Le Pin, France – Opening the 2015 edition of the NRHA European Affiliate Championship was the Rookie Professional finals that counted eleven qualified riders. Host country, France, claimed the highest step of the podium with Félix Lejour riding his 7-year-old Paint Horse stallion, Smokin Boom (Mr Boomerjac x Fancy Smoke x Smokes Peppy San) after posting a 208.5. “My father, Francois, purchased this horse as a 2-year-old in the US and we shipped him here to France when he was 5,” said an enthused Félix who runs his own training facility near Paris. “I’ve had him in training since and even if we still have a lot of work to do together I am thrilled with this result which I really didn’t expect!”
Taking the European Affiliate Rookie Professional Reserve Co-Championship, with a 206.5, were Great Britain’s Andrew James Plant with his 13-year-old stallion, Docs Smokin Apache (Docs Smokin Lena x Miss Dee Doc x Dancing Go Man) and Jolien Rottiers of Belgium riding Lil Ruf Wimpy (Wimpys Little Step x Lil Trouble Miss x Lil Ruf Peppy) for owner Koen Brutsaert.
Winning the EAC Rookie Championship with a 210, in a field of 28 qualifiers, was France’s Laure Molina Tellez riding her 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Eazy With The Gun (Easy Otie Whiz x Playguns Rose x Playgun). “I am thrilled with this title for more than one reason,” said a smiling Laure. “My horse was born and bred in France, I’ve had him ever since he was a 2-year-old and this is the last show I will be competing with him in since he is now for sale. He’s been great for me but I’ve just purchased a 2-year-old Pale Face Dunnit who is being broke and trained and I cannot afford to keep both. I will certainly make sure he gets a good home and am so happy he earned this well deserved title.”
The Reserve Championship was also for France as Mylene Bourdon rode her 17-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Iron Easter King (Taris Colonel x Miss Holly Seven x Holly 7 John) to a 208.5. “I’ve had my horse since he was a 3-year-old …we’ve gone a long way together and since I ride him myself I couldn’t be any happier,” said Mylene. A half a point behind was Rudy Van Maele of Belgium riding Lenas Golden Pegesis, a 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding by Lenas Pegesis and out of Golden Algeria (by Jac O Rima).
It was a very special day for 20-year-old Bo Brutsaert of Belgium. Riding CJ Whiz, a 6-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by her father, Koen, the young lady reiner took home the EAC Intermediate Non Pro Championship with a great ride and a score of 218.5. “I first rode CJ Whiz at the Belgian Derby, so it’s only been six months, and I am thrilled. He is so good minded, gives you all he has when he’s in the arena and is just so honest. I have to give credit to my trainer, Matyas Gobert, and I now hope that it will be me instead of my dad that gets to show him at the European Derby!” commented Bo about her horse who is by Topsail Whiz and out of Dream Olena Chic (by Magnum Chic Dream) and who boasts more than $56,000 LTE.
The reserve championship went to fellow countryman, Dries Verscheuren who posted a 215.5 aboard his 11-year-old stallion, BA Superjac (Mcjac Flash x High Brows Chick x High Brow Hickory). A half a point behind, Leonoor de Bruin of The Netherlands, riding Crome Don’t Corrode, took third place honors. The 7-year-old stallion by Custom Crome and out of Maggie Chex (by Buenonic Chex) has earned more than $52,000 in NRHA competition.
Country Standings after the first day of competition:
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