The name Fappani is synonymous with the winner’s circle and this fall was no different for the Italian-born reiner. The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) unofficially congratulates NRHA Professional Andrea Fappani for becoming the newest NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider.
Fappani is only the second NRHA Professional in history to reach this monumental milestone. As soon as the 2020 show season resumed, Fappani hit the ground running and he’s been on a hot streak ever since.
At the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, Fappani rode Spooks Gotta Outfire (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Black Custom Chex) for owners Clemerson Gomes Barbalho and Mark Weissman to a 225.5. This was enough to take third place in the Open Level(L) 4 Finals and was the first chunk of change that inched Fappani closer to his six-million-dollar rider status.
Several top tier finishes at the rescheduled 2020 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) sent Fappani home with over $70,000 in his pocket. This trend continued at the High Roller Reining Classic and the Friends of Reining Futurity in Tennessee where Fappani made his $50,000+ payday look easy. Here are some of Fappani’s top finishes in 2020:
- NRBC Hollywoodstinseltown Open Futurity L4 – First place: $12,720
- NRBC Open Classic Finals L4 – Fourth place: $25,000
- Friends of Reining Open Futurity Finals L4 – First place: $30,000; third place: $13,306; and fifth place: $9,504
- AzRHA Best of the West Yellowstone Open Futurity L4 – First place: $20,072; and second place: $12,218
Originally from Italy, Fappani trains reining horses in Scottsdale, Arizona, at Rancho Rio Oso, LLC. He became an NRHA member in 1994 and traded in his non pro card to become a professional just three years later. In 2006, Fappani became one of the youngest NRHA Million Dollar Riders in history.
“When I came to the states in 1997, my dream was to win the Futurity,” Fappani said. “In 2001 I was lucky enough to do that. I had to ask myself what next because that was my lifetime goal.”
The humble showman has never solely focused on chasing his LTE, it’s always been about progressing his horsemanship. Fappani is especially proud of the consistency he’s displayed in his career year after year.
“I’ve always been scared of having a great year and following it up with a not so great one,” Fappani said. “It’s never been about winning, it’s always been about consistency in my training program and showing that I can make the same things happen again and again.”
Many of Fappani’s current clients have stuck with him since the first year he ran his own program. The trust Fappani has built with his clients is on full display each time he performs.
“When you have people behind you that trust you and don’t question the decisions you make as a trainer, it gives you a lot of freedom to treat their horses as your own,” Fappani explained. “Having clients like that behind me as a trainer has been one of my greatest assets in my career so far. And then I have a great team who keep me in a position where I can concentrate on my training and just get better every year.”
In the race to seven million, Fappani isn’t far behind NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. Congratulations to Andrea Fappani on this monumental accomplishment!
Photo by Cam Essick