Great horses, great riders, great horsemanship and an enthusiastic public are what made the Individual Reining Final Competition amazing at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy. Last to enter the arena, which counted some of the world’s best horses and riders, was National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) $5 Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. Aboard Michell Anne Kimball’s Spooks Gotta Whiz, Shawn had posted the highest score – a 229.5 – in the individual qualifier, which put him last to go in the seeded finals.
The Tulsa Reining Classic, held Aug. 26-31, at the Expo Square in Tulsa, Okla. had competitors coming from near and far for a chance to win top honors. There were 94 horse-and-rider teams striving to earn the championship in the Hollywoodstinseltown Futurity Open, but draw 50, Meradas Shining and Eduardo Salgado, set the bar highest at 221.5 and took home the title.
After leading the go-round, Craig Schmersal and Xtra Electric Meter returned to top the finals of the Rocky Mountain Summer Slide Futurity Level 4 Open on July 27 at the National Western Events Center in Denver.
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby concluded Saturday, June 28, with the $428,000-added Open finals at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. This year’s Derby finals were the richest ever, paying out approximately $961,000. At the end of the event, Not Ruf At All and Jason Vanlandingham were victorious in the Open.
New sponsors, new activities and increased opportunities for growth and learning insure that the Tulsa Reining Classic, set for Aug. 26-31, will be another hallmark event. As it begins its second decade, the popular show continues to focus on the horses, the exhibitors and the show experience.
The Euro 83,750-added IRHA/NRHA Derby Open finals attracted a large crowd and the horses and riders showcased the sport of reining at its best. Making the finals all the more thrilling were the champions: sharing the Euro 32,000-added Derby Level 4 Open title were husband and wife team Ann Poels Fonck and Bernard Fonck, after posting dual scores of 228.
The Team Challenge is a unique competition in the sport of reining, but its biggest guns turn out to contest it at the Kentucky Reining Cup. This year victory went to the Good Sports team, consisting of Shannon Rafacz on Jan Pence's Wimpys Dun Twistin, Mandy McCutcheon on father Tim McQuay's Yellow Jersey, and Mandy's husband Tom McCutcheon on Turn About Farm Inc.'s Dun Got My Rest.