In an exciting finish to the Kentucky Reining Cup in Lexington, two Paint Horses—Spooks Gotta Whiz and Gunns On The River—were named to the United States team of six that will contest the World Equestrian Games in August in Normandy, France.
Shawn Flarida rode Spooks Gotta Whiz to first place over the two rounds of competition, which earned Shawn his fourth consecutive USEF Open Championship at the Kentucky Reining Cup.
Spooks Gotta Whiz, a 2007 bay overo double-registered stallion by Spooks Gotta Gun and out of Prettywhizprettydoes (QH), earned a score of 225 in the first round and 227.5 in the second round.
“The horse has been really good to me. Every horse trainer that’s touched this horse has won on him. Any time I get a horse to show like this, it’s really fun,” Shawn said.
Owner Michell Anne Kimball of Encinitas, California, made the decision to campaign “Baby” for the World Equestrian Games, which meant giving him ample time to develop and mature outside of the competitive arena for the better part of the past two years.
“It’s been a four-year dream,” Michelle said. “This is the most elite and important competition. It’s not about the money.
“I can’t believe we’re here—we’re going to France! It means so much to me that he can represent the United States and two different breeds.”
Gunns On The River, a 2008 buckskin solid double-registered stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Dun Its Black Gold (QH), placed third under his competition name HF Mobster with rider Jordan Larson. They earned scores of 223 and 225 after a rough start to their week.
“He got a little dehydrated on the trailer and I didn’t get to ride him much, and he went in there and took care of me,” Jordan said.
Under international competition rules set out by the Federation Equestre Internationale, horses may not receive any drugs prior to competition. The team from Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital on staff for the Kentucky Reining Cup were able to get the stallion in shape to ride, but Jordan learned first hand about the limitations that might challenge all the riders in Normandy.
But through the ordeal, the stallion earned a new fan club of Rood & Riddle veterinarian Ashely Embly and her daughter Savannah (pictured above with Jordan).
Joining Shawn and Jordan on the United States team are Mandy McCutcheon with Yellow Jersey (QH), Andrea Fappani with Smoking Whiz (QH) and Custom Cash Advance (QH), Troy Heikes with Lil Gun Dunit, and Tom McCutcheon with Dun Git A Nicadual (QH).
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