On Monday, November 16, 2009, the American Quarter Horse Association hosted an International Equestrian Federation CRI2* (Concours de Reining Internationale) event at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. The FEI competition took place in conjunction with the senior reining preliminaries during the FedEx Open AQHA World Championship Show.
“We had a great event here during the World Show, which can be told by the number of entries we had – 15 – and especially the five international entries that we had,” said AQHA Professional Horseman Pete Kyle, who won the November 16 event aboard Gimme Major Bucks, scoring a 217.5. The Whitesboro, Texas, horseman is also the chair of the United States Equestrian Federation Reining High Performance Committee.
“It was one of our qualifiers for the U.S. Team Selection Trial to be held at the Battle in the Saddle in July 2010 in Oklahoma City,” Kyle added.
U.S. members must mark an average score of 68 or higher in three CRI trials to be eligible to compete in the USEF Reining Championships, which will be during the Battle in the Saddle July 6-11 in Oklahoma City. From that competition, four U.S. riders and one alternate will be chosen to go to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, taking place next fall at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The trial also makes participating riders eligible for other 2010 international FEI events.
It’s not a coincidence that the qualifier and the trial were and are being held at AQHA-sponsored events.
“AQHA has a huge involvement with the USEF and helping the sport of reining continue on into the World Equestrian Games,” Kyle said.
Another highlight of the November 16 event was the return of reining superstars Smart Spook, Snow Gun and Von Reminic.
Smart Spook, who has more than $328,000 in National Reining Horse Association earnings, is by Smart Chic Olena out of a Grays Starlight mare. Smart Spook won the 2004 NRHA Futurity and was the 2005 AQHA World Champion in junior reining. Finishing third with a 216 in the November 16 event, Smart Spook was shown by $3 million NRHA Rider Shawn Flarida of Springfield, Ohio.
Shown by Luc Gagnon of Quebec, Snow Gun is a 10-year-old daughter by Colonels Smoking Gun, aka “Gunner,” and out of a Trashadeous daughter. Snow Gun was a finalist in the 2002 NRHA Futurity. In Monday’s event, Gagnon and Snow Gun scored a 213 to finish fourth. Snow Gun appeared on the cover of National Geographic when she performed at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Germany.
Twelve-year-old Von Reminic, who is by Reminic and out of a Colonel Freckles daughter, was the 2000 NRHA Futurity champion and has NRHA earnings of more than $180,000. The bay stallion was shown by Josh Armstrong of La Mesa, New Mexico. The pair finished 12th, with a score of 205.5.
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