All Guns Firing

Tinker With Guns shoots through the second-place blockade to claim the 2011 NRHA Derby open title.

Tinker With Guns shoots through the second-place blockade to claim the 2011 National Reining Horse Association Derby open title.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Andrea Fappani stops Tinker With Guns en route to winning the NRHA Derby open title. To see more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

The barrier was set at 226.5

By the time Andrea Fappani rode into the Jim Norick Coliseum at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, three riders were tied in the open finals of the National Reining Horse Association Derby, and no one had been able to break through that blockade.

Andrea felt good about his chances, though. He had ridden Tinker With Guns twice before this year, scoring a 227.5 at the Cactus Classic and a 229 at the National Reining Breeders Classic. Plus, he just liked the horse.

“I loved him from the first day when I started riding him,” Andrea said. “He’s my type of my horse. He’s really feely, but quiet enough at the same time. He’s really one of those you don’t come by very often. He’s a good match for me. He’s an athletic horse, a smaller horse, and really athletic and I like those kinds.”

Tinker With Guns is a 2006 sorrel stallion by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Tinker Nic by Reminic. He was bred by Pat and Jim Warren, who own Rancho Oso Rio in Scottsdale, Arizona.

AQHA Professional Horseman Randy Paul initially broke the stallion, Andrea quickly said, adding that he only built on Randy’s work.

“Sometimes those athletic horses are harder because if you make a mistake, it shows, but if you put the hammer down in the finals, they give you everything they’ve got,” Andrea said.

On July 2 when Andrea put the hammer down in the finals, “Shooter” scored a 228, good enough to take home the Derby title.

To see more action from the finals, watch the Journal slide show below. Click on each photo to read the caption.

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