Marco Sacchetti made the trip from his home in Reggio Emilia, Italy count on Monday night, with a 219-point win on Puddy Lil Puppy in the NCHA Futurity Rios of Mercedes Amateur Finals. Allison Barker, Texarkana, Tex., and Pure Hal took reserve with 216 points.
“The second bunch seemed better than the first,” said Sacchetti, who worked third in the second set of the 30-horse finals. The high score in the first set was 211 points shared by Gary Rosenbach on Seal Team 6 and John Lindsey with Cuttin Checks, who would tie for fifth place.
Sacchetti, second-place with 215 points in the Semi-Finals, purchased Puddy Lil Puppy, by Athena Puddy Cat, six months ago at the Breeders Invitational through Brad Mitchell, who also trained Smart Freckled Cat, the horse Sacchetti showed as reserve champion in the 2011 NCHA Super Stakes Amateur Finals.
“Brad Mitchell is fantastic,” said Sacchetti, who had never ridden a horse until eight years ago, when his daughter began riding lessons at a stable where a trainer worked his cutting horses on a flag.
“I fell in love with it,” said Sacchetti. “It changed my life. I bought more land, more horses.”
“He’s already using more cattle than most trainers in Europe because his facility is so good,” noted Markus Schopfer, a top reining horse trainer in Europe and Sacchetti’s translator here in the winner’s circle.
“We have a lot of problems in Europe with the cows, so we use a lot of flags, said Sacchetti, who along with Schopfer pointed out that the cattle in Europe are sub-standard, compared to those in the U.S., when it comes to cutting.
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