Lengel Tops the 2018 NRHA Open Derby Leaderboard
Day three of action in the Jim Norick Arena featured the start of open competition at the 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby. With 126 professional riders slated to compete in day one of open action, the arena was filled with anticipation as each rider entered the arena.
The emotion was evident in Abby Lengel’s face as she heard a score of 226 ½ called after finishing her last stop. Aboard Jody Puno’s ARC Gunna Mark Ya, Lengel took the high score of the day, placing the duo atop the leaderboard of both the Level (L)3 and 4 Open Derby go round. Bred and nominated by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, ARC Gunna Mark Ya has achieved much success with Lengel on board. In 2017, the pair took home their highest paycheck at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), taking home the L2 Open Championship and reserve in the L3. In all, the 6-year-old mare has nearly $88,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).
Other notable runs of the day included:
- A 226 for Cardinal Hill Training Center LLC’s Dun It For Whizkey ridden by NRHA Million Dollar Rider Franco Bertolani
- A 226 for Jason Dobrinski’s Luckie Moonstone ridden by NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida
- A 224 ½ for Cuoghi Reining Horses USA Inc’s All American Vintage ridden by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani
Scoring a 220 ½ and taking the top spot in the L1 and 2 were Gabriel Bittar Borges and Checksworthy. Nominated, bred, and owned by Terry Leffew, the 4-year-old mare has already earned $14,650.55 while piloted by Borges in NRHA approved competition. At the 2018 NRBC, the dynamic duo took home a championship in the L1 Open and reserve in the L2 Open. The pair also finished in the top 20 in the L3 Open. Checkworthy’s NRHA LTE exceed $52,000.
Shauna Larcome and Rosanne Sternberg’s Hey Joe scored a 219.5 for the day, earning them the top score in the Prime Time division. Hey Joe, who is an NRHA Markel Futurity Sales Graduate, bred and nominated by Wagman Ranch Inc, is no stranger to the spotlight within NRHA Derby competition. In 2017, the stallion took a third place finish in the L4 Open Division with rider Jason Vanlandingham.