Lexington, Ky., Sept. 30, 2010 — All week, U.S. reiner Tom McCutcheon has been trying to keep his mount, Gunners Special Nite, fresh and happy. Thursday afternoon, the 6-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion returned the favor by turning in a score of 228 in the individual finals at the FEI Reining World Championship, presented by John Deere, held as part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The score was enough to earn the individual gold medal by a margin of 5 points.
“I knew he was pretty special tonight,” McCutcheon said. “I felt pressure, for sure, because I wanted to do him justice. He’s a great little horse.”
Earlier in the week, McCutcheon and his horse helped the U.S. team to a gold medal in the team reining competition. Gunners Special Nite is sired by Colonels Smoking Gun and is out of Mifs Doll by Mifillena. He is the 2007 National Reining Horse Association Futurity intermediate open champion and has $194,237 in NRHA lifetime earnings
The individual silver medal went to U.S. teammate Craig Schmersal on Mister Montana Nic, with a score of 223, while bronze went to the defending WEG individual gold medalist Duane Latimer of Canada, riding Dun Playin Tag, with a score of 222.5.
At 12 years old, Mister Montana Nic is twice as old as the other horses on the U.S. team, and he has been with Schmersal since he was a yearling.
“That’s what it’s all about, right there,” Schmersal said of the horse’s longevity. “We’ve just got to keep those old horses sound and happy.”
Mister Montana Nic is an American Quarter Horse sired by Reminic and out of Mollie Montana by Montana Doc. He was the 2005 FEI World Reining Master silver medalist and has $132,784 in NRHA lifetime earnings.
Latimer’s mount is a 6-year-old American Quarter Horse gelding by Whiz N Tag Chex out of Brennas Dunit Fancy by Hollywood Dun It. He has $188,942 in NRHA lifetime earnings.
The other members of the gold-medal U.S. team were: Tim McQuay and Hollywoodstinseltown, finishing individually in fourth place with a 222; and Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step scored 207.5 after faring some bad luck. Flarida’s stirrup leather broke during the run, and he touched the saddle to regain his balance, which mandated a five-point penalty from each judge.
The judges were Greg Darnall (USA), Patti Carter-Pratt (CAN), Thiago Boechat (BRA), Ralf Hesselschwerdt (GER) and Eugenio Latorre (ITA).
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years, and this will be the first occurrence in the United States.
The Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which marks the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $167 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International Inc., Meydan, Kentucky Ale, and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.
For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit www.alltechfeigames.com.
Founded by Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech is a global animal health and nutrition company with 30 years’ experience in developing natural products that are scientifically proven to enhance animal health and performance. With more than 2,300 employees in 120 countries, the company has developed a strong regional presence in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.alltech.com.
Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
For audio interviews go to:
Craig Schmersal (USA silver):