$324,000-Added 2022 IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA 3-year-old Open Futurity Finals

Manuel Cortesi & July Joe Snap Manuel Cortesi & July Joe Snap Photos by Bonaga Communication
November 20, 2022

In front of a full house, with standing space only, the 2022 edition of the Italian Futurity literally had the crowd in the Veronafiere stands cheering at the top of their voice from the first to the last horse-and-rider combination: Manuel Cortesi and July Joe Snap. When the duo closed their emotional and powerful run, a 227 appeared on the scoreboard accompanied by a standing ovation. The $216,013-Added Level (L)4 Open Futurity Championship was theirs.

Cortesi and his mount, a stallion by Master Snapper and out of San July Jo Magnetic, bred by Giacomo Ronchi and co-owned by Ronchi/Cuoghi, also brought Roberto Cuoghi his third IRHA Open Championship as well as the IRHBA Breeders Award. For Cortesi, who gave up his non pro card in 2014, tonight’s title earned him his first L4 Open Futurity Championship.

“Today, as soon as I got on him, I felt that he was with me,” said Cortesi after his run. “I’ve only been riding him for the past month, after his co-owner and good friend Giacomo Ronchi prematurely passed away. Giacomo did an amazing job with him and along the way, there were days where we had to concentrate on understanding each other, but in both the go-rounds, and especially tonight, we were in total harmony. Giacomo boarded his horses at my place and when I used to see him ride this stallion I knew they had the potential to win the Level 4 Open here. At the end of the day, he did because tonight he was with us all the way.”

With eight horses to go in the second section, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Gennaro Lendi set the new bar by scoring a 224 riding The New Classic (All American Vintage x Whizzen For Chex) for owner and breeder Eyal Carmon. The duo settled for the L4 Open Futurity Reserve Championship.

“This win was really a pleasant surprise,” said the Italian professional. “Until a week before coming here it was not in our intention to enter her here since she is not enrolled in the IRHBA program. At at the same time, I felt that she was a mare with a great heart so in the end we decided to bring her. She got better during the two go rounds and in the Finals. The first go was good, then worked together day after day and I am happy to say that I managed to handle her well. I kept her quiet and, considering the result, we can safely say that this was the winning strategy. She came to us as a yearling and we broke and trained her. Unfortunately I will be moving to the U.S. soon and she will stay in Europe, possibly at the Foncks.”

Stefano Ferri rode This Guys Smart

Level 3
Italian professional based in France Stefano Ferri rode This Guys Smart, a stallion by NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook out of A Ruf Gal owned by BO Ranch and bred by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Famer Rosanne Sternberg, to lead the composite following the two qualifiers. With the talented sorrel, Ferri performed to a 223.5 in the Finals and the $62,500-Added L3 Open Championship was theirs. A half-point behind, he also rode BO Ranch’s Spook Design (Smart Spook x Designed With Shine), who is also bred by Sternberg, to the L3 Reserve Championship.

“We purchased this horse, along with his half-brother Spook Design, as yearlings from Sterling Ranch and Rosanne [Sterling] told us at the time that with these two prospects we could not go wrong,” said Ferri. “I immediately liked them both and when they arrived in France in January, they became my babies even though they have completely different personalities. I base my training program on the earth, air and fire elements: ‘Smart’ identifies with the water element as he is an introverted, sensitive, and quiet horse whilst ‘Design’ is more rational and an extrovert and identifies with air. They are, however, horses with a great heart and talent and it’s been hugely satisfying to bring them out of the pasture and into the show pen and to achieve such fantastic results,” shared Ferri. “This evening was extremely emotional and I felt that they were with me the whole time. They were serious and attentive, so I can say that aside from the score, which is determined by the horse’s talent and quality of his maneuvers, I was extremely happy to see how they actually listened and I could tell and feel that they were happy to be there with me.”


Kristiaan Hermus and AK Magnum Lil Wimp

Level 2
Claiming the $30,120-Added L2 Open Championship with a 219 was Kristiaan Hermus and AK Magnum Lil Wimp (NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream x RX Dodsons Lil Step), a mare owned and bred by AK Quarterhorses. “We started this mare, who is out of a mare we own, as a 2-year-old,” said the Dutch rider. “She has always been really sweet—even though earlier this year we had a little trouble at some of the shows we took her to—and she just got better and better and each time stepped up her game.  In the first go round here I had a little bobble in my second stop where I miss-timed it and got in her way. The second go was much better and she was there for me all through the run. With each performance she keeps improving; it’s amazing, and she is truly an amazing mare. This is my third Italian Futurity and I just love coming here. We drive 15 hours to get here to show our horses and always have a blast. The crowd and the atmosphere is always really good and to me, this is where the best of Europe’s reining is.”


Dino Lulli and King Arthur Sailor

Level 1
With a great ride, Dino Lulli and King Arthur Sailor (AB Captain Badger x Im A Queen Diamonds), a stalion owned by Igor Todini and bred by Angelucci Quarter Horses, scored a 217.5 to claim the $15,350-Added L1 Championship. “This is a really easy horse to ride, level-minded, and a born stopper,” said a thrilled Lulli. “I purchased him in February for my client, Igor [Todini]. He is really well bred and his dam won the Level 3 Open Futurity with Pierluigi Fabbri in the saddle. At first, our intention was to buy a good horse so that his owner could have fun. Things went differently; we won the Regional Veneto L1 Open Futurity with a 144 and…we decided to bring him here to the ‘big’ Futurity. We are all really happy with this result.”  Lulli and his mount also took the L2 Open Reserve Championship.

The L1 Reserve Championship with a 214.5 score, was for Maurizio Ferraris and Elektra Step (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Electric Code x Chica Little Step), a mare owned by Samuele Varale and bred by Claudio Zocchi.

Photos by Bonaga Communication

For complete results: SHOWMANAGER.eu

For further information: IRHA.it

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