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Reining at the WEG 2006 in Aachen
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Reining originated from moves that a cow horse must use in performing its duties. It was first recognised as a sport in 1949 by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the world’s largest equestrian organisation currently counting more than 320,000 members and some four million horses. Its members, be they competitors, coaches, breeders or horse owners, greatly contributed to giving the western ranch type horse the international recognition its enjoys today. From 1966 through to 2000, the sport was managed by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). In 1999, it had some 9,000 members worldwide and distributed USD 3,6 in prize money to 317 competitions. On 14 April 2000, the FEI approved Reining as its seventh discipline thus becoming the international governing body for this sport.

wittelsbuerger special-brochure gives you all the information and details on the sport of reining and the World Equestrain Games in Aachen, Germany more...

The number of international competitions has grown impressively from 3 in 2001 to 43 in 2005.

The Reining competition in Aachen will take place according to the following schedule:

Team Final
Friday, 1 September, 10h00 - 16h15
Individual Final
Sunday, 3 September, 11h15 - 14h15


For the sport of REINING, the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen will be the second edition running where this fast growing discipline will be showcased. Some of the world’s best reiners will be vying for the medals and a total purse of EUR 100,000. EUR 65,000 will be the prize money for the Team Competition, which will put Reining in second place as far as Team Competition money is concerned.

Reiners from 22 countries from around the globe will leave their mark this year. Teams Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden and USA will be competing along with individual riders from the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Mexico, Norway, Poland and the Republic of South Africa.

Open to six-year-old horses and over, the Reining competition will be run in a one go round format and all Teams and Individuals will perform on the first day. The top 20 competitors - plus ties - will qualify for the clean slate Individual Competition.

Teams may be made up of three or four riders. For each rider the lowest and highest score awarded by the five judges will be dropped and the three remaining scores will be added. Overall team scores will be determined by dropping the lowest score earned by a team member, then adding the remaining three scores for the total. Should a team have only 3 members, all three scores will be considered.

In order to be able to compete either as a member of a team or as an individual at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games, riders must have taken part in two FEI Reining competitions held in any country during the qualifying period. National Federations who wished to send teams must have competed at a CRIO with a team during the same period.

For the first time in the history of equestrian sports, an official Team and Individual Reining Competition was held during the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games. Eleven countries were represented with nine full teams: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Switzerland and the USA were seen competing. Three individual riders – two from France and one from The Netherlands - also showed. Five teams advanced to the finals with Team USA (Shawn Flarida, Scott McCutcheon, Tom McCutheon, Craig Schmersal) taking the gold medal, Team Canada (François Gauthier, Jason Grimshaw, Shawna Sapergia, Patrice St-Onge) claiming silver and Team Italy (Dario Carmignani, Nic Cordioli, Marco Manzi, Adriano Meacci) taking the bronze.

In the Individual Competition the USA was once again seen on the highest step of the podium with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida, riding San Jo Freckles, claiming the gold medal. Second place honours along with the silver medal went to Tom McCutcheon aboard Conquistador Whiz for USA and the bronze medal was awarded to Canadian rider Shawna Sapergia riding Pretty Much Eagle.


Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a western type horse in the confines of a show arena. In reining competition, competitors are required to run one of several approved patterns. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, back ups and the exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse. Despite the seemingly relaxed attitude of both horse and rider and the loose reins typical of the discipline, Reining is a high level competition sport requiring concentration and high riding competence.

Reiners in Aachen will be performing pattern number 8 in the Team Competition and pattern number 9 in the Individual Competition. The full description of the patterns is available in the FEI Rules for Reining Events published on the FEI website (direct link http://www.horsesport.org/R/r_04_01.html).

Horses are judged individually as they complete one of the ten specified patterns. Judges score each horse between 0 and infinity with 70 denoting an average score. Each horse automatically begins the pattern with a 70. The judge can either add or deduct up to 1 and 1/2 points on each manoeuvre, in half-point increments, based on the ‘quality’ of the manoeuvre. Penalties are also allocated for minor deviations from the pattern whilst major deviations result in a zero score for the go. As the judges watch the execution of the pattern, individual scribes keep track of each judge's manoeuvre scores on a score sheet as well as penalty marks. Scores are tabulated and announced at the end of each run. The judge's sheets with individual manoeuvre scores, penalties, and total scores are then posted for the benefit of the competitors and spectators following each class.

In scoring, credit is given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority when performing the various manoeuvres. Controlled speed in the pattern raises the level of difficulty and makes the reining horse more exciting and pleasing to watch. Increased level of difficulty is rewarded with higher scores if the manoeuvres are performed correctly.

The National Reining Horse Association Handbook states: "To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but to control his every movement." Unchanged since 1966, that statement serves as the definitive guide to the judging of reining events.

Five international FEI judges will be in the chair in Aachen: Ralf Hesselschwerdt from Germany, Sylvia Katschker from Austria, Jan Boogaerts from Belgium, Patti Carter from Canda and Allen Mitchels from the USA.

The required movements in Reining are:
Walk-in: brings the horse from the gate to the centre of the arena to begin its pattern; should appear relaxed and confident.
Stop: the act of slowing the horse from a lope to a stop position by bringing the hind legs under the horse in a locked position sliding on the hind feet.
Spin: a series of 360-degree turns, executed over a stationary (inside) hind leg; location of hind quarters should be fixed at the start and maintained throughout the spin.
Rollback: a 180-degree reversal of forward motion completed by running to a stop, turning the shoulders back to the opposite direction and departing at a canter, as a continuous motion.
Circle: done at the lope, of designated size and speed; demonstrates control, willingness to guide and degree of difficulty in speed and speed changes.
Hesitate: act of demonstrating horse's ability to stand in a relaxed manner at a designated time in the pattern; horse should be motionless and relaxed.
Lead change: act of changing the leading legs of the front and rear pairs, at a lope, when changing direction.
Run-down and Run-around: demonstrate control and gradual increase of speed to the stop.

In the last few years, Reining has prospered as one of the most popular equine sports in the world.

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