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Fappani claims Futurity, Derby titles at Reining By The Bay

3-year-old Heir Gun wins in his debut

From Horsetrader staff reports - August 18th, 2011 - Cover Story, Show & Event News

WOODSIDE — Andrea Fappani unveiled Heir Gun to the Futurity scene at the 2011 Reining By The Bay July 18-24, and the charismatic stud was right on target.

Showing in a bridle, Heir Gun (Gunner x Hollywoods Heir) marked a 149.5 in his debut and won the $25,000 added Spooks Gotta Gun Futurity after less than 10 months with Fappani, who won both the Open Futurity and Derby events at this popular event for the second straight year.

“I think he’s going to win a lot of money,” Fappani said of Heir Gun, owned by Chihiro Niwata of Japan. “He’s really a level-minded stud, and that maturity is rare in a 3-year old. I showed him one-handed and everyone else was still in a snaffle. The first things I look for in a 3-year old is honesty and having a level mind, and that’s what that horse has. I think he has a pretty good future in front of him.”

Andrea Fappani showed Heir Gun, owned by Chihiro Niwata of Japan, to the Futurity title in a bridle.

John O’Hara photo

Andrea Fappani showed Heir Gun, owned by Chihiro Niwata of Japan, to the Futurity title in a bridle.

The second stop of the “Triple Crown” of West Coast Reining Shows, the Reining By The Bay filled Horse Park with a double-digit increase in horses from last year. Top horses, riders and a throng of enthusiastic spectators created a big stage for Heir Gun’s first competition.

The horse was introduced to Fappani by trainer Tim Shelley, who had united Heir Gun with Niwata when she purchased him as a yearling from Bob Denton. Heir Gun was with Shelley until he moved to Japan last October (Horsetrader, Jan. 6, 2010, http://bit.ly/timshelley).

“We decided he should stay in the U.S., and Andrea took a look at him and said he would like to try him,” said Shelley, now training in Yamanashi, Japan. “Natural is the best way I can describe him, at least from my perspective, starting him as a 2 yr. old. But he was very slight and did not mature physically for a while,so he was only ridden maybe 15 min. or so three times a week until May, then his riding time was increased a little.”

Janette Raymer of Temecula and Easy Electric ride atop the 2011 Trifecta Non Pro Reining Challenge.

John O’Hara photo

Janette Raymer of Temecula and Easy Electric ride atop the 2011 Trifecta Non Pro Reining Challenge.

“He was not ridden at all until March — just saddled and longed until he started to mature. I think I started him on the maneuvers in July, believe it or not. When Andrea got him, he was stopping, turning, changing leads and had the idea about slowing down from a faster circle.

“It’s remarkable that he showed in a bridle,” Shelley added. “I still had him in a snaffle when Andrea got him. That is a testament to his
start, his mind and to Andrea’s training.”

Fappani also starred in the highly competitive $52,000-added Conquistador Whiz Open Derby, winning on 5-year-old Tinker With Guns. Fappani, who had three in the 24-horse Derby and had already marked a high score of 227.5 on Custom Spook as well as a 225 on Bill Coburn’s Nics Little Bud.

Vicki Dias (left) and Dorothy Queen shake hands after the run off: Dias 215.5, Queen 215.

John O’Hara photo

Vicki Dias (left) and Dorothy Queen shake hands after the run off: Dias 215.5, Queen 215.

“I have only been riding him for a few months, but I have 100 percent trust in him,” said Fappani, who recognizes the work by Randy Paul with Tinker With Guns as a 3-year-old. “I’ve got to take my hat off to Randy Paul.”

Vicki Dias of Kingsburg and A Bright Tag were on a roll at Reining By The Bay, winning champion in the Prime Time and Level 1 divisions as well as Reserve in the Limited Level 2 and Intermediate divisions to Marilyn Scheffers of Riverside.

Scheffers marked a 217 on This Belles Smokin (Colonels Smoking Gun x Genuine Jezabelle x Genuine Doc) and also was given the Arenus Performance and Conditioning Award.

Dias bought the 5-year-old A Bright Tag (Whiz N Tag Chex x Genuine Starbright) from Lance Griffin at the 2009 NRHA Futurity, and began showing the striking Palomino last year.

“I didn’t put a lot of pressure on him — I just wanted to get to know him,” said Dias, who is coming off a successful 2011 NRHA Derby where they made Prime Time Finals. “He’s just starting to really come on — we’re just hooking up and having so much fun.”

Dias trains with Kim and Pat Yancey, who brought a contingent of Non Pros with them to to Reining By The Bay.

Results online: See website http://www.reiningbythebay.com/

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One comment has been made on “Fappani claims Futurity, Derby titles at Reining By The Bay”

  1. Tim Shelley Says:

    My hat is off to Andrea for Heir Gun’s remarkable progress. Thanks to my team at Tim Shelley Performance Horses back then. I wanted the colt to have a strong foundation as a 2 yr. old,and we certainly achieved that, I think. Every day I wish I was still riding Heir Gun — never had a young one like him,ever. But he is in a great place, Fappani Performance Horses. Thanks, Andrea.

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