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.
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