Once again, the Western Horse Fair ‘Salone del Cavallo Americano’, held in Cremona from the 24th to the 27th of may 2018, hosted the prestigious Ercha-Nrcha Derby 2018. This important special event, reserved to four and five year-old horses, captured the attention of the best Professional and Non Pro riders in Europe, coming to Cremona to show their dynamic horses, in this thrilling discipline.

The show consisted in a Go round, where competitors have to complete Herd Work, Fence Work and Rein Work. The composite score of these three runs determined the finalists of the Open, Non Pro, and Novice Amateur classes, and also the Champions of the Limited Open and Intermediate Non Pro classes. The Final consisted in an additional Fence Work run, whose score would be added to the Go round composite to determine the winner of each class.

There were 21 horse-and-riders combinations competing in the Ercha-Nrcha Derby: 14 competitors in the Open section, 7 in the Limited Open, 7 in the Non Pro, 4 in the Intermediate Non Pro and 3 in the Novice Amateur class: in this last section, open to 4, 5 and also 6 year old horses, riders have to perform only the Boxing instead of the Fence Work, both in the Go round and in the final.
Luca Terzi, italian rider from Viareggio, Tuscany, gained the Ercha/Nrcha Derby Intermediate Non Pro Championship, for the second year in a row, riding his 5 year old mare Bling My Ride, born in the States by Metallic Cat and out of a Dual Pep mare (Scooby Dooby Dual), and trained in Italy by Samuele Poli.

The pair scored 71.5 in herd work, 72,5 in fence work, and 68 in rein work, for a total score of 212. ‘She is a nice, big earthed mare’ said Luca after his win. ‘She won the Ircha Prefuturity last year, and was good also at the Americana, but unfortunately she got injured and therefore we had to stop her twice, to let her recover. She was back to training for the Derby only two weeks ago, but she is so good on the cows, thanks to her cutting bloodline, that she scored good.

In the reining, she was less consistent, but it is only my fault: I hope to do better in the Non Pro final. She is such a nice mare, good minded, clever and serious when at work: she could extremely good also for Open classes. But due to the injury we did not have enough time to prepare her also for the Open Derby’. Luca, who is a doctor specialized in physiatry, usually rides twice a week with Samuele Poli, at Samisa Ranch, in Sarzana.

French riders Jacky Molliex-Donjon and Marie Mura shared the Reserve Champion title, as they both scored composite 201 in the Go round . The former was riding his nice sorrel gelding SA Rock N Ruf (Sailin Ruf x A Time To Rock), and scored 67 in all the three disciplines. Marie was riding Mre Little Smoke, a 5 year old sorrel gelding, by Haidas Little Smoke x Okies Little Shadow: the pair started with a poor 63 in herd work, but then recovered, scoring 69 both in fence work and rein work. Thanks to their composite, both riders also gained their place in the Non Pro and Novice Amateur final of Saturday afternoon.

The title of Ercha-Nrcha Derby Limited Open Champion went to italian rider Pietro Tuberga riding Legacy Little Cat, a 5 year-old sorrel mare, by Ans Wyatt Pep x Miss N Holly (by Miss N Cash). The pair started with a good 72 in Herd Work, followed by a 71 in Fence Work, and concluded with 71.5 in Rein Work: their total composite, 214.5, was not only worth the champion title, but granted them also a place in the Open final fence work. Reserve honours went to french trainer Marine Richard, riding her beloved GS Top On Whizard, by Sail on Top Whizard x Miss Tari Jez (by Doc Tari): the pair scored 69 in herd work and 70 in fence work, but gained a fantastic 73.5 in rein work, for a total composite of 212.5.

On Saturday afternoon the Ercha/Nrcha Derby final took place: there were ten competitors riding for the Open title, 5 for the Non Pro Honours, and 3 in the Novice Amateur final, performing only in a boxing ride.

In the end, the Go round leader Giovanni Campanaro, who placed two horses in the final, took the lead and won the Ercha Derby Open title astride Hot As Wasabi, scoring a consistent 74 in the fence work. The pair had a composite of 222 after the Go round, and were leader. ‘She is a nice mare’ said Giovanni, who won the Ercha Open Derby for the third time in a row. ‘She’s definately the most enjoyable horse I have ever ridden. She is very cool, but at the same time, she is lively and cooperative in the show pen. She behaves much better during the competition than at home, or in the warm up arena’. The mare, owned by Giovanni Lagaren, is by Little Dulces Rey (by Dual Rey) and out of a High Brow Cat Mare (Whirlacat), and was born in the States in 2014. She arrived in Italy when she was 2 and a half year old, and Giovanni had some trouble with hera t the beginning of the training: ‘We didn’t get on very well, at first’ he said. ‘But when we managed to understand each other, I realized that she was actually one of the best cow horses I have ever trained.

Giovanni placed in the final also WR Smoke Time (WR This Cats Smart x Showgirl Showtime) , the 5 year-old stallion that was 2017 Ercha/Nrcha Derby Open Champion. ‘We came back to the Derby, but we had bad luck in the herd work, as the horse got a huge penalty for sitting, so it was too hard to recover all the missing point to win again. But he’s a great horse and was excellent anyway!’.

Samuele Poli was Open Derby Reserve Champion, astride As Smart Lil Dancer (Itsgoodtobelucio, by Boonlight dancer x Smart Sarah), a five year old chestnut stallion, owned by Lorenzo Sivori. The pair scored 72 in the final fence work, for a total composite of 290.

In the Non Pro final, the winner was Alessandro Tugnoli astride his beloved Smart Easy Boon (Smart Easy Deal x Ot Boonpep), that we remember 2016 ERCHA/NRCHA OPEN PREFUTURITY CHAMPION with Giovanni Campanaro in the saddle, and 2016 IRCHA NON PRO FUTURITY CHAMPION with Alessandro Tugnoli himself. The doctor, who rides on his own at home in Veneto, was Go round leader with a composite score of 215 (70 HW, 71.5 Rw 73.5 FW), with three points from the second in the ranking, and scored 69 in the final, for a total composite of 284. ‘I still cannot believe I won the Derby’ said Tugnoli after the final fence work. ‘I had three points advantage on my friend and colleague Luca Terzi, but after a 69 in the final I thought it was not enough to win. But we did!’.

Tugnoli got the horse from Vittorio Rabboni, and at first the horse was trainer and shown by Giovanni Campanaro. ‘He’s a good horse, and he could be also very competitive in an Open class’ the doctor stated. ‘He is not very brilliant in the reining, but he loves playing with the cows: he is a funny horse. Unfortunately, he gets a little bit hot after the fence work. I had to ride him a lot before the rein work of the Go round, to make a nice score. He needs to be ridden a lot, but I am a doctor, I don’t have much time to ride at home, and this is why I am really happy about this win! I just did the 30% in this Derby: Easy did the rest! He’s such a good guy!’.

Luca Terzi and Bling My ride took Reserve honours, scoring 70 in the final, for a total composite of 282. Austrian rider Hannes Winkler won the Derby Novice Amateut title, riding Cattin Downtown, by Smooth As A Cat and out of Zacks Fifth Avenue. The pair scored 72 in the final boxing, for a total composite of 273.5. French rider Marie Mura took Reserve Honours in this class, astride Mre Little Smoke (composite score: 270).

Sunday the 27th of may was dedicated to the Ercha Derby ancillary classes, eligible for the Nrcha/Ercha European and regional Championship. Show started at 8.00 with the Novice Horse Class. Markus Schopfer won the Open with Red Lil Bingo, owned by Cascina Serrauda SA, with composite score 139.5 (69.5 rw / 70 FW), while Marilena Mione and Legacy Little Cat won the Non Pro section with score 131.5 (64.5 RW/67 FW).

German rider Bettina Konigsbauer won the Novice Riders class, and the regional Novice riders, astride Jacs Royal Boonsmal, owned by Richard Forster. The pair scored 139 (70 RW / 69 FW).
Swiss rider Vera Walliser won the Non Pro Two Rein class, astride her Smooth Playin Woody, with a composite score of 130 (68 RW/62 FW).

Italian rider Ilaria Traverso won the Non Pro Bridle class, astride Player CAt, scoring 69.5 in rein work and 68.5 in fence work (total 138), while Peter Trixner won the Non Pro Bridle Regional, riding Pepto In Bluejeans, with a score of 133.5 (69.5 RW / 64 FW).

Markus Schopfer riding Master N Smoke, owned by Florian JR Morawitz won the Open Hackamore class, with score 136 (66 RW / 70 Fw).
Hungharian rider Peter Kun won the Non Pro LImited Bridle class, scoring 138, astride his CR Sassylittlelegend (68 RW / 70 FW), while Austrian rider Peter Trixner took the lead in the Non Pro Bridle Regional astride Pepto In Bluejeans , with score 134.5 (67.5 RW/ 67 FW)

Makus Schopfer and the amazing Peptos Lil Bingo won the Open Bridle class, scoring 145.5 (71.5 RW/74 FW), while German rider Richard Forster won the both the Open Bridle regional and the Regional Limited Open Bridgle classes, astride Jacs Royal Boonsmal , with composite 137.5 (70.5 RW / 67 FW) . Andrea Sanfelici won the Limited Open Bridle class riding Ret Great N San, scoring 139 (70 RW/69 FW).

The appointment with the next show of the European Reined Cow Horse Association will be the Hackamore Classic on June in Poland. Stay tuned!