22 - 28 July, 2018 · Kreuth, Germany

2017 News

2017 NRHA European Derby to be held in Lyon, France

April 19, 2017


For immediate release:

Equita Lyon, one of Europe’s premier events in the equestrian world, is host to the 2017 edition of the NRHA European Derby on November 1-5

Oklahoma City, April 19 – Following NRHA Germany’s decision not to host the 2017 edition of the NRHA European Derby in Kreuth, Germany on July 23-30, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee, alongside the NRHA European Affiliate Council Executive Board, has worked endless hours in order to best accommodate our European members, owners and riders.

After considering the generous availability to host and manage the event by Sandra Quade (ReadySteadyShow, Germany), Manuel Bonzano (23 Quarter Horses, Italy), Helmut Schulz (Westernstar HD Schulz, Austria), Corinna Schumacher (CS Ranch, Switzerland) and Kader Ikhllef (Parc Equestre Francilien, France) – who our heartfelt thank you goes to – the NRHA European Council Executive Board put forth a recommendation to the NRHA Executive Committee to move forward with Equita Lyon being the hosting venue. The latter was approved and, moving forward, details will be posted on the NRHA.com website.

“On behalf of Sylvie Robert, director of equestrian events for GL events and president of Equita – and myself – I would like you all to know that we are very happy to organize this beautiful event in cooperation with NRHA,” said Cristine Rigollet of GL events Exhibitions.

“I am excited about hosting the European Derby within Equita Lyon,” added NRHA President, Mike Deer. “It’s an exciting new venue and an opportunity for NRHA in Europe to expand and have an increased presence to a new audience. I’m glad it worked out for the show to be held in such a great venue and would personally like to thank all those that volunteered to host the event prior to the final decision being made.”

First held in 1995, Equita Lyon has become one of the most prestigious events in the equestrian world for both professionals and amateurs and provides over 100 hours of TV coverage worldwide. All levels of riding competitions are represented, from World Cup to club-level. The show attracts over 150,000 visitors and the Euroexpo trade-show boasts vendor space exceeding 130,000m².

The www.equitalyon.com website, created to adjust to smartphones and digital tablets, counts close to three million page visits from September to November yearly. Digital strategy is developed around this web site, as well as on social media, and over 20 newsletters are sent annually.

Update on the NRHA European Futurity and NRHA European Affiliate Championships:

The 2017 edition of the NRHA European Futurity was held in Cremona, Italy. This was the first year at this facility and proved to be very successful. The NRHA European Council met in Cremona and approved an additional 5-year contract between the Italian Reining Horse Association (ItRHA), who will manage the event, and CremonaFiere, the host venue for the European Futurity. During the meeting, the Council also approved the proposal that the NRHA European Affiliate Championships be held in conjunction with the European Futurity in 2018 and 2019.

Media Contact:
Simona Diale
NRHA Senior Director of Publications


2016 NRHA European Derby Open Finals

September 25, 2016

Spooks O Lena and Pierluigi Chioldo win the Open Derby with a 229!

Pierluigi Chioldo & Spooks O Lena

Pierluigi Chioldo & Spooks O Lena

To say that the NRHA European Open Derby finals on Saturday night in Manerbio, Italy, thrilled the crowds is an understatement! The 43 finalists that performed in the four levels wrote history and the scores prove it. In the Level (L)4, the top 15 scores went from a 229 to a 220, and posting the amazing high score of the show was Pierluigi Chioldo with Spooks O Lena (Spooks Gotta Gun x Lonesome Sally Lena) between the reins. The athletic 7-year-old mare is owned by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD and was nominated by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD & Davide Rossi.

“This mare is simply incredible and tonight was the best I’ve ever felt her in the show pen. I’ve had her in training for the past two years and she just gets better and better every time,” said the Italian NRHA Professional. “She was great in the go round but tonight I was so confident and felt that if I asked for more she would give more! She was awesome and deserved to show off what she is capable of. It’s the best way for her to retire and be a full-time brood mare.”

Markus Gebert & Sugar Little Step

Markus Gebert & Sugar Little Step

The L4 Open Derby co-reserve championship, half-a-point behind the winners, went to NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rudi Kronsteiner riding AB Peppy Diamond (OT Taris San Peppy x Mare Made), a 7-year-old stallion (owned by Jennifer Nixdorf and nominated by Antonello Businaro), and to NRHA Professional Markus Gebert aboard Sugar Little Step (Wimpys Little Step x AH Sugar Sugar), a 4-year-old stallion owned by Quarter Dream Srl and nominated by Wolf Dieter Luft.

Gebert and his mount also claimed the L3 championship. “We bought this horse last year before the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity. I rode him two days before that show and he was fantastic. This year, at the NRHA European Futurity, he was injured in his stall and we had to give him a resting period. When we brought him back to the show pen, we won the Swiss Open Derby and now, here we are! He is super, really amazing and is always quiet. He listens, he waits and this evening, everything was in the right place,” claimed the German rider.

Moreno Sacchi & Spooks Midnight

Moreno Sacchi & Spooks Midnight

The L2 Open title, with a 220 score, went to NRHA Professional Moreno Sacchi riding Spooks Midnight (Spooks Gotta Gun x Smart Dottie), a 6-year-old mare owned and nominated by Francesco Mazza. “I showed this mare for the first time at the Italian Derby. This is the second show for us and we made the finals thanks to the consolation run. I’m very happy because now we understand each other better and this evening she was super!” said the Italian rider.

Taking the L2 reserve championship back to Belgium was Matyas Gobert riding Koen Brutsaert’s CJ Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Dream Olena Chic). The 7-year-old stallion nominated by Euro-Vets Inc. closed his run with a 218.5 score.

Nicola Sergio & Ruf Little Chex

Nicola Sergio & Ruf Little Chex

Winning the L1 Open Derby championship was NRHA Professional Nicola Sergio of Italy and his Ruf Little Chex (Lil Ruf Trouble x Nu Dynamite Chex). The 6-year-old gelding, nominated by Luigi Parise, posted a 217.5 with Sergio in the saddle. “I’ve always believed in this horse, he is fantastic. We’ve made the final in every special event we took part in. This evening he was great and was with me all the way. He will now take a break until the end of the year and then we will see!”

Italian NRHA Professional Angelo Benedusi reined Little Hancock (Docs Tivio Hancock x Little Bay Solano), a 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding owned and nominated by Arianna Asteris, to the reserve championship in the L1 division with a 216.

Saturday Ancillary Action Champions

NRHA Youth 14-18 (8 entries)
Michelle Maibaum and Chics Lil Revolution, (Einsteins Revolution x Dun It By Chick), owned by Juergen Maibaum – score 142.

NRHA Rookie Level 1 (5 entries)
Janine Deana Ketterer and Miss Electric Spark (Jacs Electric Spark x Shania Snapper), owned by Laura Letterer – score 139.5.

NRHA Rookie Level 2 (6 entries)
Ann Braunger and BMS Ice Age, (Friscote x Shes A Joker Chic), 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, owned by Ann Braunger. Score 139.5.

€800-added NRHA Intermediate Open Michael Saupe and Lil Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Little Trash), owned by Christine Rippel – score 142.5

€400-added NRHA Limited Open 1. Maria Cisarikova and Spook You (Smart Spook x Solanos Pearl), owned by Martin Bolt – score 138.

€1.500-added NRHA Non Pro Champions: Tina Kuenstner-Mantl and Gotta Gold Chain (Jacs Electric Spark x Snip O Chex), owned by Jacpoint Quarter Horses – score 219

Reserve tie:
Michelle Maibaum and Gunners Jem (Colonels Smoking Gun x Scoots Remedy), owned by Kristina Maibaum – score 214.5.
Nicole Huebner and Starstruck Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Marilyns Benz), owned by Nicole Huber – score 214.5.

2016 NRHA European Derby Non Pro Finals

Anna Lisec and Tari Whizin are the 2016 NRHA Derby Non Pro Level 4 Champions!

Anna Lisec & Tari Whizin

Anna Lisec & Tari Whizin

The 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Non Pro Derby finals held in Manerbio, Italy, lit the Palasturla Equestrian Center arena from the very first competitor that went through the in gate. A young group of up-and-coming riders performed to the best of their ability making the sixth edition of the event one to remember.

Draw 1 in the second section of the finals was Anna Lisec riding her Tari Whizin (Topsail Whiz x Tari Badgekin). With the 7-year-old stallion between the reins, the talented Austrian rider did not hesitate to show off her mount’s athletic ability. Once the duo closed their run, a 224 appeared on the score board and remained unbeaten and for the second year running, Anna Lisec took home the L4 Non Pro championship.

Clemens Hefel & Rio Juice

Clemens Hefel & Rio Juice

“Like I said last year following the finals, I did not expect to win. My horse was amazing, and I am so happy. The whole week I had a little trouble with him but we solved the problems and he was great,” said Lisec. “Last year, with This Wimps So Fly, I just wanted to do the best I could. This year I wanted to win! It was a tough final, and a tough go-round. Having won is the best feeling ever and I cannot thank my parents, my trainers Ann and Bernard Fonck, my team and my horses for helping me achieve this result.” Only a half-a-point behind the winners was 20-year-old Clemens Hefel riding his Rio Juice (Smart Like Juice x Tari What). Also from Austria and also riding a 7-year-old stallion, Clemens was quick to praise his mount and his trainer, NRHA Professional Grischa Ludwig. “Rio Juice has always a solid and awesome horse…he is simple incredible. I came back from the States last week after spending some time riding with Martin Muehlstaetter. Grischa did a fantastic job with my horse when I was away and I cannot thank both these great trainers enough!” said Clemens who also claimed the L3 championship.

Carlo Ambrosini & Saturday Pepper

Carlo Ambrosini & Saturday Pepper

Winning the L2 Non Pro Derby title was 17-year-old Carlo Ambrosini with Saturday Pepper (Saturdaynight Custom x Miss Snapper Lena), owned by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD. With the 6-year-old stallion between the reins, Ambrosini scored a 221. “My horse was bred by us and this makes the win twice as sweet. He’s a very talented horse but I must admit that this evening in the warm up pen I wasn’t quite sure that we would do well. Once we went in the pen I was confident that we could run hard and I’m very very happy!” said Carlo who also left Manerbio with the L3 reserve championship.

Enrico Sciulli & Snips Gotta Bud

Enrico Sciulli & Snips Gotta Bud

It took a run-off between Italian Enrico Sciulli and German Alina Janoush to determine who would take the L1 Non Pro championship. 19-year-old Sciulli and his mare, Snips Gotta Bud (Nic It In The Bud x Snip O Chex), were determined to bring home the title and the duo closed their run with a 221.5. They also took the L2 reserve championship. Janoush and her mare, Ace Got It Dun (Spooks Gotta Gun x Good Lookin Dun It) posted a 219 in the run-off and settled for the L1 reserve championship.

2016 NRHA European Open Pre Futurity presented by Rabboni Quarter Horses

September 24, 2016

Bernard Fonck and Red Collar Tag win the European Level 4 Open Pre Futurity presented by Rabboni Quarter Horses

Manerbio, September 23 – The 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby & Pre Futurity offered an action packed day in Manerbio, Italy, on the fifth day of competition.


Bernard Fonck

The first champions crowned were the €1,500-added NRHA European Level (L)4 and L2 Open Pre Futurity winners. NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck took home the L4 championship riding Red Collar Tag, (Whiz N Tag Chex x Kachina Oak) for owner Sabine Lisec with a 219.5. “We’ve had this horse ever since he was a weanling. Since he was for sale I told Sabine (Lisec) that I thought he would be a good prospect for her and she decided to purchase him. I’ve only schooled him a couple of times before showing him today and I must admit that he felt really good. It looks like he’s going to be a good horse!” said Fonck who also took reserve honors riding Missedouttinseltown (Hollywoodstinseltown x Miss Sliding Peppy), owned by Dries Verschueren, after posting a 218.


Lorenzo De Simone

Winning the €1,000-added Open L2 of the Pre Futurity was Fonck’s assistant trainer, Lorenzo De Simone, aboard Gildo and Giuliano Mercuri’s The Chromed Gun (The Cocked Gun x Custom Highlights). “I’m so happy to have won this title with this mare. She was really quiet, was with me all the way and proved what a big stopper she is. I cannot thank her owners enough for trusting me with her,” commented De Simone following his win.

The reserve championship was for Matteo Vedovato and Hot Miffy Cd (Mifillenium x Hot Tamale Baby), owned by Vittorio Rabboni,

Prior to the European Pre Futurity, the €400-added NRHA Limited Non Pro and €800-added Intermediate Non Pro were offered. French Charlene Aubreton and A Reminic Star, (Lenas Starfish x Miss Reminic Chex) owned by CJA Quarter Horses, posted a 143 to win both classes.

Luke Phillimore and Tin Whizin, (Tinsel Nic x Whizin Off Sparks) owned by Roma Phillimore, settled for second place honors in both the ancillary classes a point behind the winners.

Ancillary Action in Manerbio

September 23, 2016

2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre Futurity

Ancillary Action in Manerbio

Manerbio, September 22 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby & Pre Futurity today offered the first NRHA ancillary classes.

Winning the €400-added NRHA Novice Horse Non Pro Level (L)2, in a field of 56 entries, was Italian Tommaso Coltrioli with his Gunslinger Lil Step between the reins. Aboard the 6-year-old American Quarter Horse sorrel stallion by Wimpys Little Step and out of Playguns Rose, Coltrioli scored a 144 for the win.

Topping the €400-added Novice Horse L2 Open, which counted 54 entries, was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck riding DJ Ruf (Sailin Ruf x RS Dewars Jack). The 5-year-old American Quarter Horse sorrel stallion owned by Cosimo Grippa with Fonck in the saddle closed with a 144.5 score.

The €1.875-added NRHA Open

2014 NRHA Open World Champions, Ebony Spook and Ann Fonck, once again left their mark in the show pen. The talented 8-year-old mare by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook and out of Ebony Whiz, slid to the highest step of the podium after posting a 218.
Reserve honors went to Italian Pierluigi Chioldo and RS Poliphemus Jac (RS Great Jac Feona x Harlan Glo), a 10-year-old stallion owned by Piet Mestdagh.

Friday Action

8:00am: NRHA Limited Non Pro – NRHA Intermediate Non Pro

followed by: NRHA European Level (L)4 & L2 Open Pre Futurity

4:30pm: NRHA European Non Pro Derby – Section 1

7:30pm: NRHA European Non Pro Derby – Section 2

For complete results and info please visit nrhaeuropeanderby.com

The Rabboni Quarter Horses NRHA European Non Pro Pre Futurity

September 22, 2016

Manerbio, September 21 – On the third day of competition, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby & Pre Futurity offered the Open and Non Pro Consolation. Those riders that did not automatically qualify for the finals in the two divisions today had a last chance to fight for a spot in the draw. Excitement and great runs filled the morning in Manerbio!

Closing the day was the Euro1.500-added NRHA European Level (L)4 Non Pro Pre Futurity and the Euro1.000-added L2 Non Pro Pre Futurity presented by Rabboni Quarter Horses. After leading the NRHA European L4 Non Pro qualifier with Gotta Nifty Gun between the reins, Gina Schumacher not only went on to win the L4 Non Pro Pre Futurity, she also took reserve honors.

The young German non professional rode Sheezasunnywhiz BB (Topsail Whiz x Walla Walla Sunshine), owned by Chanay Sky Management SA, to a score of 216.5 claiming the championship. “This is actually my mom’s horse and she was supposed to ride her here. At the last minute she couldn’t come so I stepped in. It didn’t take long for me and this horse to get along and I’m thrilled with the way she went here!” claimed Gina who placed Ms Blue Eye Wimp BB (Dun It Gotta Gun x Solanos Wimpy Step), also owned by Chanay Sky Management SA, to second place with a 213.5.

Winning the L2 division was Italian Piero Priori aboard his Ruf Cut Chex (Big Chex To Cash x CT Ruffian). “I purchased this horse in the States and this is the very first time I’ve shown him so I couldn’t be any happier and I now look forward to showing him in the Italian Futurity,” said the Italian rider.

For complete results and information visit nrhaeuropeanderby.com

2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre Futurity – Day 1 & 2

September 20, 2016

The high level of competition in Manerbio, Italy, where the sixth edition of the NRHA European Derby and Pre Futurity is taking place, shone through as the 83 horse-rider-combinations rode yesterday for a spot in the open finals.

Tying to lead the Level (L)4 and L3 open qualifying go-round with a 222.5 score were Markus Morawitz of Austria and Massimiliano Ruggeri of Italy. The Austrian NRHA Professional rode Gunners Chic Magnet, a 5-year-old stallion by Gunner and out of Wind Up Her Chic, for owner Ralph Carbone. Nominated by Oldenburg Farm LLC, the talented bay double-registered American Quarter Horse/American Paint Horse has won over $8,130 in NRHA competition. “Considering that we purchased this horse in the U.S. at the beginning of this year, I am very happy with his performance here,” said NRHA Professional Morawitz.

Italy’s Ruggeri rode Mister Little Uno (Mister Uno x Bonita Bahia) for owner and nominator Paolo Morandotti. The 6-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion boasts more than $33,200 LTE thanks to the numerous titles earned with NRHA Professional Ruggeri in the saddle. They are in fact the 2015 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Derby L3 and L2 Open champions and IRHA Maturity L4 and L3 Open champions. The duo also went on to win the 2016 IRHA L3 Open Derby and L2 Open championships. “I’ve had this horse in training ever since he was two and he’s always been phenomenal,” said Ruggeri. “We started breeding him this year and I wondered how he would do in the show pen. Well, he just gets better and better every time!”
Taking the lead in the L2 open division was Great Britain’s NRHA Professional Lee Rutter aboard Little Nic (Wimpys Little Step x Smart Chexy Nic) owned and nominated by Lita Pocock. Aboard the 7-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion, Rutter scored a 218.5.

The L1 Open Derby go-round leader – with a 214.5 –  was Italy’s Angelo Benedusi aboard Little Hancock (Docs Tivio Hancock x Little Bay Solano), a 7-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding owned and nominated Arianna Aspersi scored a 214.5.

Gina Schumacher leads the Non Pro qualifier

Gina Maria Schumacher and Gotta Nifty Gun posted 221 to lead the L4 non pro division of the 2016 edition of the NRHA European Derby. The 2012 Markel Futurity Prospect Sale Graduate, owned by Chanay Sky Management SA and nominated by Carl Lambert, is a 6-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion by Dun It Gotta Gun and out of Custom Nifty Nic who boasts close to $60,000 LTE.

Clements Hefel and his Rio Juice (Smart Like Juice x Tari What) rode to a 219.5 to lead the L3 division. The 7-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding was nominated by Smart Like Juice, Inc.

Carlo Ambrosini riding Saturday Pepper (Saturday Night Custom x Miss Snapper Lena), owned and nominated by Ambrosini QH Asd, and Enrico Sciulli riding his Snips Gotta Bud (Nic It In The Bud x Snip O Chex) tied to lead the L2 division with a 216.5. Sciulli and his mount, nominated by Cinder Lakes Ranch, also lead the L1 division.

Wednesday Action:
The 2016 NRHA European Open and Non Pro L4 and L2 Pre Futurity will take place tomorrow following the Open and Non Pro Consolation.

For further information please visit nrhaeuropeanderby.com.

NRHA Press Office: Simona Diale

2016 Developments

September 17, 2016

Developments in Europe – From NRHA President Rick Clark

The 2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre Futurity

Big numbers and great reining expected in Manerbio!

The 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby & Pre Futurity is opening the doors of the Palasturla Equestrian Center in Manerbio, Italy, today. Horses and riders from all over Europe are moving in for the sixth edition of the prestigious event which will be offering the Euro 137.850-added* Open and Non Pro Derby (*subject to change based on nominations), the European Level(L) 2 & L4 Pre Futurity and a full-slate of NRHA approved ancillary classes.

Over 300 horses are expected to arrive in Manerbio along with riders representing Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The numbers and the excitement prove the success of the European event and of the NRHA European Nomination Program.

The European component of the NRHA Nomination Program was established to strengthen European reining breeding programs and to ensure the long-term success of the NRHA European Futurity and Derby. Since 2009, foals have been required to nominate to the program to be eligible to enter the NRHA European Futurity and Derby, to win added money created by the program and to earn nominator incentives. There has been overwhelming support of the NRHA Nomination Program since its inception. In 2015, the program’s sixth year, 1416 weanlings were nominated, the most in the program’s history.

The qualifying go-round of the Open Derby, counting over 80 entries, will open the show on Monday 19. The following day, in the Non Pro Derby qualifier, over 105 horse-rider-combinations will make their way in the Palasturla arena vying for a spot in the finals.

If you cannot be on the stands, make sure you follow the action online!

For further information, please visit nrhaeuropeanderby.com

Simona Diale

Italy to host the 2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre Futurity

June 13, 2016

For Immediate Release – At the May 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Board of Directors meeting, the board was presented with a proposal brought forward by Gerd Wilhelm (Germany), Roberto Coughi (Italy) and Francois Zurcher (Switzerland/France) to create a platform organization – the European Federation of Reining Associations (EFRA) – for all NRHA European Affiliates.

The board approved to move forward in creating a Memo of Understanding followed by a contractual agreement to set the parameters and expectations of the arrangement with the European Federation of Reining Associations (EFRA). NRHA and the above listed ERFA representatives are working toward that end.

“Although NRHA is very hopeful and optimistic about the long-term results of this concept, unfortunately it has caused a sudden change in plans regarding the 2016 NRHA European Derby,” commented NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter. “We were excited about possibilities of working with the AMERICANA. They have been very gracious in working with us, and we appreciate their cooperation and professionalism.”

Considering the above changes, the 2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre Futurity will now be held at the Palasturla in Manerbio, Italy, on September 19 – 24, and will be managed by the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA).

“Following the agreement between the NRHA and the ERFA, moving forward, the NRHA European Derby will be held in Italy in conjunction with the IRHA Derby,” said Roberto Cuoghi. “For this reason, and because of the sudden changes in plans, we felt it was appropriate to try to host the European Derby in Italy this year as well and reached an agreement to host the event in Manerbio. We are working very hard to make this event as successful as it has always been and to further promoting the sport of Reining in Europe in years to come.”

Details and further information are coming soon and may be found on the official website of the NRHA European Derby: nrhaeuropeanderby.com