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Two Paints tie to win 2019 The Run for a Million Invitational

As the biggest event in reining history, many horse enthusiasts were anxiously waiting to see the results for The Run For A Million Invitational on Paramount Network’s “The Last Cowboy.” The season finale was released on August 28 and revealed the Million Dollar Invitational results—and it was nothing short of spectacular. Two Paints—Custom Made Gun and No Smoking Required, both sons of APHA Hall of Famer Colonels Smokingun—took top honors as they tied for the event’s championship title.

The Run for a Million Invitational featured nine successful reining professionals and three wild-card participants. 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.

With the reining industry’s top trainers and horses in the lineup, Cade and Craig tied for first with scores of 229.5; they settled for a co-championship, earning $307,000 each. Both of their horses, Custom Made Gun (right) and No Smoking Required, are by the late Colonels Smokingun, a 1993 sorrel overo stallion by Colonelfourfreckle (QH) and out of Katie Gun (QH). Out of the 12 horses that competed in the Million Dollar Invitational, seven were Paint Horses and all placed in the Top 10.

Riders were permitted to bring three horses to the Las Vegas event, but ultimately had to choose a single mount for the invitational. Cade McCutcheon, the youngest rider in the lineup at just 19 years old, chose Custom Made Gun, a 2011 palomino solid stallion who was bred and raised by his grandparents; last year, Cade and “Custom” earned team gold and individual bronze at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Craig Schmersal selected No Smoking Required, who was the 2019 National Reining Horse Association Derby Level 4 Open Reserve Champion. Overall, the seven Paint Horses selected for the invitational helped earn $810,000 in prize money—81 percent of the invitational payout.

The Run For A Million Invitational Paints were:

Co-Champion: Custom Made Gun & Cade McCutcheon

  • By Colonels Smokingun and out of Custom Made Dunit (QH)
  • Score of 229.5
  • Earned $307,500

Co-Champion: No Smoking Required & Craig Schmersal

  • By Colonels Smokingun and out of Icing Required (QH)
  • Score of 229.5
  • Earned $307,500

Fourth: Spooks Gotta Spark & Shawn Flarida

  • By Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Dolittle Lena (QH)
  • Score of 228
  • Earned $65,000

Sixth: Gotta Twist It Up & Abby Lengel

  • By Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Make It With A Twist (QH)
  • Score of 225
  • $50,000

Seventh: Gunna Cash Ya & Tom McCutcheon

  • By Little Joe Cash (QH) and out of Gunners Blonde Chic
  • Score of 224
  • $35,000

Eighth: Gunnarickashay & Casey Deary

  • By Gunnatrashya and out of Rondas Tio (QH)
  • Score of 223.5
  • $30,000

10th: ARC Gunnabeabigstar & Jordan Larson

  • By Gunnatrashya and out of Wimpys Little Chic (QH)
  • Score of 217.5
  • $15,000

The Run for a Million event took place August 15–17 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and included other events that Paint Horses competed in as well.

[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.