IRHA/NRHA 4-year-old Open: The Finals

Mirko Midili and Angelina Shining Gun Mirko Midili and Angelina Shining Gun Photo by Andrea Bonaga
December 13, 2018

The IRHA-NRHA 4-year-old Open Final closed the night with an almost predicted success: on the podium were two riders that were both in the lead in the qualifier with a change of horse for the Reserve Championship where Gennaro Lendi conquered second place honors with Frozen N Rooster and not with Maytheforcebewhizyou.

In the lead in a field of 11 finalists in the Level (L)4 and of 17 in L3, was a very thrilled and touched Mirko Midili riding Angelina Shining Gun (Colonels Shining Gun x Miss Alex Cody), owned by Asia Vimercati. “This is one of the best mares that I have ever ridden… not only because of how she works, but also because of her attitude in the barn. I wasn’t able to show her in the 3-year-old Futurity because she arrived at Luga Quarter Horses only two months before the show and was too green. Also, she wasn’t an exceptional spinner, so I decided not to push her too hard and to bring her to the Futurity the following year. I felt that it was better to do things nice and slow and evidently it turned out to be the right choice. She always progressed, starting from the NRHA European Futurity Open L3 Reserve Championship with a score of 220.5. We then came directly here and we went up to a 223 in the L3 and L4 and I believe that there is even more room for improvement. I’m sure next year she will reach even higher scores,” explains Midili. “I also would like to underline that I particularly love Colonels Shining Gun’s offsprings, which are remarkably coming out,” adds Midili who has had a 2018 full of events: the return as head trainer at Luga Quarter Horses, which he had to leave some years ago due to a bad accident which was not of easy recovery; his first time taking part in Team Italy for the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon and, most importantly, the birth of his daughter Beatrice. “Beatrice has brought me a lot of serenity. She gave a meaning to my life and everything today seems more ‘light and simple,’ I face everything with less stress. Previously I put too much weight on work and, as we say ‘he who wants it all may loose it all.’ Paradoxically everything also works out better in the arena since I’ve sorted out my priorities.”
Earning the 4-year-old L4 Open Futurity Reserve Championship was top Italian trainer Gennaro Lendi (score 221) at the end of an important season which saw him as the leading professional in the main European aged events. Lendi rode Frozen N Rooster (Rooster Nic x Sailor N Glo) to the win for owner Alberto Amici. In the L3 division, with a score of 220.5, Massimiliano Ruggeri rode Anty Snappy Miki (ARC Antares Surprise x Oak Snappy Miki) owned by Federico Cattin to the reserve championship as well as to fourth place in the L4.

Winning the L2, in a field of 23 entries, was the 38-year-old talented Moreno Sacchi,riding Spatspook And Sailor, an athletic gelding by Spat Split And White out of Sail Nic Spook (by Frozen Sailor). The pair, after doing a very good job in the go-round, thrilled us in the final with a very solid run and with a lot of style appreciated by the judges who paid them back with a  217.5. This horse was given to Sacchi after the NRHA European Futurity after being trained and showed by Max Ruggeri. Owner Matteo David had fun with him showing at a few regional shows; after this, despite having decided to sell him to dedicate himself to other foals, he made the decision along with his trainer Moreno Sacchi  to show at the Futurity and it was a fantastic unexpected success! “A very big surprise,” said Sacchi. “He has always had very good maneuvers, but most of all he is a horse that thinks a lot, he is very smart. He behaved nicely both in the go-round and in the final. I just needed to work a little bit to keep him busy and concentrated. Other than that he has always been very nice in the way he moves, elegant especially in the canter. He has so much style and flowing movements, and most importantly he has a lot of talent. For this Futurity I tried to present him at his best, keeping in mind my goal of showing the judges the best control possible, and he stayed with me the entire run. It is a target that I’m trying to pursue with all of my horses. He is a great open horse, but is also excellent for non pros,” concluded Sacchi. “Whoever will purchase him will definitely be happy.” Sacchi thanks all of his team at Le Colombare, his friend Maura who warmed up the horse before the final, and his wife Chiara, his number one supporter. “My ‘guru’ is my wife. She takes care of all of the management and without her we wouldn’t have achieved such an exceptional result!”

German-based Polish rider Patryk Peszke riding Bernice Engle’s Gumpatrashya, a mare by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of Bubblicious Gump BB who, to date, has won over $10,000 in NRHA competition not only lead the L1 qualifier; he also took home the Championship and the Level 2 Reserve Championship. Bred by German Rüdiger Diedenhofen, Gumpatrashya was purchased by her owner when she was in training with Cira Baeck, head trainer for CS Ranch Switzerland. With the Belgian trainer in the saddle, she claimed the reserve championship in the 4-year-old Belgian Open Futurity and was a finalist in the NRHA Germany Breeders Open Bit Futurity and in the ARHA Open Futurity. Last October Engel brought her home to Engels Performance Horses in Freystadt, Germany. “This is a really special mare,” said Peszke. “She was very good for me in the go-round and was even better here for me tonight. All her manoeuvers are amazing and, at the same time, she is really quiet and easy to train and show. I am thrilled that Bernice [Engle] purchased her for me to show.”
“We've only been involved in the reining world for the past three years and we immediately hired Patryk because we truly believe he is talented,” said Engel. “We've had this mare since October and decided to buy her not only because she's very talented, but because we we knew she would fit Patryk and he proved it here!” The 25 year old Polish trainer worked for German professional Volker Schmitt until three years ago when Engel hired him. His major results include the 2017 NRHA Germany Breeders Derby, the Bavarian Maturity Co-championship and seventh place in the 2018 German Breeders L1 Bit Futurity.
The title of L1 Open Reserve Champion goes to Claudio Risso’s Rs Apple Lena (Spat Olena x Rs Linkwood Jac) and Mattia Nadalini, with a score of 215.