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Craig Schmersal Wins Novice Horse Open on Gunners Star
After four days of paid warm-ups and preparations, the competition at the 2012 Southwest Reining Horse Association Futurity presented by Billingsley Ford began with the Novice Horse Open Level Two. There were just shy of a hundred horses in the class on October 16 and when it came down to the last three horses, the lead was held in a tie at 73.5 by Jordan Larson on Sammy Graham's Brother Gun and Joe Schmidt on Great Whiz Bar owned by Judy Box.

That's when Craig Schmersal entered the arena on Gunners Star, owned by Frank Costantini. Minutes later the lead had changed with a solid 74 point ride on the 3-year-old that has already been a futurity finalist this year at the Rocky Mountain Summer Slide. The class win came with a champion Skyline buckle and $1,960.

The Futurity competition will begin on Wednesday with the First Section of the $86,000 added Open Futurity preliminaries. The action kicks off at 8 am and viewers at home can visit for a detailed schedule, draws and the Waltenberry Video Productions live feed sponsored by Purina.

Often tagged "Where the Best Go First," the SWRHA Futurity is a must-attend event for reiners. For most, it is the final stop before the National Reining Horse Association Futurity, which begins November 22 in Oklahoma City. It is supported by a group of sponsors led by Billingsley Ford, Winstar Casino, Anderson Bean Boot Company, The South Farm and Jerry Kimmel/Dun Gotta Gun-Mister Nicadual.