Getting the Most from Your Horse

I just returned from a trip to Oklahoma City for the 2017 NRHA Derby, the aged event that celebrates 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old reining horses. It’s always fun to see the horses that competed in the prior year’s Futurity, as well as returning Futurity champions all in one building. I’ll post some photos from my trip later, but first, I thought it’d be good to learn how to get the most from your horse in the reining pen from the 2016 NRHA Futurity Champion (and NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider) Andrea Fappani and the NRHA Reiner.

The surprise wasn’t really that Fappani had won the Lucas Oil NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity, but the surprise was what horse he won it on, and how he did it.

Spooky Whiz joined the Fappani training barn at the end of his 2 year old year after Fappani purchased him through agent Eduardo Salgado for Rancho Oso Rio, an NRHA Million Dollar Owner. While the dark bay gelding was a bit on the small size, Fappani could tell, even at an early age, that he had exactly the mind he was looking for.


Read more on the PDF:

Trainer Talk: Getting the Most from Your Horse with Andrea Fappani


America’s Horse: Smokey the Pony

This time last year an equine star was born…and we’re not talking about American Pharoah.  Instead, we’re talking about his track pony, Smokey, the buckskin Quarter Horse with a golden, dappled coat and the demeanor that drew crowds to him.

I got to know more about “Smokey the Pony” when I wrote a profile piece for the National Reining Horse Association’s The Reiner magazine. It was a piece of a lifetime, since I got to talk with Bob Baffert (one of my favorite Thoroughbred racing trainers) and Donna Brothers, former jockey and NBC Thoroughbred racing analyst. Follow along on Smokey’s journey from a snowy birth to his star shining so bright, Hollywood came calling.

Read more: This Whiz Shines: America’s Sweetheart HS-Smokey the Pony HorseSM-page-001 HS-Smokey the Pony HorseSM-page-002