2022 NRHA Germany 3-year-old Breeders Futurity: Lendi Claims the Open, Penha Conquers Non Pro

Gennaro Lendi & GD Spark Olena Gennaro Lendi & GD Spark Olena Photos by Tom Hautmann
October 08, 2022

As the leaves started to change color around the area of Ostbayernhalle in Kreuth, Germany, reiners from multiple European countries made their way to compete in the 3- and 4-year-old NRHA Germany Breeders Futurity. On Friday, the 3-year-old Futurity filled the arena with cheering and excitement.

Level 4 Open
NRHA Million Dollar Rider Genaro Lendi rode Domenico Giannitti’s GD Spark Olena Whiz (Spark N Whiz x RS Iron Maiden Olena) to a score of 221.5 to be crowned Level (L) 4 Open Champion. The Italian Professional was happy to make the Finals but planned to improve his run from the Go Round, because of penalties received for the previous run.

“I did exactly what I had in mind for the finals. I was going to stay out of the penalty box, because in the go round, I had a good run, but we had penalties that really decreased our score, so I wanted to avoid that in the finals and have a clean run. I knew that my horse could do it and he was good in all the maneuvers,” said Lendi about his horse. “He was bred and started by his owner Domenico Giannitti and I took over his training at the end of last year. He wasn’t the easiest to get along with, but he has improved tremendously over the past three months, so I am really looking forward to showing him in Italy next month [at the IRHA Futurity].”

French NRHA Professional Arnaud Girinon, half a point behind Lendi, took Reserve aboard Shinersvoodoojunior (Shiners Voodoo x MV Miss Chocolatekid) owned by Ulrich Laudenklos.

Davide Brighenti & FB Custom Cash

Level 3 Open
It was a big night for Davide Brighenti, who rode two of his mounts to top honors. He was the L3 Open Champion aboard FB Custom Cash (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash x Crome Del Gallo) owned by Francesco Bonadeo with a score of 220.5. Brighenti also finished Reserve Champion with Emma Villa’s Irish Coffee (Dun It For Whizkey x Peppier Mint Stick) scoring a 218.5.

“I am very happy with both horses. They were really good and were both with me the whole time. I tried not to push them too much, just to plus ½ every maneuver, and they stayed with me, so I am very pleased,” said Brighenti who started both horses in his program. “We bred Irish Coffee and FB Custom Cash is bred by my long-time customer, who always sends me his homebred horses, so I am very grateful for that.” Brighenti plans to show both horses at the IRHA Futurity next month.

Gabriela Wendlinger & Gundalf

Level 2 and 1 Open
Gabriela Wendlinger waited a while before hearing the exciting results: L2 and L1 Open Champion! Wendlinger rode her own gelding Gundalf (Dun It Gotta Gun x Wimpysliljoker) to a score of 218 to capture the win and was very pleased with how her horse performed.

“He was little fresh in the go round, but today he felt very good and I knew that he could do it,” said the excited Austrian Professional. When Wendlinger started the gelding last year, she was not sure that he could make a futurity horse. “I started him in May, which was quite late, and he was not the easiest to ride, so I wasn’t sure how things would turn out, but he really developed well and after that I knew that he could do it. I took him to Austria [ARHA Futurity] and we had some bad luck there, so I think he simply needs some more show experience and he will be even better. We are done for this year, but I am looking forward to next year. I would like to come here again [for the 4-year-old futurity] and maybe Italy [IRHA Futurity].”

Kristiaan Hermus rode AK Magnum Lil Wimp (NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream x RX Dodsons Lil Step) owned by AK Quarterhorses to the L2 Reserve Championship scoring 217.5.

Johannes Heil and Mr Gunsmoke Chexy (Out Dunnit x My Chex R Smokin) owned by Manfred Riemann finished Reserve Champions in the L1 with a score of 210.5.

Emmalee Penha rode I Scream Ice

Level 4 and 3 Non Pro
Emmalee Penha was thrilled about her run today that earned her the L4 and L3 Non Pro Championships. Penha rode I Scream Ice (NRHA Million Dollar Sire SG Frozen Enterprize x Xtra Chickee Chickee) to a score of 217.5.

“I am really happy about my run and my horse; he behaved so well. I am very grateful for all the people around me who helped me get to this point. I had a lot of fun today,” said Penha. “We bred him and trained him until few weeks ago, when we brought him to [NRHA Professional] Matyas Gobert who put all the finishing touches on him, so that was a big part of today’s results. I really love to circle this horse. He has a natural style and a great slow down. I tried to go a little faster than in the go round and it paid off,” concluded Penha, who plans to enter the Italian Futurity next.

Julia Gaupmann Lechner & Highland Gun

Level 2 Non Pro
Two Austrian riders tied for the L4 and L3 Reserve Championships as well as for the L2 Non Pro Co-Championship scoring a 215.5: Julia Gaupmann Lechner and her Highland Gun (Tinseltownsmokingun x ARC Ms Whiz), and Anna-Maria Zehetbauer with her Great Unique Gundee (Mr Gun Dee x Taboo Gun Dee) between the reins.

Gaupman was very pleased with her run. “My goal was to have the same score as in the go round and my horse was with me from the beginning, so I was really happy when I heard the score afterwards.” Gaupman originally wasn’t planning to come to Germany, but said she changed her mind after she didn’t have very good run in the ARHA Futurity Finals. “My horse was good, but I had to work on my mindset a lot after Austria, so I am happy that it worked out here. Now we can go to the Italian Futurity like we originally planned.” Highland Gun is a special horse for Gaupmann as she showed his sire at the NRHA Futurity and also his dam at the NRHA European Futurity.

Anna-Maria Zehetbauer & Great Unique Gundee

Zehetbauer was also happy with her mare. “She was very quiet and easy to ride today, she really did everything I asked her to. I pushed her slightly to more speed than in the go round and she handled it very well. I am very happy with her. We already placed second at the Austrian Futurity, so it feels amazing to finish this good with homebred and trained horses,” said the young champion about her run.

Sacha Darmon & Chilled Queen

Level 1 Non Pro
Sacha Darmon and Chilled Queen (NRHA Million Dollar Sire SG Frozen Enterprize x Kea Chex) captured the L1 Non Pro Championship scoring a 214 and Darmon was thrilled with the results. “My mare was good in everything today. She is a bit lazy, so I was little worried that she would be tired after a 10-day horse show, but she was there for me 100% this week and improved every day. She stopped really nice, wanted to go for it, and I just enjoyed it. I tried to push her as my trainer [NRHA Professional Davide Brighenti] told me because I was a bit shy in the go round and didn’t want to take any risks, so in the finals I felt more confident and trusted myself more.”

Kim-Leonie Kiechle and Im A Ice Baby (NRHA Million Dollar Sire SG Frozen Enterprize x SL Palladiolena) finished Reserve Champions in L1 with a score of 212.5.

The show concludes on Saturday with the 2022 NRHA Germany 4-year-old Breeders Futurity Finals:  Non Pro Finals Section 1 starting at 11:00 a.m. and Open Finals Section 1 starting at 12:30, followed by the Sections 2 of the Non Pro and Open Finals starting at 17:30 and 19:30 respectively.

Photos by Tom Hautmann

Release by International Horse Press