Category Archives: Western/Reining

McCutcheon Steals Win from Hinton at Adequan $10,000 Added USEF Reining Championships

Tom McCutcheon and Survivorman (Waltenberry)

Tulsa, Okla. – Tom McCutcheon edged out Casey Hinton by half a point to earn the $10,000 Adequan USEF Reining National Championship presented by Markel Insurance on Friday. The championship was a part of the Tulsa Reining Classic.

McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) entered the competition with Jennifer Greenleaf’s 2011 Quarter Horse stallion, Survivorman. Though McCutcheon has not shown Survivorman frequently, the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Gold medalist was able to get a solid effort from the horse. After a mediocre stop at the onset of the test, Survivorman regained focus to run a good pattern for a score of 221.

“He might have been a little rusty going into his first stop, probably not in the plus category, but then he backed up really well, and from then on, he was spot on, he just locked in. Then he knew it was real and needed to go horse showing,” said McCutcheon.

Hinton (Whitesboro, Texas) and Top Gun Tonite raised the bar early. As the first combination out of the gate, Hinton and Tracey Tuttle-Bryce’s 2005 Quarter Horse stallion ran a well-executed pattern to earn a score of 220.5. “Any time you get to show really good horses, the feeling of them giving you everything, it is pretty special. This horse has a bit of age on him, but he has been taken care of very well by his owners. He is a very special horse and has a great mind,” said Hinton.

Tim McQuay (Tioga, Texas) and SNS Uvalde King, Lyle Lovett’s 2008 Quarter Horse gelding, placed third with a score of 215.5.

“It is always fun to show a horse at this horse show because management takes such great care of the exhibitors. It is one of the best places in the country to have a horse show. You know running through the gate that everything is going to be right for you to have a good run, and that’s what makes it fun as a competitor,” added McCutcheon.

From the USEF Communications Department

Barrel Racing Benefit to Be Held in Jacksonville, Fla. for Two-Year-Old Brain Cancer Patient

Photo courtesy of Sheri Wurth Images, LLC.

Jacksonville, FL (August 24, 2016) – “The perfect definition of the phrase ‘All Boy’” is how Brittany Rowland describes her blond two-year-old son Kasen, whose infectious smile is biggest when he’s outdoors playing in the dirt. “His imagination is out of this world,” says Rowland. “He will sit for hours at a time with his toy cars and trucks and have his own story line going.” The little boy was diagnosed with brain cancer just a few months ago, quickly transforming the Rowland family’s life into a cycle of hospital visits, MRIs, and continuous bad news – but thanks to their local Jacksonville, Florida community, a chance to enjoy an evening of outdoor farm life and an exciting barrel race while raising money for Kasen’s procedures is right around the corner.

On Saturday, September 24th, horse trainer Jimbo Albritton will be hosting a barrel race benefit for Kasen Rowland at Albritton’s farm, Flying A Performance Horses in Penney Farms (just outside of Jacksonville), at 3900 Paso Fino Rd., Green Cove Springs. The barrel race is being put on by Dreaming of Three, an organization that uses rodeos and other equine-related events to raise funds for children like Kasen who suffer from tragic diseases.

Jackie Harris, the founder of Dreaming of Three, explains, “Dreaming of Three was started after I lost my stepfather to cancer and my dad to a heart attack three months apart. When my stepfather was diagnosed, for Christmas I had no clue what to give somebody who had 12 months to live. So I decided memories would be the best gift. This is what we try to do with the rodeos and barrel races for kids like Kasen – for the families, it’s a night out, not thinking about doctors, treatments, and the illness. It’s just family time; a night with no worries while being treated like kings or queens.”

Everyone’s invited to join in the fun of the upcoming barrel race benefit, which in addition to the barrel race will include pony rides, face painting, a bounce house, vendors, food, a silent auction, and a blood donation bus for anyone willing to help Kasen through blood donations.

Kasen, for one, is looking forward to the event. “I think Kasen will enjoy getting out of the house, being outside, and experiencing something new and different,” Brittany Rowland says. She and Kasen’s father, Chad Rowland, will also enjoy a night of fun with Kasen and his older siblings, Dillon and Allie.

Kasen was diagnosed with a brain tumor in February 2016. When a 12-hour brain surgery was only able to remove 75 percent of the tumor, Kasen had to begin re-learning everything he had so far mastered in his two years of life, down to re-learning how to swallow. He has recently started walking again, but still suffers from weakness in his left arm and hand and paralysis to the left side of his face. Kasen began chemotherapy in March 2016, with high hopes that he would be cured. Unfortunately, the tumor did not respond to the chemo and instead grew larger. Doctors then predicted only a 50 percent chance that Kasen would survive. Kasen is now currently going through treatment with a different kind of chemotherapy, and will have an MRI in September to see if the new treatment is working.

“There have been many hospital admissions and setbacks since this nightmare began,” explains Brittany Rowland. “We will use the funds raised at the barrel race benefit to go towards Kasen’s medical expenses, gas for traveling to and from his weekly chemotherapy appointments, and his weekly medication costs. Kasen has a long road ahead.

“People ask us how we do it and how we stay strong – but honestly, we don’t do it and we don’t stay strong. Kasen does. He gives us our strength and our will power to keep going. Kasen has one of the biggest and brightest personalities I have ever witness in a two-year-old. Through all of the hard times – the surgeries, the needles, the daily medications, the vomiting, the chemo, the tests and scans, the hours of infusions – he somehow keeps a smile on his face and a belly full of laughs,” Rowland says. “His will to win, his determination to succeed, is by far the strongest thing I have ever seen.”

Albritton, who is the Florida Captain of Dreaming of Three, says, “One hundred percent of the money donated to this benefit – including proceeds and vendor fees – will be used to benefit the Rowland family. Donations to the event can be made through Dreaming of Three, which is a non-profit organization and tax deductible.”

Anyone interested in entering the barrel race to compete for the prize purse can contact Albritton at or (407) 319-8268. Barrel racing entries are $35.00, and admission for spectators at the event is $5.00 per adult (kids are free!). All businesses are welcome to sponsor the event, or to be a vendor for a fee of $50.00. Advertising and sponsorship packages are available for businesses who would like to sponsor. Anyone interested in sponsoring, vending, donating a silent auction prize, or helping in any other way can contact Albritton for more details. The barrel race will begin at 6:00 pm, so be sure to come by and join in the excitement.

To donate to Kasen Rowland and his family, a check can be made out to Dreaming of Three, 5700 Corporate Dr., Suite 455, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237. Dreaming of Three will send the donations to Albritton to be presented at the benefit.

Contact: Jimbo Albritton
(407) 319- 8268

USA Para Reining Event at 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress Seeks Participants

Frederick Win participating at a Para Reining event at the AQHA World Championship Show. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Columbus, Ohio – August 21, 2016 – USA Para Reining event is looking for Para-Equestrians to participate in the USA Para Reining show at the 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress October 9. In particular, the Para Reining event is looking for Grade Ia and Grade Ib Para Dressage riders who want to try their hand at reining, but if you are interested and are of any Grade please contact Frederick Win at or call 609-992-5283. The horses are provided to participants along with coaches and support.  The 2016 All American Quarter Horse Congress is scheduled for October 6-30, at Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Para Reining will include four classes held in the Celeste center starting at 7 AM, October 9. The 50th Annual All American Quarter Horse Congress is run by the Ohio Quarter Horse Association. For more information, please visit or visit the Ohio Quarter Horse Association at

Para Reining made its debut during the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, and interest in the sport continues to grow, including a class at the 2014 World Show, a class at the Kentucky Reining Cup and the one at the NRHA Futurity.

For 2014, AQHA adopted para-reining rules in collaboration with USA Reining and NRHA. Those rules will be revised with the goal of making para-reining a nationally recognized sport in the future.

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

To view an online version of this press release, please visit:

For more information about the USPEA, please visit or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: or by phone: (610)356-6481.

Gennaro Lendi and Yankee Gun Lead Italy to the Individual Gold Medal

Gennaro Lendi (ITA) in gold, Grischa Ludwig (GER) in silver and Tina Kuenstner-Mantl (AUT) in bronze (FEI/ Andreas Kost)

Lausanne (SUI), 15 August 2016 – In a field of 21 combinations with riders representing Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the USA, Gennaro Lendi and his Yankee Gun left their mark in the show pen with a performance resulting in a 222 and the gold medal for Italy in the individual competition.

In 2008, the very first FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors was held in Manerbio, Italy. With 16 nations entered, team Italy scored a 667.5 for the gold in front of team USA. Gennaro Lendi and Playin It Out were part of that team and they also went on to tie for the bronze medal in the individual competition. Lendi also represented his country at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games ™ in Normandy.

For this edition of the World Championships, the Italian trainer was riding Yankee Gun, a double registered American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) / American Paint Horse Association (APHA) 7-year-old stallion. Trained by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida in the States, the reins passed on to Lendi at the beginning of last year. “Flarida, no need to say, did a great job in training Yankee Gun,” said Lendi. “I had to work the most on trying to understand how to prepare him to compete. He is extremely intelligent and very generous and at times tries to give you more than what is actually requested from him so what I had to concentrate on was ‘hooking up’ with him. This prestigious World Championship has been a fantastic experience and I am very happy and honored to have been part of it and for winning the gold for my country. In the team competition, because my horse is extremely sensitive to his surroundings and to the environment, things did not go as planned. During the two training sessions between the team and individual competitions, I tried to work on this aspect and it helped a lot. I must admit that waiting for the final result was pretty tense as I knew that the combinations left to go after me all had a chance to beat my score!”

Just as thrilled with the result was team coach Filippo Masi who is also the technical manager of the Youth and Young Riders coached by Alessandro Meconi. Masi was quick to praise Lendi and Yankee Gun’s performance. “Gennaro is a great rider and in the individual made up for his run that was not up to expectations in the team competition – where he was our anchor rider – due to a lead penalty in the circles,” he said. “This year was not particularly favourable for our team since two of our top riders, Kelly Zweifel and Mirjam Stillo, were unable to make it to Givrins. I am in any case very proud of our team riders who did their very best with reserve rider Giovanni Masi and Pier Luigi Chioldo pulling in. As far as the Juniors and Young Riders are concerned, their motivation and understanding of FEI rules is impeccable and we are all extremely proud of them and their performances here.” Italy was 4th in the World Championships for Seniors and took the team gold in the SVAG FEI European Reining Championship for Juniors as well as team and individual silver in the Young Riders.

The competition

In front of a full house, with fans cheering for the sport of reining, excitement reigned high as some of the world’s finest reiners battled to take home the coveted FEI medals. Setting the bar was Austria’s Tina Kuenstner-Mantl and Nu Chexomatic, third to run, who posted 221.5. Once Lendi and his mount bested her score by half-a-point, nobody was able to beat the Italian rider’s score though both the Germans and the Belgians still kept their hopes high as Grischa Ludwig (GER) and Bernard Fonck (BEL) were the last two riders in the order of go.

Ludwig and Gwhiz Im Smart, team members of the German team that claimed the silver medal on Thursday, equaled Kuenstner-Mantl and Nu Chexomatic’s score (members of bronze medal winning team Austria). Fonck and Smart N Sparkin (owned by 7 Heaven Reining Horses), the duo that had performed to an outstanding 222 in the team competition and had led Belgium to team gold, closed their run with a 219.

Though the gold medal was firmly around the neck of the Italian rider, a run-off was required to determine who would take home silver and bronze. First to run again was the Austrian rider and her flashy 9-year-old Quarter Horse palomino stallion. The pair performed to a 212.5. At this point Ludwig knew that he had to play it safe aboard the 7-year-old stallion and that there was no need to aim for a high score in order to claim the second step of the podium. Performing a clean and precise run, once he closed with the last required maneuver of NRHA pattern n.9, a sliding stop – the hallmark of reining – he knew that his country would bring home the second silver medal of the World Championships and so it was. Their score was a 217.5.

The individual competition closed the 2016 FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors as well as the ‘Summer of Reining’ at the CS Ranch in Givrins, Switzerland. “Although we have been hosting the SVAG CS Classic for many years, we are very proud and honored to have hosted these extraordinary FEI events,” said Eric Obrecht, Show Manager of the event. “The best riders in the world came to the quiet town of Givrins providing the highest level of competition!”

Prior to the event, Ingmar De Vos, FEI President, had welcomed the athletes with these words: “…I’d like to wish each and every athlete the very best of luck. Enjoy not only the sport, but also the company of your fellow-competitors who share your passion…” True to the President’s words, the athletes did enjoy their fellow-competitors and definitely shared their passion for reining horses.

For complete results, please visit the official website:

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Individual Junior Gold for Austria with Celina Bachleitner and Paintball Gun

Junior Podium: Celina Bachleitner (AUT) gold, Marie Baralon (FRA) silver and Margaux Legrand (FRA) bronze (FEI/Andreas Kost)

Gina Schumacher conquers the Individual Young Riders gold for Germany

Lausanne (SUI), 15 August 2016 – The individual competition filled the day at the CS Ranch in Givrins in front of a full house. The first riders to run for the medals were the Juniors who, as the Young Riders, had had the chance to qualify for the individual during the team competition run the day before.

Taking home the gold for Austria – in a field of 19 contestants – was young Celina Bachleitner who, riding Michaela Bachleitner’s 7-year-old gelding Paintball Gun scored a 215 for the win.  Austria’s team coach, Gerold Dautzenberg, was thrilled with the medal Bachleitner earned her country following the team bronze won by the Seniors in the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships the day before. Dautzenberg, who has been involved in European reining and western riding since the first horses performing these disciplines set foot on the Old Continent, defined Celina as being a ‘true professional’. Just as happy with the result and proud of the hard work of the Young and Juniors teams was chéf d’équipe, Sabine Lisec, a long-time supporter of youth activities in her home country along with her husband, Chuck Klipfel.

Thrilling the crowd in stands, who cheered all the riders regardless of their nationality, the under 18 athletes gave the best they had and, once the last competitor left the arena, it was clear that France’s flag would fly high on both the second and third step of the podium. Taking home the silver medal with a 213.5 was Marie Baralon and her 10-year-old mare, Chicken Sandwich. The pair had contributed in posting the highest score in the team competition and in claiming the team silver medal. Their performance had resulted in a 215, the second highest result, which put them second but last to go in the individual as the working order is determined in reverse order with the lowest scoring combinations riding first. A half a point behind her team mate was Margaux Legrand riding Julien Legrand’s New Doc Peppy Cat. For the Legrand family this is truly an amazing and special result as the 15-year-old stallion was purchased by Julien in 2003 from David Roux and has always been in the family since then! Guy Duponchel, team coach for France, was thrilled with the results earned by the ‘future of our sport’.

Belgian Nimroid Vannietvelt and Im Smart And Wimpy closed in fourth place after scoring a 210.5.

The Individual Young Riders

Proving just how much the sport of reining has grown in the last decade was the level of competition offered in the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders. Claiming the gold medal for Germany was Gina Schumacher riding Chanay Sky Management SSA’s Arc Guns M Oaks. Last year, the talented rider had conquered the gold medal in the Juniors individual competition with her Gunners Enterprise between the reins. This year, her determination to step on the highest step of the podium came through in the team competition where her impressive score of 221.5 contributed to winning the team gold medal.

Last to enter the show pen – having earned the highest score in the team competition – Schumacher tried to best or equal the result posted the day before but had to ‘settle’ for a 219 that earned her the individual gold in front of Italy’s Enrico Sciulli and Austria’s Anna Lisec.

Sciulli, who in the team competition closed with a 220, rode his Snips Gotta Bud to a 217.5 thanks to his precise maneuvers. Their run earned Italy the second silver medal at this years’ FEI European Championships after having placed second in the team competition behind Germany on Thursday.

Yet another young lady reiner was seen stepping on the podium, Anna Lisec. Riding Tari Whizin owned by Chuck Klipfel, she closed her performance with a 214.5 adding yet another FEI medal to hers and Austria’s record in Givrins.

Corninna Schumacher’s beautiful CS Ranch for the third year running provided the venue for the SVAG FEI European Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders competition. Once again her motto ‘we love horses’ showed as the CS Ranch team provided the best possible conditions for all the participants.

For complete results, please visit the official website:

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Italy Tops Juniors Team Competition, Germany Goes On to Claim Young Riders Team Gold

The Young Riders podium– Germany in gold, Italy in silver and Belgium in bronze (FEI/ Andrea Bonaga)

Lausanne (SUI), 13 August 2016 – Excitement, teamwork, friendship and a highly professional group of Juniors and Young Riders is what made Friday afternoon at the CS Ranch special. The beautiful venue this year is not only host to the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors, it is in fact – for the second year running – also host to the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors.

The Juniors Competition

Opening the FEI European Reining Championship for the younger riders was the Juniors competition. With a total score of 638.5 Team Italy slid to the highest step of the podium taking top honors and the gold medal. Sealing the deal was 15-year-old Matteo Bolzano who rode High Point Reiner, a.k.a. ‘Ruffy’, to a 215.5. The talented 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding is the past 2015 NRHA Non Pro World Champion with Matteo’s father, Manuel, in the saddle. “Ruffy is the most consistent horse I have ever ridden and once again he proved how level-minded he is today,” said Manuel. “Seeing my son wear the gold medal along with his team is a feeling that cannot be described, especially as I know how much time, passion and work Matteo and his team mates put into this sport.”

Joining Bonzano on the podium with a 212.5 was Martina Baldelli riding Great Dun Pistol, a 7-year-old Quarter Horse mare owned by Christian Baldelli, Irene Merlotti and her Snapplejack, an 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding (210.5), and Carlo Ambrosini aboard the Ambrosini QH owned 8-year-old Quarter Horse Gelding. Celebrating the Italian victory along with the young athletes was the president of the Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE), Cav. Vittorio Orlandi.

With a total score of 626.5 points, Team France firmly held on to the silver medal in front of Belgium who settled for the team bronze with a total score of 608.5 points.

Riding for France was Marie Baralon who reined her 8-year-old mare, Chicken Sandwich to the second highest score of the day, a 215. “She’s simply the best!” were Marie’s words following her run. A little over a month ago, the pair – who has been together since the beginning of 2015 – earned the 2016 NRHA European Affiliate Limited Non Pro Championship in Poland. Along with Baralon were Margaux Legrand and New Doc Peppy Doc (owned by Julienne Legrand) who closed with a 208, and Axel Pesek riding Cheximatic (owned by Yannick Pesek) scoring a 203.5.

Team Belgium was represented by Bert Coeckelbergh riding Vannietvelt-De Pauw’s Toosexy For Ricochet (212), Nimroid Vannietvelt riding Im Smart And Wimpy to a 201.5 for his parents Vannietvelt-De Pauw (201.5) and Jinke Stevens with her own Don John Escape BB (195).

The Young Riders:

Defending champions, team Italy, battled to leave Givrins with the gold medal around their necks. This time around their direct opponents were the determined young German riders.

Franziska Eufinger with Smoking in Starlight, owned by Jessica Hein, (212.5) and Anna Voss riding her gelding Mandys Little Magnum scored a 212.5 and a 212 respectively. First to ride for the team, their runs put the Germans in the lead. Jacob Behringer and his gelding Rascal Sensation performed impeccably and once they completed their last maneuver, a 217 appeared on the scoreboard. The last horse-rider-combination for team Germany was that made up of Gina Schumacher and Chanay Sky Management SA’s Arc Guns M Oaks. The 18-year-old and her 7-year-old chestnut gelding a.k.a. ‘Earl’ performed to the best of their ability offering the crowd a close to perfect run which was paid back by the judges with an impressive 221 bringing their team’s total to a 651 and the gold medal.

Team Italy’s Enrico Sciulli and his Snips Gotta Bud – the last duo to run for the team – also left their mark in the pen with a great go worth a 220 score. Their performance, along with Andrea Pedrotti and Topgun Showtime’s 213 and Nico Sicuro with Dualin Surprise’s 211.5, was not enough to best the German’s final composite score and, with a final 644.5, they rode to the second step of the podium. The fourth team components were Alessia Simoncini and her Ready to Spook.

As Germany and Italy battled for the gold and silver medals, team Belgium rode their way to the bronze medal with Bo Brutsaert and CJ Whiz (210.5), Indy Henrard and Steadys WR Diamonds (209.5), Amber Heibuchel and Wimpys Lil Prize (209). The fourth rider for the team was Kimberly Noels and Ivegottafootwork, owned by Erik Hoet.

For complete results, information, live stream and live scores, visit the official website

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Consolation Provides Riders a Chance in FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors Individual Competition

Bastien Bourgeois (FRA) and Gunspinner. (FEI/Andrea Bonaga)

Lausanne (SUI), 13 August 2016 – The SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors Team Competition not only saw team Belgium claim the gold, team Germany the silver and team Austria the bronze medals. It also determined who would qualify for the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors Individual competition that will close the prestigious event on Saturday night in Givrins, Switzerland.

The top 15 combinations plus ties qualified directly for the Individual competition and it took a score of 214.5 or higher to do so. The Consolation (second qualifier) opened the day at the CS Ranch and, out of 19 horse-rider-combinations fighting for a spot in the final, the top five paved their way to the final competition. After a tight battle, two riders posted a 219 – the top score of the Consolation: Bastien Bourgeois (FRA) and Shane Brown (USA).

Bourgeois rode Gunspinner, a 10-year-old registered American Paint Horse stallion owned by Sven Olaf Johansson. Ann Fonck of Belgium rode the horse trained by NRHA legend, Tim McQuay, in the 2010 NRHA European Futurity to top honors in the Level 3 Open Futurity division. As Bourgeois stated, the flashy stallion was “simply great”.

Brown rode Wind Er Up Wimp, owned by Susan Geiger, back to the Individual finals. The 7-year-old stallion and his rider will be joining team mates Troy Heikes and RSD One Hot Deal (owned by Denise Biller) and Kari Ann Klingenberg riding Mr Electricspark (owned by Pamela Nelson) who earned their way to the finals in the first qualifier. “It was a tough team competition filled with great riders and talented horses and the second qualifier was just as tough. I am thrilled to have made it back,” said the U.S. rider who flew over along with his team – horses and riders – to compete in Switzerland.

Qualifying along with Bourgeois and Brown were Tina Kuenstner-Mantl (AUT) and Nu Chexomatic owned by Jacpoint Quarter Horses, Morey Fisk (CAN) aboard Chics Smokingun owned by Sabine Schmid and Paolo Fabbri (ITA) riding Lenas Drawin His Gun owned by Lenas Syndacate.

Twenty-one elite horses and riders representing seven Nations (Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and U.S.A.) will make their way in the arena Sunday to showcase the sport of reining at the highest levels… all aiming to conquer the prestigious FEI medals.

For complete results, information, live stream and live score, please visit the official website:

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Team Belgium Takes Gold at 2016 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors

From left to right: team Germany silver, team Belgium gold, team Austria bronze. (FEI/Andrea Bonaga)

Lausanne (SUI), 12 August 2016 – Though Belgium may be a small country, the Belgian team at the 2016 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships in Givrins, Switzerland posted a big score to take home the gold medal in front of Germany and Austria. The heat of the competition could be felt from the very first moment the in-gate opened, but it wasn’t until the last rider of the day would perform that the final placings would be determined.

In a field of 44 riders vying for the team medals as well as a spot in the individual competition, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck was the last entry of the day. With his mount Smart N Sparkin between the reins, not only did he post the top score of the day (222), his result made the final team score rise to a 661.5, one and a half points higher than team Germany who until that point was in the lead.

“The pressure was on because I knew that our final standings would depend on my run,” said Fonck. “I went in the arena knowing that I had to mark at least a 220.5 to claim the gold medal and my plan was that if we went past the first maneuvers – the spins – without penalties, then I would ask my horse for more. I did not think that Smart N Sparkin would make any mistakes because he’s a really talented and good minded horse, but in case that would have been the scenario, then I would have aimed for the second step of the podium. I am extremely happy that things worked out the way they did because I’ve been riding this great stallion for a long time now and I am very grateful to his owners, 7 Heaven Reining Horses, for their trust in my program and for giving me the opportunity to show him here. I now look forward to the individual competition on Saturday though my main goal was that of earning the gold here. I would like to thank all my team for giving it all they had and, of course, all the owners of the horses!”

The second highest score for Belgium was the 220 earned by Cira Baeck and Whizasunnysailor BB. Owned by Ruediger Diedenhofen, the 8-year-old stallion, a.k.a. ‘Sailor’, has an impressive show record to his name with Baeck in the saddle. “Once again he was with me all the way and gave me all he had,” said a smiling Cira. “I just love this horse! His big heart and talent never cease to amaze me and placing this medal around his neck is the best thing that I could have ever hoped for.”

Ann Fonck and Nic Ricochet, owned by Vannietvert-De Pauw, were the second duo to perform for team Belgium on Thursday afternoon. Their score of 219.5 was the first step toward making it to the highest step of the podium. The fourth member of the team was Piet Mestdagh who was seen riding his own Reining Whiz.

Team silver for Germany:

Members of the German team are no strangers to the pen and they have left their mark in more than one FEI competition. Alexander Ripper riding Hollys Electricspark (owned by Christian and Rosy Wagner), Dominik Reminder and GR Hug A Jewel (owned by Vanety Korbus), Grischa Ludwig and Gwhiz Im Smart (owned by Momo & Amy) and Verena Klein riding her own Olena Joe Cody gave it all they had. They were leading the team competition with a total score of 660 until Fonck turned the cards on the table. “We are really proud of the result achieved here today,” said German team coach and multiple past German reining champion, Nico Hörmann. “In coming here we knew that the level of competition would be very high but we had a group of great horses and riders who were able to achieve this result and we made our flag fly high!’

Posting the highest score – a 221 – for team Germany was Grischa Ludwig riding Gwhiz Im Smart. Dominik Reminder and GR Hug A Jewel closed his performance a half a point behind. Ripper and Hollys Electricspark scored a 218.5.

Team bronze for Austria:

With a total score of 653.5, team Austria settled for third place honors claiming the bronze medal. Earning the highest score (221) for his team was Martin Muehlstaetter aboard Jacpoint Quarter Horses’ 7-year-old stallion, Gotta Gold Chain. Based in the U.S.A. where he runs his own training facility, Muehlstaetter made his way to Switzerland to compete for his country. “This was certainly a great experience and I am very happy that we made the podium,” he said. “I am very thankful to Tina and Klaus of Jacpoint QH for giving me the opportunity to ride this great horse here.” Joining the duo on the podium were team members NRHA Million Dollar Rider Rudi Kronsteiner and AB Peppy Diamond (owned by Jennifer Nixdorf) who scored a 218.5, Tina Kuenstner-Mantl and Nu Chexomatic (owned by Jacpoint QH) scoring a 214.5, and Johannes Hasenhauer riding Keen Little Juice (owned by Olga Hofmann) with a 207.

“My team was simply great and we couldn’t be any happier for this result,” said team coach Gerold Dautzenberg. “Unfortunately one of our horses was slightly injured before the competition so we had to retire him, but at the end of the day all our riders did a wonderful job and we are thrilled to go back home with the team bronze.”

Missing the podium by one point was Team Italy. In the first and only edition of the FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors held in 2008, on home-ground the Italians had earned the team gold medal in front of team U.S.A.

Building up to the medals

Who would have a chance of stepping on the podium was determined once Italy’s Gennaro Lendi, riding his Yankee Gun, posted a 219 to bring his team’s total score to a 652.5. Three horses later, Austria’s Martin Muehlstaetter and Gotta Gold Chain (owned by Jacpoint Quarter Horses), thrilled both the crowd and the judges. A 221 appeared on the scoreboard and secured his team a medal by bringing the total score to a 653.5 behind Germany and in front of Italy.

Germany’s team favourite, Grischa Ludwig riding Gwhiz Im Smart (owned by Momo & Amy), was determined to keep his country’s flag high. They ran an impressive pattern #5 and closed their run with a 221 bringing the total score to a final 656.5. In order to determine who would conquer the coveted FEI World Reining Championships medals, the athletes and the public had to wait for the very last horse/rider combination to make their way in the pen. Belgian Bernard Fonck and Smart N Sparkin did exactly that!

The team competition was also the first qualifier for the individual competition that will be held on Saturday. Riders that did not automatically qualify will have a chance to earn a spot in the consolation held on Friday morning prior to the SVAG FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors team competition.

For further information, visit the event official website:

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Setting the Stage for the 2016 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Senior Riders

The Team Podium at the 2008 FEI World Reining Championships (Team Italy gold; Team U.S.A. silver; Team Germany bronze) (FEI/ Andrea Bonaga)

Lausanne (SUI), 10 August 2016 – Reining has gained significant ground since being adopted by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) in 2000 as its first western discipline. Two years later, reining made its debut at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. In 2008, the very first FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors event held in Manerbio, Italy marked the first time in the history of the sport with FEI medals awarded outside the World Equestrian Games (WEG). On home ground, Italy took the team gold and U.S.A. rounded the event by claiming the individual gold.

Welcoming the competition this year is the CS Ranch in Givrins, Switzerland, where riders representing 10 countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States) will vie for the prestigious team competition FEI medals. Canada, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Mexico and The Netherlands will be competing only on an individual level.

The road to the CS Ranch arena

The finest horse-and-rider combinations in the world are now settled in the beautiful facility owned by Corinna Schumacher ready to put their bid for the medals. For the European athletes, the trip to Switzerland was on mainly on the road. Team U.S.A., horses and humans, instead crossed the ‘Big Pond’ along with chef d’équipe, Jeff Petska, who has served in that role since 2002. The first step for the athletes was the vet check held today. The second step will be the team competition – and individual qualifier – which will be held on Thursday 11 at 2 pm. The consolation run on Friday will give the athletes who did not qualify for the individual competition a second chance to ride for a spot on Saturday afternoon when individual medals will be determined.

SVAG FEI European Championships Reining Young and Junior Riders

Young and Junior Riders will also be proving their worth along with the SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Senior Riders in Givrins. The team competition will be held on Friday and the individual will be held on Saturday. Last year Germany clinched both the Junior team and individual gold medals. Italy went on to claim the team and individual gold in the Young Riders division.

In this 2016 edition of the championships, three full teams (Germany, France and Italy) will be riding in the Junior Riders competition along with representatives from Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Hungary, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland who will be competing on an individual level.

In the Young Riders competition Austria, Belgium, Germany and Italy will be vying for the team medals. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Switzerland will be represented on an individual level.

For further information, visit the event official website:

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38

Favorite Mustang Trainer, Jimbo Albritton, Embarks on Next Wild Horse Training Journey

Photo courtesy of SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL (July 14, 2016) – It’s been over two months since the Extreme Mustang Makeover drew crowds to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center to watch recently tamed Mustangs perform impressive feats before being auctioned off to permanent homes. Local Jacksonville trainer and Extreme Mustang Makeover entry Jimbo Albritton, though, has still not gotten his chance to exhibit his Mustang in the competition due to a last-minute injury. So after spending time this summer training at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Albritton will be heading to the next Extreme Mustang Makeover with the support of the Jacksonville community behind him.

It was a perfect example that things don’t always go as planned – especially in the horse world – when Jimbo Albritton’s assigned Mustang mare, Penney, tore a suspensory before the Extreme Mustang Makeover at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center in May. Albritton opted to pull her out of the competition rather than have her endure any unnecessary pain. Although the rules of the competition still stood for Penney – the Mustangs must be auctioned off after spending 100 days working with a trainer – there proved to be luck in store for Albritton and the Mustang mare.

Albritton’s “lucky Penney” has had her fair share of luck (especially since landing in Albritton’s care). Instead of her going to a new home, one of Albritton’s sponsors purchased Penney for him so that he could continue to give her the care she needs to heal.

“Penney is now doing much better than expected and is healing great,” Albritton said. “She is now getting some monitored turn out in a small paddock. She has not been lame at all. She will have a re-check with her vet most likely in the beginning of August, and then hopefully we can start riding her again. It may be a far stretch, but we do have a ranch horse show at the end of September that I think she would be very successful in. If the vet clears her to work, I may try conditioning her back for that. If not, we will wait to do those shows next year and, in the meantime, she will be my go-to horse at the ranch for working the new colts and cow work. She will also be ridden by my two-year-old little girl Kendall, because that is who she really belongs to!”

While Penney rehabilitates, Albritton is keeping busy with many other endeavors, including signing up for the next Extreme Mustang Makeover competition that will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 15-17. For this competition, he was assigned a new Mustang called Cassius. The 100 days that Albritton spends transforming Cassius from a wild horse to a trained horse will include riding and clinics at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The 80-acre facility features an enormous indoor arena for all all-weather riding, several outdoor arenas, more than 400 stalls, and accessibility to miles of trails.

Albritton and Cassius will be at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for the Double Up Horsemanship Clinic on July 16-17, a clinic that Albritton is co-instructing with Mike Woodard. While Cassius isn’t quite ready to participate in the clinic, Albritton plans to trailer him out to get him exposure to a new setting and the stimulus that horses experience at an event.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is proud to be a part of helping the area’s favorite Mustang trainer with his newest project, and also stands behind Albritton in his efforts outside of the arena. Albritton is currently dedicating time to helping two local residents overcome tragedies. On July 9, he held a benefit barrel race for Jacee Beth Thomas at Albritton’s facility in Green Coves Springs. Barrel racer Thomas was injured in an accident when a train struck her car, and she is now on the long and costly road to recovery. Albritton hopes that the proceeds from the event will help provide Thomas and her family with some financial support.

Albritton is also working with the organization Dreaming of Three to help brighten the life of Kasen, a young cancer patient. Albritton plans to host an event that will let the young boy experience the animals on Albritton’s ranch amidst friends, family, and supporters in Jacksonville. Albritton also hopes to have a blood donation bus at the event, as Kasen is in need of blood donations. For more information on how to contribute to these efforts, contact Albritton at

Meanwhile at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, other events open to the public will immediately follow the Double Up Horsemanship Clinic. Next up will be Community Night Schooling on July 19, and then the #GetLikeHeather Car Show on July 30. For more information, visit or call Penny Gorton at (904) 255-4227.

For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-255-4227
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221