Sunday, June 29, 2008

First NRHA Triple Crown Ever




June 29, 2008 – Oklahoma City, Okla.

History was made on the night of June 28, 2008, in the historic coliseum at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City, Okla., as NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida maneuvered Wimpys Little Chic to the NRHA Derby Championship with a 233 score.

The win made the 4-year-old mare, owned by Eleuterio Arcese of Arcese Quarter Horses from Italy and Texas, the only horse in National Reining Horse Association History to ever win the top three events the sport has to offer: the NRHA Futurity, the National Reining Breeders Classic, and the NRHA Derby – what is essentially reining’s version of a Triple Crown.

Flarida won a cool $50,000 on the mare; however, after placing on two other horses in the Derby, his take-home pay totaled $82,607.55 – putting him within $115,000 of hitting the unprecedented $3 Million Dollar Rider mark.

The Reserve title went to Tinsel Jac, ridden by Andrea Fappani, San Marcos, Calif., who scored a 227 and took home the $39,065 Reserve paycheck. The 6-year-old palomino stallion sired by Dolls Union Jac out of Holly Tinseltown by Primary Pine, is owned by Tinsel Jac Partners from Mexico. Fappani also finished third riding Spooks Gotta Gun for Duane Hicks, Marietta, Okla. His 225 score earned him an additional $30,989.47.

The Intermediate Open Derby was split by Jared T. Leclair riding Rootin Tootin Dunit, a 4-year-old stallion by Gallo Del Cielo out of This Is How Its Dun by Hollywood Dun It, owned by the Wolf Stem Partnership, Horse Cove, Ky., and Jason Vanlandingham, riding Gallos Stylish Star, also sired by Gallo Del Cielo and out of A Stylish Queen by Docs Stylish Oak, owned by Anthony Boerma, Pauls Valley, Okla. Both scored a 221.5 and took home a check for $11,431.83. The Limited Open winner was Gabriel B. Diano riding Whiz Shady MA for Roberto Jose Ribas, scoring a 219.5. The pair won $2,352.81.

NRHA’s only Non-Pro Million Dollar Rider Mandy McCutcheon, Aubrey, Texas, repeated her Derby win of 2007 when she again won the Non-Pro Derby riding I Spin For Chics, a 5-year-old stallion sired by Tangys Classy Peppy out of Chics Koko Angel by Smart Chic Olena. The pair also previously won the Non-Pro title at the 2008 National Reining Breeders Classic and took Reserve titles at the 2006 NRHA Futurity and the 2007 NRBC.

The Non-Pro Reserve title was split between Jessicah Keller, Fayetteville, Tenn., riding Helluva Chex, a 4-year-old stallion sired by Nu Chex To Cash out of Full Sis by Peppy San Badger, owned by Hilldale Farm and Sandra Bentien, Auburn, Calif., riding Make It With A Twist, a 6-year-old daughter of Dun It With A Twist out of SR Mischief Maker by Holidoc. The pair also won the Intermediate Non-Pro Championship. Lindy Longfellow, Hanford, Calif., won both the Limited Non-Pro and the Prime Time Non-Pro titles riding SLJ Sweet N Juicy, a 5-year-old daughter of Smart Like Juice out of Jacks My Sugar Daddy by Hollywood Jac 86.

Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic, or “Lexi,” as she is more affectionately called, dominated the event all week, beginning by winning the preliminary go-round with a 227. All eyes were on the flashy mare by Wimpys Little Step and out of Collena Chic Olena by Smart Chic Olena as she entered the pen for the finals. With her trademark precision, she maneuvered through Pattern 5 with the ease and grace that have become her distinctive style. As the pair blazed on to the pattern-ending three stops, the crowd bellowed its approval. As the pair exited, many fans rose for a standing ovation, paying homage to the mare that many have called one of the most talented horses in reining history.

“This mare, she could have finished last tonight and my respect for her wouldn’t be diminished at all – because I know how great she is,” Flarida said after the win. “But I was just really happy she could show everyone what I knew she was capable of doing.”

The pair’s 233 score was their third consecutive score above a 230 – to top the Open Derby by a definitive six points. Breeder Monica Watson of Double Run Farm had tears in her eyes as she ran to Lexi to give her a well-deserved kiss – something that has become a tradition for the horse and her former owner. Watson named the mare after Alexis Carrington from the popular TV show “Dynasty.”

“She was just amazing tonight,” Flarida recounted. “She’s been great every time, but this might have been her best performance yet.”

Flarida had three horses in the Open NRHA Derby finals, and in addition to the $50,000 he won for first place, he also took home a check for $21,760 for a fourth-place tie on KR Lil Conquistador, owned by Jeff and Cheree Kirkbride, and another $7,915 for a 10th-place tie on Western Whiz, owned by Sammy Ely. Additionally, he won nearly $3,000 for placing first in the preliminary, and tying himself for eighth. When all the checks were totaled, Flarida took home $82,607.55 – putting him within $115,000 of hitting the unprecedented $3 Million Dollar Rider mark. KR Lil Conquistador’s paycheck made his earnings top the $400,000 mark.

“We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve been given from everyone – our fans, our family, and of course, our sponsors,” said Michele Flarida. “I hope we’ve made them all proud because we couldn’t do this without them!”

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, with more than $2.8 million dollars won and counting. He is just the second rider to earn two million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity wins to his credit. Flarida is sponsored by EZ-All, Horseware Ireland, Lubrisyn, Leonard Trailers, Wrangler, Classic Equine, Purina Mills and Pards Western Store.

For full results go to:


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