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Calcagnini Secures the Championship at the SWRHA Futurity

During the evening of October 24 at the

SWRHA Futurity, presented by Billingsley Ford people filled the Hardy Murphy Coliseum in Ardmore, Oklahoma, for the much-antici- pated Cardinal Reining Horses - Lifeline Open Futurity Finals. As each of the 22 horse-and- rider teams entered the arena, the noise level was high with whistling and cheering from the crowd. Stefano Calcagnini and Annies Cus- tom Pistol were the ones to watch since they had topped the Level 4 preliminaries, but they weren’t up until the 21st draw.

It seemed that each competitor contin- ued to score higher and run faster, but as the ninth draw Calcagnini rode Tinseltowns Shad- ow (Hollywoodstinseltown x Win My Shine) owned by Shannon and Hershel Reid scored a 223 to raise the bar and become the new leaders. However, just five horses later, Brian Bell piloted Ruf Lil Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x Dunit A Litle Ruf) owned by Ann Salmon to also score a 223. Then as draw #18, Dell Hendricks rode Stoptown (Hollywood- stinseltown x Cee Miss Stop), owned by Doug- las Van Rees, to score yet another 223 and cre- ate a three-way tie for the Level 4 title. The second-to-last horse-and-rider duo to enter the arena, Calcagnini and Annies Custom Pistol, stepped it up a notch and had the crowd and their peers cheering for them through ev- ery maneuver. However, as Calcagnini was leaving the arena it was announced that his score was under review. The tension built as the crowd waited to hear what Calcagnini and the 3-year-old gelding had scored. Finally, an- nouncer Terry Mason gave the news that they had scored a 225.5 and captured the Level 4 Championship. “It just feels really good,” Calcagnini said after he heard his score. “I came here and want- ed to try my horses and they definitely showed up for me. I am really happy with the way they performed the first go-round and I called on them a little bit more in the finals and they both stepped it up.

“I thought [Annies Custom Pistol] was really stepping it up for me,” he added. “I was very happy with the way he just kept building the run and didn’t give me a whole lot of trou- ble. I actually couldn’t fault him anywhere. He handled the crowd and he was quiet in the cen- ter. This is what trainers dream to come to this

12 SouthWest Horse Trader

Stefano Calcagnini & Annies Custom Pistol

Duane Latimer & Mercedes Kenz

show and do well for the finals. Tonight I guess was my night.”

Hershel and Shannon Reid were so happy and excited for Calcagnini and their stallion’s win. They also own Tinseltowns Shadow, which Calcagnini rode to a 223 and was in a three-way tie for the Open Futurity Reserve. “It’s absolutely incredible and it just

shows Stefano’s hard work and dedication,” Shannon said. “It’s definitely exciting. I am very excited about tonight. I’ve got goose- bumps! Stefano is a wonderful horse trainer. I am thankful to have him as a trainer as well as Vanessa Strotmann.” Calcagnini and Annies Custom Pistol

(Colonels Smoking Gun x Anniegityergun) earned an $18,277 paycheck. With his peers encouraging him through- out his run, Duane Latimer rode Mercedes Kenz in the Futurity striving to be at the top and scored a 219, which made them the Level 3 leaders. By the end of the class, Latimer and the 3-year-old gelding had the Level 3 Cham- pionship secured.

“This win feels really good. The owner

of this horse (Kenneth Krebs, Louisville, KY) is kind of a new guy with me, and it’s nice to get something like this. This is his home raised horse so it’s really good,” Latimer said about his win. “This horse has been solid all fall so it’s nice to get something under his belt before we go to the NRHA Futurity.” Latimer and Mercedes Kenz (Cromed Out Mercedes x Mifilady), earned $8,312. Luke Gagnon rode Dun Spooked Us

(Smart Spook x Always A Dunit) and scored a 218.5 to secure the Level 2 Championship. “He felt really nice,” Gagnon said. “This

is the first time I’ve shown this horse and his attitude was great. I got late in the drag and I kind of got bad ground in the stop but that’s

December 2015

the only bad thing and it wasn’t his fault. He’s a nice horse.” Gagnon and Dun Spooked Us garnered

a $3,545 paycheck for owner Janice Lynn Thomas of Benton, LA. Entering the finals as the 26th draw, Ro- berto Berti and Double Down Shiner gave it their all in the arena and had support from the enthusiastic crowd. Their score of 217 ulti- mately won the Level 1 Championship. “It feels pretty good. I thought for a sec-

ond that I wouldn’t be able to pull this off but he bailed me out a couple of times and we did,” Berti and the 3-year-old stallion (Shine

On Line x Wimpys Babe) garnered a $763 pay- check for owner Mary Jansma. Each year, custom SWRHA Golf Carts are awarded in appreciation to the stallion owners who participate in the auction. One golf cart goes to the sire of the Open and Non Pro Champion and one is given in a random drawing between the stallion owners. This year the drawing winner was Steppin On Sparks owned by HDC Quarter Horses.

The golf cart is given to the Sire of the Level 4 Open Champion if that stallion was part of the online stallion auction with a sold breeding. This year since the sire of the winner was Gunner, who is deceased and not a part of the auction this year, the award moved to the Reserve spot - and a three-way tie between Ruf Lil Magnum by Magnum Chic Dream, Stoptown by Hollywoodstinseltown and Tin- seltowns Shadow by Hollywoodstinseltown. After a drawing between these stallion owners, the winner of the Golf cart was Hollywoodstin- seltown owned by Dave and Bonnie Silva. The Open Level 1, 2 and 3 sires receive custom belt buckles. Cromed Out Mercedes owned by Silver Spur Equine was the sire of the Level 3 Champion Mercedes Kenz. Smart



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