European Reined Cow Horse (ERCHA): It’s Big Time Show Time!

Giovanni Campanaro & Smart Play Wyatt Giovanni Campanaro & Smart Play Wyatt Photos courtesy of IHP Media Partner Dead or Alive Photo / 2020 ERCHA Press Office

ERCHA/NRCHA Pre Futurity & Derby: Smart Play Wyatt rides Giovanni Campanaro to the Pre Futurity and Derby Open Championships; Eliane Gfeller and CR Rosie The Riveter take the Non Pro Derby title, and Alessandro Tugnoli riding Smarttarisdeal claims the Pre Futurity Non Pro Championship.

The high temperature in Travagliato, Italy, where the ERCHA Derby and Pre Futurity was held, provided hot competition in the show pen as well. With a 30% increase in entries from last year’s edition, the three days of competition brought the ERCHA family back together and also welcomed European cutters who took the opportunity to show in the herd work classes.

“This is really the first show of the year so it’s a great opportunity to go out,” said Professional Sheri Mason who took home the Herd Work All Ages Open win riding Michael and Dafna Harlev’s Onerey. “This mare is really gritty, super athletic, she’s got a huge stop and a lot of cow but she hasn’t been to a show since November last year. Her owners are from Israel and, because of the lock down, they haven’t been able to come and are hoping to be able to in September in Cremona.”

The intense days of showing closed with the crowning of the ERCHA/NRCHA Derby Champions. Stealing the show was 4-year-old Smart Play Wyatt (ANS Wyatt Pepp x Lady Hollywood Mr) owned by Baldino Cioffi who scored a 296.5 composite (prelims: herd work 73, rein work 73, fence work 74.5) and closed with a breath-taking performance in the fence work final paid back by the judges with a 76 score. In the saddle, 29-year-old Professional Giovanni Campanaro who has had the stallion in training since December last year. “He is simply a great horse,” said the Italian trainer. “This is our first show together and, even though we knew the competition here would have been tough, he has been so consistent during the training and so good minded—plus he is so flashy and captures everyone’s attention when he’s showing.”

Campanaro went on to credit the stallion’s willingness to give all he has all the time, thanks to his big heart. Backing up his words were the facts: The pair not only took the Open Derby title, the day before they also claimed the Open Pre Futurity. Making the double win twice as sweet was the fact that Campanaro also rode Cute Little Tassa (Tassas Aristocrat x Cute And Cash ), owned by Lotte Sibilla Anoardo, to the Open Derby Reserve Championship with a 73.5 score in the fence work final earning a total composite of 292.5 (prelims: herd work 72.5, rein work 72.5, fence work 74).

It was all about veterans Ricky Bordignon and Maik Bartman in the Limited Open Derby Finals. Riding Kib Taita Boonsmall (Redwhiteandblueboon x Sweet Popper Girl), owned by Omar Paganin, Bordignon earned a  286.5 composite (herd work 71.5, rein work 72, fence work 72.5 in the prelims) and closed the deal, which earned him the Championship, with a 70.5 in the fence work final. “This horse has so much power,” said Bordignon about his horse. “He’s still a little green even though I found out here that in the show pen he’s even better than how he performs at home. This was his first major event and, though he still needs to learn to handle his strength when showing, I like him a lot because he covers the ground and truly reads the cows.”

Bordignon was also quick to credit ERCHA’s organizational talent, the great atmosphere there always is, and the fact that all the European riders want to be at the events put together by the European association. “It’s always a lot of fun and I love it,” he added.

Taking reserve honors was Maik Bartmann riding Millenium Boompepp (Mifillenium x OT Boompepp) owned by Soc. Agr. Le Fattorie Di Matilde. The pair scored a 285 composite (prelims: herd work 71, rein work 71, fence work 70) and closed with a 73 score in the fence work.

ERCHA/NRCHA Non Pro & Intermediate Non Pro Derby
It was a great comeback for Eliane Gfeller and her mother’s (Kaethi) CR Rosie The Riveter (Woody Be Tuff x Gypsy Rose Rey). After leaving their mark at the 2019 edition of AMERICANA, the duo landed in Travagliato and took off to go back home with both the Non Pro and Intermediate Derby Championships. “When we won at AMERICANA, I had only had her for a few weeks,” said the young rider. “Since then, thanks to my husband’s help [Chris Seiler], I’ve really learnt to trust her and we have become a team.

She’s a really great and solid horse, and does well in all the three disciplines, even though her best trait is the fact that she is amazing on the cow and easy to ride,” said Gfeller. The duo, closed the prelims with a 216 (herd work 73, rein work 71.5, fence work 71.5) and a fantastic fence work final worth a 74 to a total 290.5 composite.

Sharing the Reserve Championship with a 288.5 total composite were the 2019 AMERICANA Non Pro Futurity Champions, Lorenzo Sivori riding his own Duallanx Mr (Dual Marquis Diamond x HB Luna Lanx), with a composite score 213.5 in the prelims (herd work 70, rein work 73.5, fence work 70) and a 75 in the fence work finals, and Gabriele Poli Barberis riding Snapper Solano (Magical Snapper x Hubba Dancer), owned by Az. Agricola Samisa Ranch. The young rider had scored a 213.5 composite (prelims: herd work 71, rein work 70.5, fence work 72) and an outstanding 75 score in the fence work final.

Sarah Destefanis riding her own Hot As Wasabi (Little Dulces Rey x Whirlacat), closed the prelims with a 283 composite score (prelims: herd work 72, rein work 64, fence work 73) came back strong with a 73 in the fence work finals to take home the Novice Amateur Derby title.

“This mare comes from the U.S. and has always been at Giovanni’s [Campanaro] training facility where I ride,” said Destefanis. “I’ve always had my eyes on her and when her owner decided to sell her Giovanni — my boyfriend — gave her to me for my birthday. I only started riding her a couple of months ago, since I couldn’t go ride her during the lockdown, so I wasn’t too sure whether I would be ready to show her here. She was fantastic for me, helped me a lot, and am thrilled with this unexpected result. I cannot thank Giovanni enough for everything.”

Second place honors were for Andrea Ambrogiani riding his own Me To The Light (Me To The Bar x Lynx Star Light) to a 278 total composite score (herd work 69, rein work 67.5, fence work 70.5 and a 71 in the fence work final).

ERCHA/NRCHA Open Pre Futurity
Behind the Pre Futurity Open Champions, Giovanni Campanaro and Smart Play Wyatt, was ERCHA President Markus Schopfer riding HipCat (Metallic Cat x Hip Hip Sue Rey x Dual Ray) owned by Yvonne Bonda. The duo closed with a 216.5 composite (rein work 72, fence work 73.5, herd work 71) and scored a 75 in the fence work finals. “I got this horse this year,” says Schopfer about the 4-year-old stallion. “Yvone [Bonda] had asked me last year to look for a good performer for her and we purchased him from [NRCHA Two Million Dollar Rider] Todd Crawford after the NRCHA Futurity last year where he placed ninth in the Open. I liked the horse a lot and love working with Todd as he is a true horseman and professional. This was our first horse show together and it was a place to start knowing each other. I did not know what his reaction in the show pen with me in the saddle would be and I can for sure say I am very happy! I loved everything about him and would like to thank Yvonne for the trust!”

“The first event of the season was absolutely fantastic,” said ERCHA President Schopfer. “Even though the temperatures were high, the atmosphere was phenomenal and the riders were great, not only in the show arena but also behind the scenes where they always made sure their horses were well taken care of. I would like to thank everyone with a special thank you to the great team, headed by our vice president Otto De Fazio, that worked endless hours to make this show the great one it turned out to be.”

Taking home the ERCHA/NRCHA Pre Futurity Limited Open Championship with a 213 composite score (rein work 70.5, fence work 70.5, herd work 72) was Federico Fanti riding Just Sparkling Kid (SDP Justice Is Comin x Miss Puro Kid), owned by Ilaria Traverso.

“I am thrilled with this result because this is my second show in this discipline and my first major event,” said Fanti who, until last year mainly rode and showed cutters. “I have had this mare in training from October 2019 and the way she showed in the Pre Futurity and in the Derby fills with joy. She is really talented and has all one needs to be a good cow horse. We are now looking forward to the Autumn Show and Futurity and in taking part in the shows next year.”

Reserve honors were for Marine Richard riding Catwoman Peptos (Peptos Lil Bingo x Jamie Handy Cat), owned by Nathalie Thenoz, with a 209.5 composite score (rein work 69.5, fence work 72, herd work 68)
ERCHA/NRCHA Non Pro Pre Futurity
The win was twice as sweet for Alessandro Tugnoli who took both the Non Pro Pre Futurity Championship and Reserve Championship. He rode his own Smarttarisdeal (Smart Easy Deal x OT Taris Peppy) to a 212 composite score (rein work 71, fence work 71, herd work 70) to the win and placed second with The One Dark Deal (Smart Easy Deal x Miss Mify Olena), a half-a-point behind (rein work 70.5, fence work 72.5, herd work 68.5).

“I am thrilled because both these horses were born at our place — a small facility near Treviso — and are out of two mares we own,” said the Italian surgeon. “I broke them and then handed the reins over to Pietro Tuberga who trained them. I keep them at home and ride them in my free time — they are my life in fact, after work, that’s where I spend all my time!” Because of the worldwide health situation, and the fact that this was the first show offered this year, the two placings made Tugnoli twice as happy.

ERCHA/NRCHA Intermediate Non Pro Pre Futurity
Gabriele Poli Barberis, riding Purrsuasion (Meteles Cat x Spooks Twilight), owned by Az. Agricola Samisa Ranch, closed with a 211 composite score (rein work 67, fence work 72.5, herd work 71.5) to win the first major event of the season. “We purchased this mare as a yearling in the U.S. and then we shipped her over to Italy,” said Poli Barberis.

“My dad trained her and would let me ride her at home. We got on really well and in the end he said I could start showing her. She’s only 3-years-old but she is really solid and I trust her completely. Winning here is the best thing that could happen to me this year!”

Clinching reserve honors, with a 199 composite score (rein work 64, fence work 72, herd work 63), was Matteo Ambrosini Nobili riding his own LF Double Lynx (Double R Chant x Lynx Little Pepper).

ERCHA Novice Amateur Pre Futurity
Vera Walliser riding her own CD Fortunate Son (Metallic Cat x CDS Lucky Gal), closed with a 202.5 composite score (rein work 63.5, fence work 72, herd work 67).

“Even though I was the only one in this division, I am really happy with the way my horse went. It’s the first show of the season and as always, it’s a joy to be around this horse. He is so friendly; he’s like a little dog and always gives me his heart!” said Walliser. “Of course I would like to thank my trainer, Markus Schopfer, for doing such a great job with him.”

Once the sun went down behind the Palacittá arena in Travagliato on Sunday evening, horses, riders, owners and fans left with a smile and joy…the joy of being able to share special moments with their horses together!

ERCHA/NRCHA Pre Futurity & Derby Ancillary Classes

For full results click here

ERCHA Novice Horse Open
    1.    Martina Casini riding her own Jetty Top Diamond (KRK Diamond Ditto x Jetty Top Cody Bar), composite score 134 (rein work 65, fence work 69)
    2.    Fabio Fossa riding BB Dance My Miracle (BB One Miracle Gun x Sailor Last Dance) owned by Reinikka Antti, composite score 130 (rein work 65, fence work 65)  

ERCHA Novice Horse Non Pro
    1.    Lorenzo Colombo riding his own Peppy Aristocrait MR (Tassas Aristocrat x MS Senorita Peppy), composite score 142 (rein work 70, fence work 72)
    2.    Giulia Piraccini riding her own Peptos Time To Dance (One Time Pepto x Dances In The Sand), composite score 136 (rein work 67, fence work 69)

ERCHA/NRCHA Two Rein Open & Two Rein Open Regional
Andrea Sanfelici riding Epic Rush (Big Chex To Cash x Rush N Cat), composite score 143.5

ERCHA/NRCHA Non Pro Limited Bridle
    1.    Gianpiero Rosatelli riding his own Cico Light (Bingo Starlight x CJ Cica Jac), composite score 134.5 (rein work 65.5, fence work 69)
    2.    Valerio Ader riding his own Hollywood Pepito (Peptos Lil Bingo x Jacs Little Nugget), composite score 133.5 (rein work 63.5, fence work 70)  

ERCHA/NRCHA 1K Non Pro Limited Bridle
    1.    Niggi Vlach riding her own Crazy Smart Whiz (Mr Colonel Smart x Jennie Whiz Bac), composite score 139 (rein work 69, fence work 70)
    2.    Valerio Ader riding his own Hollywood Pepito (Peptos Lil Bingo x Jacs Little Nugget), composite score 133.5 (rein work 63.5, fence work 70)  

ERCHA 1K Non Pro Limited Bridle Regional
Katrin Bartmann riding Smart Little Theo owned by Leni Bartmann (Smart Flying Colors x Honey Be Smart), composite score 141.5 (rein work 69.5, fence work 72)

ERCHA/NRCHA Non Pro Hackamore
Peter Trixner riding his own CR Tuff Boon Pickens (Woody Be Tuff x CR Dees Boon Meow), composite score 130.5 (rein work 70.5, fence work 60)

ERCHA/NRCHA Non Pro Bridle
Leni Bartmann riding her own Smart Little Theo (Smart Flying Colors x Honey Be Smart), composite score 139 (rein work 72, fence work 67)

ERCHA Novice Riders
    1.    Eleonora Terzi riding Cats Got Freckles (WR This Cats Smart x Playboys Girl), owned by Luca Terzi, composite score 145.5 (rein work 72.5, fence work 73)
    2.    Katrin Bartmann riding Smart Little Theo (Smart Flying Colors x Honey Be Smart) owned by Leni Bartmann, composite score 144 (rein work 72, fence work 72)

ERCHA Novice Riders Regional
Raimundo Segura riding his own Ans Snack Cat (ANS Mokie Cat x ANS Wyatt Snappy)
composite score 136.5 (rein work 65.5, fence work 71)

ERCHA/NRCHA Novice Non Pro Bridle
Leni Bartmann riding her own Smart Little Theo (Smart Flying Colors x Honey Be Smart) composite score 142 (rein work 72, fence work 70)

    1.    Michele De Simone riding Cico Light (Bingo Starlight x CJ Cica Jac) owned by Gianpiero Rosatelli, composite score 140 (rein work 69, fence work 71)
    2.    Federico Fanti riding Little Yacaty (JPS Yakaty Yak x Little Gingerina) owned by Sergio Chiusa, composite score 134.5 (rein work 69, fence work 65.5)

ERCHA/NRCHA Limited Open Bridle
Michele De Simone riding Cico Light (Bingo Starlight x CJ Cica Jac) owned by Gianpiero Rosatelli composite score 140 (rein work 69, fence work 71)

ERCHA Open Bridle Regional
Antoine Cloux riding his own Barrossab Colonel (Barrossab x Lika Colonel)
composite score 141.5 (rein work 68, fence work 73.5)
ERCHA/NRCHA Beginning Fence work
    1.    Silvia Manfredi riding her own Arc Dualin Surprise (Dualin For Me x ARC Ms Lena Surprise), composite score 71 (rein work 0, fence work 71)
    2.    Niggi Vlach riding her own Crazy Smart Whiz (Mr Colonel Smart x Jennie Whiz Bac), composite score 70.5 (rein work 70.5, fence work 0)  

Herdwork All Ages Open
    1.    Sheri Mason riding Onerey (One Time Pepto x Reyling) owned by Michael & Dafna Harlev, score 73
    2.    Sheri Mason riding Missy Pepto (One Time Pepto x Missy Bravo Safari) owned by Markus Walker score 71.5

Herdwork All Ages Open Regional
    1.    Gianluca Marchesini riding Seymore Smooth (Smooth As A Cat x Fancy Frostina) owned by Michele Menegatti score 74
    2.    Gianluca Marchesini riding Spring Shooting Star (Lenas Starfish x Tarita Dual Spring) owned by Valeria Sinico score 72

ERCHA Herdwork All Ages Non Pro
    1.    Markus Walker riding his own Missy Pepto (One Time Pepto x Missy Bravo Safari) score 73
    2.    Andrea Pagani riding his own Smartys Lil Cowboy (Be A Smart Hunter x Peppy Missing Spot) score 72
ERCHA Herdwork All Ages Non Pro Regional
    1.    Sebelova Dagmar riding her own Lil Drive Cat (Hydrive Cat x Huldas Little Jerry) score 71.5
    2.    Michele Menegatti riding his own Seymore Smooth (Smooth As A Cat x Fancy Frostina) score 70.5


Click here or tap on the cover and flip through the 2020 ERCHA/NRCHA Derby & Pre Futurity Recap by International Horse Press

ERCHA Press Office:
Simona Diale & Chiara Milani/International Horse Press