$305.700-added IRHA-IRHA-NRHA Derby presented by DeNiroBootCo: Cortesi and July Joe Snap Snatch Top Honors

$305.700-added IRHA-IRHA-NRHA Derby presented by DeNiroBootCo: Cortesi and July Joe Snap Snatch Top Honors Credits Bonaga Communication

Cremona, March 30 – Emotions ran high on Saturday night in Cremona, Italy, where the 2024 IRHA-IRHBA/NRHA Derby concluded with the DeNiroBootCo Open Derby Finals.

The last three riders to go determined who would hold the first three positions and, last in the draw with a 230.5 to beat, Manuel Cortesi and his faithful companion, July Joe Snap, continued their winning streak by posting a 231 to win both the IRHA-IRHBA and IRHA Level (L)4 Open Championships.

Level 4

What can I say? There was a 230.5 to beat so it was the toughest run ever with ‘Joe’,” said Cortesi who claimed the IRHA Futurity, NRHA Euro Futurity, NRHA Germany 4-year-old and IRHA 4-year-old Futurity Championships with the talented stallion between the reins. “I've never had such a high score to beat, but we ran in and we both gave everything we had. As always, the horse didn't disappoint; he's truly incredible! I think he is the best and strongest horse in the history of European reining. Now the plan is to let him rest a bit, show him a few times without putting pressure on, and then with the owners we will decide whether to show him at the 100X. The emotion of being able to say that you have won everything with a horse is incredible, it's a lifelong dream coming true.” The chestnut stallion by Master Snapper - the only European bred horse to have won the NRHA Open Derby - and out of San July Jo Magnetic is owned by Arcese/Cuoghi and was bred by Cuoghi/Ronchi.

Only a half point behind, France’s Arnaud Girinon had to settle for the IRHA-IRHBA and IRHA L4 Reserve Championships following a powerful ride aboard Anna Maria Scheiflinger’s flashy palomino stallion Flexing Guns N Town (NRHA Three Million Dollar Sire Hollywoodstinseltown x Shesa Fashion Gun) bred by Peter Morgan. “I'm very happy; my horse showed off what he really is capable of. Until tonight I never managed to have a flawless run, even though I did make a little mistake entering the right spin. He really gave me everything and was amazing. I've been riding him since 2023, when Gennaro [Lendi] moved to the States and I took over the reins. I showed him at the 4-year-old Futurity last year and he did very well there too: Now our next show will be the 100X and then the NRHA European Derby.”

Level 3

By marking an impressive 223.5 in the first section of the Open Finals, Tiara Van Dongen and Orangeisthenublack (NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook x NRHA Million Dollar Dam Ebony Shines), a 6-year-old mare owned by Gisela Haas and bred by Rosanne Sternberg, claimed both the IRHA-IRHBA and IRHA L3 Open Championships. “I’ve been showing 'Orange' since she was 4 years old and we already had some good results but this title feels great! I love this horse, she's the clown of the barn, she's really the typical mare; she can seem kind of freaky but if you become friends with her, she really loves you, and if she doesn't like you...she will let you know!” said the Dutch rider who was thrilled with her win. “We're planning to bring her to the 100X and to the [NRHA] European Derby at the end of the year. In between we're going to do some schooling shows.”

Level 2

Cristian Dalla Pozza and Jerry Show Step (My Showbiz Whiz x Wimpys Surprised Chex), an 8-year-old stallion bred and owned by Ambrosini Quarter Horses, had already tied to win the L2 qualifier. The pair came back strong in the first section of the Finals scoring a 221 to take home both the IRHBA and IRHA Championships. “I'm obviously very happy with today’s result; my horse was great the whole week here in Cremona and even if sometimes in the show pen he’s not that easy, tonight he was really super,” said the Italian trainer. “I've been riding him since I moved to Ambrosini QH and we went on to win other smaller shows. At home he’s easy to manage, and our youth riders ride him quite often. Last year, at the World Youth Reining Cup, he brought home the gold medal [with Brazil’s Astrid Annas in the saddle]. A huge thank you goes to the entire Ambrosini team and family for giving me the chance to show him here: I will go back home with great memories and extremely happy and satisfied.”

Level 1

Once the first section was over, the winners of the IRHA-IRHBA and IRHA L1 Open Derby were determined after posting a 220: Alessandra Ischia and Xtra Pistolforwimpy, an 8-year-old stallion by NRHA Thirteen Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step out of Ruf Pistol owned by Indal Srl and bred by Smart Like Juice Inc. The pair, winners of the L1 qualifier, also took reserve honors in the L2 division after posting a 220. “I’ve been riding this horse since I went to work for [NRHA Professional] Davide Brighenti about a year and a half ago. He is owned by Vittorio Legati who has always shown him in Non Pro competition. Last year he let me show him at the Sliding Before Christmas show in Veneto where we claimed the Reserve Championship with a 220 score. The initial plan was for his owner to show him in here, then - if I may say so - luckily for me, the last minute decision was that I would ride him. This horse has a heart of gold, he doesn't need any particular management, he's always very good and always gives his best in the show pen. I really want to thank Davide [Brighenti] who's making me grow a lot, is giving me a lot of opportunities, and always helps me - even during this busy week.”

The numbers:

$106,350-added IRHA-IRHBA/NRHA DeNiroBootCo Open Derby

  • L4 added $63,810- Entries 54
  • L3 added $21,270 - Entries 43
  • L2 added $12,230- Entries 25
  • L1 added $9,040- Entries 25

$88,299-added IRHA/NRHA DeNiroBootCo Open Derby

  • L4 added $52,980 - Entries 70
  • L3 added $17,660 - Entries 75
  • L2 added $10,154 - Entries 93
  • L1 added $7,505- Entries 58

The $1.000.000-Added NRHA European Futurity

CremonaFiere will be host to the very first Million Dollar Competition in Europe: The NRHA European Futurity which will be held on May 22-26. This landmark will make history thanks to the passion of NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Eleuterio Arcese who put together a pool of sponsors making it possible to add $1.000.000 on top of the NRHA Nomination Money. The event will be managed by the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) and organized by Giancarlo Doardo’s TFY.

For further information: www.irha.it / www.salonedelcavallo.com

Photos: Bonaga Communication
Results may be found here

IRHA-IRHBA-NRHA Derby Media Contact
Simona Diale / International Horse Press