Gladstone, New Jersey – In a sizzling second round, Team USA – Tim McQuay on Okie Dun It, Craig Johnson on Sailing Smart, Dell Hendricks on Dunnit In Hollywood and Shawn Flarida on Freckles Top Prize – rode to a total score of 1326.5 to win the Gold in the CRIO Nations Cup held at the USET Festival of Champions. Team Canada was the silver winner, with team members Francois Gauthier on Don Quintana, Shawna Sapergia on Jac Pic A Nic, Patrice St. Onge on Start Me A Tab and Jason Grimshaw on Lena Del Cielo teaming up for a score of 1309. Bronze honors went to Team Brazil - Renata Mauri Ricca and Scottin Little Lady, Franco Bertolani on Peppy Sol Anson, Gilson Vieira Diniz Fihl on Reys The Band, and Alexandre Lhanas Ramos on Melon Kali Jac for a total score of 1269.
Team USA Chef d’Equipe Jeff Petska complimented his team shortly after the win and the medals presentation. “They are true professionals and they showed that today,” he said, citing the clean sweep in team and individual competition.
The individual gold medal went to Dell Hendricks, the silver to Craig Johnson and the bronze to Shawn Flarida.
A highlight of the day on Saturday was the USET Invitational freestyle Competition and Pete Kyle of Whitesboro, Texas won his third Festival of Champions Freestyle Championship. Riding A Genuine Remedy, owned by Kimberly Wang of Hawaii, Kyle’s “Pretty Woman” routine was a hit with the audience. Reserve honors went to Guy Vernon of Kiowa, Colorado, on Endeavor Doc, for an outstanding bridle-less routine.
Zane Haverty, a high school senior from Krum, Texas scored 218 to win the first round of Young Rider competition on Friday. He was showing Who Whiz It, a horse that his father, Clint Haverty, rode to NRHA Futurity and National Reining Breeders Classic finalist rankings and earnings of over $40,000.
On Saturday morning, Zane proved that the first round win was no fluke, marking a 219.5 to win the second go and the championship. Interestingly, Suzanne Wilson of Tallahassee, Florida, rode Catalyst Command to finish second, and Matthew Palmer of Elverson, Pennsylvania finished third on Hercules – the exact order the three teenagers finished in the first round.
Reining action continues on Sunday at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions – beginning at 10:30 am with the final round of the USET Futures Reining Championship. The much-awaited USET Reining Championship Presented by Bayer will begin at 2:00 pm, and will decide the US team that will travel to Spain for the World Equestrian Games.
Along with the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Reining Horse is a sponsor of the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, Presented by State Line Tack, and provides show management for the event. The National Reining Horse Association is the worldwide governing body of reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to insure the highest standards of competition. With corporate support from Cinch, Sundowner, Saddlesmith, Profile Nutrition, Horse & Rider magazine, Markel Insurance, Pfizer Animal Health, Quarter Horse News, Kiser Arena Specialists, State Line Tack, nrha.reiningnet.com and Classic Equine the NRHA continues to educate its members and the public about reining. For information and complete results on the NRHA visit the web site at www.nrha.com or call 405-946-7400.