Andrea Fappani appeared and snatched the prize by running a 222 with Ifwhizswereguns. The owners, B & L Holdings LLC took home $14,662.50 and Patricia Holtzman, who owns Spooks The Hard Way, made a handsome $8,925.00 for the reserve placing.
Mizzen Gunner and Jesse Beckley were fifth in the Level 4 and reserve in the Level 3 to take home over $11,000. Ruben Van Dorp and Smart Twinkletown won the Level 2 and earned close to $13,000 between the level placements. Reserve in the Level 2 was Justa Cool Nite and Francesco Martinotti. Kari Klingenberg won the Level 1 with Gunnachicya.
Most of these superlative young horses are on their way to more Futurities this fall and winter, of course. Like the other competing trainers, Josiah Haaby, who rode Smart Chics Boomer to reserve honors in the Level 1, was already making plans for the upcoming weeks and months. “We bought this filly at the NRHA Sale in Oklahoma City and this is her second show,” says Si who hails from Dragonfly Ranch in Oregon. “She had a good run, her stops were great and we need to work on the turns. She’ll be up at the Idaho Low Roller and then at Oklahoma. She’s owned by Sandra Tow, Redmond, Oregon.”
Friday and Saturday the Lucas Oil Arena hosts the Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro and Open and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby as well as the Lucas Oil 4/5/6 Year-Old Open Derby!
The final Friday and Saturday of the 2016 Las Vegas High Roller Reining Classic is all about the Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro and Open and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby and the Lucas Oil 4/5/6 Year-Old Open Derby. It now takes two solid days to run all of this important reining competition because of the large number of horses competing. Consequently, much of Friday’s scores carry over into Saturday’s final, important tallies. Even with Friday taking up the Non Pro and many runs, Saturday is expected to run for 13 hours this year. So, none of the information here is absolutely “official” but it makes for great conversation!
In the morning, the ladies ruled the Non Pro roost. High score of the session was Jennifer Neal of Willow Park, Texas who rode Z Martinalena to a 216. Also hailing from Texas, Gina Schumacher of Gordonville continued her winning ways at this show, riding Snip O Lution to a 214.5 and then Judys A Little Moody to a 213.5. The Murietta, California girl, Careena Westin teamed Whizkey N Cash to a 213.5, while Michelle Miola of Scottsdale, Arizona, posted a 213 on Electric Cha Ching. Finally, at session’s end, Jessica Leibold, Corona, New Mexico, posted a 214 on Shiney Smart Sparks.
Friday’s afternoon session ran the first 50 or so horses for tomorrow’s Lucas Oil Protect the Harvest Derby. There were a number of great runs that could possibly hold their own with what’s coming up on Saturday and take a piece of the prize money. Top scores of the afternoon went to Patrick Flaherty, first with Shiney Smart Sparks (223.5) and then, with Whiz Boom Wrangle (222.5). Right behind him was Abby Lengel, high scoring lady of the day, who posted a 221 with Who Dat Hot Chic, as well as a solid 218 with Magnum Chic Dunit. Arnaud Ferret, who works with Jordan Larson, proudly marked a 219 with This Chics Got A Gun and Ruben Van Dorp was very pleased with the 218 he posted on Fille Code. Some great reining and so much more to come tomorrow!
The final Saturday of the 2016 Las Vegas High Roller Reining Classic started with the Whizkey N Diamonds 4-Yr-Old Stakes Non Pro Stakes and the Protect The Harvest 4/5/6 Year-Old Non Pro Derby. Winner of the Level 4 Aged Event and the Stakes was Mandy McCutcheon and Special Kinda Nite with a stunning score of 223.5, taking home over $13,000. Frederick Christen and Msdreamy were reserve in the Level 4, won Levels 3, the Prime Time and the Masters Non Pro Derby for good measure. The pair took home over $11,000 in prize money and lots of prizes. Christy Brasier and Chics Want My Number were third in the Level 4 and reserve in the Level 3. James Morgan and Smart Stepin Lena were reserve in the Prime Time and reserve in the Intermediate Non Pro Level 3 Stakes. Bailey Kolsun and Diamond Studded Guns won the Level 2 Non Pro, and the Intermediate Non Pro Level 3 and Level 2 Stakes, and took reserve in the Level 4 Non Pro Stakes. Bailey took home over $17,000. Jennifer Neel and Z Martinalena won the Level 1 Non Pro and were reserve in the Level 2. Morris Kulmer and Chics Dream were reserve in the Level 1 Non Pro, Michael Garnett and Snoop Around were reserve in the Masters Non Pro Derby and Careena Westin and Whizkey N Cash were reserve in the Non Pro Level 2 Stakes.
The enormously competitive Lucas Oil and Protect The Harvest Derby is an open Reining competition that attracts the best trainers and horses in America, some say the World. In the level 4 competition it took a score of 221 just to get into the money, and the division paid down to 15th place. Andrea Fappani won the Level 4 with a score of 233.5 on Platinum Vintage, Shawn Flarida was reserve with a 229 on Shine N Spook. Winner of the Level 3 was Matt Mills riding Wimps Cool Breeze, with Martin Muehlstaetter in second place on Late Night Stopper. Patrick Flaherty was both first (with Shiney Smart Sparks) and second (with Whiz Boom Wrangle) in the Level 2 Limited Open. Saar Ben Hamo and Jac Electric Shine, and Benny Maddox riding The Gun Lady, went one-two in the Level 1 Open. Casey Deary and ARC Gunna Mark Ya won the Open Level 4 Stakes with a 228.5. Jason Vanlandingham and Smokinghot Hollywood were reserve. Billy Williams and Gunnafoolya won the Intermediate Open Level 3 Stakes, while Todd Sommers took second on Sparkin Whiz It. Finally, in the Limited Open Level 2 Stakes, Francesco Martinotti teamed Legend Slides Wright to top honors, with Arnaud Ferret and This Chics Got A Gun taking reserve.
Thousands of Reining enthusiasts from all over the world watched and enjoyed nine days of High Roller interviews, commentary, parties and all of the NRHA Reining action LIVE from Las Vegas via live stream broadcasting on www.HorseShowGlobal.com, as well as Facebook and Instagram, #HRRC.