Belgium, Germany and Italy Tie to Lead the First Go Round of the Arcese/MS Diamonds TX 2020 IRHA 3-year-old Open Futurity

From left to right, Syliva Rzepka, Mirko Midili and Ann Fonck From left to right, Syliva Rzepka, Mirko Midili and Ann Fonck Photos by Bonaga Communication

Cremona, May 17–The first go round of the €204.000,00-added Arcese/MS Diamonds TX 2020 Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Open Futurity, eligible for horses by stallions nominated in the Italian Reining Horse Breeders Association (IRHBA) incentive program, filled the day in Cremona, Italy, where the event is held concurrently with the 2020 NRHA European Futurity and ELEMENTA Italian Reining Championship Finals.

Three riders tie to lead the first go of the €138.750,00-added Level 4 Open: Syliva Rzepka of Germany, Ann Fonck of Belgium, and Mirko Midili of Italy.

Riding Wimpy Walla Whiz, a stallion by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Memorable Walla Whiz (by NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz) owned by Zsolt Méder of Hungary, Rzepka set the bar early in the draw by posting a 220.5. “I got him in training as a 2-year-old and because he was so small, we started training him late so he was pretty green when futurity time came around last year,” said Rzepka about the stallion bred by Christina Riley. “I showed him at the 2020 German Breeders Futurity where we made the finals and I must admit that in a way being able to show him here six months after the scheduled date was good for him because he really matured becoming a solid horse over this period of time.” The German professional based in Austria also claimed the top score in the €37.500,00-added Level (L)3 division.
Mirko Midili of Italy and GD Peptos Olena Blue (Spat A Blue x Miss Peptos Jacky x Peptos Lil Bingo), owned and bred by Domenico Giannitti, rode to the same score. “Originally, Stefano Cerrutti —who trained this stallion—was supposed to show him,” Midili shared. “Due to health issues, he passed the reins on to me a few months ago hoping he would be OK for the Futurity. Unfortunately for him, this did not happen. He’s a beautiful flashy blue-eyed horse, a great stopper, and is always focused and very quiet.”

Joining the 220.5 class was NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck aboard Step N Past Ya, owned by CS Ranch Management SA. Bred by Susan Avila, the pretty sorrel mare by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of ARC Sail Past Ya (by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya) was shown by Gina Schumacher in the NRHA Non Pro Futurity where she made the finals. This year the mare was flown to Europe so that Schumacher could show her in the Italian Futurity, but due to the multiple changes of dates, two months ago the young German rider asked Fonck if she would take over the reins. “I was thrilled to be able to show her here and I want to say thank you, thank you, thank you to the Schumacher family,” said an enthused Fonck. “She’s a super nice horse, I like her a lot, and... she’s a real ‘girly girl' which makes me like her even more!”

Barbagli and Lil Jo Gunner lead the Level 2 Open
Francesco Barbagli rode Jerzy Szumanski’s Lil Jo Gunner (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash x Designed By Gunner) to a 220 which put him in the lead in the €18.750,00-added L2 Open division. “This mare is owned by the Szumanki’s Ultra Quarter Horses, my Polish clients,” explained Barbagli. “She has a huge heart and is infinitely talented. I have been riding her for about a year now and am of course very happy today because I knew she was strong but didn’t imagine we could mark so high. I had shown her in two regional shows before coming here, but this is the first big show since last October. We’re a real team and she’s truly a beautiful mare.”

Fancy Flashes rides Landi to the highest score of the Level 1 Open
Twenty-two-year-old Gabriele Landi and Eyal Carmon’s Fancy Flashes (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz x Electrical Flash x NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Jacs Electric Spark) closed their run with a 217 which put them on top of the €9.000,00-added L1 leaderboard.

“Though this is a very special moment for me, it comes from the sad situation in Israel right now,” said Landi. “This mare was actually shipped to Italy thanks to a project between Israel’s Eyal Carmon, Barack Gibori, and Kaya Ahissar of KPH Performance Horses and [Italian professional] Gennaro Lendi. Barak Gibori was supposed to show her here but because the airport in Tel Aviv was closed following the present turmoils, he was unable to fly. The team, in accordance with Gennaro, gave me the opportunity to catch ride her here and I am very honored.” Though Landi knew that she was a good horse, he was a little nervous since he’d never shown her. “She is very generous and after the first maneuvers, which she performed impeccably, I felt I could trust her and am thrilled with this result,” he added.
The second go round of the Arcese/MS Diamonds TX Open Futurity will be held on Wednesday, May 19. The Open Finals will close the event on Saturday, May 22.
The 2020 IRHA/IRHBA Futurity is held behind closed doors. For those that would like to follow the action, see below:

For those that would like to follow the action, see below:
Livescore and full results click here
Livestream click here
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Photos by Bonaga Communication
NRHA European Futurity Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press
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