2019 ERCHA/NRCHA Spring Stakes

Pietro Tuberga and Bet Command Rey Pietro Tuberga and Bet Command Rey © Dead or Alive Photo
March 13, 2019

The renowned equestrian facility of Palacittà, in Travagliato (BS), hosted the first Ercha Special Event of the show season 2019, the Spring Stakes, held in the weekend of 9th and 10th of March, with a warm and pleasant spring climate.

The NRCHA approved show, reserved to four and five year-old horses, was entirely judged by experienced professionals Enrico Righetti and Manuela Maiocchi, from Italy.
A huge number of horses and riders from several different countries of Europe came to Travagliato for the this thrilling Show, which represents a good occasion to test horses from the incoming Derby of may, and for the second step of the National and European Championship of working cow: more than 50 horses attended the show, coming from Hungaria, Austria, Switzerland, France, Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.
The Special Event, Ercha/Nrcha Spring Stakes, was attended by 18 horse-and-riders combinations: 13 in the Open class, 8 in the Limited Open, 3 in the Non Pro, and Limited Non Pro, and 3 in the Novice Amateur division. The event started on Saturday, with the Herd work run, and followed on Sunday, with Rein Work and Fence Work, which closed the entire show. The winner was really uncertain, being the competitors very close to each other after the first two runs of the competition.
In the end, the titles of Ercha Spring Stakes Open and Limited Open Champion went to the young and talented trainer Pietro Tuberga, riding Bet Command Rey, a strong and athletic chestnut stallion (Dual On Command X Dots My Bet), owned by Green Mountain Quarter Horses. The pair took the lead immediately, by scoring a consistent 145 in the herd work, continued with a good 143 in rein work, and dominated the fence work with a tremendous run worth a 148 from the judges. Their final composite raised up to a huge 436, surpassing then the Reserve Champion of 5 points. Bet Command Rey is well used to the winning circle, being twice  Ercha Futurity Open Champion with Giovanni Campanaro in the saddle. In January, the horse started working between the reins of Pietro, and the pair immediately built up a great feeling: ‘He’s such a nice and reliable horse’ said Tuberga after his win, ‘He’s been perfectly trained by Giovanni, he is easy to ride. I love this most about him. Now that he is five, he has also built up such a strong body, and he is powerful despite being athletic. He is a true cowhorse’. Pietro was quick to thank the owner of the horse: ‘I am so grateful to Green Mountain QH for trusting me, and giving me the chance to ride and show such a great horse!’. Pietro became a professional 7 years ago; he worked for Markus Schopfer first, and then for Giovanni Campanaro, and after the latter left Italy to go to the USA, he became the technichal guide of Jacopo Ranch. ‘I enjoyed the herd work: the herd was good and I cut three nice cows. The rein work was not as good as I wanted, but in the fence work I decided to take the risk. The horse was with me all the time, and we made a good job!’. The pair will compete at the Italian and European Cow Horse Derbies, and then will have a long, deserved rest.  
Reserve honours in both the Open and Limited Open rankings went to Alessandro Coppari, and Me To The Light, a 4 year old mare, owned by Andrea Ambrogiani. The pair scored 141 in the herd work, 144 in the rein work, and ended with an astonishing 146 along the fence, for a total composite of 431. Markus Schopfer proved to be always extremely competitive, as he ended in 3rd place in the Open class, scoring 430 (142 / 145 / 143). The much decorated trainer was riding Oh Cay Mc, a 4 year old stallion, nicknamed ‘Mario’, by Metallic Cat x Oh Cay Meriah. The horse was born and trained in the States by Todd Crawford, before being purchased by Silverstone Ranch. The pair was top score in the Rein Work. In the Limited Open class, 3rd place was taken by Alessandro Coppari and Bar Baby Stylish (by More Than Stylish x Resketta), a 4 year old mare, owned by Cleo Pugnetti: the pair scored 428 (140/144.5/143.5).
Austrian rider and Wagyu cattle breeder Peter Trixner dominated the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro sections of the Spring Stakes, astride his great Cr Tuff Lovin Cat, a five year old Quarter Horse gelding, by Woody Be Stuff x Cr Smart Lil Kitty, a daughter of High Brow Cat. The pair, who won the 2018 Ercha Futurity Intermediate Non Pro in Mooslargue, built up a composite score of 412, scoring 137 in herd work, 136 in reing work, and 139 down the fence. ‘this time we were lucky that everything went well’ said nice Peter after his win, remembering the fall in the Futurity final fence work in France. ‘We just needed time to build up a good feeling. When I first rode him at the 2018 Futurity, I only had him for a couple of months, didn’t have enough time and occasions to get to know each other. We just needed to get connected. I still have that fall in my mind, and we have worked on it..Today everything worked our quite good!’. Peter loves his horse: ‘He his a true cow horse: very cowy, but extremely quiet at the same time. He his steady and realiable, he knows his job: just a very good horse!’.  Peter enjoyed the fence work run most: ‘We had great fun. The fence work was great. We tried a little bit on our circles, but down the fence he was perfect!’. The Austrian cattle breeder and his mate will show at the Ercha Derby 2019 in Cremona in May.
Vaclav Vacik, from Czech Republic, took Reserve Championship in both Non Pro divisions, astride his beautiful chestnut mare Silver Black Okie, a 5 year old mare, by Smartest Magician x Blue Duck Daisy, bred by the Silverstone Ranch. The pair, that was ERCHA /NRCHA Prefuturity Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro Champion 2018, scored 404.5 (138 / 136.5 / 130).
In the Novice Amateur division of the Spring Stakes, the winner was Swiss rider Eliane D.Gfeller, riding her stallion Chics Smart Lover, a 2013 powerful Chestnut stallion, by Smart Chic Oleva x Ellevi Love Jac. The pair scored 141.5 in the Herd work, 141 in the rein work, and 140 in the boxing, for a total composite of 422.5. ‘He is a really nice horse’ said Eliane about the stallion that was Chris Seiler show horse, before the Autumn Show. ‘We don’t know each other very well, yet, but we figured out very good in this show, and I truly hope we’ll increase our feeling and performance, show after show. I never thought about showing him, as he was Chris’ horse,but now maybe we can go on, as it seems we are working!’ Eliane loves the sensitiveness of the horse: ‘Despite being a stallion, he is very lovely. He’s just nice, even if sometimes he’s a little bit shy, at some spots. But normally he is very smooth, and easy going, and I like this: even if he really wants to go and he’s lively, he never gets crazy, and you can always handle him easily. I feel that he is good and safe for me, and I can trust him’. The beautiful swiss rider enjoyed her herd work most: ‘My second cow in the herd work was great fun. I really enjoyed that! I really sit inside the saddle and let the horse do his job. That was awesome!’. 
Peter Trixner and Cr Tuff Lovin Cat placed second in this section, scoring 415 (137/136/142): the pair was top score in the boxing run.
The Ercha Spring Stakes Show was obviously enriched with a full slate of ancillary classes, eligible for the regional, and European Championships of Working Cow Horse.
On Saturday, the Herd Work All Ages classes took place, and in the Regional All Ages Open, the winner was french professional rider Marine Richard astride Gs Top ON Whizard, scoring 134. The pair was Limited Open Champion and Oper Reserve Champion at the Ercha Spring Stakes 2018.
Roberto Marchi, riding Royal Thunder Boon, owned by Christian Magnaghi, won the Herd Work All Ages Open Regional, with score 139.
Alessia Marchetti and her Gp Smart Queen won the herd Work All Ages Non Pro class, with score 132, while Giulio Leonardi was the winner of the Regional section of this class, astride his Lil Scoot N Pep (score 140.5).
With reference to the Non Pro Limited Bridle class, austrian rider Peter Trixner topped the chart, scoring 281.5 astride his Chics Fluffed (137.5 / 144); the pair won also the Non Pro Limited Bridle Regional.
In the brand-new Box-Drive-Box class, Mariella Pfeiffer, from Switzerland, took the lead with her My Coco Girl Annie, scoring 275 (140 / 135), while German rider Bettina Konigsbauer won the Novice Riders with Jacs Royal Boonsmal, with a composite of 276 (135 / 141).
In the Open Bridle, Markus Schopfer topped the chart riding Peptos Lil Bingo, with a score of 289 (143.5 rw – 145.5 fw), while in the Limited Open Bridle the winner was German rider Richard Forster, scoring 267 (142 / 125). The pair won also the Regional section of this class, and also the Open Bridle Open Regional.
In the Novice Horse Non pro, the winner was Giulia Costelli riding HF Rubberband Man, the pair scored 132 in rein work and a consistent 143 in fence work, for a total composite of 275.
In the the Non Pro Bridle, the top score was marked by french rider Jean Luc Renaud, astride his RH Hesa Pepto Diamond, The pair scored 283 (140/143) beating by more than 10 points the Reserve Champion, and winning also the Non Pro Bridle Regional.
The next stage of the Ercha Championship and show will be the Ercha/Nrcha Derby,  Special Event Nrcha approved, that will be held in Cremona, from 22nd to 25th may 2019: don’t miss it!

By ERCHA Press Release