Franco Bertolani Pilots Chexmaster to Darling 888 Developing Horse Championship at Tulsa Reining Classic

The Darling 888 Ranch Developing Horse Futurity at the Tulsa Reining Classic was created with the goal of allowing reining horses to develop and perform at their own pace. This marks the fourth year of the Developing Horse Futurity, and with a 10% increase in entries over the previous year, it is evident that the exhibitors feel the same.

There were 82 entries that competed in the Ford Truck Arena at the Expo Square, and Franco Bertolani and Chexmaster bested the field with a 219.5 to win $3,982, a Lawson bronze, a saddle from Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a sheet from Back On Track products.

“I was very happy with him today. He’s very easy to prepare and show, so it makes me comfortable and trusting when it comes to showing him,” Bertolani said of the Nu Chex To Cash stallion out of Snip O Gun. “I got him about a year ago and he has been a really good horse. I showed him in Colorado about a month ago and he was really good. I’m so proud of him.”

Bertolani will be taking Chexmaster to Las Vegas in a couple weeks, and noted that the Developing Horse Futurity was the perfect class to compete with the horse. “I have another horse entered in the (Hollywoodstinseltown) Futurity on Saturday, and I wanted to show this horse a little easier and save him a little today since we’ll be showing him again soon.”

Now living in Aubrey, Texas, Bertolani moved to the United States from Brazil eight years ago. He says that Tulsa is one of his favorite places to show. “I love Tulsa. Last year was my first year here and I love it. It’s a nice facility with good ground and great arenas. You can really show your horse here,” he said.

Taking the Reserve Championship in the Open Level 4 and the Championship of the Levels 2 and 3 was Sebastian Petroll and Magnums Shining Rey with a 218.5. The wins netted $6,891, a pair of boots from Rios of Mercedes, a spa treatment from Equine Saltwater Spa, wraps from Back On Track, two Lawson bronzes, gift certificates from Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a sheet from Back On Track.

For Petroll, the Magnum Chic Dream gelding, owned by Kathy and Larry Barker, is special. “He is out of Shiners Miss Rey, who is part of a successful family and had a great show career herself. I was fortunate enough to be able to rider her a little towards the end of her career.” He added, “It’s fun to ride colts out of her because it feels like I already know them. This is the second one out of her. I knew early on that he was a pretty special horse.”

According to Petroll, Magnums Shining Rey must have read his playbook. “I wanted to show him here (in the Developing Horse Futurity) and be soft enough that I could get him started but I still wanted to get something done and test him out a little bit. That worked out really good. He must have read the manual,” he said with a laugh. “I just didn’t feel like I wanted to step on him too much at this point in time. I felt like if I put him here I could take a little more time and still push him a little bit.”

The week will be busy for Petroll’s barn. “I’ve got more to show. We’re in the Futurity and Derby and we have four million non pros, so we’re going to be riding all night and all day,” he said. “We love coming to Tulsa. The customers really want to bring their horses here because they enjoy how exhibitor friendly it is.”

Finishing Reserve in Open Levels 2 and 3 was Stefano Massignan and Ten Surprizes, by Hang Ten Surprize out of Holly O Jay. The pair scored a 218 was good for a $2,500 payday, as well as a saddle blanket from Yucca Flatts, denim product from Ariat, a spa treatment from Equine Saltwater Spa, and two pairs of wraps from Back On Track.

With a 216, Josh Murphy claimed the Open Level 1 Championship and fourth in the Open Level 2 on CBK A Nu Kinda Spark, worth $1,407. He also won a Morrison bronze, a headstall, and a $50 gift certificate from Santa Cruz Animal Health. “This is just a really good horse that anyone would love to show. He’s a huge stopper and great minded and he was great today – just like any other day riding him,” Murphy said of the Jacs Electric Spark Stallion, out of HR Wright On Cash.

The 21-year-old rides with Steve Defrang near Rochester, Minnesota. “It was a long trip – about a 12- hour drive, but it’s a great show. I’ll be showing another horse in the Derby on Sunday,” he said. “I thank the owners for letting me ride this horse – they’ve raised a good one.”

There was a four-way tie for Reserve, with each taking home $387. Saar Ben Hamo and Gunners Burnettechic; Kyle Shaw and A Great Red Bingo; David Hutton and The Gunsho; and Josh Crawley and Jessies Lil Dreamer all marked a 215.5.

The American Paint Horse Association also presented the high-scoring paint horse of the Darling 888 Ranch Developing Horse Futurity with a Gist Silversmiths buckle. APHA Director of Business Development Kalyn Sanders was on hand to present the award, which was won by Ruben Vandorp and Smokininthestarlight, owned by Duane Whitehouse.

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