Cashin The Big Chex and Andrea Fappani hit the jackpot in the John Deere Futurity Open.
Looks aren’t everything. For a little colt foaled in Texas and born for attention, they were just the beginning. Cashin The Big Chex was bred by Mozaun McKibben and Hillary Zimmerman, and when he came into the world, he was all-over eye-catching. His dam, Docs Peppy Jessica (by Peppy San Badger), was as sorrel as they come, and she had never produced any color. But here he was, a Big Chex To Cash son splashed with fancy white overo markings. Cashin The Big Chex’s proud owners kept Tish and Andrea Fappani, part of the 23 Partnership that owns the 2002 stallion Big Chex To Cash (Nu Chex To Cash x Snip O Gun x One Gun), updated with pictures of their standout stud colt.
Cashin The Big Chex continued to demand attention as McKibben started the colt.
“I remember Mozaun told me he was really feely and he bucked like crazy, and he was just real- ly hard to break,” Fappani said. McKibben was interested in sell- ing the horse, and Fappani made the trip to Whitesboro, Texas. “I went and tried him, and he just reminded me so much of his dad. Early on, Tammye Hutton sent his dad to Mike McEntire because they couldn’t break him at the farm because he used to buck everybody off.”
Anyone who saw Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Rider Fappani stylishly ride Big Chex To Cash to even one cent of his $219,265 in lifetime money would never have guessed at his wild beginning, and Fappani was hoping history would repeat itself. He purchased Cashin The Big Chex and later sold him to Jim and Pat Warren’s Rancho Oso Rio, Scottsdale, Ariz., where Fappani bases his training operation.
Things began to click once the colt got his confidence, Fappani said, and then he was on a 180-degree course. “Now, you can’t get him wound up,” Fappani explained. But Cashin The Big Chex didn’t lose his role as attention- getter. In fact, he settled into it quite nicely when his first time in the show pen he won the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic John Deere Futurity Level 4 Open with a score of 225.
“Today was the first time he showed, but I think he showed how mature he is. A lot of people showed two-handed today, and I felt comfortable going one-handed,” Fappani said after his win, which came with a $13,795 paycheck. Cashin The Big Chex took his first opportunity in the show pen to demonstrate that he gives attention as easily at he gets it. He was 100 percent there for his rider.
“He’s been a solid little horse, and he went in and showed just like I thought. I never had to get his attention, and he felt more like a 4-year-old than a 3-year-old,” Fappani said. “He’s a broke lil’ horse. That’s the challenge, to get these 3-year-olds to perform and handle the show pen like older horses, and he feels like he’s there the first time he was shown.”
Fappani said the stallion will get 30 days off, then likely show at a small futurity in late October/early November before competing at the National Reining Horse Association Futurity in Oklahoma City, Okla., at the end of the year. While Cashin The Big Chex gets a well-deserved break, there’s no rest for Fappani, who showed two futurity horses and one derby horse in Tulsa and had three more of each lined up for the High Roller Reining Classic, Sept. 12-18.
“This year, we broke about 50 2-year-olds, and I’m still rid- ing about 12 3-year-olds for the [NRHA] Futurity right now,” said 34-year-old Fappani, who also won this year’s NRHA Derby on Tinker With Guns (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Tinker Nic x Reminc). “I just love doing it. This year, it’s going well. It’s a year that I’ve had good success on derby horses [$174,613 through the ATRC, according to Equi-Stat], and I’m really excited about the group of 3-year-olds that I’ve got. I’m super- excited to keep going and see.”
Quarter Horse News
By Erin Haynes and Pat Feuerstein
October 15, 2011