Riding Hang Ten Surprize,
a six-year-old quarter horse stallion by Hangten Peppy owned by
Howard Mann, Duane Latimer claimed the gold medal after scoring
a 228 in the run off. The NRHA Million Dollar Rider kept the public
clinging to their seats from the moment he burst into the arena
so as to perform his first stop which set the dirt flying. He
then guided his mount on loose reins through a close to perfect
pattern and closed his ride with an incredible sliding stop which
had the public rise to their feet in a standing ovation.
“I’ve had this horse
since he was a two-year-old. He’s always been really consistent
and has been a finalist in all the major events I have shown him
in”, said an enthusiastic Latimer. “This is the first international
competition for the both of us and I am just thrilled. It’s definitely
been the loudest arena I have ever competed in and seeing so much
enthusiasm was just great!”
When asked how he felt
about having tied with NRHA’s only Two Million Dollar rider Tim
McQuay, Duane replied that “the reining is not over until Tim
shows and today I was just lucky”. Latimer had also left his mark
on Friday’s Team Competition by claiming the highest score and
by being part of Team Canada – the silver medal winners.
McQuay left a memorable
run impressed in the minds of who were there to see his performance
aboard Mister Nicadual, the powerful six-year-old chestnut stallion
by Mister Dual Pep owned by Jerry Kimmel. In the run off, NRHA’s
All Time Leading Money earner scored a 226 which put him on the
second step of the podium.
“I am very grateful
to Jerry Kimmel, the owner of this great horse for having given
me the opportunity to get here,” said McQuay following the Championship.
“I’ve had Mister Nicadual in training since November last year
and qualifying for the WEG was our goal from day one. Winning
both the Team gold medal and the individual silver medal here
is just great”.
Third place honours
and the bronze medal went to American rider Aaron Ralston. Aboard
Smart Paul Olena, a twelve-year-old stallion by Smart Chic Olena
owned by his wife Meg, Aaron scored a 227.5. It is a first time
experience in FEI competition for him also and along with McQuay,
Dell Hendricks and Matt Mills, he was on the 2006 WEG World Team
Reining Championship gold medal winning Team USA. “This has been
an incredible experience for me and the crowd was just fantastic
– the cheering really did help me show even better”, said Aaron
following the competition.
Frank Costantini, chairman
of the FEI Reining Committee, praised the work of all the Reiners
who showed in Aachen. “Having 22 countries compete here and seeing
such a high level of competition is proof of how much forward
the sport of Reining has gone”, he said. “Today yet another important
chapter in the history of this discipline was written”.
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