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2003 NRHA European Affiliate Championship Show
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The second edition of the NRHA European Affiliate Championship Show was held from the 3rd through the 6th of July at the Alps Coliseum in Egna, Italy. That the European Championships would have been a success was in the thoughts of many a reining enthusiast but that the European participating countries would increase to 9 and that the entries would go up by over 20% was beyond all expectations. The countries that took part in this second edition were Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Republic of San Marino and Switzerland.

Welcoming the riders who took part in the nine classes were NRHA President Tom Sumpter, NRHA President Elect Dr. Kim Sloan, the President of the Reining Horse Sports Foundation Frank Costantini and NRHA Executive Director, Dan Wall. “Ten years have gone by since I was last in Italy”, commented Tom Sumpter, “and both the level of the horses and the riders has improved tremendously. We are positively suprised in seeing the increased amount of entries here at the Championships and would like to thank the host affiliate Italy, the organizer, Giancarlo Doardo, the host facility in the person of Baron Felix Longo and Werner Zanotti and of course our presenting sponsor, Roberto Testa’s Horse Valley Ranch. Without all these people and the riders and owners present here, none of this would have been possible”. The IRHA, Giancarlo Doardo, Baron Felix Longo and Roberto Testa were offered an NRHA plaque in sign of appreciation for contributing to the success of the Championships.

In order to qualify for the finals, riders had to take part in at least two NRHA approved shows in their home country and for each class, five of the horse and rider combinations from each country were allowed to participate.

The Rookie riders opened the Championships and the series of victories earned by the Italians started from day one. Italian Giulia Trusgnich riding One Berry Boy (The Advocate x Miss One Skipper), won with a score of 204. Bernard Fonk from Belgium, riding Blacks Big Beau (Cona Beau x Tee Jackie Babe) and Italian Alberto Villani riding LJ Billy Jess (Jessie Flit Fritz x Joes Happy Day) tied for second place with a score of 203 ½. The Intermediate Open, with a score of 213, was won by Italian Mario Sbrana here seen riding Mr Great Peppy (Peppy Senor x Lydiah Pinkham Lore), an 8 year old stallion born, bred and trained by him. For Sbrana, victory was also obtained in the Limited Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro classes thanks to the success of his non pro rider, Livio Gaspari, who riding Arc Red Cody (Genuine Redskin x Monti Cody) won both the categories with a score of 209 ½. Second place honours in the Limited Non Pro, thanks to a score of 207, went to the European Rookie Champions Giulia Trusgnich and One Berry Boy, while in the Intermediate Non Pro, with a score of 208 ½, second place went to Dutch rider Babs Coppens, riding Melodys Cracker Jac (Mr Melody Jac x Champs Poco Girl).

Very successful indeed thanks to a substantial increase in entries compared to 2002 were the Youth classes. Five riders showed in 13 & Under and victory went to last years’ champions Ruggiero Musacci e LJ Jessolena (Jessie Flit Fritz x Lady Valena) who topped the class with a score of 203. Reserve Champion was 11 year old Manuel Cortesi riding Baby Dixie (Flowers Prince x Fancy Baby). Thirteen were the riders showing in the Youth 14-18 and Austrian rider Cathrin Maric won the class with with a score of 208 ½ with her mount Melon Kali Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Melon Kali Jac). Second place honours went to Italian rider Daniele Mascarello with his Arc One Slick Chic (Suprise Enterprise x Arc Peppy Sugar Chic) and a score of 207.

Italian Filippo Masi, who had already taken second place in the Intermediate Open, won the Limited Open thanks to the score of 215 obtained riding BH Smart Cal Bar (Arcs Desert Storm x Arc Red Snapper) owned by Marco Brunetti. Second place went to Giuseppe Prevosti who scored a 213 ½ riding Surprises One H Son (Surprise Enterprise x Hickory Two Socks) owned by Francesco Arrighi.

The European Affiliate Non Pro and Open classes were run concurrently with the NRHA approved Non Pro and Open, and as usual, the recorded number of entries was high: 26 in the first and 28 in the second. Once again Spainsh Snapper (Snapper Cal Bar x Zips Shady Lady), member of Team Italy with Marco Manzi – bronze medalists at the WEG - left his mark in international arenas taking the lead in the EA Non Pro and the NRHA Non Pro classes with owner Cecilia Frediani in the saddle and a score of 217. In the European Championships second place honours with a score of 215 ½ went to Swiss Daniel Straumann who was seen riding Gallo Pequeno (Gallo Del Cielo x Lenalou) and in the NRHA approved Non Pro, Francesca Sternberg of Great Britain earned this spot with Smart A Little (Linas Little Fury x Beauty Sue Glo) and a score of 215.

On Saturday night, the Open class closed this second edition of the NRHA European Affiliate Championships. Winning both the EC and the NRHA approved Open were Marco Ricotta and Miffilinium (Miffilena x Elderberry Hon) owned by Claudio Signori. Miffilinium had already earned fourth spot in the 2002 NRHA Top Ten Open standings and here with his rider scored a 224. ½. Reserve Champions with a score of 222 ½ in both the classes were Martin Larcombe and Arc Oak Enterprise (Suprise Enterprise x Sophie Oak) owned by Cisal QH of Mario Erbetta. This horse and rider combination were instead ranked third in the NRHA Top Ten Open standings last year.

Once again the presenting sponsor of the event was Roberto Testa’s Horse Valley Ranch of Pralormo, Italy. Roberto, who is also the owner of the very first European Open Champion, Megapowered, shown last year by Stefano Massignan, was thrilled with the level of competition and with the attendance. “I am very happy to have had the opportunity to contribute towards the promotion of the sports of reining in Europe by sponsoring an event which is sanctioned by the NRHA”, said Roberto. “I have always believed that the European Affiliate Championships were destined to grow and to become a prestigious annual get together for all the riders from the Old Continent and at this point I can only wish all the best to next years’ hosting nation, Holland”.

(Quelle: TeamForYou)















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