Inaugural Interscholastic Reining Championship Secures New Alliance

Layla Choate winning the inaugural NRHA Interscholastic Reining Championship aboard Kathleen Ray’s Dunit Pistol Pete (Photo by Waltenberry).

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.

IEA riders included: Cody McMillion, Hammond School; Megan Foley, Autumn Rose Equestrian Team; Jessica Cornwell, Autumn Rose Equestrian Team; and Ciara Bartholomew, Autumn Rose Equestrian Team.

NRHA riders were: Ashley Auditore, Pepperell, Mass., Kayli Mullins, Weare, N.H., Layla Choate, Hazel, Ky., and Laura Sumrall, Summit, Miss.

NRHA and NRHyA would like to thank the following horse owners who donated their horses for the Interscholastic Reining Championships: Kathleen Ray of Aubrey, Tex. with Dunit Pistol Pete; Lorrie and Terry Thrasher of Cairo, Mo. with Check This Dun It; Carolyn C. Smith of Azle, Tex. with Showtime Pistol; Mindy Truex of Warsaw, Ind. with Streakin Catalyst; High Crest Reiners, Inc of Dayton, Mont. with Mr Awesome Affaire; Teresa Wynn of Benton Ky, with Playgun Chic Olena; Jordan Donnelly of Aubrey, Tex. with Hollywood All Star and J/P Anderson of Sallisaw, Okla. with Pkm Scootin Smart.

IEA was formed, in 2002, and organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, and to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition, and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels.

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere.

© Copyright 2011 United States Equestrian Federation

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