Cool As Ice – Fappani Wins 2018 NRHA Cinch Non Pro Futurity

The competition in the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Cinch Non Pro Futurity was hot, but Tish Fappani kept her cool despite a three-way runoff for the championship. Fappani claimed her third Level (L) 4 Non Pro Championship tonight aboard Icecube, a red dun stallion by SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Taris Designer Genes, nominated by Andrea Fappani and owned by Andrea and Tish Fappani.

Fappani, who actually prefers to go earlier in the draw, drew up second to last in the second section of the finals tonight. As she entered the arena Samantha Smith riding Neverthoughtiwould and Madison Steed aboard Into The Nite were in a two-way tie with a 222 ½. After the completion of her run, a two-way tie turned into a three-way tie, but Fappani kept her cool in the runoff marking a 223 ½ and clinching the win [video].  “His first run he was really good, he is such a powerful horse, but I had a few bobbles on my end so we tied,” said Fappani “I’ve never had to do a run off at a major aged event.” She went on to add “He [Icecube] went back in there and tried even harder for me.”

Earning the title of 2018 NRHA Cinch Non Pro L4 Reserve Co-Champion and L3 Champion was Samantha Smith and Neverthoughtiwould (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Pale Face Dunnit x Shine Tini) [video]. The cremello gelding is owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Lance Griffin and nominated by Ginger Schmersal. When asked about her run Smith said, “Going in the first time I knew there was a pretty big score to beat, but I just wanted to be good. My plan was to show smart because he is a fun horse but to be able to put the hammer down and show him clean and correct and it worked.” Smith gave credit to her trainer, Martin Larcombe and how prepared he had her horse for tonight.

Madison Steed and Into The Nite claimed the Cinch Non Pro L4 Reserve Co-Championship and L2 Championship [video]. Into The Nite, nominated by Turnabout Farms, Inc. and owned by Steed, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Chexy Dun It.  “My first run he was awesome. He turned better in there than I think he has in his entire life. We bobbled in the run in on the first one, but he is three and he tried super hard, and I really couldn’t have asked for a better horse,” said Steed when asked about her run.

Wining the Cinch Non Pro L1 and Youth Championship as well as the L2 Reserve Championship was Sam Flarida riding Hollywooddirtysecret [video], a red dun gelding nominated by Patricia Duque and owned by Shawn Flarida. Daniele Whitney and Absolute Gunner slide their way to the Cinch Non Pro L1 Reserve Champion. Absolute Gunner, nominated by Turnabout Farm, Inc, is by NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Gunner and out of Taris Modern Design. Cade McCutcheon and Alpha Brave Hard (nominated by Alpha Quarter Horses, Inc.) clinched the Non Pro Youth Reserve Championship. Alpha Brave Hard is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Miss Brim Peppy.

The Non Pro Prime Time Championship ended with a two-way tie between Think Im Gunna Shine ridden by Chad Clark [video] and Whata Special Nite ridden by Stoney Russell [video]. Think Im Gunna Shine (Nominated by Rick Sassella) is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and out of Shiny Wrangler. “It was super fun and I love a horse that will let you show them like that. She is super sweet,” said Clark when talking about his winning run tonight.

Whata Special Nite, owned and shown by Stoney Russell, is by Gunners Special Nite and out of SLJ Sweet N Juicy and was nominated by Lindy Longfellow.  We asked Russell about his run tonight, and this what he had to say: “I came across the middle on my right circle and drug a lead and had an overturn on my spins, but other than that he was there for me. I pushed him, and he never said no. I was very happy with him.”

Big Numbers for 2018 NRHA CINCH Non Pro Futurity
The 2018 NRHA Futurity continues its successful start with impressive and historic numbers. Non Pro entries were up 8% (629) in comparison to last year (582). This year’s edition had the largest purse (level 1 – level 4) in history with $617,166. The second largest was held in 2012 with $605,111. Additionally, the purse for each level was at a record high.

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere. 

Media Contact:
Hayley Eberle
Manager of Marketing & Outreach
National Reining Horse Association
heberle@nrha.com
(405) 946-7400 x 103

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