Push To Play
Gianluca Munarini on Push To Play. Andrea Bonaga photos.

Open and Non-Pro World Champion riders traveled to Lyon, France from the U.S. for the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting, but Italian trainer Gianluca Munarini, riding Push To Play for Roberto Cuoghi of Italy, took the week’s top honors in the $25,000-added Open finals on October 30. It was the first Mercuria NCHA World Series event held outside of North America.

A large, enthusiastic crowd watched as Push To Play marked 223 for a one-point win over Shesa Little Cat, owned and shown by Marco Salvatori of Italy. Bronc Willoughby was the top American rider, taking Dual Reward to fourth place for Daniel Jaeggi of Switzerland. Push To Play’s win was worth over $8,000.

See the full results.

Push To Play is a 10-year-old Kit Dual mare out of Loverboys Missy, by Freckles Loverboy. She is a half-sister to $174,000 earner Honkytonk Diva.

Cats Puma
Bill Lacy on Cats Puma

The U.S. contingent fared better in the Non-Pro where Bill Lacy of Crested Butte, Colorado marked 216 to win by two points over Italy’s Livio De Michiel on Be A Peppy Hunter. Lacy rode Cats Puma, his 2009 Breeders Invitational finalist by High Brow Cougar out of Stylish Freckles, by Docs Stylish Oak.

Cats Puma, whose earnings will go over $50,000 with his $7,700 payday, is a 6-year-old three-quarter-brother to $112,000 earner Stylin Cat.

Livio De Michiel got his reserve championship on Be A Peppy Hunter, a son of Be A Smart Hunter that Gianluca Munarini rode to a reserve championship in the 2007 AICH Derby.

See full results.