Tag Archives: AQHA

Heza Dasha Fire Named 2015 World Champion

Andrea Caudill photo.

The sophomore gelding earns the top honor after a dominating year.

American Quarter Horse Association, January 20, 2016 — Heza Dasha Fire swept through 2015 like a raging wildfire, and on January 20 was named the sport’s World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse, as well as champion 3-year-old and champion 3-year-old gelding.

A homebred racing for the Meneely family’s S-Quarter K LLC of Kennewick, Washington, Heza Dasha Fire was undefeated in five starts during the year. He began with a victory in the Golden State Derby (G2), followed by a win in the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1). In a climactic finish on the year, the Jose Antonio Flores trainee took on both older horses and the classic 440-yard distance for the first time and won the Champion of Champions (G1) impressively. Ridden by Cruz Mendez in all his starts, he won every race by daylight and earned $726,432.

Sired by Walk Thru Fire and out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Dasha Freda, Heza Dasha Fire was also the champion 2-year-old gelding in 2014 and has a career record of 11 wins in 12 starts and career earnings of $1,689,388.

S-Quarter K also celebrates as the champion breeders, and his half-brother, Ima Fearless Hero, was named the champion 2-year-old gelding.

Two industry leaders were also recognized for their work in the industry over the past year.

Texas Quarter Horse Association Executive Director Val Clark was honored with the Mildred N. Vessels Special Achievement Award for her work in supporting the Texas horse industry and the racing industry as a whole. Clark is a huge ambassador, and her work affects everything from youth programs to Texas-bred race payouts to legislative efforts.

AQHA Past President Johnny Trotter was awarded the Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award. Trotter works tirelessly as one of the country’s largest feedlot owners, horse breeder, community leader and philanthropist. His many accomplishments in the industry, including his recent stint on the AQHA Executive Committee, has made the industry a better place.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Heza Dasha Fire Named Supreme Race Horse

American Quarter Horse Association, December 28, 2015 – Heza Dasha Fire has become the 35th horse since 2002 to become an AQHA Supreme Race Horse.

The 3-year-old gelding, bred and raced by S-Quarter K LLC of Kennewick, Washington, is the 106th horse in total to earn the award (the awards prior to 2002 were given retroactively).

The Supreme Race Horse award recognizes a racing American Quarter Horse who during his or her career earns $500,000 or more, wins two or more open Grade 1 stakes races and at least 10 races.

Heza Dasha Fire has raced exclusively at Los Alamitos Race Course in his 12-race career. Of those races, he has won 11, with his sole career defeat being a fourth-place finish in last year’s Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity (G1). He most recently won the Champion of Champions (G1), and also has on his record victories in the Los Alamitos Super Derby (G1), Ed Burke Million Futurity (G1), Golden State Million Futurity (G1) and Golden State Derby (G2). He has earned $1,689,388.

The horse is by Walk Thru Fire and is out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Dasha Freda. Last year’s champion 2-year-old gelding, Heza Dasha Fire is a leading contender for championship honors this year.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHARacing on Twitter, “like” Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Racing Welfare Statement

American Quarter Horse Association, May 1, 2015 – Yesterday, legislation was introduced into the United States Congress to end interstate wagering. The American Quarter Horse Association opposes this bill because it threatens the existence of the horse racing industry in America and disregards the positive work the industry is doing regarding the welfare of the horse.

AQHA believes that equine welfare is of paramount importance, and as part of the industry effort, AQHA has implemented its Multiple Medication Violation System, addressed the misuse of medication and performance-enhancing drugs, funds equine welfare research, and supports the adoption of the national uniform medication program. In addition, AQHA continues dialog with racetracks and state jurisdictions to support increased testing and rule enforcement.

AQHA stands firm in its opposition of this bill while we and our industry partners continue to make significant and meaningful progress on welfare issues.

For more information on American Quarter Horse racing, visit www.aqharacing.com.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Para-Reining Returns to AQHA World Championship Show

Derrick Perkins Wins the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show Para-Reining Demonstration. Photo courtesy of Larri Jo Starkey.

Oklahoma City, OK – November 16, 2014 – Para-reining returned November 15 to the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show as a demonstration sport.

Six high-level para-dressage riders changed saddles and took a spin on American Quarter Horses in the Jim Norick Coliseum at Oklahoma State Fair Park.

Along with a standing ovation from the crowd of reining enthusiasts in Oklahoma City, U.S. Air Force veteran Derrick Perkins received the high score of the night, a 74, from international judge Joe Carter.

Perkins was injured in 1988 while on active duty and the crowd was on its feet to honor both his service and his riding.

For the demonstration at the World Show, the para-reiners were matched with top-notch professionals who coached them on their rides and helped mount them on American Quarter Horses donated for the day.

Perkins’ coaches were reining’s double-gold medalist and the National Reining Horse Association’s only $5 million rider, Shawn Flarida of Springfield, Ohio, and AQHA Professional Horseman J. D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado, one of the best ropers in the world.

Perkins’ horse was Mr Fritz Wood, a 2008 buckskin stallion by Mr Junewood and out of Fritz Lovelady by China Fritz. He was bred by 20-year breeders Sam Shoultz and Ken Matzner of Fort Collins, Colorado, and was donated by his owner, Lincoln Figueiredo of Brazil, who was world champion in amateur heeling and amateur tie-down roping at the World Show. Figueiredo and the stallion were also reserve champions in the AQHA Farnam All-Around Amateur standings.

Other competitors included Katie Shoemaker, who won the reserve national title in both the team test and freestyle competitions for Grade III at the United States Equestrian Federation Para-Dressage National Championship. She was selected for the United States Equestrian Team short list for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Shoemaker studies at Midwestern University College of Veterinary Medicine and has served in several leadership roles with the United States Dressage Federation.

Shoemaker was coached by Josh Visser of Visser Reining Horses in Whitesboro, Texas, and she rode See Stevies Dream, a 2011 gelding by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Kalico Whiz by Topsail Whiz. He was bred by Lyle, Sondra and Josh Visser of Whitesboro and is owned by Visser’s wife, Carri.

Frederick Win rode Shiners Little Spark, a 2008 palomino gelding by Shining Spark and out of Smart Little Betty by Smart Little Lena. He was bred by Blair Visser of Agassiz, British Columbia, and was donated by his owner, Christina Riley of Battle Ground, Washington.

Win started learning dressage in 2011 and successfully competed at the United States Dressage Federation national level and FEI international level shows. Win competed at the Kentucky Reining Cup and at the World Show in 2013. He is coached by reining trainer Josh Visser, who also serves on the NRHA executive committee and was the 2013 NRHA professional horseman of the year.

Elinor Switzer traveled from Europe to participate in the para-reining demonstration at the World Show. Switzer is a founding member and past chairwoman of the Para-Western Riders of Germany and has an extensive show record in AQHA Equestrians with Disabilities classes. Switzer is a para-equestrian FEI Grade 4 rider.

AQHA Professional Horseman Shane Brown, a winning freestyle reiner from Elbert, Colorado, coached Switzer through her ride on Little Dual Dunnit, a 2001 bay gelding by Hollywood Dun It and out of Little Dual Missie by Dual Pep. He was bred by Tim and Colleen McQuay of Tioga, Texas, and is owned by Marc Jenkins of Colorado Springs, who generously donated him for the demonstration.

Paralympian Rebecca Hart was among the riders who competed at the World Show in 2013 and returned for more in 2014. She represented the United States in para-dressage at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. Her coach was Martin Muehlstaetter, a respected reining trainer and a member of Team Austria at the 2014 World Equestrian Games. Hart rode Spookanne, a homebred mare donated by Rosanne Sternberg of Sterling Ranch. Spookanne is a 2006 mare by Smart Spook and out of Annieote Freckles by Colonel Freckles.

Holly Jacobson of Ipswich, Massachusetts grew up in Connecticut riding hunters. Jacobson has been pursuing para-dressage the last four years and now para-reining. For the second time, Jacobson rode Zins Smart Wrangler, a 2011 gelding donated by Reed Kyle of Whitesboro, Texas. Jacobson was third on “Wrangler” at the para-reining event during the Kentucky Reining Cup in April. Jacobson’s coach for the day was Fred Thomsson, a champion reining trainer who represented Sweden at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky and the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

Para-reining made its debut during the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, and interest in the sport continues to grow. For 2014, AQHA adopted para-reining rules in collaboration with USA Reining and NRHA. Those rules will be revised after this test year and with the cooperation of the United States Para-Equestrian Association with the goal of making para-reining a nationally recognized sport in 2015.

By: Larri Jo Starkey for The American Quarter Horse Journal

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.

Perfecting the Sidepass with Your Horse

The way a horse correctly sidepasses to the right is with both the left front and the left rear foot crossing toward or over the right front and right rear foot. Jean Abernethy illustration.

AQHA Professional Horseman Bill Bormes finishes up this series by teaching how to position your leg to cue for the sidepass and how to do some more advanced maneuvers.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Last week, we left off where your body is centered in the saddle, hips loose and free, feeling balanced on your horse. Depending on your horse’s balance, you position your left leg to fit it. Here’s how to do that:

If it feels like her hip needs to move first, I slide my left leg a little farther back. If she’s feeling balanced, I keep my left leg in the middle of her ribs. If I need to move the left shoulder to the right first, I move my left leg forward. These moves are usually miniscule, never more than 3 or 4 inches from the center of her ribs.

Here’s how I position my leg to cue her. First, I turn my toe out by releasing my knee from contact with the saddle. This allows the back of my foot, my spur and the back of my lower calf to be the main contact area on my horse’s side to signal her to move laterally or sidepass.

Because my left leg is the driving or aid leg in this movement, I am also sitting more heavily on my left hip. As I cue her, I simultaneously release the tension in my right hip so that my right leg is relaxed and slightly away from her side. This “opens the door” and allows her to move freely to the right.

Then we laterally cross the log, smoothly and without jabbing, adjusting the position of my leg and hand to keep her hip and her shoulder in alignment as needed.

The way a horse correctly sidepasses to the right is with both the left front and the left rear foot crossing toward or over the right front and right rear foot. If you’re traveling to the right, the left foot should cross over in front of the right foot. Correctly performed, the sidepass almost feels as if the hip is leading the movement.

Again, perfecting the sidepass requires practice, practice and more practice. This develops you and your horse’s confidence in your muscle memory. The first time you ask a horse to sidepass shouldn’t be at the show. Please remember not to make the sidepass a drill. None of us enjoy having something crammed down our throats.

Our horses are also creatures of habit and easily learn what we want of them if we practice intelligent, kind, consistent education. Drilling on anything over and over sours everyone.

Lateral movement is a fundamental part of all higher-level riding. Ranch riding puts us and our horses into all kinds of predicaments. Our horses must be ready to cooperate. That’s why the sidepass is such an important facet of the ranch pleasure patterns.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Shows Return to Tampa December 27-31, 2014

Jessica McAllister and Vinnys Poco Sam at the 2013 Florida Gold Coast QH Show.

Tampa, Fla. – October 13, 2014 – Quarter Horse riders, owners and trainers mark your calendars and clear your schedules now for December 27-31, 2014. The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Shows is returning to the Florida State Fairgrounds’ Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and the five full days of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows are not to be missed.

The Florida Gold Coast extensive class schedule includes numerous hunter, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, western pleasure, trail, driving, showmanship, horsemanship, western riding and halter classes. Additionally, reining, roping, ranch horse pleasure and working cow horse classes will all be held at the nearby Triple J Arena. There are classes for everyone, ranging from walk/trot to open, and including rookie, novice, amateur and youth divisions.

The show schedule will also feature special events such as the $2,000 Collection Hunter Classic, the $1,000 Retro Trail Derby, the $1,000 Hunter Pairs Stake, the $2,000 NSBA Western Pleasure Futurity, the $2,000 NSBA Hunter Under Saddle Futurity, and the $1,000 Green Trail Stakes.

Judges for the 2014 Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Winter Circuit are as follows:

  • Karen Waters
  • Verlin Frederick Potts
  • Christopher Jeter
  • Robin Frid
  • Brian Ellsworth
  • David Avery

The show will once again welcome world-class trail clinician Tim “The Trail Man” Kimura, who will be returning to design the trail courses and conduct clinics throughout each of the two weeks.

The schedule and entry information are now available online by visiting www.flgoldcoastcircuit.com.

Florida Gold Coast and Florida Gulf Coast Quarter Horse Show Circuit Fast Facts

EVENT: Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Show Circuit

WHEN: December 27-31, 2014

WHAT: The Florida Gold Coast Quarter Horse Circuit features five full American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows and five days of events including hunters, equitation, reining, western pleasure, trail riding, driving, showmanship, halter, roping, ranch pleasure and more.

WHERE:

Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 North US Highway 301
Tampa, FL 33680

Triple J Ranch
861 Sinclair Drive
Sarasota, FL 34240

SPONSORSHIP: Corporate and individual sponsors are invited to participate at any level. For additional information about our sponsorship opportunities, please contact Matt Morrissey at matt.morrissey@stadiumjumping.com.

Emily Riden for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

MEDIA CONTACT:
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
12012 South Shore Blvd #105
Wellington, FL 33414
561-753-3389 (phone)
561-753-3386 (fax)
pmginfo@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Steal Some Horse-Training Moves from Dressage

When two-tracking to the left, your horse moves forward and laterally toward the left while maintaining a slight bend to the right. Journal photo.

Chances are, you use dressage techniques every time you saddle up. AQHA Judge and Professional Horsewoman Christa Baldwin explains two-tracking and haunches-in.

While the event itself seems like a completely foreign concept to many who ride in other disciplines, dressage really has more in common with your discipline than you realize. The “two-tracking” and “haunches-in” maneuvers in particular are useful to all horsemen – not just those who participate in dressage. AQHA judge and Professional Horsewoman Christa Baldwin explains why and shows you how to make sure your horse knows these useful maneuvers.

Two-Tracking

For this example, the maneuver is performed to the left. To go to the right, simply reverse your cues.

I teach this to my new students and all my young horses almost immediately.

For a right-to-left two-track maneuver:

  1. Pick up the right rein and bend the horse until you see its right eye.
  2. Apply your right leg (to begin moving to the left).
  3. Apply your left rein in a half-halt. When you pick up the left rein and feel your horse move laterally to the left, release softly but immediately and begin forward motion. (Note: If you pull too much, you take away the forward movement.)

Continue with leg pressure and pick up again on the left rein. Repeat this give and take (half-halt) with the left rein while continuing the right bend until you reach your destination.

I usually start this maneuver down the center of the arena and move diagonally toward the fence, keeping the shoulder and hip parallel with the fence. (The fence gives you a visual marker so you can see how well you’re staying on target, and you’ll know if you’re letting your horse’s hip drag behind or shoulder leak out ahead.)

If your horse’s shoulder gets ahead (too far to the left), correct the problem by applying more left rein to stop the shoulder and more right leg to encourage the hip to get straight and catch up with the shoulder.

Two-tracking is always a forward movement. If you’re not moving forward, you’re probably using too much hand and not enough leg and seat.

Haunches-In

For a haunches-in (to the right) maneuver:

  1. Bend your horse’s head slightly to the right.
  2. Keep your right leg forward near the girth (this is the leg your horse will bend around).
  3. Slide your left leg back and apply pressure to bring the haunches to the right.
  4. Begin forward motion. As you move forward, half-halt (apply a give-and-take pressure) with the left rein. This is an indirect rein to the haunches that helps bring the haunches to the right.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Go behind the Gates of a Horse Race

Horse racing starts at the gate, and how a racehorse departs from the gate can have a big effect on his performance. Journal photo.

Trainer Russell Harris shares his inside secrets for creating a good gate horse

Working the horse-racing gates can be a dangerous job, but renowned trainer Russell Harris works with his young racehorses to make the process a little safer.

Gate training begins with familiarizing the horse with the gate.

This includes letting the horse have a good look at the gate, then walking him through repeatedly.

Russell says his key to creating a good gate horse is patience.

He keeps these seven steps in mind when training young horses to start on the racetrack:

  1. Russell ensures that his horses are thoroughly conditioned to the gate before they start in a race.
  2. He also takes the process slowly. Russell lets a solid month go by before he begins shutting the horses in the stalls.
  3. Once his horses are comfortable with that, he opens the gates by hand and lets the horse walk out.
  4. Additionally, he never tries to force his horses to break out of the gate. Instead, he teaches them to follow the doors.
  5. Russell never uses a whip to get a horse out of the gate. Instead, he and his assistants will work on the gate more often until the horse is following those doors.
  6. If Russell has an older horse with gate anxiety, he’ll start at square one.
  7. Typically, Russell says he doesn’t use flipping halters on his horses, unless he gets a horse from somebody else that he doesn’t have enough time to fix before the horse has to hit the racetrack again.

And once the horse is trained for his job and ready to go, the gate crew is ready and waiting to help the horse do his best.

“Those guys do a good job, and if you have a problem, say, from the last time he ran, or he has got a little history, you’ll refresh the starter’s memory or he’ll refresh yours,” Russell says. “Most of them are real good about working with you – you’re going up there as a team, trying to figure it out.”

Can’t get enough of the horse-racing world? Read more about the racing American Quarter Horse!

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

A Horse Training How-To: Forehand Turns

To execute a proper forehand turn, you must have the correct balance between leg aid and pressure on the horse’s mouth. Jean Abernethy illustration.

Learn how to execute a correct forehand turn with these tips.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Michael Colvin in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Being able to do forehand turns and haunches turns (pivots or spins) with your horse gives you complete control of your horse’s body.

If you can do both of those things, then you are able to do any number of maneuvers that come into play once you can isolate and maintain control of both ends of your horse – sidepasses, counter-canters, circling a cow, etc.

That’s why in western horsemanship and hunt seat equitation, you are asked to do these turns. They allow you to show off your basic skills. The more precise you are with them, the better. If you can add speed, it increases the degree of difficulty and improves your score.

I think the forehand turn is a little more difficult for some people to learn how to do. It’s easier for people to control and move the front end of the horse (as in a turn on the haunches), than it is to move the back end for the forehand turn. For one thing, you have your steering in the front. It’s not more difficult for the horse; it just takes a little more practice for the rider.

For a horse to do a turn well, he must be secure in how to move away from the rider’s leg. A good bit of a horse’s instinct is when you push him, he pushes back. In training, our job is to teach a horse to move away from our leg, and that’s necessary to make this kind of maneuver happen.

The horse also must have respect for the bridle: he shouldn’t run through the bridle or ignore the rein aids that the rider gives correctly.

Common Problems:

  • Aids coordination. It takes a lot of hand-leg-mind coordination to do a forehand turn and to do it precisely. You have to isolate one end of the horse’s body, maneuver it and maintain control of the other end. It takes coordination to get that to happen. For example, if you apply too much leg and not enough hand, your horse is probably going to leave the turn or just walk in a circle. If you use too much hand and not enough leg, you may get too much bend in the neck, or your horse is going to back up and out of the turn. You have to maintain the forward motion through the turn and not pull back too much.
  • Resisting the leg aid. You have to get your horse to respond to your leg so he will actually move away from pressure. If your horse resists your leg, he’s not going to move at all. Riders often want to try to force the turn to happen with a spur. The more you try to force, it gives the horse more reason to push back against you. If you just dig your spur in, you’re not going to get a very good turn.
  • Poor balance. If you don’t stay centered, it unbalances the horse and affects the horse’s desire to stay underneath you. It will be more difficult for the horse to maintain the turn, because he’s trying to maintain his own balance underneath an unbalanced rider.

What to Do

Part of perfecting forehand turns is for you to be clear on what needs to happen to get the results you are looking for. A turn is not just a matter of kicking the horse to the right or left.

You need to be educated as to what you’re trying to achieve and what needs to happen in what order. That’s a common pitfall: not being clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Check out the first step in perfecting this fundamental horse-training move:

Understand a correct forehand turn. In a left forehand turn, you use your left leg to move the hind end to the right, and the horse’s head revolves to the left. In a right forehand turn, you use your right leg to move the hind end to the left, and the horse’s head revolves to the right.

For me, the best way to remember that is to think the direction that the nose travels is the direction of the turn. Or the direction of the turn corresponds to the leg you use to move the haunches.

Watch a proper turn executed from the ground and see how the horse’s body and legs move. The body is straight from poll to hips, with the head flexed slightly to the left or right, depending on the direction of the turn. In a left forehand turn, the horse holds the left (inside) front foot still and moves the right front around that leg. The left hind steps forward and sideways, reaching across in front of the right hind. It’s a step forward and laterally, so that with every step, he moves around the circle a little farther.

Remember, the turn is a forward motion, and that’s certainly difficult for some people to grasp. As the horse turns, you have to push him forward, into the bridle, so his weight is forward.

© 2013 America’s Horse Daily

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

FEI Cooperation Agreement with NRHA and AQHA to Foster Growth of Reining

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medallists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg (GER). (Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne)

Lausanne (SUI), 20 March 2014 – The FEI has signed a cooperation agreement with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), formalising the FEI’s relationship with the NRHA and AQHA that has been in place since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002.

The agreement covers areas of common interest including horse welfare, FEI Rules and Regulations, FEI Clean Sport, stewarding, education and FEI recognition.

Under the agreement, the FEI will have sole jurisdiction over Reining competitions for horses aged seven years and over, and the NRHA and AQHA will manage all competitions for horses of six years and under.

An exception has been made for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, where six-year-old horses will be eligible to compete.

“The FEI, NRHA and AQHA, while separate and distinct organisations, have recognised as the major stakeholders in the Reining world that together they can foster the growth of our sport globally, and this agreement is a major milestone in the expansion of Reining,” said Bob Thompson, FEI Reining Committee Chairman, who played a crucial role in formalising this agreement.

“Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have worked closely with the NRHA and AQHA to grow the sport worldwide, and the expansion has been huge, with 115 Reining events last year compared to just five in 2002,” said Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Reining, Driving & Vaulting.

“FEI Reining will again be under the global spotlight this summer at the world’s biggest equestrian event, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, in the heart of Normandy. Just one month before, the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors will take place in Switzerland at the beginning of July. Our busy Reining event calendar is a true reflection of just how popular Reining has become amongst athletes of all ages, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with the NRHA and AQHA to foster further growth of Reining worldwide.”

The NRHA, based in Oklahoma City (USA), was formed in 1966 and brings together over 19,000 members, including 1,400 youngsters.

The AQHA, located in Amarillo, Texas (USA), was created in 1940 and is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organisation. It first recognised Reining as a sport in 1949.

“The NRHA is very excited to be moving forward with its relationship with the FEI, and to growing the sport of Reining worldwide,” said Beth Himes, NRHA President.

Don Treadway, Executive Vice President of the AQHA, added: “Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have seen the sport introduced to several new countries, and we look forward to working closely together with the FEI to advance the worldwide growth of Reining well into the future.”

National Reining Horse Association (NRHA): http://nrha1.com
American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA): http://aqha.com

FEI Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
ruth.grundy@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Media Relations
Email: malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 133