Articles: Press Release
Reining Revs Up for the World Equestrian Games ... A Special WEG Preview
from Heather Cook for PhelpsSports.com
Jean Llewellyn of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Wellington, FL - August 4, 2006 - The National Reining Horse Association
(NRHA) in Oklahoma City, OK has been the founding and leading reining
association since 1966. The NRHA rule book contains the following phrase
which is repeated throughout reining barns around the world as the
mantra of what reining truly is:
"To rein a horse is not only to guide him, but also to control his every
movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled
with little or no apparent resistance n dictated to completely."
To define it more concretely, they have listed on their web site (
www.nrha.com ) the following description:
"Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a
ranch-type horse within the confines of a show arena. In NRHA
competition, contestants are required to run one of ten approved
patterns, included in the NRHA Handbook. Each pattern includes small
slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over
the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops
that are the hallmark of the reining horse."
In 2000, reining became the seventh discipline included in the FEI's
stable of elite horse sports and there began a steep learning curve for
reining enthusiasts with international aspirations. Unlike many of the
international sports, most notably jumping and dressage, the average
reining aficionado was not familiar with the rules and regulations that
came into play in international competition. When just two short years
later reining was included in the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez,
Spain, competitors slid right into the deep end and learned how to swim
in international waters.
The international pull is strong for reiners with the number of members
and the quantity and quality of competitions around the world increasing
exponentially. But reiners differ from the usual equestrian sports in
several ways. It may be commonplace for a jumping or dressage trainer to
spend much of his or her time on the international circuit, but for
reiners - we are used to our trainers staying at home most of the time.
At the beginning of the international push, some trainers were vocally
in opposition to international competition, wondering how they would
keep their clients at home happy while they spent three or four weeks
abroad during the critical show season. Since its inclusion in the FEI,
however, attitudes have begun to change.
Reining, since its inception, has been focused on showing the three-,
four-, five- and six-year-old horse. These competitions, called
Futurities (three year olds), Maturities (four year olds) and Derbies
(four, five and six year olds) have historically offered the highest
purses in reining competitions. Maturities and Derbies take place in the
spring and Futurites take place in the fall of the horse's
three-year-old year. Once a reining horse reaches the age of six he
usually goes to one of three places: competitions based instead on money
earned by horse or rider in both professional and amateur classes, to
the breed shed, or on to other disciplines. Suddenly, with the doors of
international competition opened, there is another option.
During the 2002 World Equestrian Games, Team USA took the Gold after
heading off a major challenge from Team Canada. In the Bronze position
was Team Italy followed by Germany and Great Britain. Heading in to the
2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, several teams stand out
as major players.