Zehetbauer and SS Pretty Nifty Add Another Win to Their Collection at the Inaugural Million Dollar Added NRHA European Futurity

Anna-Maria Zehetbauer & SS Pretty Nifty Anna-Maria Zehetbauer & SS Pretty Nifty
May 24, 2024

Cremona, May 24 — Friday night saw the 16th edition of the NRHA European Futurity crown its first Champions in the $300,000-Added De Niro Boot Co Non Pro Finals. No stranger to the winner’s circle with the 2023 Austrian Futurity, NRHA Germany Breeders Futurity, and IRHA Non Pro Futurity Championships under their belt, Anna-Maria Zehetbauer and SS Pretty Nifty showed the audience what reining is about when they took the $144,000-Added Level (L)4 Non Pro Championship scoring an impressive 221!

Zehetbauer was determined to repeat her success from the qualifier; when she stepped in the arena, the crowd knew this was the run to watch. Bringing a whole new level of difficulty and precision the 18-year-old Austrian rider and her mount performed a breath-taking pattern that was awarded a well-deserved score that far surpassed the preceding runs. Zehetbauer’s ride, a mare by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire A Sparkling Vintage out of Custom Nifty Nic is owned by Zeidelhof Reining Horses and was nominated by Richard Zeidelhof after being purchased at the NRHA Markel Futurity Sale in 2021.

“I feel so happy and overwhelmed,” said Zehetbauer fresh off her win. “This mare gave me so much already, and now another Championship; it is really unbelievable. I pushed her a little more than in the qualifier because she felt so good and I was confident that I could do it. She felt even better in the stops today, but it doesn’t matter to her if it is a go round or a final, she is always great. I trained her myself. I got help from Lukasz Czechowicz and now ride with Arnaud Girinon, but I keep her at home and like to prepare her myself. Plans are now to give her a couple of weeks off and then start to work toward the 100X Stakes at BO Ranch in France.”

Three Italian riders shared the Co-Reserve Championship in L4 with a 213 score: Valentina Monti and her stallion Smokey The Bandit (Dunnit Like A Master x Smokin Sailor Jazzy) nominated by Impresa Agricola Cuoghi, past Euro Futurity Non Pro Champion Carlo Ambrosini aboard his stallion Spookstep (NRHA Thirteen Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step x Spooks O Lena), owned and nominated by Ambrosini Quarter Horses ASD, and yet another past Euro Futurity Non Pro Champion Manuel Bonzano with Shining Guns N Roses (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Colonels Shining Gun x Roses for Einstein), a mare owned and nominated by 23 Quarter Horses Srl.

Francesca Ferrarol & Let Me Be Your Wimpy


It was a successful show for 21-year-old Francesca Ferrarol of Italy who claimed both the $84,000-Added L3 and the $45,000-Added L2 Championships with a score of 212. Ferrarol showed her homebred mare Let Me Be Your Wimpy, owned and nominated by her father Maurizio Ferrarol. The bay mare had big shoes to fill as she is by Wimpy Margarita, Ferrarol’s ride to the 2019 and 2020 Euro Derby Championships, and out of Let Dry Peppy. “I really have no words and honestly had no expectations. She is a home-bred mare, a piece of my heart, and I rode and showed both her mom and her dad. I only decided three weeks ago to show her here so making the finals was a big goal. She was great tonight and I am the happiest girl in the world right now.”  Ferrarol was proud of the work she did with her mare. “Last year, I had her in training for a few months with Sebastiano [Valtorta], whom I would like to thank very much. The rest I did all on my own which makes this win even more special. I also feel very blessed to have my family behind me. They always support me and encourage me, so I am very thankful for that," said the humbled Champion.

Reserve honors in L3 went to Swiss rider Adrienne Speidel, who showed her own gelding Colonel Einstein (Colonels Shining Gun x Kaysolve) nominated by Fabian Strebel.
The duo who led the L3 in the qualifier closed their run tonight with a 211.

Matilde Mazzanti & Okie Done Surprise


Italy’s Matilde Mazzanti was very excited about her run in the first section of the finals. When a 210 score was announced, Mazzanti left the pen with a wide smile on her face. Her smile lasted all the way through section 2 when she learned she had won the $27,000-Added L1 Championship as well as the L2 Reserve Championship. The talented 16-year-old rider made the finals with her four-legged partner Okie Done Surprise (Okie Dun Badger x Ares Cody Glo), a gelding nominated by Dario Carmignani.

"I've been riding this horse since February 2023, and at the beginning we struggled a bit to click,” said Mazzanti about her horse. “Thanks to my trainer Emanuela Modestino we had a really good journey together all the way here.” Matilde admitted that she was a bit stressed before the finals because she really wanted to win, but as soon as she entered the arena, she decided to do the best she could, and at the end  had a lot of fun!

Two riders split the L1 Reserve Championship after scoring a 209 for their run: Italian Annalisa Solbiati riding SM Magicice Valentin (ARC Magic Enterprise x Iceinside), a mare owned and nominated by Massimo Solbiati, and Chiara Faccincani, also from Italy, riding her own mare CF Cricket Gottawhiz (NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz x RS Spat O Ban) nominated by Il Colle Del Falco.

APHA Chrome Cash Incentive
NRHA Alliance Partner American Paint Horse Association (APHA) once again offered their APHA Chrome Cash Incentive for the L4 Non Pro competitors showing their Paint Horses in the NRHA European Futurity. Francesca Sternberg of Great Britain topped the division aboard her homebred mare My Kinda Shine (Colonels Shining Gun x See My Way) in the qualifier. “This mare is really green so we just brought her here for the experience as she has not been shown much before. She was quite looky in the arena, but she went around and did her job, so I am proud of her. I bred her and I bred her dam, so this is a third generation of our show horses,” said Sternberg after her run and thanked the APHA for adding the division to the competition. “I am very greatful to APHA. Chrome Cash is a fantastic incentive and I think once people in Europe work out how it functions, it is going to be a huge uptake. It is a really good program and I am proud to show a Paint!”

Ancillary action
Francesco Pedretti of Italy performed a strong run aboard Domenico Giannitti’s stallion GD Peptos Olena Blue (Spat A Blue x Miss Peptos Jacky) scoring a 219 to secure top honors in the Quarter Dream NRHA Open.

Winning the Quarter Dream NRHA Intermediate Open with a 217 was Jeremy Ropert of France taking the lead aboard Anna Ciechanska’s mare CSG Blossomsailon (Colonels Shining Gun x Hp Pebbles Sail On).

Italy’s Chiara Emilie Pinazzi and FB Topsail Sparkya (ARC Gunna Sparkya x Topsail Del Cielo), owned by Guido Gandelli, scored 212.5 to win the Quarter Dream NRHA Limited Open.

Winning the $1,250-added APHA Open Chrome Cash Incentive was Jeremy Ropert riding Alain Ropert’s mare Chexout My Jolyjojo (Colonels Shining Gun x Misty Chex To Cash).

Francesca Giulia Solbiati of Italy entered the Arcese NRHA Youth 14-18 aboard Massimo Solbiati’s mare SM Five B Ice (Chic Magnetic x Iceinside). The duo performed a steady run with strong circles and deep stops that earned them a solid 214 score to top the class.

Saturday will include NRHA Non Pro ancillary action — also featuring the 2025 World Reining qualifier and APHA Amateur Chrome Cash incentive classes — and will conclude with the much anticipated $700,000-added NRHA European Futurity Open Finals.

Photos Bonaga Communication

For further information, live stream and live score: NRHAEUROPEANFUTURITY.com

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