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Paint Horses slide to victory at inaugural The Run for a Million

The 2019 Run for a Million Invitational was the biggest—and richest—event in reining history, boasting more than $1 million in payouts and a select field of top talent. Taylor Sheridan, an APHA member, Paint owner and creator of “Yellowstone,” created this premiere event in conjunction with his new show on Paramount Network, “The Last Cowboy.” The unscripted series features some of the top reining trainers and their journey to the Run for a Million, which took place August 15–17 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The main event, the Run for a Million Invitational, featured nine of the reining world’s most successful professionals and three wild-card participants vying for a $500,000 prize. Andrea Fappani, Casey Deary, Shawn Flarida, Jordan Larson, Franco Bertolani, Jason Vanlandingham, Craig Schmersal, Tom McCutcheon and Duane Latimer were the event’s invitational riders, with Abby Lengel, Cade McCutcheon and Matt Mills as the wild card exhibitors. Even though the Run for a Million has already taken place, the results will not be released until a later date on “The Last Cowboy.”

In addition to the Run for a Million Invitational, the schedule included an open $100,000 Open Championship, a Rookie Championship, the $500,000 Non-Pro Championship and the $50,000 Freestyle. The Top Five riders in the $100,000 Shoot Out finals have a guaranteed spot in the 2020 Million Dollar Invitational. Many Paint Horses took top spots at the competition, bringing in cash for their riders and owners; they included:

$100,000 Open Championships

  • Reserve champion: Spooks Gotta Crush & Jason Vanlandingham
    •  By Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Megas Sugar Baby (QH)
      • Earned $16,031.58
  • Tied for third: Shes Got Good Guns & Cade McCutcheon
    • By Colonels Smokingun and out of A Bueno Poco Dunit (QH)
      • Earned $11,164.85
  • Sixth: Phantom Face Dunnit & Craig Schmersal
    • By Pale Face Dunnit and out of Gorgeous Like A Star (QH)
      • Earned $8,015.79
  • Tied for 10th: Masked Gun & Franco Bertolani
    • By Colonels Smokingun and out of Dun It For Chex (QH)
      • Earned $2,862.78
  • Tied for 10th: Blo Gun & Martin Muhlstatter
    • By Colonels Smokingun and out of The Hot Jewel (QH)
      • Earned $2,862.78

Rookie Championships

  • Champion: Cashing Black Chex & Addisyn Lyn Schmersal
    • By Big Chex To Cash and out of Blazing In Black (QH)
      • Earned $310.05

$50,000 Freestyle

  • Third: Always A Specialnite & Daphne Foran
    • By Colonels Nite Special and out of Always A Dunit (QH)
      • Earned $7,089.71
  • Tied for fourth: Smokin Custom Crome & Bub Poplin
    • By Custom Crome (QH) and out Glendas A Smokingun
      • Earned $5,044.60
  • Sixth: Babys Got Blue Eyes & Kirstin Booth
    • By Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of One Stylish Chic (QH)
      • Earned $3,817.54

$50,000 Non-Pro Championships

  • Reserve champion: Designed With Shine & McKinnon Lacrombe
    • By Smart And Shiney and out of Taris Designer Genes
      • Earned $9,462.94
  • Seventh: Great White Nite & Jennifer Greenleaf
    • By Colonels Nite Special and out of One Trashy Spot
      • Earned $3,785.18
[Reprinting all or part of this news release is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provided back to apha.com.]
About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.