Tag Archives: American Quarter Horse World Championship Show

Rebecca Hart Trades Pirouettes for Spins during 2014 Para-Reining Demonstration

Rebecca Hart riding Spookanne, a 2006 mare by Smart Spook and out of Annieote Freckles by Colonel Freckles. Photo Courtesy of: The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Oklahoma City, OK – November 24, 2014 – The atmosphere was electrifying at the 2014 American Quarter Horse World Championship Show. On Nov. 15 the Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Park welcomed not only the best reiners in the business, but also six high performance para-equestrians to demonstrate the developing discipline of para-reining, including two-time U.S. Paralympian and Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games athlete Becca Hart.

This was the third opportunity for spectators, organizers and athletes to experience para-reining on an international stage. The 2013 event was the pilot event for the discipline, and USA Reining and the United States Para Equestrian Association (USPEA) are working together to develop the discipline even further for 2015 and beyond. Hart was among the riders who competed at the American Quarter Horse World Championship Show in 2013 and returned for more in 2014.

“It was quite impressive to see the growth from 2013,” Hart said. “The discipline is still in its development stages, and USA Reining and USPEA are still working on the classification system, but it has been quite impressive.”

Each of the six riders was paired with a top reiner and worked alongside them to learn the ropes. Hart’s trainer was Martin Muehlstaetter, a member of Team Austria at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. Hart rode Spookanne, owned by Rosanne Sternberg of Sterling Ranch.

“The American Quarter Horse Association and National Reining Horse Association have been so supportive of this initiative, and inclusive in Para,” Hart described. “It is really nice to have the support of the community behind us. The audience was on their feet, and they all know what they are looking for. These top reiners, they make it look easy out there. It definitely isn’t.”

Hart continued, “It was so much fun to go out there and try it. There is definitely a lot to it, and the horses were amazing. They were so understanding and they tried to figure out what we, as para-equestrians, need.”

USA Reining took steps to ensure that the riders were able to utilize many of the same staples they use during their dressage tests, including adaptive reins and rubber bands. The associations are working together to develop the classification system for the different levels, and they are using high technological research to correctly identify the proper patterns and abilities of riders in each of those classifications. As a part of an on-going research study undertaken by USA Reining, motion capture technology is being used with the able-bodied reiners, allowing researchers to see the key physical elements needed in order to perform certain movements.

Hart admitted that this is something that she sees herself pursuing in the future, but first she has to dig a little deeper into the developing discipline.

“It is all about balance, fluidity and harmony, very much like dressage. Even though you are doing it in a western saddle it is the same principles. Instead of doing a pirouette you do a spin,” Hart smiled. “I can definitely see myself competing in this in the future. This has been a fantastic taste. It is everything I love about dressage with speed added to it – it adds adrenaline.”

Hart concluded, “A big thank you to Brad Ettleman and everyone for hosting and promoting the sport. I think it has a good place in the horse world, and I am excited to see it go further. To do it at the inaugural event was very special. I also want to say thank you to the AQHA for opening their arms to the para discipline by hosting the event at their World Championship Show. Anytime we can grow the para-sport is spectacular.”

For more information on Becca Hart and Cherry Knoll Farm, please visit http://www.cherryknollfarminc.com/.

Media Contact: Kendall Bierer
Phelps Media Group, Inc. International
phone 561.753.3389  fax 561.753.3386

2014 American Quarter Horse World Championship Show Schedules Para-Reining Demonstration

Rebecca Hart with Pete Kyle and his horse Zins Smart Wrangler at the 2013 Para-Reining Demonstration. Photo by Lindsay Y. McCall.

Oklahoma City, OK – October 3, 2014 – The American Quarter Horse (AQHA) World Championship Show November 7-22, will once again feature a para-equestrian reining demonstration on November 15, 2014. The demonstration will take place in The Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City after the Senior Reining CRI 3*. The previous 2013 AQHA World Championship Show featured English, western, and halter disciplines, 3,401 entries, a total purse more than $2.4 million, riders from 49 states and 7 countries, and the best Reiners in the business. This para-reining demonstration will be the third opportunity for spectators, organizers, and current and potential athletes to experience para-reining on an international platform. The 2013 event was the launch pad for the 2014 development year and 2015 and beyond international para-reining competition. Riders in the past two demonstrations included international para-dressage athletes, two Paralympians, and current reining equestrians. Each reiner rode specific patterns that were part of the newly adapted para-reining rules. Riders will be judged by FEI 4* Reining jury and given accolades based on their performance. USA Reining and the United States Para-Equestrian Association, in cooperation with the AQHA and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), make this event possible.

The popularity of the first para-reining demonstration began at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show in November. The second installment was during the Kentucky Reining Cup April 26, 2014, held at the Kentucky Horse Park, and was titled the Cargill’s Nutrena® brand Para-Reining Event. The April demonstration was a feature during the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Reining Selection Trial and the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event.

With the proven success of the 2013 and 2014 Para-Reining demonstrations USA Reining is looking forward to continuing to work with the AQHA and NRHA to grow this para-equestrian discipline into an international high performance sport. It has already received numerous praises from international athletes, coaches, and judges, interested in participating in this future high-performance para-equestrian discipline.

During the 2014 competition year, USA Reining is using newly adapted para-reining rules. The new rules are a collaboration of AQHA Equestrians with Disabilities, NRHA and USA Reining. The adapted rules will be continually specialized, revised, and collated with the FEI para-equestrian rules for the 2015 competition year. Members are encouraged to provide feedback for integration of the 2015 rules.

For more information about USA Reining, please visit www.USA-Reining.com.

If you are interested in the para-reining program or would like to provide member feedback, please contact Brad Ettleman at Brad@HPowerInc.com.

To view more about the American Quarter Horse (AQHA) World Championship Show November 7-22, 2014, please visit http://aqha.com/Showing/World-Show.aspx.

To view the 2013 Para-Reining Demonstration Press Release and photographs please click here: http://uspea.org/november-18-2013-para-reining-debut-at-the-2013-aqha-world-championship-show-proves-successful/.

You may also view the Para-Reining discipline information and potential patterns on the USPEA website at http://uspea.org/para-reining/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts. The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport. This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline. From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved. From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed. The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.