Tulsa Reining Classic Draws Talent for USEF and CRI Reining

Matt Mills and Wimps Cool Breeze (third from right) topped the USEF Open, winning the gold medal with a score of 221.5.

Friday night at the Tulsa Reining Classic was filled with national and international competition when the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and CRI classes were showcased. Professionals and young guns both dazzled the crowd with big stops, fast spins and smooth moves.

Matt Mills rode Wimps Cool Breeze to the USEF Open gold medal with a score of 221.5 for owner Janice Dickson.

Wimps Cool Breeze is by Wimpys Little Step and out of QHR Jamaica Express (by Zan Parr Express). He is a 7-year-old buckskin stallion Mills has grown to appreciate for both his style and heart in the arena.

“I love that horse,” Mills said. “He is exactly what you want when you talk about a horse with heart and guts. He never quits. Really he’s what I call a gamer. He’s always up to it, whether I have two horses to get him ready or a month to prepare. It doesn’t matter; when I walk through the gate, that horse is going to be at the bare minimum where he was tonight.” 

Mills used his relationship with Wimps Cool Breeze to prepare him properly before the run as well as show him just right in the show pen.

“I thought the entire run was solid. We’ve definitely scored a whole lot higher before, but at this particular run we didn’t need to be spectacular, we needed to be real good,” Mill said of he strategy for the run. “We have plans to qualify for the WEG [World Equestrian Games] next year, so it’s always trying to be careful not to do too much, but yet you always want to be coming out on top when the dust settles.”

Casey Deary claimed the silver medal riding Reeboks Rerun to a score of 219.5 for owner Owen Deary. Deary also took the bronze medal riding Who Dat Hot Chic with a score of 218.5 for owner Neiberger Performance.

Franco Bertolani and Guns R For Shootin (third from left) received the gold medal in the CRI 3.

In the CRI 3, Franco Bertolani took the gold medal with a score of 222 aboard Guns R For Shootin. Bertolani and the 7-year-old stallion had become quickly acquainted, only becoming partners three weeks ago in preparation for the CRI in Tulsa.

Guns R For Shootin is by Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) and out of Chelsea Lena, who’s by Smart Peppy Doc. He is owned by Ryan Humphrey. Bertolani said one of the best parts of showing in the CRI is showing for his home country of Brazil.

“Those international competitions I really like, when you show for your country,” Bertolani said. “I’m going to try to qualify for the World Equestrian Games next year.”

Matt Mills took home the silver medal aboard Wimps Cool Breeze with a score of 221.5.

Yonathan Baruch earned the bronze medal riding Spooks Smoken Wimpy with a score of 220.5.

In the 14-18 USEF class, Cade McCutcheon was the gold medal winner riding Anne-Marie Burns’ 5-year-old REF Sturgis. The win was outstanding for McCutcheon, because it was the first time he had ever ridden the horse.  

REF Sturgis is by Custom Harley and out of Chics Time To Rein (by Gangster Chic), and he stepped up for McCutcheon when he needed a mount for the class.

“The first time I ever rode him was tonight before I showed him, but he’s pretty easy to get along with,” McCutcheon said. “I wanted to show in this class and I didn’t have a horse, and Anne-Marie was nice enough to let me show him.”

McCutcheon hope to follow in his parents’ footsteps and rise to the top of the USEF competition.

“It’s different than showing in the NRHA classes that I show in every horse show, so it’s a different experience, and hopefully it will get me ready for the next young riders competitions if I go,” McCutcheon said.

Dani Latimer took home the silver medal riding Sparklin Nite with a score of 217.5, and Blair Thompson rode Whiz N Chica Dee to a score of 214 to take home the bronze medal.

Kalena Reynolds rode Gun Whiz It to the 13 & Under youth USEF gold medal with a score of 212.5. Gun Whiz It is a 6-year-old mare by Gunner and out of Roll Whiz It (by Topsail Whiz), and this year marks the first year of her partnership with Reynolds.

“We had a little bit of trouble getting together at first, but we’ve clicked and we’ve gotten better and she’s taught me a lot,” Reynolds said.

The Tulsa Reining Classic was Reynolds first show to compete in the USEF classes, and she plans to continue.

Carlee McCutcheon won the silver medal riding Whatta Royal Vintage to a score of 208.