AMERICANA 2023 – Strong start in a new location: Grischa Ludwig: "Team has achieved a masterpiece"

47,200 visitors provide for full spectator ranks and lecture forums - sold out evening shows present top sport and the passion of the horse in all facets

More than 400 horses, 600 cattle, almost 1,000 entries and 288 exhibiting companies on more than 62,000 square meters of space – that was AMERICANA 2023, which was held for the first time at Messe Friedrichshafen and received an overwhelming response from a total of 47,200 visitors. "The great success of the AMERICANA premiere in Friedrichshafen from the very first day of the show has carried us away and excited us," said Klaus Wellmann, Managing Director of Messe Friedrichshafen. "With this XXL transformation into a Wild West world, the Western Way of Life has found its new home on Lake Constance."

The two partners AMERICANA GmbH and Messe Friedrichshafen only had a few months to organize the event at the new location. The result was a very special event, as the two managing directors of AMERICANA GmbH Sandra Quade and Joachim Bochmann well describe: "AMERICANA exceeded all our expectations and we are super satisfied in every respect how everything went. Our ranch classes as the fourth pillar of AMERICANA were excellently received. We were able to show great sport and offer our exhibitors, riders and visitors a wonderful platform for Western horses and riding. We received consistently positive feedback from all sides. The entire event was characterized by incredible satisfaction on all sides. Something very special was this 'we-feeling': when something didn't go as smoothly as expected, everyone made us feel like we were tackling it together and making it work together." "Everyone involved pulled off a masterstroke," Million Dollar Rider and NRHA President Grischa Ludwig summed it up. "The premiere was a success, and I think all participants, exhibitors and spectators were thrilled."


Jana-Marie Roth, AMERICANA project manager at Messe Friedrichshafen, agreed. "The new start at the Friedrichshafen location was an emotional experience for everyone involved. On the one hand, the atmosphere was characterized by the joy of meeting friends, and on the other hand, we were able to introduce the faszination of the Western horse to a whole new audience. No matter if sport, hobby or lifestyle: the visitors were interested and with high purchasing power. The strong frequency already at the beginning of the fair on Wednesday underlines the high significance of the AMERICANA for the Western industry".

Exhibitors and participants convinced

In fact, the new location was very well received right from the start. Plenty of space, bright, airy exhibition halls and always friendly and helpful trade show staff created a relaxed atmosphere and good mood, to which the wonderful late summer weather added its share. Visitors were happy to use the outdoor area with the beautifully decorated trade fair alpine hut or the atrium with the water area for a break from shopping or visiting the more than 480 different demonstrations and lectures. The fact that western riding is fascinating was proven by the excellently attended performances at four riding rings. Parallel to the trade fair and the supporting program, there was always an opportunity to follow the sporting events in the large arena of Zeppelin Cat Hall A1 during the day.

Fourth sporting pillar Ranch Horse well accepted

Horses and riders from 17 nations competed in 50 classes for around EUR 260,000 in prize money and the coveted titles as well as numerous non-cash prizes. As usual, the cutting, reining and cowhorse classes were very well represented. The growing number of participants in the Youth classes was very pleasing: in the Youth Cutting, sponsored by European Champion Ute Holm, eight youngsters competed, and nine were entered for the Youth Reining. The Allaround area with Superhorse and Ranch Horse classes, which this time had been extended by the Ranch Rail, met with the greatest enthusiasm. 46 participants had registered for the Ranch Riding Open, 29 for the Working Ranch Trail and 25 in the Superhorse. Here one saw also many 'new' faces, i.e. participants, who were already known as highly successful in other disciplines, for example Doug Allen and Francesca Sternberg from Great Britain. Cutting trainer Uwe Röschmann commented: "With the expansion of the Ranch Horse classes, AMERICANA is doing something enormously good for our entire sport. This discipline brings out the horsemanship of the rider and all the versatility of our American Quarter Horses in their natural movements."

High class Sport

Already in the preliminary heats, the 47,200 visitors got to see sport at its best, as the riders gave each other nothing in order to reach the final. "The preliminary round for us cutters was really tough with this starting field. Never before have we had so many top-class horses. They are all potential candidates for victory," said multiple German and European Champion Cutting Ute Holm after the go round. "And in the Ranch Riding Open this year, you needed a whopping 149.5 to even get into the finals." That was also true, among other things, for the EUR 50,000-added NRHA Bronze Trophy Open. In the go round, Nico Sicuro with Colonels Smoking Gun was the first rider to make it clear that he really wanted to be in the final, scoring a 224. The participants and spectators were eagerly awaiting the grand finals on Friday and Saturday evening, which were booked out weeks in advance. But also the two evening shows on Wednesday and Thursday were excellently attended. Not only the finals were fascinating, but also the various show acts such as 'Horses going through fire', presented by Five Star Ranch.

The next AMERICANA is scheduled for Wednesday September 3 until Sunday September 7, 2025 at the  Friedrichshafen fairground. All daily show reports and further information are available here: 

Sports Highlights and Results of AMERICANA 2023

NRHA Bronze Trophy Open Champion: Lukasz Czechowicz & CSG Piggiemove

In a thrilling finale, 15 top-flight horse-rider combinations battled it out in Friday night's show to win the EUR 50,000-added NRHA Bronze Trophy Open. The victory was carried off by the last starter, Lukasz Czechowicz aboard the 9-year-old CSG Piggiemove (Colonels Shining Gun x Roosters Hot Piq) owned by Katarzynska Roleska, who scored a 225. "The pressure in this final was enormous, but my horse was great," said a delighted Czechowicz, who had already become NRHA European Affiliate Reserve Champion Open with the horse this year and won the NRHA Bronze Trophy at the Austrian Futurity just two weeks before AMERICANA. "Piggiemove is very special to me. I've known him from a very young age and trained him from the beginning. I rode my first Final with him and became Level 3 Champion at the 2018 NRHA European Futurity, among other things."

Reserve Champion was the go round best, Nico Sicuro aboard the 9-year-old Colonels Dancing Gun (Colonels Smoking Gun x Dance Little Spook) bred and owned by Quarter Dream SRL who scored a 224. NRHA 2 Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck aboard the 6-year-old stallion ND Pop Gun Trash (Gunnatrashya x MM Pop Tart) owned by Nathalie Derua and his wife NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck on the 8-year-old Spook Unchained (Smart Spook x Shine Jo Lena) owned by Anna Reinhart tied for third place scoring a 223 each - and this despite an involuntary interruption for Ann due to a fire alarm, which fortunately turned out to be a false alarm (and did not change the superb atmosphere among the spectators).

Jasmin Andersdotter wins Ariat Ranch Riding Open

The EUR 10,000-added final in the Ariat Ranch Riding Open was won by Jasmin Andersdotter with the 11-year-old The Gun Maker owned by Alexandra Bausch. The pair had already posted the second-best score in the preliminaries and went on to top the high-caliber field of 14 finalists in the final with a 154.5. Jasmin Andersdotter already rode The Gun Maker to EWU National Champion Senior Western Ranch Rail this year and was second with him in the EWU Equitanas Ranch Riding Cup.

Second with a 153 was Henrike Lindenblatt with BCR Ruf N Sparking (Best Spook x BB Ruf And Awesome), with whom she was runner-up in the 2022 EWU Youngstars Challenge, closely followed by Britain's Lucy Adams with Wimpys Smart Chex owned by Carin Herrick (152.5). Adams also had a second horse in the final, Sheeza Tinsel Lady, which she rode to 9th place. Bad luck for the go round best Leonie Mager and her Ruff Commander: the two would have got a 153, but Leonie had one turn to much which resulted in a 0.

Working Ranch Rail Open Champion: Leonie Mager & Ruff Commander

Ten horse-rider combinations qualified for the finals of the € 2000-added Working Ranch Rail Open. Champion was Leonie Mager with her Ruff Commander (Ruf Lil Rascal x Peppys Especial Lena). Ruff Commander once again proved his versatility. After a successful reining career, the stallion was among others AMERICANA Ranch Riding Open Champion 2021 under Joschka Werdermann.  He also won the EWU Superhorse with Leonie Mager here at AMERICANA. "I am totally overwhelmed," said Leonie Mager. "Rascal is an absolutely exceptional horse and you can simply rely on him at any time. A big thank you to Joschka Werdermann, who also actively supported us here on site." The Reserve Champion title went to Simone Reiss from Switzerland on A Frozen Celebrity. Third place went to Vivien Leisner on KH Great Investment, ahead of Ute Holm-Schäuble on the only 4-year-old reining mare Im A Ice Ice Baby owned by Kim Kiechle.

European Champion NCHA Open: Pietro Valeri & Cat Rey Lou

13 top-class horses and riders had qualified for the final of the EUR 18,000-added European Cutting Championship NCHA Open, which took place during the Saturday evening show in front of several thousand spectators. This final was to be a special challenge, because the cattle were anything but easy. In the end, the Championship was claimed by Pietro Valer aboard Marco Salvatori’s Cat Rey Lou.

"It was all Cat Rey Lou's doing," said a beaming Pietro Valeri. "I just showed her the cow - she did the rest all by herself!"  Born in the U.S. in 2010, Cat Rey Lou is by All Time Leading Sire High Brow Cat out of Farra Rey (by Dual Rey). Pietro Valeri has been European Champion seven times with this exceptional horse, who has well over $100,000 in lifetime earnings.

Gianluca Munarini and Silvia Viaggi's Trendzetter (Once In A Blu Boon x Misplaced Cat) became European Reserve Champion scoring a 145. Third place honours went to Gaetan Foulatier and Smooth Matrixx (143) ahead of Denis Pini with Stop Ur Hot (141). 

European Champion NCHA Non Pro: Sasha Schwind & The Big Spoon

12 horse-rider combinations from a total of 30 participants in the EUR 9000-added European Championship NCHA Non Pro had made it to the final with Sasha Schwind and The Big Spoon winning the title. Sasha Schwind and her gelding have been a very successful team for years and were among others Int. Reserve Champion Non Pro NCHAoG and Int. Champion Youth NCHAoG 2020 , Amateur Highpoint Champion NCHAoG as well as Equitana Cup Reserve Champion 2022. In the preliminary round of the European Championship NCHA Open here in Friedrichshafen they are on 4th place. Reserve European Champion was Greta Salvatori, who came with Cat Rey Lou on a 143. Marco Salvatori took 3rd place on Twisted Red Faye (142).

L& B Ranch ERCHA Snaffle Bit Classic Open Champion 4-5 Yrs:

Pietro Tuberga & Katrina Hope Olena

The final of the L & B Ranch ERCHA Snaffle Bit Classic Open 4-5 yrs was won by Pietro Tuberga on Domenico Sapino's 5-year-old Katrina Hope Olena (Oaks Lone Pepto x Haida Oleana). In the final Cow Horse, the pair scored a 217.5, bringing their total score to 862.5. Tuberga had won the ERCHA/NRCHA Limited Open Futurity with this mare at AMERICANA 2021. Second was Giovanni Campanaro on Alessia Campi's Stilysh Sparkle (More Than Stylish x Sailing Sparkle) with a 220 in the Cow Work for a total score of 861.

Campanaro was also able to ride The Great Mark (Great Heartacre x Smart One Time), a 4-year-old owned by Mariateresa Mango, to 3rd place with a total of 858 points (with this gelding, with whom Campanaro was NRCHA Prefuturity Champion Open 2023, he scored a 215.5 in the Cow Work) and Martina Morando's Smart Dun So Good (Smart Easy Deal x Wrangler Dun So Good) to 4th place.  With the 4-year-old stallion bred by Rabboni Quarter Horses, with whom he was already fourth at the NRCHA Prefuturity, he scored Top Score 221.5 (total score 853.5).

L& B Ranch ERCHA Snaffle Bit Classic Open L1 Champion: Thomas Barta

In L1 the title went to Tomas Barta, who showed great cow work with Karl Simons CR Tuff Calie Rey and got a 219 for it. That made a total of 847.5 points. Barta had won the Open at the N.R.C.H.A. Hackamore Classic with the 4-year-old mare.

Second with a 203.5 was William Coulomb with Marie Mura's WR Shining Remedy, which totaled 818. Third place went to Kay Wienrich and Smooth Cool Jaz with a total score of 762.5.

Italien claims ERCHA NRCHA Nations Cup, Germany second

The Cow Work was the last discipline of the ERCHA NRCHA Nations Cup. Here the Italian team managed to take the lead. Gabriele Poli Barberis with Highbrow Fletch highscored 221.5. Together with the 219 of Samuele Poli Barberis on Cats Got Freckles and the 213.5 of Giovanni Campanaro on Bet Command Rey this made a total of 654 points, which together with the scores from the Herd and Rein Work was 1944 points. Markus Schöpfer and Master N Smoke made up the scratch score with a 201.5. This was the Nations Cup Championship for Italy. Second place went to Germany, who had been in 5th place after Herd and Rein Work, but who worked their way up to a total of 1893.5 points in the Cow Work with class rides by Sabine Brasche on Bet Hesa Wildcat (221 and thus the second best score) and Joschka Werdermann on Yor Fancy Dancer (219) as well as Patrick Sattler with Justa Shiningsparkle and Martin Schemuth with TJ Sharp DRessed Man, each with a 202.5.

The Swiss team leading after the Rein and Herd Work consisting of Antoine Cloux, Shirley Schalcher, Christoph Seiler and Eliane Seiler Gfeller had a lot of bad luck in the Cow Work and fell back to 3rd place with a total score of 1892.5. Fourth place went to the French team (Ferary Audrey, Christophe Kayser and Jacky Molliex-Donjon) with 1845 points ahead of the team from Austria (Arno Gorgasser, Nadine Hartmann, Andrea Popp and Peter Trixner) with also 1845 points.

Gabriele Poli Barberis wins individual ranking

This also meant that the individual classification for the Nations Cup was fixed. Here Gabriele Poli Barberis won on Highbrow Fletch with a 654 (220.5 / 221.5 / 212). Second place went to Giovanni Campanaro on Bet Command Rey with a 644.5 (216 / 213.5 / 215) ahead of Samuele Poli Barberis on Cats Got Freckles with a 643.5 (215.5 / 219 / 209). Joschka Werdermann and Yor Dancy Dancer came in 4th with a 635 (209 / 219 / 207).

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