2020 Colonels Shining Gun NRHA European Derby Open Finals: Sicuro and Colonels Dancing Gun Do It Again!

Nico Sicuro and Colonels Dancing Gun Nico Sicuro and Colonels Dancing Gun Photos by Tom Hautmann

Wiener Neustadt, July 3–The $112,700-added Colonels Shining Gun NRHA European Open Derby finals closed the 2020 edition of the European event.
Draw #4 in the second section, Nico Sicuro and Quarter Dream’s Colonels Dancing Gun set the bar by scoring a 221.5. Twenty horses later, their score held, securing the $45,000-added Level (L)4 European Derby Open Championship as well as the $24.300 paycheck for first place.

The talented 7-year-old stallion sired by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Gunner out of Dance Little Spook, owned and nominated by Quarter Dream SRL, was in the breeding shed at Frozen Partners in Germany and then made his way to Puglia, Italy, where Sicuro is head trainer for Quarter Dream. As the Italian professional had mentioned following his top score in the qualifier, the Euro Derby was the first ‘real’ show together. “I am thrilled and won’t hide the fact that waiting for 20 horses to go after me was not easy,” said a smiling Sicuro. “There were quite a few strong horses and riders after us and there were a couple of maneuvers today that weren’t perfect and our score wasn’t that high. He’s a great horse and was great today, I guess I didn’t communicate too well with him and once again he proved how special he is!”
Taking reserve honors a half a point behind were 2019 NRHA European Derby L4 Open Champions NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck and Diego Dalla Gassa’s Gunners Specialolena (NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite x Dolly Jac Olena), a 2014 American Quarter Horse mare bred and nominated by Luigi Parise.

The $33,800-added L3 and $22,533-added L2 Open Derby Championships were all about Italian Sebastiano Valtorta riding Four Season Whiz (NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Topsail Whiz x Dun It Preciously), a 2013 AQHA gelding bred and nominated by Luga Quarter Horses and owned by Luca Mauri. “Everything went according to plans even though I didn’t trust him enough in the stops and I should have!” said Valtorta. “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime horse. He’s eight years old now, I’ve had him for the past four years and every time I’ve shown him, we placed. He’s made the difference in my career and I can’t thank him and his owner enough for all that they’ve given me.”
The L3 and L2 Reserve Championship was for Dutch Petra Van Ede riding Cee U In Tinseltown (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown x Miss Wimpy Hollywood), a 2014 American Quarter Horse mare bred and owned by Gisela Haas and
nominated by Paulus Beurskens.

The $11,267-added L1 Championship went to Lars Suechting riding JF What A Ruf Juice (Ruf Dun It x What A Juicy Chic), a 9-year-old stallion owned by Markus Suechting, bred and nominated by Frank Huchzermeier. “I would describe my ride as being very solid, not over paced and my horse gave me exactly what was needed for this show,” said the German professional. “I started him as a 2-year-old, have had him in training ever since, and he’s been good-minded and honest all the way. Every single year I earned a title with him.”
Suechting shared that a fundamental part of his and his brother’s [Markus] training program is that they try to keep their horses as fresh-minded and as well trained as they can so as to get solid scores.
Tying for the L1 Reserve Championship with a 210.5 score was Swiss Philipp Kueng riding Shine On Pretty Whiz (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz x Shine A Belle), a 2015 gelding owned by Romina Kueng, bred by Carluccio Orsi, and nominated by Greenway Stables, and Italian Alessandro Roasio riding NRHA/Markel Sale Grad Il Be Automatic (NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream x Hickadora). The 2015 AQHA gelding was bred by David Pratt, nominated by Quarter Dream SRL, and is owned by Norbert Juhász.
Once the curtain fell on the 2020 NRHA Euro Derby, organizer Otto Ziefreund was pleased with the outcome. “The 2020 event was supposed to be held in the renowned fairgrounds in Wels, Austria. Due to the pandemic, the show was postponed to 2021 and at the very last minute was canceled,” he said. “We were very fortunate to have Helmut and Dennis Schulz offer their facility as host, and I would personally like to thank them. I never lost faith in the fact that this event could successfully be held this year; the numbers and the support of all our sponsors speak for themselves and a big thank you goes to all. I truly hope that our bid to host the 2022 NRHA European Futurity in Wels will be accepted.”
NRHA European Open Derby Finalists / Markel Sale Graduates:
Bugs At Nite (NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite x Scats Ebony Shiner) ridden by Czech Jonas Bujnoch, owned by Renata Rudolecka, bred and nominated by Sheryl Kaefer.
(2016 Marketplace Sale; Gary Putman, Agent; Filippo Masi, Buyer)
Wrapped In Tinsel (Hollywoodstinseltown x Smart Shiney Lena) ridden by German Oliver Stein, owned by Kathrin Schuette, bred by Butch Coggins, nominated by Elizabeth Weston.
(2016 NRHA/Markel Select Yearling Sale; Consigner Kyle Ranch; Sylivia Rzepka, Agent for Buyer)
Hey Joe (NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook x Best Stop) ridden by Belgian Nimroid Vannietvelt, owned by Steve Vannietvelt and Gina De Pauw, bred and nominated by Wagman Ranch Inc.
(2014 NRHA/Markel Select Yearling; Consigner Wagman Ranch, Inc.; 4V Livestock LLC, Buyer) 
II Be Automatic (Magnum Chic Dream x Hickadora) ridden by Alessandro Roasio of Italy, owned by Norbetrt Juház, bred by David Pratt, nominated by Quarter Dream SRL.
(2017 NRHA/Markel Futurity Prospect Sale; Bobby Avila Jr., Agent for David Pratt; Quarter Dream SRL, Buyer)
Spooks Gotta Deal (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Gun x The Rio Deal) ridden by Markus Gebert, owned by Lisa Schlatter and nominated by Bur Oak LLC.
(2016 NRHA/Markel Marketplace Sale; Cinder Lakes Ranch, Agent; Iris Petchening, Buyer)
All American Vintage (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire A Sparkling Vintage x All Ruffed Up) ridden by Italy’s Gennaro Lendi owned by Eyal Carmon, bred by Petra Zeitler and nominated by Gennaro Lendi.
(2016 NRHA/Markel Futurity Prospect Sale; Withdrawn; Tallone Reining Horses Consignor)
Walla Whiz A Dun It (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz x The Bun Is Dun) ridden and nominated by Gal Grahelj of Slovakia owned by Katja Zrimsek, bred by Susan Jones.
(2016 NRHA/Markel Marketplace Sale; Heritage Farms, Agent; Gal Grahecj, Buyer)
Saturday Ancillary Action
$1,200-added NRHA Non Pro

Tina Kuenstner-Mantl riding Mizzfire (Gunner x West Coast Mizzen)

2011 AQHA stallion owned by Jacpoint QH – score 214

$600-added NRHA Intermediate Non Pro
$400-added NRHA Limited Non Pro
Rudolf Maurer riding his own 2015 gelding Tinseltownconnection (Hollywoodstinseltown x Smart Connection) - score 212.5
For further information: www.NRHAEUROPEANDERBY.com
NRHA European Derby Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press
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