Lyon, November 2 — A thrilling NRHA European Derby Open qualifier filled the day in Equita Lyon where the 13th edition of the prestigious NRHA-owned event is being held. The fight was on as 104 horse-rider combinations gave it their all vying for a spot in the Finals which will be held on Saturday, November 4.
Leading the Level (L) 4 Open division and closing with a great ride paid back by the judges with a 221.5 score was NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck of Belgium riding ND Pop Gun Trash. The talented stallion by NRHA Ten Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of Pop Tart was bred and nominated by owner Nathalie Derua. “I was pretty happy with my run even though I was not too happy with my run downs,” said Fonck. “The judges all gave me +1 for the spins and the circles were good; even though I didn’t go as hard as I wanted to. Bottom line is I would like to keep some gas for Saturday!”
Italian Professional Andrea Costa rode TR Reinman (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Shine Chic Shine x Kr Ima Gunner) to a 220 and the lead in the L3 Open. The 7-year-old gelding is owned by Christian-Peter Zinsli and was nominated by Tamarack Ranch LLC. “I’m really happy with my horse; this is the first time I got to show him. I have been schooling him since this summer and before one of my non pros, Nina [Staub], showed him. It was really nice that she and her father [Christian-Peter Zinsli] allowed me to show him here. He was really good for me today; he turned well, was with me in the circles, and really stopped hard. I would like to repeat today’s run on Saturday.”
Scoring a 219.5 aboard Angelika Gebert’s owned and nominated 5-year-old stallion Spooksgottacoolstep (NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz x Charly Step N Cool), was Germany’s Markus Gebert, leader of the L2 Open. “He was good and honest — I still have to work a little on my turn arounds for Saturday, the rest was nice. He is special for our family as he is out of our ‘Charly’ mare who I won the Futurity and it’s always great to ride babies out of our mares.”
Determined to ride to the top spot, Belgian youth rider Jody Fonck reined Arnels Spat Olena (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spat Olena x RS Arnels Feo Jac), a 6-year-old stallion owned and nominated by Sabrina Adam, to a 216.5 and the lead in the L1 division. “My horse is super great minded. He has strong maneuvers and is super nice to ride here. On Saturday I just want to have a clean and nice run and do what we can.”
Novice Horse and Chrome Cash Leaders:
NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck of Belgium topped the Gunna Sparkle Novice Horse Open Derby Qualifier aboard Anna Reinhart’s Spook Unchained (NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook x Shine Jo Lena) scoring a 221 for the lead. The 8-year-old stallion was nominated by Sabine Schmid.
APHA Chrome Cash Incentive
French rider Arnaud Girinon rode Honey First Gunny (NRHA Fourteen Million Dollar Sire Gunner x ARC Honey Chick) to a score of 220 to top the APHA Chrome Cash Derby Open
Level 4 Qualifier. The 8-year-old stallion is owned by Societa Agricola Le Fattorie Di Matilde and was nominated by Vittorio Rabboni.
Tickets for the exciting Open Finals and The Run For A Million 2024 Million Dollar Reining Competition qualifier are sold out but fans have the chance to follow the competition live for free here: nrhaeuropeanderby.com/live.
On Friday, November 3, the day will open with the NRHA Limited Open presented by Quarter Dream. The first section of the ELEMENTA NRHA European Derby Non Pro Finals will start at 1 p.m. The L4 Non Pro Finals will start at 5 p.m. Central European Time.
For further information and full results: NRHAEUROPEANDERBY.com / EQUITALYON.com.fr
Photos by Wanted Photo
Thank you to the 2023 NRHA European Derby Sponsors:
• GL Events and Equita Lyon
• NRHA Global Partners Markel Equine (Official Insurance Partner of NRHA), MS Diamonds TX (Official Diamond Partner of NRHA), Toyon Ranch, Clark’s Pump-N-Shop, Cardinal Reining Horses
• The Run For A Million
• LL Tecnologie
• Quarter Dream
• Roleski Ranch
• Grey Stone Ranch
• AM Rising Star Ranch
• Gunna Sparkle
• APHA Chrome Cash Incentive Program
NRHA European Derby Media Contact:
Simona Diale / International Horse Press
Cell: +39 340 5354629