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Paints Stick it to the Competition at 2012 Cactus Reining Classic

Two American Paint Horses were the top winners at the 2012 Cactus Reining Classic in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 10.

In a field of 69 competitors in the Conquistador Whiz $42,000 Open Derby, $2 million National Reining Horse Association rider Andrea Fappani guided Rancho Oso Rio’s Tinker With Guns to mark a 230.5, winning the Open Level 4 Derby championship title for a second year. The 2006 chestnut solid Paint-bred stallion added $8,536 to his NRHA lifetime earnings of $228,570.

Tinker With Guns. Photo by John O’Hara.

Doc Bars Smokingun. Photo by John O’Hara.

“He’s so special—not because he can mark a 229 or 230, but because he can do it time after time. He’s just as consistent as can be,” Fappani said of “Shooter,” who is by $3 million NRHA sire Colonels Smokingun and out of Tinker Nic. “He showed at the NRHA $100,000 World Championship Shootout and marked a 231 and now marked a 230.5. He makes runs that other horses dream of once in a lifetime and he keeps doing it time after time. I can say now that he is by far the best horse I have ever had a chance to ride.”

Taking the Open Level 4 Derby reserve title and the Intermediate Open Derby championship was another “Gunner” son. Doc Bars Smokingun marked a 227.5 with Shane Brown of Elbert, Colorado, in the saddle for combined winnings of $9,462. The flashy 5-year-old palomino overo stallion is out of the Hollywood Dun It daughter Docs Dunnit Bar (QH) and is owned by Glo Tazi of Castle Rock, Colorado.

“The little horse was great,” Brown said. “I had a conversation in the tack room with the owner before I showed him and told her I was going to pull out all the stops. We had the possibility of being heroes or crashing and burning. It makes me feel good to be in the company he was in and to be the next best horse to Tinker With Guns. You know you’re an achiever just being in that company.”

The Cactus Reining Classic is the first in a three-show reining series that also includes Reining by the Bay July 18-22 in Woodside, California, and the High Roller Reining Classic September 9-15 in Las Vegas.