The Santa Hill Ranch IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA 3-year-old Non Pro Futurity: Nogue and A Whiz N Cash take it all!

Andreu Nogue Puig and A Whiz N Cash Andreu Nogue Puig and A Whiz N Cash Photo by Andrea Bonaga
December 14, 2018

The CremonaFiere oval arena lit up on Friday night as the Euro100,000-added Santa Hill IRHA/IRHBA/NRHA 3-year-old Non Pro Futurity finalists performed. Making history by being the first rider from Spain to conquer the prestigious title in Italy was Andreu Nogue Puig who took the Level (L)4, 3, 2, 1 Championships riding his A Whiz N Cash.  In a field of 40 riders across the four levels, Nogue laid down an amazing NRHA Pattern #12 paid back by the judges with a 218.5.

The young rider showed off his personality both at home and in the show arena with his positively aggressive attitude. “The most difficult moment for me was when I was home, just before flying to the Futurity. This is not an easy show: It is ‘the’ show. I kept thinking ‘it must work and I need to do well,’” said Nogue. “After all the sacrifices my family and myself did to come here, I felt it was my responsibility to do my best. In the qualifier, all went well and, on top of leading the level 1, I also qualified for the finals in all the levels so that gave me a boost and I relaxed a little bit. Tonight, before going in, I was as nervous as ever but, when the gate opened, the only thing I saw was the show pen and I thought to myself that there was no way back. I think that a competition should always be a positive experience; either you win, or you learn something important. If you don’t win, you learn; and if you do win, you also learn.”


Nogue took home four saddles, one for each level, offered by IRHA and Selleria Repetti; two bits offered by Donut Bits an Spurs for the L1 and L3 Championships; a custom-made Greg Darnall Bits & Spurs bit.


Nogue lives in Lloret de Mar, near Barcellona, and rides in a small private family-owned facility. In 2015 he started to ride reining horses under the guidance of Italian professional Eugenio Latorre, now based in Spain. In 2017 he was selected to be part of Team Spain taking part in the FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors in Givrins, Switzerland, but he could not find a suitable horse for the event. At that time, it was his present trainer Mirko Midili who saved the day. “I met Andreu and his family two years ago here in Cremona,” said Midili. “We started talking, and I understood that he was looking for a horse for the FEI World Championships. At that point, I offered him my black horse to ride; Arc Sparkle Magnetic, aka ‘Black Panther.’ Andreu and his family were thrilled and, since then, have been part of my heart.” Following the World Championships, the search for a prospect for Nogue to show in the ‘big Futurity’ began. «I saw A Whiz N Cash as a 2-year-old. He was broke and trained by Mattia Nadalini, and I loved his attitude,” added Midili. “He definitely turned out to be a great horse!”


A Whiz N Cash is by Custom Cash Advance out of A Whiz N Wranglers and was bred by Carlo Sala. His first and only show before the Futurity was the LR Prefuturity held in Manerbio where the pair won the Non Pro Futurity Championship. “Initially plans included Mirko showing him in the Open Futurity,” explained Nogue in his perfect Italian. “In the summer things changed: Mirko moved to Luga Quarter Horses and, since they gave him three horses to ride at the Futurity, he could not show any more. At that point I suggested that I could try to show him in the Non Pro Futurity and, since then, that was our new goal. In the beginning it was a disaster and I could not even lope him. He was strong but so sensitive … he as an open horse. Mirko always said that probably this was the best horse he had ever had. But it was not easy for me to build up a nice feeling with him. I just went back and forth from Spain to Italy to ride him in the weekends, up to the Futurity. I even changed my school program in order to have more time to dedicate to the preparation for this show. It didn’t take long to understand each other.”


“Andreu is a special guy,” states Midili. “He is polite, very intelligent and is an incredibly talented rider. I am certain a bright future in the show arena lies ahead of him.” Future plans for Andreu include a well-deserved Christmas vacation with his family and rest for him and his mate. Their plans for 2019 include the NRHA European Futurity and the IRHA Derby. There is no doubt that we will hear again about this special ‘Olé’ team!”

Taking the L4 and 3 Reserve Championship, a point behind Nogue, was Carlo Ambrosini and his mare Jac N Lime (Tinsel Jac x ARC Yellow N Lime) owned and by Ambrosini Quarter Horse ASD. In the quaifier, the pair claimed the fourth highest score (215.5) and they also boast the ARHA L4 and L3 Non Pro Futurity Championship.


The L2 Non Pro Reserve Championship goes to Sabine Schmid and All Niter (Gunners Special Night x Dun Made By Chic) with a 216 score. The stallion, bred by Susi Hutchins, was previously ridden and shown by Justin L. Michels in the U.S.


The L1 Co-Reserve Championship, with a 215 score, went to Mattia Cosio riding his White And Whizzy (Spat Split And White x Rooster Roohide), a stallion bred by Letizia Selvi, and Francesco Pedretti with his Could You Be The One (One Gun x Star Dun Its), an American Paint Horse Association mare bred by Claudio Carraro.