Saturday at the Cactus Classic began with a bang! Right out of the gate the morning started with the $10,000 Added SmartPak Non Pro Maturity. Jessica Sternberg and Shiners Chic took home the Level 4 money but the morning’s biggest winners were Kate Buchanan and Vintage Neptune. The team took the Level 1, 2 and 3 prizes and loped home with over $2,300 and lots of buckles and goodies. Nobody does prizes like the Brumley shows! Loren Booth won the PT Non Pro Maturity with Sheza Smart Wimpy.
In the Novice Horse Jordan McBurney teamed his young Diamonds N Whizkey in the Novice Horse, BOTH Level 1 and Level 2, tying with Devin Warren and One More Nite in Level 1 and Devin and Gunners Blonde Chic in the Level 2. In the Youth competition, Luca Fappani rode the wellknown Premier Diamond to a 72.5 and a win in the Youth 13 & Under. Chandler Winard made the Winner’s Circle with Tags Golden Star in the Youth 14-18 and Anna Clausen scored a 71 with Gangsters Wiseguy to win the Rookie Youth. Kendall Wigen and Chexoutthisreminic took top honors in the 10 & Under Short Stirrup.
Hanna Hopper had a great ride and a 72 score with Im Magnificent to win the Green As Grass and the Green Reining. Anna Clausen and Gangsters Wiseguy finished a solid second in both classes.
Of course the big competition of the show, the $70,000 Lucas Oil Open Derby, was what everyone was waiting to see. It started at 1:00 and within 15 minutes Casey Deary had posted a 220 on Lenas Sparkplug to get the ball rolling. Mid-afternoon, Jordan Larson posted a 222.5 on Ruff Lil Magnum that stood under Tracer Gilson and Shiners Gotta Whiz hit the 223.5 mark just after dinner. At that point Jordan Larson came back with a resounding 226 on a shiny copper penny of a horse named ARC Gunnabeabigstar. Meanwhile Matt Mills (Wimps Cool Breeze) was in a Level 3 tie with Dan Huss (Ms Dreamy) throughout the day, and as the day grew older the discussion regarding a possible ride-off was getting more and more serious. Finally Matt brought in Gotta Trigger Man, scored a solid 223.5 and broke his own tie. He and Dan took their tie to second place and settled with a toss.
When Harper Cooper/ Silver Spur’s Palomino stallion, Platinum Vintage faced the in gate about five runs from the end of the Derby, Andrea Fappani was talking to no one and completely focused. He knew he was on a very good, seasoned Reining horse, but he’s only had him a very short while. Winning this Derby was going to take a perfect performance. The big horse with the platinum braids hit the pen like a copper-colored streak and scored the Derby winning 230 Fappani needed to take the money.
It’s been another Cactus Reining Classic to remember. One more day to go!