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.