FORT WORTH – The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) is deeply saddened to share the unexpected passing of NCHA Director of Judges Sam Rose of Gainesville, Texas, earlier this morning, November 18, 2022.

Excitement ran high tonight in Verona, Italy, as the IRHA/NRHA 4-year-old Open Futurity finalists gave all they had to clinch the titles and paychecks up for grabs in the highest-paying 4-year-old Open Futurity ever offered in Europe.

Level of competition ran deep, scores rose, and so did the public’s cheers as some of Europe’s best horses and riders performed in the Veronafiere Arena. Half way through the second section, the loudest cheering was for Poland’s Lukasz Czechowicz and CSG Kenzo (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Colonels Shining Gun x Shiner Brimolena) who thrilled the fans with his powerful yet smooth ride. From the first stop and back, through the fast and precise spins, to the speed transitions and imperceptible lead changes, Czechowicz’s mount stopped deep in the ground raising the dirt which resulted in the highest score of the evening, a 227.5, and the win in both the $ 144.390-Added Level L(4) Championship as well as the $ 38.654-Added L3 title.

A great IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Non Pro 3-year-old Futurity Final thrilled the crowd in the stands at Veronafiere where the 2022 $800,000-Added Futurity is being held. Taking the $ 77.309,88-Added Level (L)4 and $ 39.791,85-Added L3 Non Pro Championships was young Matteo Capello aboard Alberto Capello’s Shya Shine (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shine Chic Shine x Shyawhiz).

The first 2022 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity finals lit up the Veronafiera Arena in Verona, Italy, with the $101,185-Added IRHA/NRHA 4-year-old Non Pro Futurity counting 27 finalists across the four levels vying for the Championships.

It was truly a special event for Lucie-Lena Egenter of Germany who showed off her horses’ talent as well as hers. Her part-time trainer, NRHA Professional Grischa Ludwig, praised the 18-year-old for her professionalism. “Lucie does it all by herself; here and there I help her a little bit but ever since we’ve known each other, she thinks like a professional which makes it easy for me,” said Ludwig. “She knows what she is doing, she always has a plan, and for her age it’s amazing.” The young rider performed to a 218.5 in the qualifier, leading all the levels, and rode to the same score in the finals claiming the $53,435-Added Level (L)4, $28,420-Added L3, $11,370-Added L2 and $7,960-Added L1.

The $800,000-Added IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity held in Verona, Italy, at renowned Veronafiera has already left its mark. Following an exciting first go round, today 99 horse-and-rider combinations came back strong to determine who will be in the 3-year-old Open Futurity Finals on Saturday 19.

The late Wind Her Up Shiner posthumously joined the short but elite list of National Reining Horse Association Million Dollar Dams in 2022. The 1998 mare by Shining Spark out of Wind Her Up Doc was purchased by NRHA Million Dollar Rider José Vazquez as a 3-year-old through a series of events that look a lot like fate.

Wind Her Up Shiner lived in NRHA Professional Ed Fear’s barn, where Vazquez rode as a non pro. The mare was offered to him as a 2-year-old, but he passed her up because he already had all of the coming 3-year-olds that he wanted. A tragic incident changed that when one of Vazquez’s futurity prospects died suddenly. With a spot open for another youngster and the mare up for sale again, Vazquez sealed the deal.
“I ended up lucky one more time,” Vazquez said with a laugh. “When the spot for another 3-year-old opened up, I was lucky that she was the right one.”
As far as the mare’s show career goes, Vazquez says that she was great but laments that he didn’t do her justice as her showman. “Unfortunately, I was too green, myself, showing. I was a rookie. I had a guy come to me and say that I should send her to him to show, and she could win $100,000 or more. I joked with him that if I gave him my best horse, how could I be as good as I wanted to be? I wanted to beat Mandy [McCutcheon], you know?
“We were always joking around about her, and he said one day, ‘You know, with more earnings, her babies will be worth a lot of money, too.’ I said, ‘Will they ride different?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, well then, I’ll keep the babies, too!”
This, he staunchly held true to, only selling the geldings and keeping and showing all of the mares. “I probably let her down as a producer, also,” Vazquez mused. “If I had put those horses in the right hands, we would probably be celebrating two million right now instead of one!

“I do feel bad for the mare, though,” He continued. “She had potential to win way more money than she did, but she put me on the right track to show. She taught me what it takes to win. I think it was bad for her that I kept her to show myself, but it was very good for me. She taught me a lot. She was an amazing mare.”
Despite Vazquez’s perceived shortcomings, Wind Her Up Shiner earned nearly $34,000 in her own show career, and as a producer, she certainly shined. Interestingly, the mare has only been bred to the late Smart Like Juice, an NRHA $4 Million Sire that was also owned by Vazquez. The magic pairing produced 25 living foals, and 24 of them are NRHA money earners thanks to Vazquez’s faith in the breeding. There is no doubt that Wind Her Up Shiner’s prepotency contributed much to Vazquez’s achievements as a $2 Million Owner (under Smart Like Juice, Inc.)
The first foal of the magic cross, SLJ Smartlikewhinny, suffered a major injury when her leg got caught in the round pen fence. A veterinarian said that she would never be shown; however, Vazquez saw to the filly’s rehabilitation and earned more than $53,000 on her. The twenty-fifth foal is currently two years old, and Vazquez looks forward to making the most of her show career when she comes of age to ensure the offspring of Smart Like Juice and Wind Her Up Shiner are 100% money earners.


Wind Her Up Shiner’s top five earners are:
Like Shiner – $187,483
Moonshine Juice – $122,366
Moonshine N Juice – $$113,776
Wound By Juice – $112,369
SLJ Corazon Valiente – $108,216


Vazquez thanked all of the trainers who have helped him over the years so that he and his horses could reach such notoriety, along with his NRHA family with whom, over the course of his 25 years in reining, he has had the opportunity to have a lot of fun and secure many friendships.

By NRHA Press Release

Sunday, November 13 - The $324,000-Added IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA 3-year-old Open Futurity took center stage at Veronafiera today with 110 combinations showing across the four divisions in the first go round. The Level $216,000-Added (L) 4 counted 67 entries; $62,530-Added L3 counted 57 entries; $30,128-Added L2 counted 61 entries; and the $15,348-Added L1 counted 34 entries.

Verona, November 12 - The second day of competition in Verona, Italy, where the $800,000-Added IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity and Elementa/FISE Italian Championships are being held, non pro action filled the day with the $101,185-added IRHA/NRHA 4-year-old Non Pro Futurity followed by the $145,525-Added IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA 3-year-old Non Pro Futurity.

Without a doubt, Verona, Italy, is the capital of equestrian events in Europe. Renowned Fiera Cavalli closed its 124th edition a week ago. Today, Veronafiere opened its doors to European reiners competing in the 2022 edition of the $800,000-Added IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity.

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