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World Equestrian Games:
Reiners rock the crowd in Aachen
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Duane Latimer (CAN) aboard Hang Ten Surprize Nineteen of the world’s finest Reiners left their mark in the 2006 World Equestrian Games Individual Reining Championship which took place today. It took a run off to determine who would take the gold medal after Duane Latimer from Canada and Tim McQuay from the USA both scored an incredible 230 thrilling the crowd which packed the stands.

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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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