The 2022 DeNiroBootCo IRHA/NRHA Derby & Superstakes Blog

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Gennaro Lendi & One Mr JJ


• By Simona Diale | IHP • Graphics by Chiara Milani | IHP • Photos by Bonaga Communication

The €150,000-added DeNiroBootCo IRHA Open Derby An amazing Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Open Derby Finals presented by DeNiroBootCo closed the successful event held in Cremona, Italy, which attracted over 440 horses. Lendi and One Mr JJ Score Big to Win the Level 4 Open Championship With 70 Finalists vying for the Open Derby and Derby Open Superstakes Championships, the oval CremonaFiere Arena offered a great group of horses and riders with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Gennaro Lendi and One Mr JJ performing to a 230.5 score which led them to the €45,000added Level (L)4 Open Championship title. The talented 6-year-old stallion by Colonels Shining Gun out of QHR Jamaica Express, owned by Andrea Castrucci of KN Reining Resort, had already left his mark in Cremona with past owner Gina Schumacher by claiming the 2020 NRHA European Futurity L4 Non Pro Championship. The reins passed on to Lendi who, as he confessed, had fallen in love with him after seeing Schumacher show him. “He’s incredible, very talented, has great bloodlines, and is the kind of horse that will be a great sire,” said Lendi. “I showed him only once before coming here and tonight I asked and he gave. He’s so stylish, and makes everything look easy!”


@IRHADerby Taking reserve honors with another amazing ride paid back by the judges with a 230 was young Italian Professional Manuel Cortesi riding AR Vintage Dream (NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire A Sparkling Vintage x Sweet Candy Dream), owned by Az. Agr. Cortesi Piero.

Manuel Cortesi & AR Vintage Dream Manuel Cortesi & Gunners Princess 66

The great duo boasts the 2020 NRHA European Futurity L4 Open Championship as well as the IRHA 4-year-old Open Futurity. Cortesi’s high-scoring night also closed with a


third place thanks to his 229 ride with Gunners Princess 66, a 5-year-old mare by Inferno Sixty Six out of Princess Sand owned by Federico Lucchiari.

The €14,600-added L3 Open Derby Championship was all about German Professional Grischa Ludwig who rode West Coast Trash (NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya x Miss Cody Whiz It) owned Doorne Margot Van to a 225 score. “First of all I have to say that the level of competition was extremely high here. Qualifying for the finals was tough and I only made the level 3 finals and, I must admit, I was pretty angry I didn’t make it to the level 4 by half a point,” said Ludwig. “Before going in tonight I still found it hard to deal with the

Grischa Ludwig & West Coast Trash

fact that I wasn’t riding for the L4 Championship but then in the warm up pen Dominik Reminder came up to me and told me that I should go for it, and I did! This horse has won a lot and is always there. You can trust him and I’m not complaining about my horse, I’m complaining about myself. After 30 years in the industry, I should have known that I needed to give more in the qualifier.” Grisha was quick to credit the great organization of the IRHA show managed by Giancarlo Doardo’s Team For You.

@IRHADerby Taking reserve L3 honors a point behind was Guglielmo Fontana aboard Spat Mega Whiz (Hesa Mega Whiz x Miss Spat A Trak) owned by Gabriele Testi.

Guglielmo Fontana & Spat Mega Whiz

Stefano Cerutti and FB Topsail Shine (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shine Chic Shine x Topsail Del Cielo) owned by Claudia Rizzola scored a 223.5 to win the €9,000added L2 Open division. “I am really thrilled with this win, in particular since the level of competition here was incredible,” said Cerutti. “My mare, who I’ve had for two years, was great for me and this is the first big show together.” Reserve honors with a 221.5 score were for Levin Ludwig and Gunna Slide For Ya (Gunnatrashya x Remedys Sure Slide) owned by Merle Nellissen.


Stefano Cerutti & FB Topsail Shine

Levin Ludwig & Gunna Slide For Ya



Kevin Gasser & Baby Gun Dun It

Thomas Beget & TR Gunshine Dino Lulli & Captain Docs Badger

Bringing home the €7,000-added L1 Open Derby Championship was Thomas Beget who piloted Nadine Zurcher’s TR Gunshine (Shine Chic Shine x Kr Ima Gunner) to a 217 score. Beget started his career with French Professional Guy Duponchel six years ago and then moved to the U.S. to learn the art of the trade with NRHA Professional Mathieu Buton. After a two-year period, Beget made his way to Italy where he has been assistant trainer for Mirko Midili at Luga Quarter Horses. “This mare was shown by her owner last year and I started riding her seriously in view of showing her


here at the Derby last January,” he shared. “She’s really honest in the show pen, very quiet and is a huge stopper. After two schooling shows where she was so good for me, I knew we could go for it and winning here tonight is pretty cool.” Beget gives credit to Midili for his result and for brining him to a higher level. Co-Reserve Champions: Kevin Gasser riding Baby Gun Dun It (One Gun x Hollywood Nini Dream) owned by Patricia Favaretto and Dino Lulli riding Captain Docs Badger (AB Captain Badger x Kay Sarah) owned by Aurora Baldacci.

@IRHADerby IRHA Derby Open Superstakes

It took a 224.5 to win the €10,000added L4 Open Superstakes: Topping the leader board was Nico Sicuro and Agrayvintagechick PC (A Sparkling Vintage x One Helluva Chick) owned by Quarter Dream Srl. Taking Co-Reserve honors with a 221 score was Mirko Midili riding AB Toad Hancock (Docs Tivio Hancock x Little Bay Solano) for owner Luga Quarter Horses and Giacomo Ronchi riding Letters To Juliet (Master Snapper x San July Jo Magnetic) owned by Giacomo Ronchi/Impresa Agricola Cuoghi.

Nicol Sicuro & Agrayvintagechick


Claiming the €7,500-added L2 Open division with a 214 was Andrea Manucci and Little Topsail Step (LMC Im Topsail Dunit x Wimpys Brooksinics) owned by Alessio Pizzuti. The Reserve Championship went to Luca Piccolo and VC Spatatrasha (Inferno Sixty Six x Perlena Spat) owned by Maria Gerarda Centoletti, a half point behind the Champions.

Mirko Midili & AB Toad Hancock

Giacomo Ronchi & Letters To Juliet

Luca Piccolo & VC Spatatrasha

Andrea Manucci & Little Topsail Step



The €150,000-Added DeNiroBootCo IRHA Non Pro Derby & Superstakes A success is an understatement when describing the 2022 edition of the IRHA Derby & Superstakes: Over 440 horses made their way to Cremona, Italy, for the first major event of the season. Friday at CremonaFiere welcomed the 49 DeniroBootCo IRHA Derby & Superstakes Non Pro Finalists after 132 riders tried to qualify and make their way to the finals in the go-round.

Elena Kompatscher and Tonystrip Prevail Italian Elena Kompatscher and 5-year-old stallion Tonsystrip (Elvis Peppys Taco x Dark Blue River), owned by her companion Jacopo Rossi came to Cremona with only one show together on their curriculum. The talented young Italian rider guided the bay to the top of the leaderboard in the qualifier and then went on to take home both the €25,000-added Level (L)4 and €7,400-added L3 Non Pro Derby Championships. “I still cannot believe this, and he was simply amazing,” said Kompatscher who posted a great ride and a 222 score. “I didn’t expect this, even after taking the go round. My boyfriend and I purchased him last year and then had him in training with Professional Manuel Cortesi who did a great job with him. We decided to give it a try here as we knew he was a good non pro horse, but never thought this would be the outcome so it’s a thrill to be able to achieve this result. We are now thinking about showing him at the NRHA European Derby later on this year.” Elena Kompatscher & Tonystrip INTERNATIONAL HORSE PRESS BLOG


Karol Bryla & Walla Golden Arrow


It was a win for Poland’s Karol Bryla and his own flashy 8-year-old stallion Walla Golden Arrow (NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz x Nu Chucka). The pair closed the evening clinching the €5,000added L2 division. “I bought this stallion from Professional Pierluigi Chioldo in 2020 here in Italy and have been riding him myself since,” shared Bryla who closed his ride half-a-point- behind the L4 and L3 Champions. “I am super happy with my horse, who has a very particular personality! I came here hoping to do well in the L2 and 3 divisions but never expected to take reserve in both!” Czech Vladimir Cejka and his own 2014 Remy Rooster SG (Remin Whiz x Tea Rooster) rode to a 219.5 earning the L2 Reserve Championship.

Vladimir Cejka & Remy Rooster SG Rebecca Folcia & LS Dun Blue Berry

Pietro Sala & Custom Rosalita

In the €3,500-added L1 division, the Championship went to yet another flashy long-maned palomino, LS Dun Blue Berry (Spat A Blue x Hollywood Greatberry), with owner Rebecca Folcia in the saddle. It was a two-peat for the duo who also claimed the title last year. “Since last year our relationship has become really solid, and tonight he was impressive in all his maneuvers and I truly did not expect to score a 219,” said Folcia who rides under the guidance of Professional Angelo Benedusi and was quick to thank him and the whole team behind her. “We are now preparing for the Italian Maturity and hopefully the European Derby.” In the L1 division, reserve honors wih a 218 score were for Italy’s Pietro Sala riding his 7-year-old mare Custom Rosalita (Custom Blackberry x Margarita Boonsmal).


Claudio Risso & RS Maiorca Jac

Risso and RS Maiorca Jac Win Inaugural Derby Non Pro Superstakes Top Italian breeder and NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Claudio Risso and RS Maiorca Jac (RS Great Jac Feona x RS Shadow Olena) topped the inaugural €5,500-added Level (L)4 Non Pro Superstakes. “I am really happy with my mare who is still a little green but showed her great heart in the arena tonight,” said Risso about his homebred mare. “It’s a thrill for me to take the very first IRHA Superstakes title home.”

Riding to the €4,000-added L2 as well as the L4 Reserve Championship was Vladimir Cejka and his stallion The Shiney (Smart And Shiney x TR Topsail Flip) bred by Alice Marinoni. “We purchased this horse four months ago from Paolo Orlandini and this is our first show together,” said Cejka. “He was great and I look forward to hopefully bringing home more titles this year.”

Vladimir Cejka & The Shiney