Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - Reining division judges have been selected for the 2002 World Equestrian Games, scheduled for Jerez, Spain.
National Reining Horse Association Director of Judges Allen Mitchels, along with Joe Carter of Canada, Pierre Ouellet of Italy, Filippo Massi of Italy, Ralf Hesselschwerdt of Germany and Jan Boogaerts of Belgium will officiate at the first-ever reining to be part of the World Equestrian Games September 19 through 22, 2002.
The first go of the WEG reining competition, originally scheduled for September 17, has been moved to the September 19 evening performance and the second go - the finals, will be held on Sunday, the 22nd. The clean-slate finals will be seeded based on the first go, and all four team members from each nation will run back to back.
46 riders and horses will compete - chosen during WEG Reining Qualifying Competitions at Reggio Emilia, Italy in May and Gladstone, New Jersey in June. With the qualification schedules set, individual countries are now finalizing the procedures that will determine which horses and riders will represent them at the two WEG Reining Qualifying Events.
For the United States, the current Nations Cup Team consisting of Dell Hendricks, Craig Johnson, Scott McCutcheon and Clint Haverty will represent the United States in the WEG qualifying schedule. In an exhibition of the true team spirit, this quartet will compete during the Festival of Champions at the WEG Reining Qualifying competition - CRIO Gladstone - to secure the USA's slot at the World Equestrian Games.
Then, the new Nations Cup Team will be selected from the four highest finishers at the $100,000 USET Open Reining Championship at Gladstone and that team will actually attend and compete at the World Equestrian Games.
The National Reining Horse Association is the governing body of the sport of reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to insure the highest standards of competition and educating its members and the public about reining. For information on the National Reining Horse Association, call 405-946-7400 or visit the NRHA Official Web Site at www.nrha.com.