January 31, 2023

Shawn Flarida and Andiamoe Win 2022 NRHA Futurity Open Championship

Shawn Flarida and Andiamoe Win 2022 NRHA Futurity Open Championship

When Andiamoe hit the entrance to the Jim Norick Coliseum, the crowd was already cheering. They’d watched the absolutely masterful go-rounds, where Shawn Flarida and the royally bred mare had marked 228.5 and 224.5. They knew what they were in store for.

When Flarida hit the first stop, the crowd was so loud he wasn’t sure Andiamoe heard him. Regardless, Andiamoe knew the drill, sliding to a stop and scooting her way back to the center. From there, she riled the crowd up even further. On his final stop, Flarida’s smile was visible from the back gate.

As the score of 230 rang out over the audience, Flarida earned his seventh NRHA Open Futurity Championship and a payday of $350,000. With the win, he had launched himself squarely into the mix for The American Performance Horseman.

“She’s a very happy horse. I just tried to stay out of her way,” Flarida said. “She’s so determined, and she’s so confident. Sometimes I’ve just got to be there to pet her and tell her, ‘Hey, you did good.’ Very seldom do I ever have to tell her to work harder. We do a lot of petting and a lot of walking.”

Flarida called Andiamoe a clone of her mother, NRHA Million Dollar Dam Wimpys Little Chic. Flarida earned his fourth Futurity Championship on the palomino in 2007. To make the feat more impressive, Flarida earned an NRHA Open Futurity Championship on Andiamoe’s father, as well, NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya.

“Andiamoe is just so special. She’s amazing,” Flarida said.

Andiamoe was bred, nominated, and owned by NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Arcese Quarter Horses.

Flarida credited his steady mindset throughout the intense week to his family, saying his son Sam Flarida is the one who coaches him throughout the process.

“From the time I get my chaps on to the time I go in, he says some of the most important things to me,” Flarida said. “Tonight, he told me to move my hand slow, to trust myself, ‘This is yours. You’ve been building yourself up to do this, and your horse is ready, and she looks cool.’ He was very instrumental in making sure I got through that gate.”

Flarida said the list of those to thank would be too long for the page, but those at the top included his family, friends, wife, Sam, and his owners.

“And my horse. She is absolutely amazing,” he said.

Finishing as the Level 4 Open Reserve Champions were Customize My Dream and NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary. The pair put together a solid 228.5 run, earning a cool $150,000 for owner Devin Warren. Customize My Dream, by NRHA Eight Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream out of Gunna Be Custom, was nominated by Garth Hystad, who received $7,500.

Rounding out the top three and earning $100,000 was Abby Lengel and her horse Bringnthaheat. Lengel bred, nominated, raised, and trained the talented mare by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Inferno Sixty Six out of Tackie Dreams.

Level 3 Open Champions – Matt Mills & Walla Be A Bigstar

Drawing last in the MS Diamonds Level 4 Open Finals is a coup, and NRHA Million Dollar Rider Matt Mills planned to capitalize on it. He knew the scores to beat, so when he rode into the Jim Norick Coliseum on Walla Be A Bigstar, he did so with authority.

Read more:

NRHA News – National Reining Horse Association