Lexington,KY - The day before the official start of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the stars of the reining world began their quest for the Reining World Championships, presented by John Deere, during the official horse inspection. Some 74 competitors from 22 nations presented their horses to the five-person ground jury. Three horse-and-rider combinations were not accepted, leaving 14 countries competing for team medals and seven countries represented by individual riders.
“The level of competition here is going to be second to none,” said Reining discipline manager Brad Ettelman. “This is truly the equestrian event of a lifetime for the U.S., and we are thrilled that Reining is experiencing a homecoming of sorts. Reining has experienced incredible growth internationally over the years, and we will certainly be showcasing the best the world has to offer at this WEG.”
Duane Latimer from Canada, the reigning individual gold medalist, is back to defend his title aboard a new mount, and Tim McQuay, a member of the U.S. gold-medal team in 2006, will help his defend their title again. Dressage star Anky van Grunsven of The Netherlands has traded in her breeches for chaps during these World Games and will attempt to make a successful transition to “Western” dressage.
Reining made its debut at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and has since been dominated by horses and riders from North America. The majority of the equine reining athletes are Quarter Horses, and the American Quarter Horse Association is the official breed sponsor of reining.
Countries competing with full teams include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden and USA. Eleven of those countries will field four riders, allowing them one drop score, while the remaining three teams will have three competitors. Countries competing individuals include: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Ireland, Israel, Poland, South Africa and Uruguay.
Reining officials include technical delegate Dan Wall (USA); chief steward Eric Straus (USA); ground jury president Greg Darnell (USA); foreign judge Patti Carter (CAN); equipment judge Yaron Fabrikant (ISR); and ground jury members Thiago Boechat (BRA), Ralf Hesselschwerdt (GER) and Eugenio Latorre (ITA).
The competition will begin tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with part 1 of the team competition and will continue at 2:00 p.m. with part 2 of the team competition.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States.
The Games will be broadcast on NBC Sports, which marks the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $167 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc., Meydan, Kentucky Ale, and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games please visit, www.alltechfeigames.com.
Follow the World Championship competitions of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with start lists, live scoring and results online at www.alltechfeigames.com/results.
Live scoring and results can also be found on the individual discipline pages of the Games web site.
Competition kicks off on opening day, September 25, with the Reining World Championships presented by John Deere at 9 a.m. EDT at the Alltech Indoor Arena of the Kentucky Horse Park.