Articles: Horse News
McCutcheon and Schmersal Take Individual Gold and Silver in FEI Reining
World Championship presented by John Deere
Tom McCutcheon Wins Gold!
Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2010
Lexington, KY - The United States upped its medal count by two today in the
FEI Reining World Championship presented by John Deere at the 2010 Alltech
FEI World Equestrian Games. In the Individual Final, the U.S. took gold and
silver when Tom McCutcheon on Gunners Special Nite, owned by Turnabout
Ranch, and Craig Schmersal with Mister Montana Nic, owned by the Mister
Montana Nic Syndicate, had the two best patterns of the day.
Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, TX, and Gunners Special Nite, a six-year-old AQHA
stallion by Colonels Smoking Gun x Mifillena, were the third of four
qualified U.S. Reiners to compete. They were chasing a score of 223, set by
teammate Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic. They completed an electric
pattern and to the screaming of the full capacity arena, they heard their
winning score of 228.
McCutcheon said of his pattern, "For me, to start a pattern on that, to run
in and get that first stop, it starts everything off right. He stopped
really strong, and I knew he felt hooked up, so I let him drop the hammer
and go. Everything that I wanted him to do, he was there. He felt like he
got stronger and stronger. I was really happy with him today."
While McCutcheon is now a double gold medalist, what meant more to him than
the accolades was the ability to show everyone how special Gunners Special
Nite is. "I knew he was pretty special today," he said with a smile. "Today,
aside from the fact that our flag was raised the highest, it was about my
horse. I was glad that I could do that for that horse. He's been a superstar
horse who has had a lot of second places, so I was really glad for him that
he could win one because he deserves it. I really wanted to do him justice."
Schmersal, of Overbrook, OK, and Mister Montana Nic, a 12-year-old AQHA
stallion by Reminic x Montana Doc, took an early lead with 223 and ended up
with the silver medal. Duane Latimer of Canada and Dun Playin Tag won the
"I'm pretty thrilled with my horse today," Schmersal said. "He was so good
out there, to go out and show as pure as he did. That's what it's about. I
don't think he had a weak point. He stopped, he turned, he circled true. I
asked for 110% and he delivered. He's been a part of my family for 10
years. It was special to have a horse that old come to this arena and have
him come through for me like he did."
For Schmersal, the experience of the Alltech Arena was memorable. "The
highlight was walking in that arena with all of those people cheering. To
have that big of a crowd out there and have people behind you like that is
what we do it for," he related.
As another American double medalist, Schmersal said that first and foremost
was the team competition, and an individual medal was something extra. "I
knew it was going to take a lot to win, and I was just hoping to make the
podium," he admitted. "A silver medal is a big deal. It's pretty special to
ride on both days and we feel very fortunate."
Tim McQuay of Tioga, TX, and Hollywoodstinseltown, a six-year-old AQHA
stallion by Hollywood Dun It x Hollywood Jac 86 owned by David and Bonnie
Silva, received a score of 222 and finished in fourth place, just a half
point out of the medals.
"I tried to be aggressive as I could without getting in trouble. His first
stop was pretty good, could have been a little bit better," he said after
his ride. "He was on the money for running in there and stopping cold
turkey. I shut him off too hard on his first turn and he just threw his head
up a little. The second turn around felt awesome. The biggest trick was
getting here. Once you're here, we felt that for our team, we had enough
horse and if we didn't screw up, we'd make it to the Individual Final. We
made it here and then what happens, happens."
As the last reiner in the competition, Shawn Flarida of Springfield, OH, and
RC Fancy Step, a six-year-old AQHA stallion by Wimpys Little Step x Doc
Wilson owned by Buffalo Ranch, had a disappointing finish. Flarida's stirrup
leather broke during his first sliding stop, and he had to complete the rest
of his test with one stirrup. Flarida was penalized five points for touching
the saddle horn with his free hand. The judges reviewed his pattern and
ended up scoring him with a 207.5.
"My stirrup broke, and I got off balance," Flarida explained. "I had to go
through three-quarters of the pattern on one stirrup, which is kind of hard
to do. Tom was awesome today and my hat's off to him."
U.S. Reining Chef d'Equipe Jeff Petska remarked, "It was an equipment
malfunction, and unfortunately that's part of showing. It's just one of
those things that happens. It's hard enough to ride with two stirrups, let
alone one, and Shawn did a good job and completed the pattern, so that's a
big credit to him."
Flarida added, "It was fun to be here. It's great to have the WEG here and
have a gold medal. I'd love for it to come back to the States some day."
Petska said at the press conference, "Without sponsor support, we wouldn't
be able to do things on this kind of stage. We really appreciate everything
they do for us."
McCutcheon summed up the week, "It's been amazing. This has been a lot of
fun with the crowd support and everything. I was in Spain in 2002 and that
was our first one so it was special, but this WEG was even more electric
than that. What it means for me here is to compete for the USA."
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.