LAS VEGAS – Jess Pope has found a liking for rodeo’s biggest stage.
The Waverly, Kan., cowboy keeps on winning as he claimed his second round victory in a row with his 89.5-point ride on Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Fired Up at the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge.
Pope was thrilled with his ride before 16,860 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center.

LAS VEGAS – Less than two weeks before the 2021 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo presented by Teton Ridge, tie-down roper Shane Hanchey was dealt some adversity.
The primary horse Hanchey was aboard all season – TJ – passed away. The horse was owned by Logan Bird.
Hanchey said the loss wouldn’t set him back at the Wrangler NFR and it didn’t – at least for Round 1.
The Sulphur, La., native clocked a 7.4-second run to win the round before 16,804 fans at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Gennaro Lendi recorded his first earnings in the National Reining Horse Association in May 2004, when he won the Non Pro class at the Italian Reining Horse Association Derby on OT Taris High. Less than two decades later, Lendi joined the elite list of riders who have won more than one million dollars in competition.
Recent wins at the 2020 European Futurity, the Austrian Futurity, the German Breeders Futurity, the IRHA Maturity, and ARTA Futurity propelled him past that milestone.
“As I got closer to the million, it became all the more stressful as I wanted to surpass that mark as fast as I could. I put pressure on myself – especially after the pandemic stopped our shows – and it affected my performance in the show pen,” Lendi admitted.

In front of a full house on Saturday night in Cremona, Italy, the 37th edition of the $426,264 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity closed with the $289,181-added Open Futurity Finals.

First to go in Section 2 of the Open $196,686-added Level (L) 4 Open Finals, Mirko Midili set the bar by posting a 221.5 on Frozen Natrashya, a stallion owned and bred by Angelucci Quarter Horses by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of Frozen Tari. Eighteen horses later, Midili burst into the oval arena of CremonaFiere with Spark Made Whiz, a stallion by Spark N Whiz out of Mare Made owned by Luga Quarter Horses and bred by Silvano Ronzullo. With an explosive ride, the Italian Professional bested his own score by performing to a 223 which remained the top score with four horse and riders left to go.

The $136,083-added Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA)/IRHBA (International Reining Horse Breeder Association) /NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Non Pro Futurity Finals closed an exciting day of competition in Cremona, Italy.
Taking the $72,295-added Level (L) 4 and $37,210-added 3 Non Pro Futurity Championships was young Andreu Nogue Puig of Spain riding to a 220 score his hard-stopping mare Simple The Best 66 (Inferno Sixty Six x ARC Yellow N Lime) bred by Ambrosini Quarter Horses of Italy.

The 3-year-old 2021 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA Futurity filled the day at Cremona Fiere, Cremona, Italy, with the second go round of the $289,181-added Open Futurity. Held in a two go round format and seeded finals,122 horse-rider combinations across the four levels (L4, 56 entries; L3, 47 entries; L2, 69 entries; L1, 46 entries) took the reins performing for a spot in the finals.

The National Reining Horse Association’s newest Million Dollar Sire Not Ruf At All’s career started with a bang when he won the 2013 NRHA Futurity. The following year “Ruf” claimed the NRHA Derby Championship. Just two years later, he added the National Reining Breeders Classic Open title to become only the second horse to win the three major events.
By NRHA $2 Million Sire A Sparkling Vintage and out of All Ruffed Up, the sorrel stallion is owned by NRHA Hall of Famer Vaughn Zimmerman. Always ridden by NRHA $2 Million Rider Jason Vanlandingham, he would become one of NRHA’s highest money-earning stallions, with $456,437 in lifetime earnings.

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