Lexington, KY - April 25, 2012 - The best of the reining world will gather at the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend, April 26-29, 2012 for the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup (AKRC). The prestigious event is held during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone. The highlight events of the weekend will include the $100,000 Concour de Reining International on Friday, April 27, as well as the much anticipated $25,000 World Championship Freestyle Reining. Cappy Peterson will be joining the ranks this weekend as she tries her hand along with renowned competitors.
Peterson recently earned top awards at the National Reining Breeders Classic aboard her talented mounts West Coast Smarty and The Rio Deal. The pair rode to the third place honors in the Level 1 and 2 Rookie Non-Professional Divisions. She is looking forward to participating in the AKRC and competing in the esteemed championship classes.
"I am especially looking forward to the freestyle division on Saturday night," Peterson explained. "Fun music, riding in the spotlight and hearing the crowd will be great. All of the reining world loves for the crowd to get excited-whether it is whistling or cheering-we love when they get involved in the pattern and have fun with us."
Tom McCutcheon, Craig Schmersal, Tim McQuay and Shawn Flarida, the four riders who won the team Gold Medal for the United States at the 2010 Reining World Championships, head an impressive list of Reining riders entered to compete. Four-time Grammy Award winner and country music legend Lyle Lovett will compete with them in the $100,000 Concour de Reining International on Friday. Competing with them in Saturday's Freestyle event will be Chris McCarron, the two-time Eclipse Award winner who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1989, along with Gina Miles, individual Silver Medalist in Eventing at the 2008 Olympic Games, David O'Connor, individual Gold Medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, and Karen O'Connor, 1996 Olympic Silver and 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist.
"I am hoping that I won't let my team down. This event has the top Reining riders in the world, and I will probably be the worst out there," Peterson laughed. "I think that this event is a really great opportunity to showcase reining as a sport to not only equestrians, but also the general public. It will have the top reining professionals, and it's fun because I think the audience gets into it. Hopefully people will learn more about reining and get involved. It is a little more affordable as a sport compared to the hunter and jumper world, and it is definitely a lot of fun."
Cappy Peterson has been a staple at the hunter ring for a number of years as one of the top Amateur-Owner riders in the country. She has owned many hunter and jumper mounts over the years, and recently added three reining horses to her list of mounts. Peterson trains will World Equestrian Games Gold medalist Tom McCutcheon, rising in the ranks and continually besting the competition as she pursues her new role in the reining world.
Photo Credit: Cappy Peterson and The Rio Deal have taken the non-professional divisions by storm, and the pair looks forward to competing in the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup this weekend in Lexington, KY.