The 2008 National Reining Breeders Classic provided a week of thrills and excitement for exhibitors, owners, sponsors, and spectators that escalated to a crescendo on Open finals night, April 19. The Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, Texas, was filled with an enthusiastic reining crowd.
That crowd saw its share of memories made when Shawn Flarida delivered a 1-2 punch by earning the NRBC Open Championship on Wimpys Little Chic and the Reserve title on RC Fancy Step.
“This was great – it’s very exciting to be among this group of people,” he said after the awards ceremony. “It’s tough to win here. The competition is so good.”
Arcese Quarter Horses’ Wimpys Little Chic, by Wimpys Little Step and out of Collena Chic Olena, marked an outstanding 233.5. “She’s probably the best horse I’ve ever ridden. She has heart, and is trainable. She has the strength of a stud, but is definitely a mare,” he noted.
RC Fancy Step, owned by Jimmy Pierce and Mark Schols, is by Wimpys Little Step and out of Sonita Wilson. He marked a 231 to take the Reserve title.
Wimpys Little Chic and RC Fancy Step helped their sire, Wimpys Little Step, earn the NRBC Leading Sire Award – worth $2,500 for owner Mark Schols. Wimpys Little Step’s foals earned over $218,000 at this year’s NRBC.
Flarida, who is the winningest rider in NRHA history, has a certain philosophy when it comes down to the upper-crest competition. “When you have all these exceptional riders, you’ve got to take risks,” he said.
Flarida accepted the $75,000 check for the Championship on Wimpys Little Chic and he also won $18,046 for the NRBC Mare Bonus. Add that to $62,000 for the reserve title, but there was more. He also earned $32,000 on his third entry – Walla Walla Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Shiney Walla Wanda) also owned by Arcese Quarter Horses – for placing fifth with a score of 226.
Robin Schoeller, riding KR Lil Conquistador owned by Cheree Kirkbride, tied with Corey Hendrickson and The Skeetist owned by Vaughn Zimmerman for the Intermediate Open Championship with scores of 223.5. Each took home $23,438.
While the two riders could have opted for a run-off, both were adamant that they were content with splitting the Championship.
“We have another big horse show coming up in a month – we want to save them,” said Schoeller.
Hendrickson quickly added, “These are two outstanding horses that can go head to head another day. Neither deserved to lose the title today.”
Hendrickson competed earlier in the day during the Intermediate and Limited Open finals, and he admitted that the wait was difficult. “It was excruciating. When Robin went, I called my wife and said, ‘I’m second.’ I was really surprised when they announced the 223.5. I was sure they were going to come back and change it.” The Skeetist is by Skeets Peppy and out of Jessie Dot Tari.
The evening was very special for Schoeller as the win unofficially made KR Lil Conquistador, by Conquistador Whiz and out of Smart Little Prize, the NRHA’s highest money earning horse!
“There was a lot of pressure. This horse is easy to show, and I am really lucky to have gotten the opportunity. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
The Limited Open title was won by popular clinician Clinton Anderson and his horse Princess On The Prowl, by High Brow Cat and out of Princess In Diamonds. They earned a 222.5 and took home $11,455. They also placed fourth in the Intermediate division for an additional $11,000.
“This is my hobby, so I’m very excited. I’m glad these people accept me. This could be my only moment of glory for a long time,” he laughed.
Anderson started Princess On The Prowl as a 2-year-old, then sent her to Brent Wright as a 3-year-old, and then got her back in January. “Brent deserves a lot of the credit for her training. He’s a great guy,” he said.
Actually, Brent Wright, who won the first go-round and tied for ninth in the Open Finals on Miss Rey O Shine became the third rider to pass the Million Dollar Mark at the NRBC.
“This was really good. It’s great, actually,” he said modestly when asked about that milestone. “The other people who are million dollar riders are the greatest there are. I’m very lucky.”
Brent won over $43,000 at this year’s NRBC.
There was another milestone at the 2008 NRBC. Prior to the NRBC, Topsail Whiz’s foals had earned $907,600 in NRBC competition alone. Money was won by his offspring in the Non Pro Classic and in the Open preliminaries, so by Open Finals time, Topsail Whiz was only $65,987.19 from being the program’s first million dollar sire.
It all came down to his last foal to compete in the Open Finals – Walla Walla Whiz. The fifth place finish secured the needed money, and word of the accomplishment quickly spread throughout the facility. In total, Topsail Whiz’s foals earned over $117,000 at the NRBC to make him the first sire to have foals earning over a million dollars at the NRBC.
The National Reining Breeders Classic is the most successful stallion incentive program in reining history. In just 11 years, the NRBC has grown to include almost 300 subscribed stallions and over 20,000 enrolled foals. For information on the NRBC, visit the web site at http://www.nrbc.com
or call 580-759-3939.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/shawn-flarida-wimpys-chic-nrbc-04-08.html">Shawn Flarida And Wimpys Little Chic Win NRBC Open Championship</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com