Tag Archives: Shawn Flarida

Flarida Makes It a Fantastic Five with Victory in Individual Reining Final

Shawn Flarida steered Spooks Gotta Whiz to win individual Reining gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Parc des Expositions at Caen, Normandy tonight. (Dirk Caremans/FEI)

Normandy (FRA), 30 August 2014 – America’s Shawn Flarida galloped to gold in the Reining Individual Final at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy tonight where US riders filled every step of the podium.

Partnering the seven-year-old Spooks Gotta Whiz, 45-year-old Flarida produced a super score of 233.5 to put the result beyond doubt when last to go. His team gold medal winning compatriots from earlier in the week, Andrea Fappani and Mandy McCutcheon, clinched silver and bronze.

Flarida’s fabulous five golds include a double at Jerez (ESP) in 2002, team gold in Kentucky (USA) four years ago and team and individual gold again at Normandy 2014. Tonight he showed the cutting edge that has kept him at the top end of his chosen sport for many years.

And Spooks Gotta Whiz produced the perfect performance to do just that. Flarida said, “Andrea put so much pressure on me as far as he went in there and marked a 230 and set the world on fire – it was definitely a lot of pressure but at the same time it was a lot of fun, just knowing that I had that horse to do what he can do.”

Rose to a climax

The whistling and cheering rose to a climax as the action played itself out in front of a packed house in the Parc des Expositions in Caen. A total of 21 made the cut into the individual medal-decider and it was America’s Troy Heikes and Lil Gun Dunit who took the early lead when posting a score of 220.5. But Germany’s Ludwig Grischa raised the bar with a great run from the six-year-old Ruf Tuf Juice, and 226.00 would leave them out in front right into the closing stages.

Great Britain’s Josh Collins was first to go in the second group of horse-and-rider combinations, scoring 218.5 with the pint-sized Spook a Little. They didn’t quite nail their first stop, but the 24-year-old who works in the family jewellery business, which includes amongst its distinguished clientele the British royal family, said, “This was our first WEG and I’m very happy,” promising to return to challenge for a medal at next year’s FEI European Reining Championships in Aachen, Germany.

It wasn’t until McCutcheon set off with Yellow Jersey that Grischa’s lead was seriously undermined. Family connections are everywhere in the sport of Reining, and McCutcheon’s 10-year-old stallion is owned by her parents, Colleen and Tim McQuay. Tim was a member of the winning US team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky, and Mandy is married to another member of that winning side, the 2010 Individual champion Tom McCutcheon who also made it into tonight’s finale.

Her score of 227.00 put Mandy out in front until, second-last to go, Fappani set off with Custom Cash Advance who racked up a mark of 229.00.

Crowd went wild

Flarida was the only competitor to return to the ring after the last drag break, and the crowd went wild as he galloped through the entrance gate to his first halt and back up. They got even wilder as he put together four spins to the right, four and one-quarter spins to the left and then circles, fast and slow, at each end of the arena, with the lead-changes crucial to a strong score. The noise level was near-deafening as he brought the pattern to its conclusion with run downs and rollbacks before the final sliding stop. When the commentator confirmed his score of 233.5 the spectators nearly lifted the roof off the arena in a show of appreciation.

Talking about the sound level throughout the evening, Flarida said afterwards, “My horse didn’t hear my verbal cues at all; he ran in there and he had to listen to my hands and my legs. It was a blast to show here. The crowd was really into it. It was really, really neat!”

He took the time to accept congratulations from the public as he walked around the arena with his horse after completing his gold-medal-winning run. “It’s one way for us competitors to give back and say thank you for them yelling and screaming their hearts out. They’re going to be hoarse tomorrow, and we do really appreciate it. It’s really fun to see the little kids when you ride by; they’re trying to touch the horses, and we enjoy doing it,” he explained.

Could have stepped up

He insisted his victory was no walk in the park. “There were a number of different guys that could have stepped up and won this,” he insisted.

He continued, “When you go in there and show, there is so much emotion and so many things going on, I didn’t really know what way it was scoring. I knew my horse was as good as he could be; he prepared exactly like he showed, and from a horseman’s standpoint when they warm up and they prep just like that, then it makes you really happy. Sometimes it doesn’t always go that good, but tonight it was just right.”

“My game plan was: don’t make any mistakes. For whatever reason, that horse, he knows when showtime is. I don’t know how he knows, but he steps up and he does his job,” Flarida added.

McCutcheon was thrilled with her ride – “My horse walked in the ring and stepped up and that’s just a great show-horse when they do that. I couldn’t be happier. To be here tonight, I feel like I won! To be behind Shawn and Andrea is an amazing feeling!” she said.

Fappani joked that “This would have been my best performance ever if it wasn’t for this guy right here!” pointing at Flarida. Fappani has only been competing with Custom Cash Advance for a short period. “I think this was just the fifth time I’ve shown him. We started with a 216 (score), not knowing each other just a few months ago, then 200, 224, 228 and now 229 so it has kept getting better and better. Coming into this Games the only thing that worried me a little bit was that I didn’t have as much time as I probably should have had with this horse. I purchased it just a few months ago, but I came here confident that the horse knew what he was doing and I just knew that I needed to give him the confidence myself to do his job, and that’s what I kept telling myself tonight. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” the new Reining individual silver medallist pointed out.

Reflected

McCutcheon reflected on the circumstances that have led her to Individual bronze at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy. “I’ve been lucky to have the opportunities I’ve had for my whole career. The opportunities my parents have given me… I couldn’t be more thankful or appreciative to them; I wouldn’t be here without them and the same thing with Tom (her husband). He’s been asked a million times what’s it like to be watching me on the team, and he’s said, she’s followed me everywhere. And he doesn’t mind supporting me, so I really appreciate that,” she said.

Flarida spoke about the challenge of tonight’s pattern. “That run-in stop is kind of the key to that pattern – it’s the hardest one, and when everyone’s yelling like that and those horses run in it’s pretty exciting. The three of our horses tonight, that’s where we did it,” he said.

Following the prize-giving ceremony he could be seen giving his gold medal away. When asked about that at the post-competition press conference, the newly-crowned champion revealed it wasn’t going too far.

“I gave it to my little boy right there,” he said, pointing to his son Sam. “He’s a real horse enthusiast and he told me we’d have to work hard for this tonight, so I thought it would be fitting if I handed it to him,” Flarida explained.

Result:

Reining Individual Final: GOLD – Spooks Gotta Whiz (Shawn Flarida) USA 233.5; SILVER – Custom Cash Advance (Andrea Fappani) USA 229.00; BRONZE – Yellow Jersey (Mandy McCutcheon) USA 227.00.

By Louise Parkes

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA) on 23 August – 7 September brings together close to 1,000 riders and 1,000 horses from 74 nations for 15 days of world-class competition in Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

For more information, see: www.normandy2014.com.

History Hub

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ are held every four years in the middle of the Olympic and Paralympic cycle. They were first hosted in Stockholm (SWE) in 1990 and have since been staged in The Hague (NED) in 1994, Rome (ITA) in 1998, Jerez (ESP) in 2002, and Aachen (GER) in 2006. The first Games to be organised outside Europe were the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky (USA) 2010.

Visit the FEI History Hub here.

Media contacts:

Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
Grania.willis@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 42

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

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 Organising Committee:

Amélie Patrux
Press Officer
presse@normandie2014.com

Flarida Wins USEF Open Reining Nat’l Championship & Selection Trial for WEG U.S. Reining Squad

Shawn Flarida & Spooks Gotta Whiz (Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman/USEF photo)

Lexington, Ky. – Sixteen combinations entered the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena Sunday morning with National Championship honors and selection for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on their minds for the second and final round of the Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad. And in a repeat of Friday’s initial round at the Kentucky Reining Cup, Shawn Flarida posted the top score of the day to claim the National Title and punch his ticket to Normandy, France for the World Championship in August. Additionally, five other riders earned their place on the squad with strong performances over the week.

Flarida (Springfield, Ohio) and Michell Kimball’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Spooks Gotta Whiz posted a score of 225 in Friday’s first round and bested that by 2.5 points scoring 227.5 Sunday morning. They finished on an overall score of 452.5 to top the field by 3.5 points.

The multiple-time National Champion and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold medalist was pleased with his horse throughout their time in Lexington and knows that there were some points left on the table.

“Friday night seems like a month ago,” said Flarida. “I had a few bobbles in each pattern but he’s just a nice horse; he’s fun to show and just a great horse.”

Flarida looks forward to getting to Normandy and retaining the title he helped to earn four years ago and believes the U.S. riders are poised for greatness in France.

“They’re all super talented and hardworking,” said Flarida of his squad-mates. “When you get there it’s just time to put your hand down and get to work.”

Mandy McCutcheon & Yellow Jersey (Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman/USEF photo)
Mandy McCutcheon & Yellow Jersey (Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman/USEF photo)

Earning Reserve Champion honors and her spot on the U.S. squad was Mandy McCutcheon with an overall score of 449. She rode father Tim McQuay’s 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Yellow Jersey to scores of 224 and 225 on Friday and Sunday, respectively, to help her become the first women to ever represent the United States at a Reining World Championship.

“The next part is the fun part; this was the nerve-wracking part. I’ll still be nervous but just to get to say you get to go is so fun,” said McCutcheon who will ride alongside her husband, Tom, in Normandy. “For me to be on a team with my husband on a horse my parents own is just so fun.”

Jordan Larson (Whitesboro, Texas) and Heritage Farms’ HF Mobster slid to third place overall by earning 223 and 225 in the two rounds. The six-year-old Quarter Horse stallion finished on an overall score of 448.

Andrea Fappani (Scottsdale, A.Z.) had an extremely successful weekend at the Kentucky Reining Cup qualifying two of Silver Spurs Equine’s horses for the U.S. World Equestrian Games squad. With the seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Smoking Whiz he finished in fourth on a total of 446.5 and then piloted the eight-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Custom Cash Advance to a weekend total of 445.

Finishing in sixth place and earning a place on the squad were Troy Heikes (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Denise Bixler’s eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding Lil Gun Dunit with a score of 442.

Rounding out the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad after finishing in seventh place are Tom McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Jennifer Marley’s six-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Dun Git a Nicadual after finishing the weekend on a total of 440.5.

By Helen Murray

Watch on-demand video from the Kentucky Reining Cup on USEF Network presented by SmartPak at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014KRC/.

Learn more about the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup here.

Follow the U.S. Reining Team here.

Flarida Captures Early Lead in USEF Open Reining Nat’l Championship & Selection Trial for WEG U.S. Reining Squad

Shawn Flarida & Spooks Gotta Whiz (Alleyn Evans for Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Lexington, Ky. – The 2014 Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad kicked off Friday evening at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena with the first of two rounds of competition. A field of 35 international veterans went to task in the CRI3* competition which is being held in conjunction with the Kentucky Reining Cup.

Leading the way in National Championship and Selection Trial competition is former National Champion and U.S. Team Gold medalist from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Shawn Flarida. Riding Michell Kimball’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Spooks Gotta Whiz, Flarida (Springfield, Ohio) executed a polished performance that was highlighted by solid transitions to score 225.

“He warmed up really well, and showed really sweet,” said Flarida, who looks for another solid round from Spooks Gotta Whiz on Sunday. “I hope he shows as pure again and I’ll let things fall where they do.”

Lying in second place after round one on Friday is Mandy McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and her father Tim McQuay’s Yellow Jersey. The 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion demonstrated why he is so highly regarded in the U.S. by scoring 224; just a single point separates him and McCutcheon from first place.

Andrea Fappani (Scottsdale, A.Z.) and Silver Spurs Equine’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Smoking Whiz stand third heading into Sunday’s final round on a score of 223.5.

Following the second and final round of competition for the Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad, the top six combinations will be named to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad.

By Helen Murray

Watch the Kentucky Reining Cup live on USEF Network presented by SmartPak at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014KRC/.

Learn more about the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup here.

Follow the U.S. Rening Team here.

Shawn Flarida Rides His Way to Adequan/USEF National Reining Championship Title

National Reining Champion Shawn Flarida and Shiners Chick (Waltenberry)

Tulsa, OK – The 2012 Adequan/USEF National Reining Championship lived up to its billing on August 31 as six of the top riders in the nation went head-to-head for the title of 2012 Reining National Champion.

The class, held at the Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic, had some of the top names in the sport with two of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold medalists competing. In the end, one of those riders would take home the National Championship title as Shawn Flarida (Springfield, Ohio) and Rosanne Sternberg’s Shiners Chic scored 223 for the victory.

“Shiners Chic is a full Brother to Shine Chic Shine,” Flarida said. “Roseanne Sternberg asked me to compete the horse, and I was honored.”

Continue reading Shawn Flarida Rides His Way to Adequan/USEF National Reining Championship Title

Flarida and Wimps Chocolate Chip Run to Victory in CRI3* at the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup

Shawn Flarida & Wimps Chocolate Chip (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)

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.”

Continue reading Flarida and Wimps Chocolate Chip Run to Victory in CRI3* at the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup

Shawn Flarida Wins First-Ever CRI 5* Kentucky Reining Cup

Shawn Flarida and KL Lil Conquistador. (Photo by Stock Image Services.com)

Lexington, KY – For the first time in the history of the Western saddle sport of reining, a collection of the world’s best reining athletes slid into the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, to contest the inaugural five-star reining competition known as the CRI5* – the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup. When the dirt in the arena settled, it was Shawn Flarida and KL Lil Conquistador who laid down a spectacular pattern to take the title on a score of 226.5 in this the highest level of reining competition in the world.

From a country music icon to the current USEF Equestrian of the Year to the four-member U.S. Team that rocked the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with their Team Gold and two Individual medals to a three-member family show down, this was a night of reining that won’t soon be forgotten. Reiners from three nations (United States, Canada and Mexico) took part at the event which was held concurrent with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event sponsored by Bridgestone. In addition to the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup CRI5*, which offered $50,000 in prize money and is this year’s only five-star reining event in the Western hemisphere, there will be the first-ever World Championship Freestyle competition on Saturday.

The level of competition was expert, and performances these Western horses and riders put in thrilled the crowd. In fact, three of the four members of the Gold-medal WEG team were the top four riders.

Continue reading Shawn Flarida Wins First-Ever CRI 5* Kentucky Reining Cup

Arenus Sponsored Rider Shawn Flarida Appears on Horses in the Morning Radio Show

Shawn Flarida, NRHA's Four Million Dollar Rider, recently took to the airwaves on the Horse Radio Network’s “Horses in the Morning” radio show. (Photo courtesy of Waltenberry)

St. Louis, MO (February 28, 2011) – Shawn Flarida, an Arenus Ambassador and the first rider in history to become the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) Four Million Dollar Rider, recently took to the airwaves on the Horse Radio Network’s “Horses In The Morning” radio show. Flarida spoke with hosts Glenn the Geek and Jamie Jennings from his farm in Springfield, Ohio.

During the radio show, Glenn the Geek congratulated Flarida on the recent news that Flarida will be inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame. “It’s such an honor,” Flarida said, “My peers are there, as well as my brother, and I have always wanted to be there with them.”

Flarida, who is an ambassador for the sport of reining, has a long list of accomplishments to his name including winning nine All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Open Championships, five NRHA Futurity Open Championships, multiple NRHA Derby Championships, as well as individual and team gold medals at the World Equestrian Games.

Continue reading Arenus Sponsored Rider Shawn Flarida Appears on Horses in the Morning Radio Show

Arenus Sponsored Rider Shawn Flarida Tops Four Million Dollar Mark

WEG Gold Medalist Shawn Flarida is the first rider in history to become the NHRA’s Four Million Dollar Winner. Flarida is shown riding Wimpy’s Little Chic. (Photo courtesy of Waltenberry)

St. Louis, MO (February 8, 2011) – Arenus, a premier provider of innovative health and nutritional products for pets and horses, is pleased to announce that Shawn Flarida, an Arenus Ambassador, is the first rider in history to become the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) Four Million Dollar Rider. The NRHA has reported that Flarida’s earnings are $4,023,885.

“We are so excited for Shawn and couldn’t be prouder,” said Arenus Business Manager Simone Pophal, DVM, Ph.D. “Shawn reached the four million dollar mark during the 2010 NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma.”

Flarida, who was already the NHRA’s first Three Million Dollar Rider, topped four million dollars with rides in the finals on Quistador, owned by Augustine and Gaynia Revenberg, and Shine Chic Shine, owned by Amabile & Strusiner. A tie for third in the $100,000 NRHA World Championship Shootout on Wimpys Little Chic, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, helped Flarida earn more than $100,000 to become the NRHA’s first Four Million Dollar Rider.

Continue reading Arenus Sponsored Rider Shawn Flarida Tops Four Million Dollar Mark

Arenus and the National Reining Horse Association Congratulate Shawn Flarida on Winning Rider of the Year Title

Arenus is pleased to announce that WEG Gold Medalist Shawn Flarida has won the Rider of the Year title. Sponsored by Arenus, in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association, Flarida won the title aboard RC Fancy Step. (Photo courtesy of Waltenberry.com)

St. Louis, MO (February 2, 2011) – Reining champion Shawn Flarida has added another win to his long and impressive resume, riding away with the 2010 National Reining Horse Rider of the Year title. Sponsored by Arenus, a premier provider of innovative health and nutritional products for pets and horses, in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), Flarida won the Rider of the Year title with RC Fancy Step, owned by the Plummer Family of SDP Buffalo Ranch in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We are really proud of Shawn for winning the title and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person or to a rider who is more committed to the sport of reining,” said Brady Karren, Arenus Equine Sales Specialist/Nutritionist. “Shawn has been supporting Arenus for a long time and serves as an Arenus Ambassador because he believes in our products. Arenus wants to congratulate all the Rider of the Year winners. Everyone put in a great amount of effort and dedication and Arenus is once again pleased to sponsor the Rider of the Year award.”

Continue reading Arenus and the National Reining Horse Association Congratulate Shawn Flarida on Winning Rider of the Year Title

Flarida Is NRHA’s First Four Million Dollar Rider

Shawn Flarida riding Wimpys Little Chic in the $100,000 added NRHA World Championship Shootout. NRHA/Waltenberry

Oklahoma City, OK – December 16, 2010 – Just two short years ago, Shawn Flarida became the National Reining Horse Association’s first Three Million Dollar Rider with earnings accumulated at the 2008 NRHA Futurity. History repeated itself when the gates closed on the 2010 NRHA Futurity and the results were announced. With rides in the finals aboard Quistador (owned by Augustine and Gaynia Revenberg) and Shine Chic Shine (owned by Amabile & Strusiner), plus a tie for third in the $100,000 added NRHA World Championship Shootout on Wimpys Little Chic (owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA), Flarida scooped up more than $100,000 to become NRHA’s first Four Million Dollar Rider. Flarida’s official NRHA earnings are $4,023,885.

Flarida, of Springfield, OH, became the second rider in history to break the $2 million mark in 2006 at the FEI World Reining Masters in Denver, CO. Bill Horn was the first rider to earn in excess of $1 million. Tim McQuay, Craig Schmersal and Andrea Fappani are the only other riders to cross the $2 million earnings level. Only thirteen other riders have crossed the $1 million earnings plateau in addition to Flarida.

Continue reading Flarida Is NRHA’s First Four Million Dollar Rider