Traverse City, MI: August 5, 2012 – After three days of reining competition, the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival wraps up their final series of the 2012 show season at Flintfields Horse Park. The inaugural weekend of Reiners by the Bay concluded with large wins and over $30,000 added prize money taken home by exhibitors.
Reining is a western discipline designed to showcase a ranch type within the confines of a show arena. In National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) competition, such as the caliber held this year at Reiners by the Bay, horses are required to run one of ten approved patterns approved by the NRHA. These patterns include circles at the lope and the gallop, flying lead changes, turns, rollbacks and the crowd favorite, sliding stops.
Bill Thomas Jr. captured the winning title for the $5000 Level Four Open Derby, as well as the $2500 Level Two Open Derby, sponsored by Positive Step Farm of Howell Michigan. Both Derbies were held on Friday afternoon as the showcase event in the R.L. Polk Family Ring.
Riding two horses in the Derby, it was Wimpy’s Best Jac, the six-year-old gelding that brought home the blue for Thomas. “I had a tremendous time up here, showing outside, meeting some new people and seeing a new town.” Thomas said. “We went through all of Traverse City, had to buy new bathing suits, we went to a park and the lake. That was a real fun time.”
Thomas trains reining and reining cow horses out of Saginaw, MI and has been placed top ten in the nation in both disciplines.
During Saturday’s competition, riders Rachel Ory and Jose Vasquez tied for the winning position of the $4000 Level Four Open Futurity. Ory also won the $2000 Level Two Open Futurity, sponsored by local excavating company Team Elmers, out of 17 entries.
Co-Winner Rachel Ory, the assistant trainer for Tom Pierson Training, rode Lorca a three-year-old gelding owned by Peter Phinny, of Maple City, Michigan. Describing her ride as easy, Ory was pleased with the talented young horse’s performance.
Ory is not new to Horse Shows by the Bay. Located only sixteen miles away, Pierson and Ory often showcase their horses in a reining demonstration on Grand Prix Sundays during the Hunter/Jumper series.
“Since this was the first year of the reining, we didn’t really know what to expect, and it did rain the very first night. But it’s dried out and been great stomping ground ever since.” Ory said. “We definitely will be back, we love it here.”
With the premier Reiners by the Bay series complete, the Horse Shows by the Bay Equestrian Festival is officially over for the 2012 season.