Meet The AMERICANA 2021 Judges

in alphabetical order

Maik Bartmann (GER)

Maik Bartmann is an AQHA, NRHA, FEI and NRCHA judged who has judged major reining events all over the world including the NRHA Derby. He is a multiple Bronze Trophy Champion, FEQHA European Champion, DQHA Champion and FN German Res. Champion. In 2003, he claimed team gold at the FEI European Championship and was an  NRHA Breeders Futurity Limited Open Reserve Champion in 2012.


Chris Benedict (USA)

Chris Benedict has judged NCHA, NRCHA and AQHA shows for more than 35 years in the USA, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. He has judged over 450 cutting shows, including every major NCHA event including three Futurities, plus 100 NRCHA shows (again, every major NRCHA event including ten Snaffle Bit Futurities) and countless AQHA shows, including more than 20 AQHA World Shows (Open, Amateur, Youth, Select, VRH World and the Level 1 Cattle Championships).


Laura Ellen Faris (USA)

Laura has been involved in Reining since 2001 when she began as an assistant for Jim Dudley at Green Valley Ranch in Aubrey, Texas. She moved back to Oklahoma in 2002 to complete her Bachelors degree at Oklahoma State University. During this time she worked as assistant trainer for long time Judge and Reining trainer Jody Brainard. After 4 years she made the move to Germany in 2008. In Germany, she worked for a few years as an assistant, showing, and making the finals of the German Futurity she decided to pursue her interest in judging and received her NRHA judges card in 2011. Over the last few years she has had the pleasure to judge at a variety
of European Shows such as the British Reining Championships, Scandinavian Derby, as well as at the German Breeders Derby and Futurity. She is presently working for herself as a horse trainer in the Augsburg area specializing in young horses, Reining, and lessons. When she is not training she enjoys judging, giving clinics helping people become better communicators with their horses, and giving tips for a more successful showing experience. 



Sandy Jirkovsky (USA)

Sandy Jirkovsky is from Whitesboro, TX and has been judging for 30 years. She holds cards with AQHA, APHA, ApHC, NSBA, NRCHA, NRHA and NSBA. She has judged the AQHA Youth World, the Quarter Horse Congress, the APHA World, NRHA Futurity, AQHA and APHA European World Championships, NCEA National Championships and other major shows throughout the world. Sandy and her husband Jim operate J Bar S Training and specialize in training the all-around horse and rider. Sandy has been in the horse business for over 40 years and has shown and trained over 100 World and National Champions. Her students have won numerous World and National titles in the youth and amateur divisions. She has served on several judge’s committee as well as a member of the AQHA Professional Horsemen and APHA Professional Horsemen. She is a current member of the APHA Executive Committee.


Eugenio Latorre (ITA)

Eugenio Latorre is an NRHA, NRCHA, AQHA, FISE and FEI judge with experience in major shows worldwide. He has judged nine NRHA Futurities as well as the NRHA Derby and Futurities and Derbies in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He judges the FEI World Reining Masters, EquitaLyon, Swiss Slide, the FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and in Carolina in 2018, FEI European Championships and NRHA Affiliate Championships. He is a member of the NRHA Judge's Committee, where he is on the teaching panel. Eugenio has won numerous titles including the Italian Reining Horse Association Futurity, Derby, and Maturity champion and European Reined Cow Horse Association Futurity and Derby Champion.


Manuela Maiocchi (ITA)

Manuela Maiocchi lives in a little town close to Milano, Italy. She runs a hotel in the center of the town, but in her free time she supports her sister in the their joint Ranch, a quarter horse breeding.
She started to show in the quarter horse performance in 1988. In 1993 she was the co-trainer of Filippo Masi. She also has skills in the organisaion of competitions: she was part in the organizational staff for the Italian Reining Horse Association in major NRHA Italian events. Since 2008 she works also as an NRHA judge. Beside of judging several NRHA shows in Italy, the most important events that she had judged right now were the Italian maturity in the 2013, European Affiliate Championship in France , and the NRHA European Derby in the 2014. 


Filippo Masi (ITA)

Filippo Masi Filippo Masi has been an NRHA AAA, FEI, NRCHA 2A and AQHA judge specialized reining and working cow horse since 1993. He has judged some of the most important events world wide including the NRHA Futurity, the NRHA Derby, the FEI European Championship and the WEG World Equestrian Games. He is a member of the NRHA judges committee. Filippo has been a breeder and trainer for more than 35 years. He was Italian Reining Futurity Open Champion in 1997 as well as open finalist in all special events in Italy in Reining, Cowhorse and Cutting. Filippo also was Coach of the FEI Reining team of Italy winning 20 FEI gold medals.


Sam Rose (USA)

Sam Rose is from Gainsville, TX. He is an AAAA NCHA judge, Level 3 NRCHA judge and AQHA all-around judge. He has judged every World Show and all major events in NCHA, NRCHA and AQHA multiple times. Sam is on multiple committees in AQHA, NCHA and NRCHA. He has trained multiple Youth, Amateur and Open World Champions and several Superior and Honor Roll Champions in Cutting, Roping, Cow Horse, Halter and Pleasure. Sam was the assistant trainer to Bubba Cascio at the race track when they trained such horses as Dash For Cash, Pie In The Sky, Southern Streaker and multiple other.


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