Gladstone, New Jersey—Shawn Flarida, Charles Rome and Zane Haverty won USET Reining classes at the Florida Reining Horse Classic, held March 2-3, in Ocala, FL.
Shawn Flarida, of Wilmington, OH, won the Intervet/USET Reining Championship Qualifier aboard San Jo Freckles, owned by Michael Harper, with a score of 220.5, winning $2,718.95. Flarida edged out Bryant Pace, on Debra Sloan’s Gunner, and Tom McCutcheon riding Smartest Chic Olena, owned by Terry Owens. Pace and McCutcheon tied for second place with a score of 218, each winning a check for $1,882.35.
Riders in the Intervet/USET Reining Championship Qualifiers are competing for a spot in the Intervet/USET Reining Championship Semi-Finals, which will be held May 17 at the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby in Oklahoma City, OK. The top twenty riders in the Semi-Finals will advance to the $100,000 USET Reining Championship, Presented by Bayer at the 2002 Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, to be held June 20-23, in Gladstone, NJ.
The Intervet/USET Reining Championship Qualifiers, Semi-Finals, and the Championship are all steps in the selection process to determine the United States reining team for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain this September.
In the USET Futures Reining Championship Qualifier, held March 2 at the Florida Reining Horse Classic, Charles Rome, Ocala, FL took the top prize riding A Grand Prize, owned by Rome & Shirley. Rome and A Grand Prize slid to win the first prize of $1,292.50 with a score of 215.5, just one-half point higher than the second place score of 215, turned in by Bonnie Hippensteel and The Whiz Master, who took home $969.37. The top four riders in the USET Futures Reining Championship Qualifier earn an invitation to compete in the USET Futures Reining Championship Final at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions.
The USET Young Rider Reining Medal Qualifier saw tough competition, with only one point separating the top four finishers. Zane Haverty of Krum, TX rode Chic Out Mamma, owned by Clint Haverty, to win with a score of 141.5. Suzanne Wilson, on her Catalyst Command, and Matthew Palmer on Guy Palmer’s Catalynx Chic tied for second, both with a score of 141 points. Brittany Franks took fourth place on her Mr. Wolf Cash, just 0.5 points behind Wilson and Palmer. They all earned points towards the USET Young Rider Reining Medal Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions.
Earlier in the week, Flarida, a former Bayer/USET Festival of Champions Pro Am Champion & two time Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Champion, led a training session for Young Riders and Pace, 2001 USET Reining Champion, conducted a training session for Futures riders.
“The USET is proud to continue to provide opportunities to help reiners reach their full potential,” said USET Director of Reining Jeff Fox. “We look forward to future training sessions as the USET continues to develop promising reinier for international competition,” he added.