Paint Horses Slide into Victory at NRHA Derby

The 2012 National Reining Horse Association Derby in Oklahoma City was the place to be for Paint reiners June 24-30. Several talented equine athletes cashed in at the event, including a stallion who’s earned household-name status in the reining industry.

Spooks Gotta Whiz is on a roll. The 5-year-old bay overo stallion, owned by Michell Anne Kimball of Encinitas, California, has circled, stopped and spun his way to reining’s “triple crown” achievement.

In December 2010, Spooks Gotta Whiz, ridden by Jordan Larson, awed the crowd-and judges-at the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City, running away with the Open futurity win. In April 2012, “Baby Spooks” scored a remarkable 236 with rider Shawn Flarida to win the National Reining Breeders Classic open finals in Katy, Texas.

After checking two of the reining world’s most prestigious wins off his to-do list, Baby Spooks captured a third June 30. Piloted again by Shawn, the stallion marked a 226.5 in the Level 4 Open division at the NRHA Derby, picking up a check for $60,000.

“He’s just an amazing animal. He’s an amazing representative not only of the American Paint Horse, but of horses in general,” Michell said. “He doesn’t fall into the typical build and design that has been prevalent for the last decade and a half at least. I think he’s set a new standard. That’s what I’m hoping.”

For now, Spooks Gotta Whiz will temporarily retire from showing. Michell and Baby Spooks have just one more item on their checklist.

“My next goal for him is to make it to the 2014 World Equestrian Games,” she said. “So he won’t be shown again until we get ready to go to Normandy, France. It would be incredible if he rides for the United States.”

The Open and Non-Pro divisions were filled with top-caliber horses and often, Paints were the ones to beat.

Open Division . Tinker With Guns and Andrea Fappani were co-reserve champions of Level 4 Open. A seasoned veteran, Tinker With Guns is a 2006 chestnut solid stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Tinker Nic. The stallion is bred and owned by Rancho Oso Rio LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona.

. Chics Loaded Gun and Sean McBurney were Level 3 Open champions. The duo scored a 220.5. Also a son of Colonels Smokingun, Chics Loaded Gun is a 6-year-old sorrel overo stallion out of Smart Chic Olynna (QH). Owned by the G & B Partnership of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, Chics Loaded Gun was bred by Gary Putman of Saratoga, California.

. Pete Kyle piloted another “Gunner” daughter, Gunner Git Ya Dun, to the Level 2 Open title. Bred by Monica Hicks, the stallion is out of Gotta Git Ya Dun (QH) and owned by E Bar Z Stables.

Non-Pro Division . Sugar Chics Gunnit and Ruben Pacheco Cuevas of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, marked a 220 to tie with Mandy McCutcheon for second place in the Level 4 Non Pro division and win first place in the Level 3 Non Pro division. Sugar Chica Gunnit is a 6-year-old sorrel overo stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Sugar Chics Dunnit (QH). The stallion was bred by Jess E. Moore of Pilot Point, Texas, and is owned by Ruben.

. Always Gotyer Guns Up, the 5-year-old sorrel overo mare who enjoyed considerable success at the NRBC, again paired with Mandy McCutcheon. The team marked a 220 to tie for second place in Level 4 Non-Pro. Always Gotyer Guns Up is owned by McQuay Stables of Tioga, Texas, and was bred by Trinity Compress Real Estate of Lubbock, Texas.

About the American Paint Horse Association The American Paint Horse Association (APHA), the international breed registry for the American Paint Horse headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves over 64,000 active youth and adult members around the world.

For more information about APHA and how to get involved, visit www.apha.com or call (817) 834-2742.