Tag Archives: FEI World Reining Championships for Seniors

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: http://www.worldreiningchampionships2016.com.

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:  http://www.worldreiningchampionships2016.com/en/start.

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:  http://www.worldreiningchampionships2016.com/en/start.

By Simona Diale

FEI Media Contact:

Leanne Williams
Manager Press Relations
+41 79 314 24 38