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TIME CHANGE ... Live Coverage of the Cactus Reining Classic Open Pro Derby is Saturday, March 6th at Noon PT / 3pm ET. Tune in here to see the best reiners compete head to head.
FRIDAY'S NON-PRO DERBY RESULTS & OPEN PRO DERBY BACKGROUND:
Frederick Christen and Skeets Little Annie Capture the 2010 Cactus Classic Non Pro Derby Title
Frederick Christen of Whitehouse, Ohio rode Skeets Little Annie to victory in the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and Prime Time Non Pro at the Cactus Reining Classic on Friday, March 5th in Scottsdale Arizona. This horse and rider combination who had accomplished the same feat at the NRHA Derby in September in Oklahoma City, bested a field of 40 competitors posting a score of 221.5 to garner the win in Friday’s event.
In addition to $7,328 in total prize money, a Bob’s Custom Saddle, 2 Gist custom buckles and 2 NRHA Lawson bronzes, Christen was also awarded the Bob Dorociak Memorial Perpetual Trophy, and is now a contender for the 2010 Trifecta Reining Challenge. The highest money earning Non Pro horse and rider combination from the Cactus Reining Classic, Reining By The Bay and High Roller Reining Classic will win a six night seven day stay at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea valued at $4,000.
Christen who Trains with Dan Huss bought Skeets Little Annie (Skeets Peppy x Oaks Little Annie x Doc’s Oak) at the 2006 NRHA Futurity Prospect Sale, where she was the second-highest selling horse at $185,000. Huss went on to win the Intermediate Open at the Quarter Horse Congress with the mare. Shortly thereafter says Christen “Annie came up lame, so during her time off we flushed 3 embryos out of her and I have 3 yearlings on the ground out of her this year. I started showing her again last year, and I was fortunate enough to win the NRHA Derby and two derbies afterward. We retired her for ’09 in August, and then we brought her back out for this show, the NRBC, the NRHA Derby and Reining By The Bay. She’s 6, so this is her last derby year.”
This was Christen’s first trip to The Cactus Reining Classic. When asked what brought him here this year he replied “My trainer Dan Huss relocated out here to Scottsdale, so I sent my first string of horses with them. I was supposed to show here last year, but had to cancel due to a business obligation. The weather has been very good, the facility is so conducive to our discipline, and everybody is very hospitable here.”
A client of Huss’ for 10 years, Christen began riding as a young boy, but got into other hobby’s and didn’t take it up again until his daughter started doing leadline classes at 3 ½ years old and then moved on to walk trot and Western Pleasure. Christen found that the AQHA Western Pleasure “didn’t have enough sting for me and I got into Reiners in 2000. It’s a hobby that got out of control.”
When asked how he felt about their performance today Christen replied “Nothing comes easy. You have put in your time and your work and do your job in the ring. There were parts of our pattern there that we left a lot in the pen, so we have a lot to work on for the NRBC. Obviously I’m pleased, but I’m not totally pleased because we didn’t stop like we can so we’ll be working on that for the next four weeks.
A number of riders in Friday’s Non Pro Derby dedicated their rides to Catherine Cagel who was watching the event from her home in California where she is continuing to fight her battle with cancer.
Three NRHA Million Dollar Riders Will Slide to Win in the Cactus Reining Classic Open Derby
Three of the NRHA’s top money earning riders in the United States will be competing in Saturday’s Open Derby which will be broadcast LIVE online by
http://equestrianlife.com/cactus at Noon PST/3 pm EST. Two of those riders, Andrea Fappani and Randy Paul will also go on to compete for the highly contested slots on the United States World Equestrian Games (WEG) team in order to compete in Kentucky in September. The odds makers feel that the American Reiners have a real shot at WEG gold, and the ticket sales for the reining events are next to impossible to get.
Cactus Reining Classic is Todd’s first reining event of the year, he loves the facility and says that Scottsdale in March is a really good thing. “As I do two different disciplines, I have to find what fits into my schedule best. Out here on the west coast there aren’t many events that fit in for me. I’ve gone many times, and use Cactus Classic as a warm up for the NRBC. Mandi does a great job putting these shows on making them bigger and better every year.
Todd and Andrea Fappani have a lot in common. When Andrea first came to the United States from Italy he rode with Todd as a non pro, and then he had to go back to Italy for his military duty. Upon his return Andrea worked for Todd as an assistant trainer when Todd was in Arizona. When Todd moved to Oregon Andrea went with him and worked for Todd for about 4 years before going out on his own. “Andrea was a great rider, and we did very well together when he worked for me, he was a big asset to my business, and I think I helped him some. It was good for both of us.”
Todd is unable to compete in the WEG selection events as he competes in two disciplines, cow horses and reining, and unfortunately the dates conflict with each other, so he is unable to participate in the WEG trials.
Andrea Fappani is on the verge of achieving the NRHA $2 Million Dollar Rider Status at the age of 32. He is a passionate horseman who believes that being able to be part of a horse’s career is a privilege.
Italian born Andrea will ride for the United States should he be selected for the WEG team “I think having WEG here in the United States is going to be something huge, and will bring a lot of exposure to horses, riders and owners. If you want to be at the top of your game, WEG is the place you want to be.”
The perfect day for Andrea is” Being around his wife Tish and sons Luca and Jeremy…… and winning the Futurity again, but I enjoy every step of the way of what I’m doing right now”.
Andrea and Tish Fappani have been loyal supporters of Cactus Classic over the years. Tish explains “The Brumley Management shows are the only top shows we have on the West Coast. She does an amazing job and we support her and the shows. If we don’t have those shows we won’t have anywhere to go show. The one thing I love about Cactus Classic is that they give the award to the riders, and you don’t see that at very many shows. She caters to the owners, riders and trainers.”
Randy achieved the NRHA Million Rider status in 2008, 22 years after hanging up his shingle as a trainer. When asked about his achievement Randy said “I never really thought much about it until I got close and then the reality kind of hit me that I could get to the million. It was pretty special when I did.”
The World Equestrian Games have always been a goal for Randy but he never had the horse to do it with…..until now. He has 2 out of the 3 required qualifiers under his belt, and then it’s off to the selection trials. Says Paul “I think it would be awesome to go to WEG in the US. I’ve always wanted to do it, I just didn’t really have the horse to do it on, and to represent our country in an event like that would be a big honor. I’m going to take both Taris Designer Jeans owned by Jim and Pat Warren’s Rancho Oso Rio and Smokeelan owned by Jill Smiekel-George, I can only qualify one, but I’m going to take my best shot on both of them and see which one qualifies. Just making the team is going to be really, really tough. The final event is right after the Derby in Oklahoma City, so it’ll be tough to make that top 4.”
Randy is proud to be a sponsor at Cactus Reining Classic he feels strongly that since the sport has been so good to him, that if he can give something back it’s an honor to do it, because in his words “It’s been a heck of a ride so far.”
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