Oklahoma City, OK – Youth reiners in three age groups competed in the USEF National Youth Reining Championships at the NRHA Derby in Oklahoma City Saturday evening. Layla Choate, Elizabeth Cosper, and Karl Johnson left the Adequan Arena with titles.
In the 19-21 age division there was no lack of drama. When competition ended with Layla Choate (Hazel, KY) and Plus One Chex and Michael Pope (Theodore, AL) and Whizota locked in a tie at the top with scores of 146, the two decided to run off for the National Championship. In the end it was Choate with a run off score of 144 that squeaked out the win. Pope and Whizota gave it their all but finished with 143. Laura Sumrall (Summit, MS) finished third on Einsteins Fancy Pine.
Elizabeth Cosper (Wilmington, NC) and Magnums Pretty Patty bested a field of ten to take the 14-18 age division National Championship. It was a close competition in which the top three riders were separated by only half a point. Cosper’s 139.5 was good enough for a win over Hailey Munger (Atlanta, GA) and Surely A Smartpepto who took second via tiebreaker over Javier Melo (Pinecrest, FL) and Wimpy Little Girl. Munger and Melo both finished half a point off the championship score with 139s. Scores of two judges, one representing NRHA and one representing USEF, were combined to determine final scores. The score given by USEF judge Greg Darnall was used as a tiebreaker. Darnall scored Melo at 69 and Munger just a bit higher at 69.5.
Oklahoma City, OK – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) welcomed Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) competitors to the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Show on June 30, 2011. Competitors were given an opportunity to participate the first-ever NRHA Interscholastic Reining Championship, a competition similar to the long-standing NRHA Collegiate Championship.
The new championship class brought together the top four riders from the Individual Open Reining at the IEA National Western Championship and the top four riders from the 2010 NRHA Youth 14-18 division in an exciting competition where the youth will show unfamiliar horses donated by generous supporters.
Layla Choate of Hazel, Ky. and Dunit Pistol Pete (donated by Kathleen Ray of Aubrey, Tex.), earned the first Interscholastic Championship title with a score of 217.5. Megan Foley of the Autumn Rose Equestrian Team in Powell, Ohio, rode Check This Dun It (donated by Lorrie & Terry Thrasher) and was awarded Reserve Champion with a score of 217.
Choate will be attending the University of South Carolina in the fall where she will be majoring in environmental science. Choate offered advice to young riders by saying, “Work hard every day and ride as many different horses as you can.“ She said that by doing so you will improve yourself as a showman.