The tenth anniversary edition of the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic has shown growth in every aspect - and entry numbers in the Hollywoodstinseltown Open Futurity were up about ten percent from last year.
Always a highlight of the week of intense reining competition, the Futurity featured 94 horses with most of the top open riders in the industry in attendance. And when the last horse had gone, it was the draw 15 that retained the lead throughout the rest of the event. Jason Vanlandingham rode Vaughn Zimmerman's Not Ruf At All (A Sparkling Vintage X All Ruffed Up) to a score of 222.5, then had to wait it out as 79 more horses tried to best his score.
Jason laughed, "There were so many great horses, we just left for a few hours. I didn't want to root against my friends."
Jason got Not Ruf At All in January. "Bobby Avila, Jr. rode him as a 2- year old, and did a great job. Then Vaughn sent him down to me."
Tulsa was the first show for the stallion but his rider had a lot of confidence in him. "I've never had a horse that can stop like he can. I know I can run down there and have something big happen!" He'll show the horse at Las Vegas and possibly the Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity "if everything is OK. I just want to build his confidence as we get closer to Oklahoma City."
Jason won $14,631 for the win, along with a saddle sponsored by Kyle Ranch Tack, a Lawson Trophy, Ariat Jacket, Ariat Denim Certificate plus a Gift Certificate from Santa Cruz Animal Health.
The Reserve Championship and $8,906 went to Tim McQuay with a score of 221 on Gunna Sassya a son of the late Gunner out of Shining N Sassy, the mare Tim won the NRHA Futurity on for then-owner Carol Rose.
In the Level 3, there was a tie between Franco Bertolani on Madeof Pure Spangled owned by Bevilacqua Quarter Horses and Gabe Hutchins on Darling 888 Ranch's Electric Outlaw. Both scored 219.5 to win $4,590 plus both were part of a 5-way tie for third in the Open that netted them each another $5,152.
Franco had already had a winning week in Tulsa since the very first class, but the Futurity win was definitely the highlight. Madeof Pure Spangled is part of the first foal crop by Star Spangled Whiz, owned by Bevilacqua Quarter Horses. Franco has been riding the good mare since she was shipped to the US from Italy mid-year in 2012 and he's definitely excited about her potential. "She gives everything; she has such a big heart!"
This was her first show and the plan is to take her to the SWRHA Futurity in Ardmore, then to Oklahoma City.
Gabe Hutchins started riding Electric Outlaw (Jacs Electric Spark X Docs Lil Bullet) after the Oklahoma City Futurity last year. Rick Darling, owner of Darling 888 Ranch, bought him at the futurity sale. "He's a huge stopper - and I think he's starting to figure things out. He turned well and circled hard. "
Next on the agenda is a break before the NRHA Futurity. "We'll give him about three weeks off, then school up and get ready for Oklahoma City."
The Level 2 Futurity Championship went to Martin Larcombe for a score of 218.5 on Revolution Is Dun (Einsteins Revolution X Miss Whiz Done Dunit) owned by XCS Ranch of Gordonville, Texas. Larcombe got the horse right after the NRBC from Richard Pokluda and Dr. Bill Rhodes.
He was impressed from the beginning by the horse's seemingly effortless stopping style. "He really curls up and has a stylish stop and the other parts are coming along."
He was happy with the day's turnarounds and thought the circles were good although "he popped out of lead in a circle and that cost me." The horse had only been out one time before when he took him to Waco and loped him through a novice class. "Today was the first time for real. We'll school him some, then go to the Southwest Futurity.
The win was worth $2170 and a Lawson Trophy, award headstall, Ariat Jacket, Ariat Gift Certificate and Santa Cruz Animal Health Gift Certificate.
The Reserve Championship in the Level 2 went to Gabriel Diano for a score of 216 on The Chex Come Easy owned by Luis Fernando Simas.
Event Champions and NAAC Qualifiers Making History at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic
On Saturday, August 31, the Mustang Arena hosted more National Reining Horse Association Classes and more South Central Region Affiliate Finals classes that qualify top finishers for the North American Affiliate Championship at the NRHA Futurity. The day began with Youth 14-18, 13 and under, Jackpot Rookie Youth and USA Reining Youth run concurrently.
Paige Vernon of Ashland, Wisconsin rode Goodtime Starbuck to win the 14-18 Youth with a score of 146. The Reserve Title went to Kaylan Marks of Yorktown, Texas on Tagged my Chic, for a score of 143.
In the 13 and Under Youth, Cade McCutcheon rode This Chic N Whiz to a score of 144.5. His parents bought the mare at the Griffin Dispersal Sale and he began riding her after the NRHA Derby. This week was the first time to show her and in his first attempt, earlier in the week, he "had a little trouble getting used to her.
On Saturday, he rode with intense concentration, nonplussed when his stirrup broke in his first circle. He continued the run with one stirrup and claimed the win.
The Reserve Championship went to Skyler DesHotels of Maud, Texas on Conquistador Lilstar for a score of 143.5. Skyler also won the USA Reining Youth class with that run. Second in the USA Reining Youth was Tori Cartillar of Wynn, Arkansas, on Gimme Major Bucks with a score of 141.5.
Paige Vernon won the Youth 14-18 on Goodtime Starbuck. She scored 146 on the horse owned by Craig Vernon of Ashland, Wisconsin. Kaylan Marks and Tagged My Chic earned the Reserve title with a score of 143 in the 14-18. Kaylan is from Yorktown Texas.
The Rookie Youth Championship went to Emily Adlof of Gainesville, Texas for a score of 141 on Chex Out This Melody. Emma Taylor of Martin, Tennessee rode Royal Chexy Lady to reserve honors.
The action in the Mustang Arena continued with the Novice Horse Non Pro Classes and Frank Ordner won the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 class on Hollywood Shootout owned by Dave Silva of Pilot Point, Texas. Frank won $313 for his score of 141.5. This was his fourth time he showed the mare, and he noted, "She's a lot of fun!"
The reserve title went to Amber Schafer of Lonoke, Arkansas for a score of 139.5 on Benjamin Banjo.
The Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 Affiliate Finals Championship went to Katrina Giesbrecht on Mystical Trash for a 142.5. This is Katrina's first year to show her gelding that she calls "Boogie". "He has a great personality and is an over-achiever that really tries hard."
Karla Seale of Pipe Creek, Texas won the reserve title on Cromes Freckle Flynn with a score 138.50.
Dee Dee Boeckman of Kingfisher, Oklahoma won the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 on Peppy San Whiz for a score of 144 worth $309. Boeckman, who rides with Yonathan Baruch, has been successful with the gelding and notes, simply, "When I do my job, he does his."
Kristen Avila finished just behind with a 143.5 on Kansas City Whiz. Boeckman also won the Affiliate Finals Championship in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 with Randy Golden of Hockley, Texas just behind on Lil Boo Whiz with a score of 140.5.
Youth Activities in the Super Duty Arena
The day began in the Super Duty Arena with a youth horsemanship clinic by multiple world champion Katie Krshka. Krshka, an Oklahoma State University Equestrian Team member and four-time All-American Athlete, presented a hands-on personalized forum for learning.
Following the clinic, participants participated in the Youth Reining Horsemanship class, which is judged on horsemanship skills rather than horse maneuvers, unlike traditional reining classes. Andie Wells of Valley View, Texas rode Forest Cabin Cowboy to a score of 70.5 to win the horsemanship, then in the Short Stirrup class that followed, she marked a 70 to garner back-to-back wins.
Ten-year-old Andie has been competing in the Short Stirrup for three years. When she is not riding, she loves cheering, volleyball and swimming. When she grows up, she wants to be a professional horse trainer.
Reserve in the Horsemanship went to Carlee McCutcheon for her ride on Shiney Enterprise. Reserve in the Short Stirrup went to Madison Gustin of Weatherford, Texas for her score of 69 on Mark This Dun.
The Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic continues on Sunday with the Mister Nicadual Open Derby and Dun Gotta Gun Novice Open Derby, along with Non Pro classes in the Mustang Arena and Youth competition in the Super Duty Arena.
The show is produced by Global Reining Sport Group, a Texas and Oklahoma-based partnership of industry leaders whose vision has created innovative events and leading-edge classes. The events have grown both in prominence and size.
For information on the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic, visit www.tulsareining.com.