Lexington, KY – Eighteen of the top reiners from the U.S. and Canada vied for team and individual honors in the CRI3* division of the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup Friday evening. Riding Reining Pattern Number 10, the best in the game went head-to-head in the Alltech Arena. An appreciative audience needed to wait until the final rider of the third and final rotation entered the ring. It was well worth the wait as Shawn Flarida and Wimps Chocolate Chip slid to a decisive four point victory.
Flarida (Springfield, OH), who won the inaugural CRI at the 2011 Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup, and Rick Clark’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse gelding ran to a score of 228 on the strength of great acceleration and phenomenal slides and spins. From his bold entrance all the way to the final slide, Flarida rode like a man on a mission.
“I just had a lot of fun in this ride. You can run him and he comes right back. You can run him down there and the just say ‘whoa’ and he comes right back. I have a lot of enjoyment playing with this horse,” said Flarida of the horse he has been riding since his three-year-old year. “This horse here, his longevity is unbelievable. He’s really fun to ride.”