High Roller Reining Classic Wrap-Up
RELEASE: September 17, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Rebecca Walton
It was an exciting day of competition at the High Roller Reining Classic as the nation's best riders competed for top honors in the $40,000 Open Futurity on Thursday. Nothing short of perfection would garner the grand prize and that is exactly what Shawn Flarida executed aboard Whizkey N Diamonds, owned by Clinton Anderson and Kathy Worley. The pair nailed each spin, rode quickly through their circles, and slid into their stops with ease to earn a score of 221.00 and the championship trophy. The High Roller Reining Classic is the international "crown jewel" of western riding competition, and featured over $200,000 in added money and prizes. The show was held at the South Point Hotel, Casino, and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, NV.
When $3 Million Elite Rider Flarida entered the ring the crowd knew they were in for a treat. He and Whizkey N Diamonds completed each set of spins with speed and precision. They then loped easily into their large circle and sat back effortlessly for their slow circle. When it was time for the duo to complete each of their stops, Flarida legged Whizkey N Diamonds forward and they sent the dirt flying. The judges rewarded their excellent pattern with the day's high score of 221.00.
"Today was really good," acknowledged Flarida after receiving his awards. "This horse is really sweet and he's really fun to show. He walks in and he's very docile even though he's a big stud. Today he turned really good to the left and turned a little better to the right. For the circles, he loped off and took a big breath of air and waited for me."
Flarida continued. "During the circles to the left, I tried to run him just a little bit harder and he was good. The first stop was really nice, but he didn't hit the second stop as well as I thought he could. The third stop was really good though, and overall I was really happy with his performance today."
Flarida traveled to the High Roller Reining Classic from a horse show in Tulsa and is excited to have the opportunity to compete here this year. "It has been great here," he smiled. "It's neat when you don't have to leave the complex. You can gamble, eat, and show. I love it."
The $10,000 Intermediate Open Futurity was also held the same day, and Gabe Hutchins earned Thursday's win, as well as the second-place prize in the $40,000 Open Futurity. He was riding Smart Documentary, owned by Robert Webb of McAlester, OK, and the pair earned a score of 220.50. The third place award during the $40,000 Open Futurity was presented to Andre Fappani and Custom Slidetracks, owned by Steven Simon, and the pair earned a score of 219.
Marco Ricotta and Lyle Lovett's Fifth Avenue Shine earned the second-place prize during the $10,000 Intermediate Open Futurity with a score of 218.50. The third-place honors were presented to Tracer Gilson and Ima Smart Boomer Jac, owned by American West Reiners, LLC, of Scottsdale, AZ, who had a score of 215.50.
Michael Boyle was the winner of Thursday's $7,500 Limited Open Futurity, with a score of 215.00 aboard Hick A Shine, owned by Janene Borror of Springville, CA. The second-place honors were presented to Billy Williams, who rode Terre and Elden Peterson's Colonels Smokin Oak to a score of 214. Sean McBurney took home the third place after receiving a score of 211.50 with Tin Top Kat, owned by Rhodes River Ranch of Arlington, WA. Reining Results: Saturday, September 5-Saturday, September 13
Leah Boylan had an exciting round Saturday aboard Whizzle Fritz, earning her the win in both Rookie 1 division and Rookie 2 division at the High Roller Reining Classic. Boylan, of Grass Valley, CA, and Whizzle Fritz earned the high score of 70.50, outshining the rest of the competition as they completed their pattern.
Boylan and Whizzle Fritz began pattern eight by expertly executing four fast spins to the left and four fast spins to the right. They then moved into