USA Para Reining invites new and veteran riders to come out and test their skills by earning one score at participating shows to be eligible for National Championship honors and the thrill of competing at Congress. The NHRA Derby in Oklahoma City will hold a USA Para Reining class this Friday June 30th.
"What I love most about reining so far has been meeting new people that share your same spirit of competition and drive in life," says Jennifer Flanagan from SC, who is also a former wheelchair basketball player but has always had horses in her life. “I’m looking forward to the National Competition being held at Congress this year, it’s such a great venue and supportive crowd. It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase that competitive competition can come from all abilities."
USA Para Reining is proud to partner with NHRA as an early pioneer of supporting equipment modifications and the AQHA’s tradition of promoting inclusive sport and opportunity for all riders who wish to compete.
Fred Win from NJ calls riding his “emotional therapy” but loves how the horses allow him to compete on equal footing with able-bodied riders as well. No lie that Win enjoys the speed and freedom that para reining sport provides, in addition to partnership with the animal. “For para athletes, it’s a great opportunity to push yourself and try something new.”
Beth Kelley from CA says anyone who thinks that para reining is easier can think again. “I’m extremely proud to be a para reiner. The caliber of riding and determination makes the competition fierce, at least in the ring. Outside of the ring, I’ve made fast life-long friends.”
Kelley also pointed to the outstanding support evident from the non-para reining community. “People donate time and resources to make it happen. We have such wonderful people training us, grooming for those of us who can't do it ourselves, even when we get warm- up times of 11 pm after a 6 am start on that same day.”
“In Southern California, we started with one para rider last year and now already have four riders this year. As more word of mouth goes out, I hope we can reach more people, adults, juniors and kids are all welcome.” Two more qualifying events remain at SCRHA Saddle Series: July 15 and August 12 in Escondido, CA.
For the 2017 USA Para Reining Championships, four Grade levels are offered. Grade 1 (walk only pattern), Grade 2 (jog with lope option), Grade 3 (shortened lope pattern) Grade 4 (full pattern). Riders must be able to ride independently.