2010 News (and earlier)

Carolina Fall Classic

Carolina Fall Classic 2010 - Shawn Flarida and Shine Chic ShineShawn Flarida Reiners had a great show at the Carolina Fall Classic, Williamston, NC, November 4-7, 2010. Shawn took three previously unshown futurity horses to get a test drive on them and was very pleased with the results. He was very pleased with the results when he placed first on Shine Chic Shine marking a 151.5, second on Time To Mark Big and third on Wimpyneedsacocktail. “I was really pleased with how all three horses showed tonight,” Shawn said after the show. ” Each one of them showed just like they prepared, so I was really happy about that. I’m looking forward to showing them in Oklahoma City.

Flarida assistant, Vincienzo Santos, was in the winners circle once again aboard Barbies Tradition. This fancy duo posted a score of 146 to earn the Open Level 2 Futurity co-championship. “Chenzo has been doing a great job in the show pen this year,” Shawn said. “He is handling the pressure incredibly well and has made me very proud.”

CFCVincienzo SantosCFC Karen Shedlauskas and ConquistadreamTeam Green non pro riders had a great weekend as well. Karen Shedlauskas rode Conquistadream to win the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, ABI Non Pro & ABI Intermediate Non Pro futurities with a score of 146. Rick Clark rode Hesa Smoker to fourth place in the same divisions.

SWRHA Futurity

While the rest of Team Green was in North Carolina, Tami Wagman ventured to the SWRHA Futurity, Ardmore, OK. She rode Spooked Up to win the Intermedite Non Pro and Limited Non Pro futurity with a big score of 219. Congratulations Tami! She will be headed to the NRHA Non Pro futurity in Oklahoma City next month.

QH Congress Recap

Rick Clark and Wimps Chocolate ChipJust as one busy event came to a close, another big event appeared on Shawn’s show schedule. There was no rest for the weary, as Flarida moved from the World Equestrian Games to the 2010 All American Quarter Horse Congress. Not only did he have three futurity horses and two junior reiners to prepare, he had a multitude of non pro clients to assist in this action packed week.

Jose Vazquez and Moonshine JuiceRick Clark started the week off with a $1000 Novice Horse Non Pro reserve championship and finished things up with a big win in the $3000 Non Pro aboard Wimps Chocolate Chip with a score of 222. Shawn brought five non pro futurity horses to the Congress and four of them made the finals. Jose Vazquez rode Moonshine Juice to the Non Pro futurity championship and Karen Shedlauskas riding Conquistadream earned the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro futurity reserve championship. Tami Wagman rode Spooked Up to a fifth place finish in the Intermediate Non Pro Futurity finals and Rick Clark on Hesa Smoker earned a finals paycheck in both divisions. “I couldn’t have been more proud of my non pro clients this week,” said Shawn. “They are such a great group of folks and I am lucky to have the priviledge to work with them.”

Shawn Flarida and Charlie Vaughan's Wimpys Showstopper at 2010 CongressShawn Flarida and Buffalo Ranch's SDP Justice Is Coming at 2010 CongressShawn’s show week started on Sunday with a win in the Junior Reining aboard Charlie Vaughan’s Wimpys Showstopper. This four year old palomino gelding has been a steady campaigner for Shawn and Dean Brown for the last year. “He showed great tonight,” Shawn said after his win. “He felt great and showed like a veteran.” Shawn also placed third aboard Ann Admonius’s Tivios Little Dun It.

However, his main focus was on the Open futurity finals. With three to show in the go round, Shawn was pleased to bring back two tough competitors to the finals. In fact, he finished first in the go round on Gus and Gaynia Revenberg’s Quistador with a 225.5 and second aboard Buffalo Ranch’s SDP Justice Is Coming with a 225. The Thursday afternoon finals found the stands crowded and it was interesting to watch as many cutters slipped in the side door as Shawn’s draw on Justice neared. It’s easy to guess that these guys knew that Justice was supposed to be a special cutter and wanted to see what this reiner could accomplish with this royally bred cutting prospect. They were not disappointed as he took the lead with a 223.5 as the second to last draw. As Justice was crowned the Congress Open futurity champion, and Shawn’s ninth Congress Open futurity champion, it was clear that this fancy colt could excel at any task. Quistador showed also had a good showing and finished in third place. Shawn’s earnings for the show were $31,087.37, which brings him within $97,037.63 of the $4 Million Dollar mark.

The WEG Experience

Shawn and Michele Flarida at the World Equestrian GamesIt seemed as though the month of September was a non-stop month – because it was! We started the month in Tulsa and then headed to the Tradition futurity. Just a few days later Shawn headed to Lexington, KY for the 2010 World Equestrian Games and then immediately moved on to the Congress. During this whirlwind, we didn’t get a chance to show you some of the things that were happening out side of show pen.

Shawn and Michele managed to squeeze a little shopping time in at the Equine Village in between autograph signings and riding time. There was so much to see and just a few free days. Cody, Courtney & Sam were in attendance on Sunday to watch their Dad lead Team USA to team gold. But after that, they were back to school and sports. As a member of Team USA’s “Dream Team”, Shawn had many media and social demands through out the week. There were autograph signings at the Ariat booth and Shawn was on hand at the Breyer store for the unveiling of the Wimpys Little Chic Breyer horse. Of course there was the Cowboy Gala, hosted by the legendary Winstar Farms. It was beautiful evening to celebrate the sport of reining with all of the reining competitors at the games. Of course the evening wasn’t complete without a slew of gifts from WEG sponsors. What a nice event.

Michele Flarida loves the cutting horse simulator at the World Equestrian GamesShawn Flarida riding the cutting horse simulator at the World Equestrian GamesAnd we did get some time to have a little fun. Shawn had heard about the mechanical cutter some where on the show grounds and wouldn’t rest until we found it. This was such a cool idea, it was a shame that the show organizers had it buried away from the main activities. Never the less, Shawn and friends had a great time aboard the mechanical cutter painted to match Cat Itchi. Shawn is focused on getting one of these made to similuate a reining horse. When you see it, you will know he had a big part in the design. It was hard to tell who liked the cutter more, Shawn or Michele. When we finally got Shawn off it, Michele decided to give it a try. She was overheard saying after her ride, “This is too cool. Shawn, we need to get one of these!” There was no rest for this dynamic duo. When they were done in Lexington, KY, they headed back to Springfield, OH for the evening before moving in to the QH Congress in Columbus.

Shawn Flarida signing Lexi Breyer horseShawn Flarida and the Ariat team at the World Equestrian GamesShawn participated in many media events during the week and here are a few of those links:

Click here for the Ariat interview

Click here for the Ariat commercial

Click here for back gate interview

Columbus Goes Green!

It was an incredible weekend in Columbus for Shawn Flarida Reiners! Shawn rode SDP Justice Is Comin to the Tradition $7500 Open Futurity championship for the Buffalo Ranch with a score of 225. Shawn beamed with pride as Vincienzo Santos, one of his assistants, rode Barbies Tradition to the $2000 Level 1 & $2500 Limited Open Futurity championships for the Thrashers. To top it off, it was also Chenzo’s 20th birthday – what a great present.

It was sort of a Flarida festival on Saturday night, as Shawn’s brother, Mike, was second in the Open futurity and won the Intermediate Open futurity aboard Matt Flarida & Greg Hill’s Custom Del Cielo. Mike was riding for Matt, who had knee surgery the day before.

Our team also had a great finish in the Non Pro futurity. Jose rode Moonshine Juice, a full brother to his good mare Wound By Juice, to win the Non Pro and Prime Time divisions with a 219.5. Karen Shedlauskas rode Conquistadream to win the Intermediate Non Pro division and place second in the Non Pro with a 215.5. Sammy Ely rode Heza Majestic Spook to second in the Intermediate and Rick Clark placed Hesa Smoker third.

Shawn Flarida and Rancho El Fortin's Custom Harley at the Tradition FuturityShawn topped the $7500 Traditon Open Derby aboard Rancho El Fortin’s Custom Harley with a score of 221. In the Non Pro division, Jose Vazquez rode Wound By Juice to the Non Pro win, while Jeff Kirkbride was second in the Level 4 and earned the win in the Intermediate Non Pro aboard KR Offtoseethewizard.

Jeff and KR Lil Conquistador looked great in the 7 & Up marking a 215.5 to win the Non Pro & Intermediate Non Pro divisions. This was more than enough to put KR over the $400,000 mark in earnings! Congratulations to the Kirkbrides and KR!! Karen Shedlauskas also won the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 Affiliate Championship, as well as the $1000 Novice Horse Level 1 class on Nu Chex Bueno Badger. They earned the opportunity to compete in the Affiliate Championships at the Futurity in December.

Quistador Wins Again!

Shawn Flarida and Gus & Gaynia Revenberg's stallion Quistador at the Ariat Reining ClassicShawn rode Gus & Gaynia Revenberg’s stallion, Quistador, to win the the John Deere Open Futurity at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic. The pair marked a 230.5, and the win came with a $10,629 paycheck, further solidifying Flarida’s spot at the highest all-time money earner at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic.

This was the second futurity win for Shawn and Quistador (Conquistador Whiz x Miss N Becky x Okie Paul Quixote), who were also Open Champions at the 2010 North Central Reining Horse Association Futurity Show in St. Paul, Minn., in early August. Flarida and the 2007 sorrel stallion won a combined total of $15,691 at the two shows.

Look for this talented duo at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in October.

Justice Comes to Perry, GA

Shawn Flarida and Buffalo Ranch's SDP Justice is CominAugust 15, 2010 – Buffalo Ranch’s SDP Justice is Comin took Shawn to the Dixie Reining Horse Association’s Open Futurity championship this weekend with a score of 222. The diminutive stallion sired by TR Dual Rey out of Playboys Mom, has been a farm favorite since last summer. “This horse can stop with the best of them,” Shawn said about the sorrel colt. “He showed just great for the first time and I’m excited about showing him this fall.”

What makes this colt, with one blue eye, even more intriguing is that is bred to be cutting royalty. Sired by Buffalo Ranch’s own great cutter, TR Dual Rey, he is out of the mother of the great cutter, Playin Stylish. “He is an incredible athlete and would probably excel at anything you challenged him with.”

Team Green’s non pro contingent did pretty well this weekend too. Sammy Ely took home all the loot in the Non Pro futurity with a good score of 216.5 aboard Heza Majestic Spook. The red dun gelding is by Open Futurity champion and AQHA World Champion Smart Spook out of Shes A Majestic Jac. “Shawn owned this horse himself and told me he was a good one last summer,” Sammy recalled. “I eventually bought him and I’m really enjoying this horse. He’s really talented and fun to ride.”

Rick Clark rode Hesa Smoker, by Hesa Smart Chic out of Smokin Pepto, to the Intermediate Non Pro futurity reserve championship and placed third in the Non Pro division. “Shawn found this horse for me last summer and I have been excited about the opportunity to show him. This was our first show and I couldn’t be more happy with this horse.”

Clark & Shedlauskas Do Some Winning on the Side

While the rest of Team Green headed north to St. Paul, MN last week, Rick Clark stayed close to home and supported his local affiliate. “I really would have liked to run at the big money in Minnesota, but I sponsor the futurity at OVRHA in Jackson, OH so I felt it was important that I attend the event.

That decision paid off big for Clark as he piloted Smooth Talkin Dan to the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro futurity wins. “This horse is special to me because he is out of a mare that Shawn showed and won a lot on, Sheza Dun Dry, and she was owned by my friend Dan Clark, who passed away a few years ago.” Dan’s widow, Carol, was in attendance and posed in a Rick’s win picture. “I was really glad she was there to share it with me.”

Shedlauskas stayed closer to home this past weekend, while everyone else headed to Perry, GA. She loaded up Conquistadream and headed to the CORHA show in Findlay, OH. “I had a little trouble counting to four last weekend, so I wanted to get that off my back,” she said. The counting was successful and Karen and Louie brought home the win in the Non Pro Snaffle Bit/Hackamore class. “I just bought this horse from Shawn following the derby and things are finally starting to come together.”

Quistador Triumphs in St. Paul, MN

August 9, 2010 – Shawn and Quistador, a three year old stallion by Conquistador Whiz and owned by Gus & Gaynia Revenberg, made his show ring debut at the NCRHA Futurity in St. Paul, MN. The handsome stallion was purchased in the 2009 NRHA Futurity Prospect Sale by the Revenberg’s at the suggestion of Flarida.

He has been a favorite of Shawn’s since last December and didn’t disappoint in the show pen. Posting a score of 221, the handsome stallion took home of the $12,000 Open Futurity championship and a Bob’s Trophy Saddle. “I couldn’t have asked for him to show any better at this stage of the game,” Shawn said after his run. “He turned big and stopped hard and didn’t look for any trouble. I’m excited about this one!”

KR Offtoseethewhizard at the AQHYA Show

Max Clason, daughter of AQHA Professionals Hank and Dawn Clason, rode KR Offtoseethewhizard to a fourth place finish in the reining at the AQHYA world show. Trained by Shawn and bred, raised and shown by Jeff Kirkbride, Oz is a farm favorite. Although they couldn’t be in Oklahoma City to cheer Max on, Shawn and Jeff were glued to the computer for the webcast of the reining finals. “She did a great job of showing him and was very close to winning the whole deal,” Shawn said after her run.

Oz has been successfully shown by former Flarida assistant Jed Lawrence and Jeff Kirkbride. Jeff won the Seminole Hard Rock Non Pro Derby on him earlier this year with a 223 and also made the finals at the NRBC and the Carolina Classic.

Clayton Woosley Hall of Fame Derby

Shawn and several of his non pro clients headed to the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY, July 29-30 for the CKRHA Clayton Woosley Hall of Fame Derby. Shawn entered three in the derby and earned the top spot in the $75000 Open Derby aboard Rancho El Fortin’s Custom Harley with a big score of 226.5. “He was really good this afternoon,” Shawn said after his run. “I couldn’t have been happier with the way he showed today.” Having only shown the six year old stallion once before, Shawn was pretty pleased with the way Harley is fitting into his program.

Rick Clark was pretty darn happy on Saturday night too. Aboard Wimps Chocolate Chip, Rick took home the win in the $7500 Non Pro and $5000 Intermediate Non Pro derby divisions with another big score of 220.5 “That is my personal all time highest score,” Rick said after his run. “Jose had just marked a 218.5 right before me, so I knew I was going to have to run at it. I called on Chip and he was right there the whole way.” Clark is looking forward to showing his good five year old gelding at the Tradition Derby before heading back to the Congress to defend his 2009 Congress titles. Right behind Rick in the Non Pro Derby was Jose Vasquez riding Wound By Juice with a 218.5.

Karen Shadlauskas at Regional ExperienceNu Chex Bueno Badger claims AQHA Region 4 Championship

Karen Shedlauskas attended her first AQHA Regional Experience this year. The Region 4 Championship was held in Columubus, OH at the Ohio Expo Center. Spread out over four days, the event had just about every approved AQHA event. Shedlauskas rode Nu Chex Bueno Badger, or Cash as he is known, to the Amateur Reining championship.

“It was pretty neat event,” Karen said. “It was a great atmosphere and a lot of fun.” Cash is also qualified for the Amateur and Junior Reining at the 2010 AQHA World show. He is a five year old gelding by Nu Chex To Cash out of Peppy Doc Pansy.

Clark County 4-H Hosts Reining Demo

Shawn, a resident of Clark County, OH, saddled one of his favorite show horses to introduce reining to the local horse lovers during the Clark County Fair this week. Aboard KR Lil Conquistador, a NRHA and Congress Open Futurity champion, Shawn used NRHA pattern 5 to demonstrate the finer points of reining. KR was an excellent assistant and showed the huge crowd what plus one manuevers look like.

During the demonstration, Michele explained the World Equestrian Games and pointed out that the games are being held on US soil for the first time in history. Shawn, the only two-time reining gold medalist to date and a Clark County resident, will be representing the USA in Lexington, KY in September.

Following the demonstration, Shawn spent quite a bit of time signing autographs, posing for pictures and meeting fans, young and old. “I really enjoy this part of the demo,” he said. “It’s great to get to talk about our sport and help people learn more about it. Especially right here at home. I also wanted to let folks know about the World Equestrian Games and the fact that the games are being held just a few hours from here. It’s a huge opportunity for horse lovers of any discipline to see the great equine athletes in the world.”

Following the demonstration, KR enjoyed a full hay bag on the trailer while the rest of the Flarida crew indulged in some fair food and fun.

It’s A Gold Medal for RC & Shawn

With an incredibly consistent performance at the Battle In The Saddle, which hosted the Adequan/USEF Open Reining Championships and the selection trial for the United States Reining Team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), RC Fancy Step and Shawn Flarida won the gold medal and earned a coveted spot on Team USA scheduled to compete at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY this fall.

In the first go round, Shawn and RC marked a 223.5, which was two and a half points higher than the nearest competitor. In the second go round and finals, Flarida piloted the flashy palomino stallion to another 223, which combined for a composite score of 446.5. Placings were based on a two-go-round composite score with the top four horse-and-rider combinations earning spots on the official US Reining Team.

“He was really good as three year old,” Shawn said about the six-year-old RC. “But he has got better every year. I couldn’t have asked him to show any better, especially just coming off the Derby two weeks ago.” Flarida rode RC to the 2007 Congress Open Futurity championship as well as the 2009 NRHA Open Derby title. RC Fancy Step now has lifetime earnings in excess of $336,000.

Shawn was a member of the 2002 US Reining Team that won a Team Gold medal in Jerez, Spain and he also won the very first Individual Reining Gold medal. He shared the podium in Oklahoma City on Saturday night with Silver Medalist Tom McCutcheon and Bronze Medalist Craig Schmersal. Both of these riders were members of the 2002 Team. The fourth member of this “dream team” is Tim McQuay, who was a member of the 2006 US Reining Team that competed in Aachen, Germany.

Flarida Tops NRHA Derby on Gunnatrashya


The temperatures were warm, but the runs in the 2010 NRHA Open Derby Finals were scorching hot. After tying himself with a 228.5 on both Wimpys Little Chic and RC Fancy Step, and watching Craig Schmersal post a 234 score on NRBC Champion Boom Shernic, Shawn Flarida entered the pen in a big way on his 2009 NRHA Futurity Champion Gunnatrashya. After a huge run-in stop on the stallion by Gunner and out of Natrasha, Flarida continued a near-flawless run, punctuated by three amazing stops at the end. When it was over, the score was announced – a 235 to take the lead and cement his fourth consecutive NRHA Derby title.

“I didn’t know if it could beat it (Schmersal & Boom Shernic’s current leading score of 234), but I dang sure thought I could get close,” Shawn said after his run. “I knew I could count on him and he didn’t let me down,” he said about Gunnatrashya.

Gunnatrashya, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, and Flarida earned a check for $50,000, plus the use of a four- horse Cimarron Trailer, NRHA Lawson trophy, Bob’s Custom Saddles trophy saddle, Montana Silversmiths trophy buckle, gift certificates from Rios of Mercedes, Pard’s Western Shop, Platinum Performance, Shorty’s Caboy Hattery and SmartPak, a pair of Classic Equine ProTech boots, and Flair Equine Nasal Strips.

With the win at the Derby, Gunnatrashya joins an elite few that have managed to capture both an NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby win, and now has more than $157,000 in lifetime earnings.

Flarida also made history once again on his winningest horse, Wimpys Little Chic, who became the first reining horse to ever surpass $500,000 in NRHA earnings. Prior to the competition, the mare affectionately known as “Lexi” was just $14,000 shy of hitting the $500,000 mark. The flashy palomino mare, also owned by Arcese Quarter Horses and bred by Monica Watson’s Double Run Farm, has previously slid her way into the history books as the first NRHA Futurity Champion sired by a fellow Futurity Champion; the first horse to ever win reining’s version of a “Triple Crown,” when she consecutively won the 2007 NRHA Futurity, 2008 NRBC and 2008 NRHA Derby; and the first horse to ever top $400,000 in earnings. She and Flarida are both the NRHA’s all-time leading money-earners. In the Derby finals alone, Flarida earned paychecks worth more than $80,000.

Two For The Money In North Carolina

Shawn traveled to Williamston, NC for the 20th annual Carolina Classic May 13-16, 2010 and brought both of his entries back to finals after finishing first and second in the first go round. Riding Wimpys Showstopper, owned by Charlie Vaughan, and Dunit For Sugar, owned by Brian Westbrook, Flarida posted another 1-2 win in the finals aboard these nice horses.

“This family of horses has been really good to me,” Flarida said about Wimpys Show Stopper. “His mother, Pinesail, has produced Go Red Pine, a mare I made the Open Futurity finals on and Wimpys Pinesail, a mare that Robin (Schoeller) won the Limited Open Futurity on at the Congress and the NRHA Futurity.” Dunit For Sugar just joined the Flarida team this year and has been a money winner for Shawn both times he has gone to the show pen.

Flarida’s non pro clients also did well, with all three making the Non Pro Derby finals. Jose Vazquez rode Wound By Juice to a seventh place finish in the Non Pro finals as well as fourth place in the ABI Non Pro Derby finals. Jeff Kirkbride aboard KR Offtoseethewhizard and Rick Clark riding Wimpys Chocolate Chip also qualified for the Non Pro and Intermediate Non Pro finals. Beth Himes rode Lil Tag to place in the $1000 Intermediate Open class and Karen Shedlauskas earned paychecks in both Novice Non Pro classes.

The next stop for Team Green Shirt will be the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City, OK the last weekend in June.

Read more news in Latest News – Archive 1

Beth Himes rode Lil Tag to place in the $1000 Intermediate Open class and Karen Shedlauskas earned paychecks in both Novice Non Pro classes.

NRHYA Regional Clinic Series

On May 21 & 22, 2010 Shawn traveled to Davenport, IA to conduct the 2010 NRHYA Regional Clinic with Mike Davis hosted by V2 Reining Horses. Shawn and Mike put toether two great days of clinics for the participants and auditors. The clinic had 20 horse and rider teams each day and the bleechers were filled with auditors as well. It was a great opportunity to learn from the two riders that won all four divisions of the 2009 Open Futurity. Shawn won the Open division aboard Gunnatrashya and Mike won the Intermediate Open, as well as Level 2 & 1.

“Shawn has done a clinic for the NRHYA every year since they began in 2005,” noted Michele Flarida. “In fact, we held the first one in Springfield, OH and had everyone over to our farm in the evening for a picnic.” Riders worked on everything from spins, circles, lead changes, stops to roll backs. “I really enjoy helping the riders in the clinic,” Shawn said. “Because they are here to learn and eager to improve.” There was one more than one team that saw significant improvement over the course of the day.

Ariat Signs NRHA All-Time Leading Rider Shawn Flarida

Flarida is Newest Addition to Ariat Pro Team

Union City, Calif. May 5, 2010 – Ariat International, the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel and belts, is delighted to announce its sponsorship of Shawn Flarida, world-renowned reiner and Western horseman.

“We are thrilled to have Shawn join forces with Ariat,” said Susan Alcala, Ariat’s vice president of marketing. “He is the consummate athlete, known for his passion and commitment to his sport, which complements our brand values perfectly.”

Flarida is the National Reining Horse Association’s all-time leading money earner, and the first-ever Three Million Dollar Rider. He has five NRHA Open Futurity championships to his name and has won the All-American Quarter Horse Congress eight times. Yet despite this impressive resume, Flarida is known throughout the industry for his humility and unmatched work ethic.

“I am excited to join the Ariat Pro team,” said Flarida. “Their products, especially their boots, are terrific, and once I find something that works, I like to stick with it.”

Most recently, Flarida capped off his 2009 show season by once again capturing the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Championship and the NRHA Open Futurity title aboard Gunnatrashya. It was the third time in his career that he captured both titles back-to-back and only the fourth time in NRHA history that the feat has been accomplished. With his remarkable earnings in 2009, Flarida has just over $250,000 to earn until he hits the $4 Million Dollar mark in lifetime earnings.

Flarida Takes Two Former NRBC Champions to the 2010 Finals

When it comes to winning championships at the National Reining Breeders Classic, Shawn Flarida has had plenty of experience. This year, he is taking two former NRBC champions to the finals.

RC Fancy Step, owned by Buffalo Ranch, won the Open preliminary go-round with a 227.5, winning a check for $17,159.75. Wimpys Little Chic, who won the event in 2008, gained an additional $7,132.68 for her tie for third thru sixth place with a 225.

Prior to coming to the NRBC, Flarida had picked up earnings in Tampa, Florida and Cloverdale, Indiana, bringing his 2010 total to nearly $20,000. The go-round checks from the NRBC more than double Flarida’s 2010 earnings, bringing this year’s earnings to $43,631 and change. The NRBC has a huge payout, with the winner taking home a check worth $75,000. To watch Shawn, RC Fancy Step and Wimpys Little Chic in the NRBC Open finals, check out the free webcast at www.nrbc.com.

Flarida, RC Fancy Step, Double Down in Cloverdale

For the third year in a row, Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step earned top honors at the Wimpys Little Step Derby, scoring a 231.5 to earn the 2010 title, along with the championship for the concurrently-run Gordyville Breeders Classic Derby.

This year, the event was hosted at the Bluegrass Reining Stakes, presented by the Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association (OVRHA), held March 11-14 at the Crossroads Arena in Cloverdale, Ind. Along with many other unique classes, the event featured the Wimpys Little Step Derby and the Gordyville Breeders Classic Derby. The double win earned Flarida and RC Fancy Step, by Wimpys Little Step and out of Sonita Wilson, by Doc Wilson, checks totaling $11,575.

Flarida Debuts Three at Seminole Hard Rock Derby

When Shawn Flarida showed up at the Seminole Hard Rock Reining Classic Derby in Tampa, Florida, with three horses that he’d never shown before, the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Rider walked away with three great runs and even a couple of paychecks.

Flarida and Wimps Chocolate Chip, owned by Rick Clark, scored a 226.5 to tie for fourth place, and also scored a 224 on Dunit For Sugar, owned by Brian Westbrook, for sixth place. Flarida also scored a 219 on KR Offtoseethewizard, owned by Jeff Kirkbride.

Kirkbride and KR Offtoseethewizard, known around the barn as “Oz,” scored a 223.5 to win the $12,500-added Non Pro Derby. The scored also earned Kirkbride the Intermediate Division title. All totaled, Kirkbride went home with a check worth $7,987.

“I’m very proud of my horses and my non pros,” remarked Flarida after the event. “The horses I showed there were ones I haven’t shown before, but I was extremely happy with how they all performed.”

The Seminole Hard Rock Reining Classic Derby was held February 25-28, 2010, at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, Florida.

Flarida Hooks Futuity Win #5

For Shawn Flarida winning the NRHA Open Futurity is becoming quite a habit. For the fifth time in eight years, Flarida captured the title, this time marking a 228.5 on Gunnatrashya, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA. Marked by head-spinning turns and punctuated by huge stops, the win added $125,000 to Flarida’s $3.3 million-plus lifetime earnings.

“Number five feels just as good as the first one – they’re all special,” Flarida commented after his win.

The win was a special for one for another Million Dollar Rider and NRHA Hall of Famer, Bill Horn. Horn’s wife, Kim, initially saw the horse as a 2-year-old at his breeder’s barn, Dorminy Plantation, in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and Bill thought he would fit Flarida. That fall, the Dorminy’s and Horn’s formed a partnership on the horse, which they later sold to Arcese Quarter Horses early in the summer of 2009. Gunnatrashya, by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunnar, and out of Natrashya, by Trashadeous, is, in Horn’s opinion, a near-replica of “Trash” – so much so that after Flarida’s win at the 2009 All-American Quarter Horse Congress, Horn gave Flarida a seat belt.

Gunnatrashya, by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Gunnar, and out of Natrashya, by Trashadeous, is, in Horn’s opinion, a near-replica of “Trash” – so much so that after Flarida’s win at the 2009 All-American Quarter Horse Congress, Horn gave Flarida a seat belt.

“He turns as hard and as fast as you can stay on him,” Flarida said with a smile. “He rolls back so quick, you gotta pay attention. For such a small horse, he’s very athletic. But his big thing is the stop. You just have to get straight and say the word. I never had the chance to ride ‘Trash’ myself, but Bill says there are so many things this horse does that Trash did, it’s amazing.”

No one was more nervous for Flarida’s ride than Bill and Kim Horn, and while Flarida quickly made his exit to get on his next horse after the big score, the Horns were on the edge of their seats during the agonizing wait – a long one, considering Flarida had drawn up seventh in the 30-entry finals.

“I’d much rather be in the rider’s seat than the owners,” Bill remarked after the run. “But, Shawn really prepares his horses. Each one of them is different, and he prepares them all different, but he’s the greatest.”

“Right behind you,” Flarida added. “I’d have liked to shown him (Gunnatrashya) last, but when you’ve got that horse it doesn’t make much difference. Everyone worries about the draw, but really, if you just do your job and the horse does his, it takes care of itself.”

Flarida nearly gave himself a run for his money, marking a 225.5 on Whizkey N Diamonds to take the third place spot, winning an additional $87,208. He also finished in a tie for tenth on Wimpys Show Stopper, winning $21,081, for a total of $237,102 won at the event, which includes the $3,813 he won in the go-rounds. Prior to the NRHA Futurity, Flarida had won $342,124, giving him a total of more than $579,226 won this year. Flarida is more than halfway to becoming the NRHA’s first Four Million Dollar Rider, less than a year after becoming the very first NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider. His current lifetime earnings stand at $3,598,117.

With the incredible year Flarida has had in 2009, he needs just $401,883 to become the NRHA’s first Four Million Dollar Rider. All eyes will be on Flarida to see if he can hit the historic milestone in 2010. Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, and first NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider. He was just the second rider to earn two million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by eZall, Pards Western Store, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Wrangler, Classic Equine, Purina Mills, Leonard Truck & Trailer/Blue Ribbon Trailers, Lubrisyn, Soft Ride Equine Boots, Rios of Mercedes and Rambo/Horseware Ireland.

Fall ’09 a Busy One for Flarida Barn

The busy fall futurity season has once again shaped up to be a winning one for NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. As the season winds down, Flarida has made it clear that, as usual, he’s got an arsenal of strong contenders lined up for the 2009 NRHA Futurity. Flarida started the fall Futurity run at the Dorminy Plantation in Perry, Georgia, where he won the event on Gunnatrashya, a horse that client Arcese Quarter Horses bought from reining legend Bill Horn earlier this year. In the Bill Horn Derby, held during the same event in Georgia, Flarida finished second to his own assistant, JJ Lawrence, who rode KR Offtoseethewizard, owned by Michele Flarida, who had her first win as an owner, and Cheree Kirkbride. Shawn Flarida finished second on Paddys Irish Cody, owned by Raul Munoz.

The next big event for Flarida was the John Deere Futurity, held at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic. Flarida tied to win third on California Shines, owned by the Loomis-Arcese Partnership. The event netted him a paycheck worth $3,463, but Flarida didn’t waste any time getting to the next show.

Just a few days later, he rolled into Las Vegas for the High Roller Reining Classic, where he topped the event on Whizkey N Diamonds, owned by Clinton Anderson and Kathy Worley. The win paid him a hefty $14,658, and he picked up an additional $3,505 for a seventh place finish on Gunnatrashya. Shortly after picking up his checks in Vegas, Flarida was off to The Tradition, where he won second in the futurity class with Sugars Lil Whiz, owned by Karen Shedlauskas.

Next, Flarida was off to the show that has been a family tradition for him since the age of six – the All-American Quarter Horse Congress. There, Flarida pulled off what has become quite a habit – winning both first and second. Once again, Gunnatrashya, by Gunner and out of Natrashya, by Trashadeous, proved to be a formidable team. The pair scored a 225.5 in the finals to earn the championship – Flarida’s eighth – and a check for $25,000. “He’s is not a very big horse but he’s got a lot of try and he’s such an athlete. He can do stuff that is so amazing,” Flarida said after the event. “He’s a superstar at turning. His circles to the right were good. His stops are incredible. He goes into the ground and it’s like he has another move and he just gets so deep.” Flarida also finished second on Whizkey N Diamonds, the same horse he won the event in Las Vegas on. The pair scored a 222 to earn the reserve title and $13,704.

Vazquez a Triple Threat in Non Pro Reining Stakes

Jose Vazquez posed a triple threat at the 2009 Congress, and the competitive non pro, who rides with Shawn Flarida, proved to be as tough as his trainer. He brought three horses to the finals and earned the top three scores.

Vazquez won the event – and the $4,365 paycheck – on SLJ Ruf Juice with a score of 215.5. The horse was trained by Flarida and out of Vazquez’s successful stallion, Smart Like Juice.

Vazquez was first into the show pen on Shining Juice setting the pace with a score of 215. Vazquez and Shining Juiced shared that score and the reserve title with Jessicah Keller Torpey, earning $3,145. Vazquez earned his third paycheck with a tie for fourth place on SLJ Smart Chexinic, scoring a 213.5 to earn $2,247.

Clark Cleans Up at Congress

You may notice Rick Clark leaving the Congress this year pulling a U-Haul behind his trailer. Clark has accumulated a few more items to take home than he expected, after winning Congress Championships in NRHA Non-Pro Reining, NRHA Novice Horse Non-Pro Reining and AQHA Amateur Reining. His prize load included three championship jackets, three Congress bronzes, a Lawson trophy, a CR Morrison trophy, and three medallions.

“Winning these classes was unbelievable,” Clark said. “It was wonderful!.” “I never expected to do this,” Clark said, still slightly stunned from his victories. “I’ve been coming here all these years, and I’ve never won a class. Then this year – I win three!”

Clark has been involved with horses for the past 20 years, and has been showing for the last 14. He has previously placed in the Top Ten at the Congress. For Clark, riding and showing Reining horses is a relaxing and fun past-time. He is a resident of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, where he is a co-owner of a convenience store chain – Clark’s Pump ‘N Shop.

“I just love to ride Reining horses,” Clark laughed. Clark showed Wimps Chocolate Chip – a four-year-old gelding – in the NRHA Non-Pro Reining, and Chicoutimi – a seven-year-old gelding – in the NRHA Novice Horse Non-Pro Reining and AQHA Amateur Reining. Both horses are kept in training with Shawn Flarida in Springfield, Ohio.

“Shawn gave me a huge hug when I came out of the arena after this last class,” Clark laughed. “He told me I needed to give him back the green shirt I was wearing! I guess I’ve already more than my fair share of good luck.”

This year’s Congress is a dream come true for Clark, and one he will never forget. Luck can always play into a win, but my guess is that hard work, dedication, and a lot of fun made these wins possible for Rick Clark, Shawn Flarida, Wimps Chocolate Chip and Chicoutimi.

Photo by Jeff Kirkbride

CLICK HERE to see Photos from the
Shawn Flarida/Mike Flarida Reining Lecture at the 2009 Congress!

Flarida Barn Leaves Their Mark at the Tradition!

Congratulations to everyone who won and placed at the 2009 Tradition, as well as to those who qualified for the North American Affiliate Finals in Oklahoma City!

Shawn won second on Sugars Lil Whiz, owned by Karen Shedlauskas, earning $2,231. Non pro rider Jose Vazquez won the non pro futurity division on SLJ Smart Chexinic, and also placed third on SLJ Hangten Juice.

In the ancillary classes, Jose Vazquez also topped the $5,000-added Non Pro Class, winning $1,959 on Juiced Up Doc. Rick Clark and Wimps Chocolate Chip earned third, while Jeff Kirkbride and KR Offtoseethewizard took fifth and Dun It With A Splash and Jow Wolfe won sixth overall and second in the prime time non pro. Clark and Wimps Chocolate Chip also topped both the novice horse level one and two classes, while Wolfe and Dun It With A Splash took third in the level two division.

Here’s a list of our non pro qualifiers and winners in the Northeastern Regional Affiliate Finals, who will compete at the NAAC during the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City: Affiliate Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 3rd – Rostamatic and Kim Crupper 4th – WF Talk About Things and Emmy Wolfe, owned by Joe Wolfe Affiliate Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 3rd – Chicoutimi – Rick Clark Affiliate Non Pro 2nd – Joe Wolfe – Dun It With A Splash Affiliate Prime Time Non Pro 1st – Joe Wolfe – Dun It With A Splash

Flarida Rules Competition in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, KY – At the 2009 edition of the Clayton Woosley Hall of Fame Reining, Shawn Flarida once again did what he does best – dominated the competition.

The big draw of the week was the WEG Test event, held at the Kentucky Horse Park’s new, $45 million dollar facility, was a “practice run” of sorts for the 2010 World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the facility. Flarida, competing on his 2004 NRHA Futurity Champion Smart Spook for Team USA, topped the team competition, helping Team USA win gold in the event. Though he scored a 216 in the individual competition, the score still placed him fourth in the individual event. The next evening, he rode KR Lil Conquistador to first-place in the USEF qualifying event.

Flarida followed up the international reining events with a stunning victory in the Clayton Woosley Derby on Sat., July 25, winning the open competition with a 227 on Paddys Irish Cody, owned by Raul Vazquez.

“He’s a really nice horse, and he’s just come into his own,” Flarida said of his derby win on Paddys Irish Cody. “I was pleased to be able to show him up to his potential.”

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, with more than $3 million in lifetime earnings. He is the first rider to earn three million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity and four NRHA Open Derby wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles, Classic Equine, EZ-All, Horseware Ireland/Rambo, Lubrisyn, Leonard Truck &Trailer and Blue Ribbon Trailers, Pards Western Store, Purina Mills, Rios of Mercedes Boots, and Wrangler. For more information, visit www.thegreen shirt.com, or contact kellie@thegreenshirt.com.

Shawn in the News!

Shawn made headlines during his latest trip to Lexington, Kentucky! Click on the following links to read what other people have wrote about our favorite man in green!

Kentucky.com – “Shawn Flarida is a Superstar in Reining”

usef.org – “Team USA wins first Test Event for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games”

Kentucky.com – “Reining: Equestrian with a Country Kick”

RC Fancy Step Carries Shawn Flarida to Fourth NRHA Derby Championship

After sitting out for most of the 2008 derby season due to injury, RC Fancy Step made up for lost time by scoring a blistering 232.5 in the Open Finals to claim the championship as well as the $50,000 paycheck for the Buffalo Ranch of Fort Worth, Texas.

The palomino stallion, by Wimpys Little Step and out of Sonita Wilson by Doc Wilson, scored a 227 to tie for first in the Open go-round, and battled it out with Marco Riocotta and Hollywoodtinseltown for the Open title. After scoring a 232.5 relatively early in the finals draw, Flarida and RC Fancy Step held onto the lead throughout the rest of the night.

“He was so good in there tonight, and he’s one that’s just gotten better and better for me,” Flarida explained after his win. “I’ve really enjoyed working for the Buffalo Ranch, too, so I’m happy for them. They decided to get into reining, and they got in it in a big way with him! I’m happy for them tonight, too.”

Flarida was a triple threat in the finals, and earned third on his outstanding mare, Wimpys Little Chic, better known as “Lexi.” The mare, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, earned a 229.5 in the finals for third place, earning a paycheck for $24,996. Prior to the 2009 NRHA Open Derby, Wimpys Little Chic had $388,186 in lifetime earnings. Her Derby paycheck took her lifetime earnings to $413,182, making her the very first reining horse to ever cross the $400,000-mark in lifetime earnings.

“It’s a historic accomplishment for any horse, but for a mare to be the first to do it is truly amazing,” Flarida remarked. “I’m so grateful to her breeder, Monica Watson, and to her owner, Arcese Quarter Horses, for creating the opportunities for her to be such an outstanding representative of our sport, as well as a truly outstanding individual.”

Flarida also earned a 202.5 on Sammy Ely’s 6-yaer-old gelding, Western Whiz, earning a check for $2,088, taking his total show earnings to $77,084.

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, with more than $3 million in lifetime earnings. He is the first rider to earn three million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity and four NRHA Open Derby wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles, Classic Equine, EZ-All, Horseware Ireland/Rambo, Lubrisyn, Leonard Truck &Trailer and Blue Ribbon Trailers, Pards Western Store, Purina Mills, Rios of Mercedes Boots, and Wrangler. For more information, visit www.thegreenshirt.com, or contact kellie@thegreenshirt.com.

Flarida Takes Three to NRHA Open Derby Finals

Shawn Flarida accomplished the rare feat of taking the maximum of three horses back to the finals of the 2009 NRHA Open Derby in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Flarida was tied to lead the Open go-round with a 227 on RC Fancy Step, owned by Buffalo Ranch. He also made the finals on the NRHA’s leading money-earning horse, Wimpys Little Chic, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, and on Western Whiz, owned by Sammy Ely.

Flarida will be gunning for the record books during the Saturday evening finals, as Wimpys Little Chic, better known as “Lexi,” is less than $12,000 away from breaking the $400,000 mark, a feat that no other reining horse has ever done.

Nothing is better on the subject of “Reining for Rookies” than RHSF Rookie Days presented by Classic Equine. Top reining trainers share their expertise with new reiners and encourage them to become more familiar with NRHA competition. At the end of the day, everyone saddles up to compete for great prizes. Visit RHSF for details.

Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association

July 11 – Jackson, Ohio

Contact: Beth Himes or Rick Clark

Wimpys Little Chic Shatters Earnings Record

Once again, Wimpys Little Chic slid her way into the NRHA history books. After the National Reining Breeders Classic, the flashy palomino mare, better known as “Lexi,” earned more than $83,512 to surpass KR Lil Conquistador as the NRHA’s leading money-earning horse. Prior to the event, Wimpys Little Chic, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, had $304,675 in lifetime earnings, while KR Lil Conquistador, owned by Jeff and Cheree Kirkbride, had $383,066. After Lexi’s earnings were totaled, she stood at $388,187 – just enough to break into the top spot.

The mare, trained and shown by Shawn Flarida, scored a 231.5 in the open finals to win reserve and the open mare bonus as well. It was the second year in a row that Lexi has made history at the NRBC; in 2008, she became the first NRHA Futurity Champion to follow up the Futurity with an NRBC title. After winning the NRHA Derby in 2008, she was the first horse to win reining’s version of a Triple Crown.

“I’m so proud of this mare, she is just so talented and gives it her all every time,” Flarida said. “Mr. Arcese is a great friend and a great owner, so it’s nice to see this kind of success with one of his horses. She’s the best horse I’ve ever ridden – she’s just phenomenal.”

Flarida also did well with his other finalist, RC Fancy Step, owned by Buffalo Ranch. The 5-year-old palomino stallion scored a 230.5 to tie for third place, worth a check for $40,500. “RC” also earned $5,406 in the go-round.

“RC has just really come along and grown up,” Flarida said of the horse, who won the Wimpys Little Step Derby earlier this year. “The older he gets, the better he gets, and he’s getting tougher every time he walks in the pen. I was very proud of him here.”

All totaled, Flarida, who recently surpassed the three million dollar mark, added $129,418 to his lifetime earnings at the show. “It was a great show for us, and I was really pleased with how everything turned out,” Flarida said. “Next stop will be the NRHA Derby, so we’ll see what we can get done there.”

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, and first NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider. He was just the second rider to earn two million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by eZall, Pards Western Store, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Wrangler, Classic Equine, Purina Mills, Leonard Truck & Trailer/Blue Ribbon Trailers, Lubrisyn and Rambo/Horseware Ireland. For more information, contact kellie@thegreenshirt.com, or visit www.thegreenshirt.com.

Vazquez Wins NRBC Non Pro Title

In an exhilarating run on Wound By Juice, Jose Vazquez of Markum, Ill., topped the Non Pro division of the National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, Texas, on April 17. Vazquez scored a 225 on the talented mare out of his own stallion, Smart Like Juice, to win a paycheck worth $37,784, in addition to a $6,210 check for the mare bonus.

Vazquez has been riding with Shawn for the past couple years, and credits the NRHA’s leading rider with helping him achieve even bigger success in the show pen. For his part, Flarida says his job is easy.

“Jose is a great showman, and he really has that competitive drive that puts him on top,” Flarida said. “He’s always been tough in the show pen, but he’s getting even better. I was really proud of him today.” Congratulations Jose!

Flarida Takes Two to NRBC Open Finals

Shawn Flarida is looking for history to repeat itself at the 2009 National Reining Breeders Classic in Katy, Texas, as he takes his two top horses, Wimpys Little Chic and RC Fancy Step, to the Open finals. It was at this same show last year that both horses placed first and second, making history in the process.

This year, Wimpys Little Chic, or “Lexi,” as she is more affectionately known, scored a 227.5 in the go-round, while RC Fancy Step, owned by Buffalo Ranch, scored a 227. Wimpys Little Chic is owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, and is the fourth leading lifetime money-earning horse in the NRHA.

Flarida will compete in the NRBC Open finals on Saturday night.

Flarida and RC Fancy Step Repeat at Wimpys Little Step Derby

CLOVERDALE, INDIANA – NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida put on a repeat performance at the 2009 Spooks Gotta Gun Cabin Fever Classic, featuring the Wimpys Little Step Derby. Riding the 2008 Derby Champion, RC Fancy Step, Flarida and the flashy palomino stallion, owned by Buffalo Ranch of Texas, scored a 229 in a powerful run that earned a paycheck worth $13,206.

“This horse just keeps getting better as he matures,” Flarida said of RC Fancy Step. “He did an really nice job for me there, and I’m looking forward to taking him to the NRBC.”

Flarida also took home seventh place with Whizs Chic A Dee, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses of Weatherford, Texas. The top-10 position earned him and additional $3,445.

The show is always a good one for Flarida, as he has captured the championship the last two years in a row. It is also especially meaningful because his wife, Michele, runs the show and donates the proceeds to charity. This year, the show donated nearly $6,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a cause near and dear to Michele’s heart.

“I’m really proud of Michele, her team, and all the hard work she puts into making this show a success each year,” Flarida said after his win. “It’s a tough job, but she does it well.”

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, with more than $3 million in lifetime earnings. He is the first rider to earn three million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by Bob’s Custom Saddles, Classic Equine, EZ-All, Horseware Ireland/Rambo, Lubrisyn, Leonard Truck &Trailer and Blue Ribbon Trailers, Pards Western Store, Purina Mills and Wrangler.

Shawn Flarida Saddles Available Now!

The new Shawn Flarida saddle made by Bob’s Custom Saddles is now available for purchase! The saddle is custom-built to Shawn’s specifications so that everyone can ride what the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money earner wins in.

“I’m really happy with how this saddle came out, and I stand behind it 100 percent,” Shawn said. “The saddles I have from them are beautiful! I’m looking forward to showing in mine.”

For a list of dealers, check out Bob’s Web site at www.bobscustomsaddles.com. But Shawn recommends buying your Bob’s Shawn Flarida saddle from his longtime sponsor and official merchandise dealer, Pards Western Store. Contact Pards at www.pards.com.

Join Us At The Show!

It’s time once again for the Spooks Gotta Gun Cabin Feature Classic, featuring the Wimpys Little Step Derby. The show, which is organized by Michele Flarida and Beth Himes, is going on its fifth year of competition, and is now one of the NRHA’s top 10 shows.

One thing sets this show apart above others, and that is its charity cause. The show has always benefitted a charity that is close to Michele’s heart, which is usually something involving children. This year, the show’s proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which finds life-saving cures for children battling cancer and other devastating diseases.

Because of the growth of this terrific show, and its dedication to charity, we are seeking out more sponsors for our 2009 event, which will be held March 5-8, 2009, in Cloverdale, Ind. Any kind of sponsorships are welcome, from cash donations to products to be used for prizes or the silent auction. There are plenty of ways to get involved and help us raise money for St. Judes!

For more information, visit www.cabinfeverclassic.com. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping a great cause through all of our love for horses and the western way of life!

Wimpys Little Step, Flarida Make History – Again

Oklahoma City, Okla. – It has been six years since Shawn Flarida won his first NRHA Open Futurity title on Wimpys Little Step, in a run that still holds the record for the highest score in NRHA Futurity history. Fitting that at the 2008 show, both Flarida and Wimpys Little Step were again in the spotlight, this time as millionaires. Flarida unofficially became NRHA’s first Three Million Dollar Rider, while Wimpys Little Step unofficially became an NRHA Million Dollar Sire, making history again as the youngest sire to ever reach the historic milestone.

Flarida, of Springfield, Ohio, became the second rider in history to break the $2 Million mark in 2006 at the FEI World Reining Masters in Denver, Colorado. Bill Horn was the first rider to earn in excess of $1 Million and Tim McQuay is the only other rider to cross the $2 Million earnings level. A mere twelve other riders have crossed the $1 Million earnings plateau in addition to Flarida.

Flarida’s career of showing at NRHA-approved began as a youth competitor in 1981. Since then, he has competed at and won nearly every major reining event in the world. As Flarida’s talent with a horse has propelled him to the very top of the industry, he keeps on writing his name in the history books. Earlier this year, Flarida became the first-ever reiner to win a “Triple Crown,” having won the NRHA Futurity, National Reining Breeders Classic and NRHA Derby aboard Wimpys Little Chic, and now he can add “NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider” to his already stellar resume.

Wimpys Little Step, owned by Mark Schols of Nashville, Tenn., is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Nu Chex To Cash and out of Leolita Step. In the reining arena, Wimpys Little Step earned $185,760, including wins at the 2002 NRHA Open Futurity Championship and 2002 All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity. His offspring include Wimpys Little Chic ($304,670 LTE), RC Fancy Step ($149,135 LTE) and Wimpys Little Buddy ($130,450 LTE).

Wimpys Little Step was bred by Monica Watson of Double Run Farm in Williamston, N.C. The flashy palomino stallion has proven himself as an outstanding sire, having produced a Futurity Champion – Wimpys Little Chic – from his first foal crop. That win also made history, as it marked the first time an NRHA Open Futurity Champion had ever been sired by another NRHA Open Futurity Champion. After a successful first foal crop, in 2008, Wimpys Little Step proved that he could do it again.

Once again, his offspring had an outstanding Futurity, with both the Limited Open Champion and Reserve Champion being by Wimpys Little Step. In the Non Pro Futurity, Tish Fappani also rode a Wimpys Little Step to the Intermediate Championship title, as well as the Reserve Championship in the Non Pro.

Both Flarida and Schols were thrilled to reach their Million Dollar milestones, and Flarida was excited to have reached the goals on the same night. “Mark Schols and I have been friends for years, and reach the status of Three Million Dollar Rider on the same night that Wimp became a Million Dollar Sire is really something,” Flarida said. “There’s a lot of history there together, and I’m really proud of Mark and what he’s done with that horse, and I know he’s happy for me. It’s neat to get to share something like this with a friend.” Congratulations to Shawn, Wimpys Little Step, Mark Schols and Monica Watson!

Flarida ties for lead at AQHA World Show Senior Reining

Shawn Flarida and Smart Spook teamed up again for a successful run in the first go-round of Senior Reining at the 2008 AQHA World Show, held in Oklahoma City, Okla. Flarida and Smart Spook, owned by Rosanne Sternberg, scored a 218 to tie for the lead in the preliminary go-round, which was held on Sunday, Nov. 16.

The Senior Reining Finals will be held the afternoon of Nov. 21. If you can’t make it in person, be sure to watch the live webcast by clicking here. Good luck to Shawn and Smart Spook!

Flarida is Tops in North Carolina

Shawn Flarida rolled into Williamston, N.C., the first weekend of November with two futurity horses, and he came out on top. Flarida marked a 150.5 with Wimps Chocolate Chip to take first in the Carolina Classic Fall Futurity, winning $1,095.06. He also placed fifth on Lethal Whiz to earn an additional $289.87.

After the event, Flarida decided Wimps Chocolate Chip has the talent to make his top three horses to head to the NRHA Futurity later this month. The 3-year-old stallion, by Wimpys Little Step and out of Tejana Chic by Smart Chic Olena, is a half-brother to Senor Tejano Whiz, a gelding that won the Congress Open Futurity for Flarida in 2006. Flarida will now be showing his 2008 Congress Open Futurity Champion, Whizs Chic A Dee, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses, Skid Whiz, owned by Loomis Quarter Horses, and Wimps Chocolate Chip, owned by Schols & Loeske, at the 2008 NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City.

After the North Carolina event, Flarida needs just $35,801.28 to hit the record $3 Million Dollar Rider mark. He will be showing two horses, including his 2004 NRHA Open Futurity Champion Smart Spook, in the Senior Reining at the AQHA World Show, just a week prior to the NRHA Futurity. Keep checking the news section of his Web site, at www.thegreenshirt.com, for up-to-date information on the quest for $3 Million!

Himes Brings Home The “Loot”

Non Pro client Beth Himes brought home some loot from the Loot for Grassroots show, held in Denver Oct. 14-18, 2008. Himes made both the Intermediate and Non Pro finals with a 217 in the first go on Ima Boon Too. She finished overall 11th in the Intermediate Non Pro and 15th in the Non Pro against a very tough class of talented horses.

Beth reported the show was very fun and a great event for grassroots reiners. Congratulations to Beth on an outstanding job!

Flarida Ties for Seventh Congress Title

Columbus, Ohio – For the past three years, Shawn Flarida has dominated the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Open Reining Futurity. After the dust settled over the 2008 event, Flarida can now make that four in a row. He tied Bryant Pace and All Juiced Up with a 224 on Whizs Chic A Dee to share the Open Futurity title, marking his seventh Congress Futurity Championship overall.

Flarida also tied for eighth on Skid Whiz with a 219.5, and tied for 12th on Megas Sugar Baby with a 219.

When the checks were tallied, Flarida took home an impressive $33,092.57, including a check worth $1,834 for winning the NRHA Open class on his 2004 NRHA Futurity Champion, Smart Spook. That win put Spook, owned by Rosanne Sternberg, over the $300,000 NRHA earnings mark, making him just the third horse to do so. In fact, all three horses that have now earned more than $300,000 in NRHA reining competition – Einsteins Revolution, KR Lil Conquistador and Smart Spook – have all been shown and won on by Flarida. Prior to the Congress, Smart Spook was just $44 short of the $300,000-mark.

“I’m really happy for Rosanne and Spook,” Shawn said after the win. “He’s always been a great horse for me, and I’m glad he’s now got that accomplishment to his name.”

The money took a big chunk off Flarida’s quest to become the first-ever NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider. Prior to the event, he needed approximately $70,000 to get to the goal, and now that margin is cut to just $37,286.15. Flarida also won reserve in the AQHA Senior Reining on Spooks Rey Jay, owned by Jimmy Pierce, but the earnings from that class do not count toward NRHA money.

During the Friday night Open Futurity finals, Flarida put together a solid run on Whizs Chic A Dee, the same horse that won titles in St. Paul and Tulsa, but the run wasn’t without some hiccups.

“On my right spin, I lost my stirrup and that cost us a little bit,” Flarida said after his run. “It was human error, for sure.”

Still, Flarida’s score was announced at a 225, but later adjusted to a 224. Competing as draw third Open draw in a field of 24 finalists, Flarida knew he had left the door open a little bit, but it was a tough night for everyone. One by one, the top horses from the go-round all struggled with bobbles in their runs, and as the competition came down to the last few, it was anybody’s game. When Pace rode into the ring, Flarida knew his leading score was in jeopardy.

“Bryant has a great horse, and he’s been competitive all season,” Flarida said of Pace, who beat him at The Tradition Futurity in early September. “But any of these guys in the finals could have come in and won. There were some very talented horses here.”

Pace put together a smooth run, and his score was announced at a 224 – tying for the lead. While the reining enthusiasts at the Congress hoped for a run-off, the two horsemen decided to share the title.

“If this were it, I’d have loved to run it off,” Pace explained. “But we’ve got another horse show coming up here pretty quick, and you have to think about these horses. We both have good mounts for Oklahoma City, and we didn’t want to make them run them again tonight. It would have been nice for the crowd, but I’m happy to share with Flarida.”

Flarida was equally proud to share the title with Pace. “We’ve tied each other a lot over the years,” he said. “He’s got a great horse, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen in Oklahoma City.”

The NRHA Futurity is the next stop for Flarida and his top 3-year-olds. With just seven weeks to go until the run for the roses, you can bet that Shawn Flarida will be on top of his game in his quest for a fifth NRHA Futurity title and another record-setting year.

Flarida is the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Money-earning rider, with more than $2.9 million dollars won and counting. He is just the second rider to earn two million dollars in NRHA competition, and has four NRHA Open Futurity wins to his credit. Flarida is proudly sponsored by eZall, Pards Western Store, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Wrangler, Classic Equine, Purina Mills, Leonard Truck & Trailer/Blue Ribbon Trailers, Lubrisyn and Rambo/Horseware Ireland.

Non Pros, Assistants Excel at Congress

Kimberly Crupper and “Maximillion” after their win in the Non Pro Freestyle Reining

It was another successful year at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress for the non pro riders from the Shawn Flarida barn. Many went home with titles and paychecks in their pockets as the 2008 edition of the Congress came to a close.

The big winner of the weekend was Kimberly Crupper, who won the Cinch Non Pro Freestyle eventand was reserve in the Open Freestyle after an exhilarating run on Quick Enterprise, owned by Kim and her husband, Allen.The pair did a routine to “Pink Cadillac” in front of a packed house in the Ohio State Fairground Coliseum and rode away with a score of 225.

“My horse was really great tonight,” Kim said after her run. “He’s been a little off this week, but he really came through tonight and did an awesome job.”

Also ending the week in the winner’s circle was Sammy Ely, who won the NRHA Novice horse Non Pro class on Western Whiz. Ely and “Western” scored a 220.5 to top the class and earn a paycheck worth $1034.

In the Non Pro Reining Futurity, Jose Vazquez pulled off a double feat, placing second and third for the second year in a row. Vazquez scored a 219 on SLJ Dun Juiced up to earn $4,148, then followed with a 217.5 on Juicetta, earning $3,111. Joe Wolf finished fourth on Dun It With A Splash, scoring a 216.5 to earn $2,667. Rick Clark finished eighth with a 212.5 on Step North, earning $1,630. Rick also finished 11th on Cee Whos Talkin, marking a 209 to earn $1,037.

In the NRHA Ladies Reining, Beth Himes scored a 210 on Im A Boon Too to tie for 12th in the class (no earnings available). Kimberly Crupper won fifth in the Congress Non Pro Reining Futurity on Roustamatic, scoring a 205.5. Crupper earned $414 for the run.

Show assistant and non pro Vincienzo Santos of S. Solon, Ohio, scored a 207 on his horse Wittle Man Whizard to place 14th in the NRHA Limited Non Pro Reining, earning $16.23. In the NRHA Intermediate Non Pro Reining, Allen Crupper scored a 203.5 on Quick Enterprise, earning 14th place. Rick Clark rode Whizin In The Dirt in the NRHA Non Pro Reining and scored a 206 to also place 14th. Rick had better luck in the Amateur Reining, placing fourth on Chicoutimi with a 213, and sixth on Whizin in The Dirt after scoring a 212.5. No earnings were available for the Amateur Reining class.

Head Assistant Robin Schoeller did very well in the Open Futurity go-round, scoring a 223 to make both the Open and Intermediate Open finals. In the Friday night finals, Schoeller scored a 217.5 to place 16th in the Open Futurity and 9th in the Intermediate Open Futurity on Didyoucallmewimpy, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses. Schoeller added $2,037 to his lifetime earnings from the event, and plans to show the horse at the NRHA Futurity in November.

In the NRHA Limited Open Reining, assistant trainer Jed Lawrence placed third on SM A Smart Jr, owned by Cougaike SA of Springfield, Ohio, with a score of 215. It was quite an accomplishment for Lawrence, who was only showing for the third time of his career at Shawn Flarida Reining Horses.

All in all, it was a successful Congress, and the Flarida team made a strong showing. Watch for Beth Himes next week, as she is showing at the Loot for Grassroots in Denver. Best of luck, and congratulations to all the winners at the 2008 Congress!

Reiners Rule in Clemson

The Shadow Oak Derby in Clemson, S.C., provided another chance for Shawn Flarida to chip away at the $3 Million Dollar Mark. Flarida rodeo Walla Walla Whiz to the $20,000-added Open Derby win with a score of 229, earning just over $8,600. The win put Flarida within $70,000 of hitting $3 Million.

In the $10,000-added Shadow Oak Non Pro Derby, several reiners from the Flarida barn also did well. Jose Vasquez dominated the competition, winning first with a score of 222 of Wound By Juice, and also winning fourth on SLJ Dun Juice with a 219.5.

Sammy Ely rode Western Whiz to the Prime Time Non Pro Championship, and also placed third in the Intermediate Non Pro competition iwht a 217.

Jeff Kirkbride also competed in the event, and took sixth in the Non Pro and second in the Intermediate Non Pro. Congratulations to all the riders, and special thanks to Rick Clark for the show report.

Betty Flarida honored at AQHA Youth World Show

She sits on the sidelines at almost every major NRHA event, cheering for her sons and grandson, but Betty Flarida does so much more for the horse industry than simply being a cheerleader. She is also a very active leader in the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, serving as the Ohio Youth Advisor since 1989.

At the 2008 AQHYA Youth World Show, Betty was honored for her hard work and dedication to the orgainization’s youth as the Wrangler Youth Leader of the Year.

Acording to an article in the AQHA Journal, Betty is an extremely dedicated youth leader who even celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary with her husband Bill, at the AQHA Youth Excellence Seminar. She attended more than 10 Association meetings last year and encouraged all of Ohio’s youth members to take part in fundrasing. Those fundraising projects included selling Congress parking passes, raffles, silent auctions and a “Ladies Dress-Up” Pleasure class.

Thanks in part to the dedication of leaders like Bill and Betty Flarida, Ohio’s membership has increased by more than 100 youth in the past year. Betty is also on the National Youth Activities Committee, and serves as a 4-H advisor as well. All this, and she still finds time to attend all the major NRHA shows and spend lots of time with her grandkids!

Betty, Shawn and Michele are very proud of all your accomplishments – thank you for all you do! And, special thanks to Shawn’s sponsor Wrangler for presenting this special award to his mom. Congratulations Betty!