Written by: Antonella Gliori

ERCHA/NRCHA PreFuturity 2018  – Travagliato – ITALY

The nenowned facility ‘Palacitta’ of Travagliato (BS) hosted the Ercha/Nrcha Prefuturity 2018, in the weekend of 4th and 5th of august. The special event, reserved to 3 and 4 year old horses, attracted over 50 horses and riders combinations  from different countries of Europe, ready to try their youg horses before the Cow Horse Futurity of the next september.

The show was entirely judged by Nrcha/Nrha professional Jan Boogaerts from Belgium, and in addition to the Special Event, it hosted a full slate of ancillary classes, eligible for the Ercha and Regional championships.

There were 15 horses running in the five divisions of the Ercha Prefuturity: Open, Limited Open, Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro and Novice Amateur. On Saturday, the Herd Work took place, while the Reing Work and Fence Work were run on Sunday morning and afternoon, respectively.

There were 10 horse-and-rider combinations running for the Open title in the special event. After a thrilling run, Markus Schopfer was crowned Open Champion astride the nice sorrel stallion Chex Lectric Gun, owned by professional cow horse trainer Christoph Seiler. The pair started with a consistent 72 in herd work and took the lead after another excellent run in rein work (72). In the final fence work, the pair scored 68, good for the Open Champion title. The young stud is the first offspring of Seiler QH new stallion Chex Your Guns, and out of Lectric Hick Chic. ‘When we had to start the 2015 horses, Christoph had some health problems, and could not work for a while’ said Eliane Gfeller. ‘So Markus helped us at that stage, and when he started this one, he really loved him and asked us to keep him for training and showing. We were happy and trusted Markus advice, and the horse is getting better and better. Being the first son of our young stallion, for us, this is very important because he is very good in the show pen!’ Christoph Seiler and Eliane were really grateful to Schopfer for his training: ‘ We really want to thank Markus for the great job he did with this young one, and we are so thankful to Ercha for the good show! We always have such a great time all together!’

Schopfer had other 3 horses in the Prefuturity, and placed also second, sharing the Reserve Championship with Christoph Seiler in the Open, astride Red Lil Bingo, a nice sorrel mare by Peptos Lil Bingo, owned by Cascina Serrauda. The pair scored 210 (69 / 71.5 / 69.5). Seiler placed second astride The Magic Day, a quarter horse stallion owned by his fiancee Eliane Gfeller. The pair scored 71 in herd work, 68.5 in rein work, and 70.5 in fence work, and with this score Seiler won the Limited Open Section of the Futurity, placing also second and third with his other two horses: a full winning stride for the Swiss professional!

‘I was surprised to win with this horse, but I am so happy to have achieved such good results with all our self-bred horses. They are all from my old cow horse stallion, Mr Colonel Smart. We already had good horses from my stallion, but to be here and place good with all our horses, it is very special! I worked a lot on all these young ones, and it is so nice to see them all coming out so good! The ‘Magic’ is a good one, but it did not worked very well in the rein work here, but I was surprised that he was so good in the fence work, because actually with the cows he has less training than the other ones. He surprised me today! Really catched up the cow, and tried hard for me! I am really very happy with him!’ Christoph was happy about also the horse he placed reserve in the Limited Open, with score 204.5 (69.5/71/64): ‘Chics Smart Colonel was actually at his first show, while the other two had already done some kind of competition. For him, it was the first time, and he was amazing, actually’.

In the ERCHA /NRCHA Prefuturity Non Pro section, Czech rider Vaclav Vacik definately took the lead and mantained the position until the very end, astride his beautiful big black mare Silver Black Okie, by Smartest Magician and out of Blue Duck Daisy, bred by Silverstone Ranch. The pair started with a nice 70.5 in herd work, 67.5 in reining, and an astonishing 72 in fence work, were the mare proved her physical ability and cow sense. Vaclav, who is a farmer who trains and rides by himself at home, was really happy about the good job of his strong mare. ‘I mainly work with cattle at home, were a have about 250 of them’ said the czech rider. ‘I use this horse in the open fields, to move the cattle from one pasture to the other. She is a true working horse. I bought her when she was 1 and a half year-old, and I trained her on my own. She is so talented. She just loves working with cattle. She is not hot, she need some pressure, but she is very easy. I like her feeling, and make her work for fun’. Vaclav started with western riding in 2008, with Rodeos, in his home country. In 2012 he stopped with all the rodeo disciplines, and started with reining and later with cutting, and working cow-horse. ‘I have to thank Tomas Barta, who initially introduced me to this discipline, and this year, Markus Schopfer was in Czech Republic for a clinic, and he explained to me how to work on certain issues, and gave me some very important specific informations’. Vaclav was enthusiast of the ERCHA show, and about all the friendly people and professional trainer he had the chance to meet in Travagliato: ‘I am really looking forward to the Futurity in Mooslargue: it is so great fun at this show! Everything was very good and well organised’.

Reserve honours in this class went to nice french rider Jacky Molliex-Donjon, who was riding his home bred gelding SA Rock and Rus, by Sailing Ruf and out of A Time To Rock. The pair scored a composite of 191 in the Non Pro (62 / 68 / 61 ) which allowed Jacky to win the Prefuturity Intermediate Non Pro, with Davide Becchio and his gray mare DG Missilver Surprise placing second.

In addition, the french horse-and-rider combination, training under the guide of professional Marine Richard, won the Novice Amateur section of the Prefuturity, were riders perform boxing instead of Fence Work: the pair scored 198.5 (68.5 in boxing), while the reserve champion Giorgio De Paoli with Red Lil Bingo (by Peptos Lil Bingo) placed second with score 192.5.

‘My horse is now 4 years old and we are now building some feeling together’ explained Jacky. ‘He is still not easy to ride in the show, because he is still young and I am not the best rider for a young horse such this. I made mistakes in this show, especially down the fence, and we got penalties, I know, but it is always an occasion to improve for the next show. So even if the score was not so good, I learned a lot on this show, on this horse, and I see we can grow up! My goal is not the Futurity this year, but doing well at the Derby, next year. I think he will be a good horse’. The sorrel gelding was trained by Marine Richard, professional trainer, and his owner rides him once a week. ‘I hope to find the time to ride him more often. He is a very sensitive horse. He needs to be quiet, and sometimes I am not quiet either, but this is my goal: to be stronger together. We need to know more each other. This is my first home-bred horse. His mother is a nice mare by A Chic In Time, and I chose Sailing Ruf for her, after sawing a lot of nice stallions, becaused I believed this could be a nice cross to taste. So, I really want to bring this horse forward, and improve our performances together! It is a special story!’.

The summer cow horse event was enriched by a wide series of ancillary classes, eligible for the European and regional championships, in addition to the Jackpot Herd Work classes, Open and Non Pro.

On Saturday, the Herd Work all ages classes took place.

In The Herd Work All Ages Open the winner was professional trainer Markus Schopfer, riding his super champion stallion Peptos Lil Bingo, scoring 73, with Samuele Poli Barberis placing second with Highbrow Fletch, owned by Samisa Ranch (score 72.5).

In the Herd Work All Ages Non Pro, Caroline Baudinger placed 1st and second, scoring 71.5 with his Cd Miss N Cat, and 69.5 with Cats Silver Pistol respectively. In the Herd Work Non Pro Regional, the winner was Monaco rider Willem Bemborn, scoring 72 astride his Catty Gucci Girl, with Giulio Leonardi placing second on Lil Scoot N Pep, with score 71.5.

Swiss Non Pro rider Vera Walliser won the Two Rein and Two reing Regional classes, with score 129.5 astride her beloved sorrel Smooth Playin Woody.

She also won the Novice Horse Non Pro class (score 134.5) and placed second in the Non Pro Limited Bridle, and Regional, scoring 136, with Austrian rider Peter Trixner on top of the chart, riding his Chics Fluffed to a great 141.5 (70.5 rw / 71 bx).

The Novice Horse Open was won by Markus Schopfer riding beautiful bay stallion Achtung Baybe, with score 140.5, and also the Open Bridle class, astride the neverending Peptos Lil Bingo, to a magnificent 146 (72.5 / 73.5). The Limited Open champion of this stage was Andrea Santini astride Ans Wyatt Pep, scoring 130.

Young rider Riccardo Bolini won the Novice Riders classa stride Ml Little Cal Boy, scoring 137 (68 / 69 ) while, Valerio Ader won the Regional ranking on Hollywood Pepito, with score 133 (66 / 67).

French rider Audrey Buttigliero won the Non Pro Bridle and Regional classes, riding her Spangled Speedy to a 69.5 score.

Markus Schopfer gained the Open Hackamore classe astride Master N Smoke with score 137.5 (69.5/68).

The Next date of great Cow Horse Shows Will be in Mooslargue, from 6th to 8th september, were the thrilling Ercha / Nrcha Futurity and Nations Cup will be held: don’t miss it!.