Journal on the Road

Gunning It Out

December 2, 2011

Tinker With Guns follows up his Derby win with Shootout title at the 2011 NRHA Futurity.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Tinker With Guns and Andrea Fappani

Andrea Fappani rides Tinker With Guns for Rancho Oso Rio of Scottsdale, Arizona. (Journal photo) To see more photos, scroll to the slide show below.

We still don’t know what Tinker With Guns can do.

The horse has had a brilliant show season this year, but rider and trainer Andrea Fappani says he has yet to ask Tinker With Guns to give 100 percent.

“This horse is special,” Andrea said. “I’m still saving it.”

On December 1, Andrea and Tinker With Guns topped a star-studded roster of competitors to score a 231.5 and win the National Reining Horse Association World Championship Shootout in Oklahoma City.

“It was a very deep class (with) a lot of nice horses in it,” Andrea said. “This horse has been great for me all year. I showed him quite a few times this year, and he kept getting better every time. I started off by winning the Cactus Classic on him, then we went to the NRBC and I was (third) there. Came here to the (NRHA) Derby and won it. And then I went to the Reining by the Bay and won that derby with a 231. He just kept getting better for me.”

After about three months of rest, the horse’s owner and breeder, Jim and Pat Warren of Rancho Oso Rio in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Andrea decided to try to get the horse’s earnings above $200,000. The 2006 stallion had $197,267 in his bag as he ran into the pen for pattern 10 December 1, and the more than $31,000 he won will easily top $200,000.

“He’s a great horse,” Andrea said. “This run was a solid run. He’s an amazing stopper, so I always count on my stops. I just tried to stay clean everywhere else. He turns really well, too, but on the circles, I always back off, because to me, the circles, when you push a horse as fast as they can go, that’s when … you use up your horse. I’m lucky enough that I’ve got a big stop and big turns on him, so I backed off and tried to be clean, and opened him up in the stops.”

Tinker With Guns is a sorrel by Colonels Smoking Gun and out of Tinker Nic by Reminic. He was started by AQHA Professional Horseman Randy Paul then had an injury that kept him out of competition as a 4-year-old. Andrea thinks that long rest is why the horse is so tough now.

For more photos from the NRHA Shootout competition, see the Journal slide show below. Click on each photo to read about it. Look for more photos in the January edition of Journal Plus, free to subscribers of The American Quarter Horse Journal.

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