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Wild Cards

4-year-old futurities,non-pro action enliven newest Brumley reining

By Christy Egan / For the Horsetrader - June 16th, 2016 - Show & Event News
Gabe Hutchins and Wallawhizagun too the $37,500-added Open 4-Year-Old Futurity title in Levels 3 and 4.

Gabe Hutchins and Wallawhizagun took the $37,500-added Open 4-Year-Old Futurity title in Levels 3 and 4.

Waltenberry photo

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The Wild Card Reining Challenge made a complete set of the Brumley Management Group’s annual offering of reining shows, as the inaugural five-day Memorial Day event filled the South Point Equestrian Center May 25-29.

The Wild Card is aptly named — a departure and step outside the box for the reining industry  — first, with its spotlight on 4-year-olds instead of 3-year-olds. The concept allows equine athletes a chance to mature physically and mentally, prior to the extreme stress in competition.

Actually, the Wild Card show was largely geared toward newness, from innovative ideas to continuing education and the future.

The show overall had a nice complement of non pro competition. With a 72, Robyn Schiller posted Wednesday’s high score of the day with CD Star Commander, winning the Wild Card Reining Challenge 1 Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and the Novice Non Pro Levels 2 and 1.

“We’ve had ‘Sherlock’ since last September,” said an elated Schiller. “We knew he had some ‘worry’ issues, and we worked on basics with him to prepare for his final derby year. It’s working!”

On Thursday morning, Crystal McNutt began the day on a high note, posting a 72.5 in the Wild Card Reining Challenge Open on Lenas Wimpys Rooster and then later closed the afternoon by winning the ARBC Level 4 Open (plus nearly $6,400) with purebred Arabian, Zee Gunslinger. On Friday evening, McNutt won well over $20,000 with her first (TR Por Quixote), second (TR Flash Flood) and third (Wheres Wanda RA) place finishes in the $20,000 Added Level 4 ARBC Half-Arabian Open Pre-Futurity. Fellow Arizonan  Ashley Kelkenberg also began her show well Thursday, winning with both Magnificent Dreamer in the Wild Card Reining Challenge  Intermediate Open and with Nite Eyes in the Limited Open. In the $10,000 SmartPak Non-Pro Maturity on Thursday, Kevin Rosenbaum and Rolex N Chex won the Level 4, with Taylor Bradshaw and Tinselena Nic taking Levels 3, 2 and 1.

A highlight of the weekend at the Wild Card Reining Challenge was the free clinics and seminars. They began on Friday morning with Jody Brainard, respected NRHA judge and speaker, who cleverly showed up with all of the Wild Card judges to lend comment and humor to the proceedings. His videos and slides were at the same time funny and very informative. Anytime a new show offers a free seminar there’s always the chance that only two or three people will show. Not so here. Over a hundred actually came and extra chairs had to be quickly hunted up to accommodate everyone. Brainard’s clinic was immediately followed by Andrea Fappani’s in the main arena. A noted NRHA trainer and $4 Million Rider, Fappani both rode through and discussed his personal methods for circling and speed control, basic exercises he considers critical to the development of consistent, winning Reining horses. On Saturday morning, Texas-based veterinarian Dr. Khris Crowe actually gave two clinics, one that covered the important aspects of preparing equine athletes for high level competition and its debilitating, accompanying stress levels, and one that simply offered a short, delightful overview of the amazing and unique characteristics of our beloved horses.

The World Para Reining (WPR) also made an appearance at the Wild Card Reining Challenge, riding as teams at this particular show and competing for $5,000 in prize money. Part of the winning team, Briana Bartlett, noted how much the competition helps her with all of her life.

“I am leasing Western Whiz from Bob Thompson and Lisa Coulter this year,” Lisa says. “I ride him five or six days a week — as much as possible. I set big goals for this competition and I learned as much from watching other riders, NRHA and WPR, as from the runs. For the first time this run I was able to really put my hands forward and trust my horse. We connected in the pen. The riding keeps me walking and mobile. It means everything.”

The show’s main attraction was the Wild Card Reining Challenge 4-year-old Futurities. The $27,500 Added 4-Year-Old Non Pro Futurity competition on Friday was a big deal for Lindy Longfellow and her sweet Palomino, CW On Juice, winners of the Levels 4, 3 and 2, for take-home pay of $13,982.  It was also a great time for Jill Ramleth and her wildly-colored Crystalized Gunner, in the money in the Level 3 and winner of the Level 1, complete with a check for $3,766.76.

On Saturday, the Tamarack Ranch $37,500-added Open 4-Year-Old Futurity boasted top competition of the show. Winner of Levels 4 and 3 was Gabe Hutchins and Wallawhizagun (Walla Walla Whiz x Snow Gun by Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner)) for owner Tamarack Ranch LLC.

Hutchins was delighted with the mare’s performance.

“She is very talented, but lacked some confidence and was a bit shy around other horses last fall,” Hutchins noted. “We heard about the 4-year-old futurity at the Wild Card show, and it seemed like a good fit for her.

“I think she’s going to be a great show horse,” he added. “I will give her some time off now and bring her back for the High Roller in September.”
Abby Mixon brought Ruf Nite (Gunners Special Nite x Dunit A Lil Ruf by Lil Ruf Peppy) for his first big run and took Reserve in Levels 4 and 3 and won the Level 2 to win $9,366.80. Nicholas Barthelemy rode Dunits Lil Gun (Colonels Lil Gun x Hollywood Baby Dunit by Hollywood Dun It) to win the Level 1 Open and place well in the money in Levels 4, 3, and 2.

“Going into a brand new event like the Wild Card Reining Challenge there are so many unknowns,” said Amanda Brumley. “I knew that the 4-year-old Futurity entry requirements would somewhat limit the number entered this first year. The 4-year-old futurity concept is widely supported, but it proposes dynamic change to our industry’s culture — and that takes time.”

Two Brumley shows remain on the calendar for 2016, the Reining By The Bay show in Woodside in July and the High Roller Reining Classic in Las Vegas in September.

MORE ONLINE: Http://bit.ly/606B_rein

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