Canada and Mexico Share Podium in Debut Event for Kentucky Horse Park's New Indoor Arena
Lexington, Kentucky -Team USA rider Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, TX, won the individual final in Kentucky Cup Reining, the first test event for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Hendricks, a team Gold Medalist at the 2006 WEG, added, "This is absolutely the best arena I have ever shown a horse in. There are going to be a lot of great moments in this building!" Held in the Kentucky Horse Park's new indoor arena, Kentucky Cup Reining, a CRIO4* competition officially sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), featured 12 riders, four each from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. McCutcheon's win added to a win earlier in the week by Team USA in the team competition.
"There's nothing that means as much to me as wearing the USA colors and winning for our country," said McCutcheon, winner of team Gold and individual Silver Medals at the 2002 WEG. McCutcheon received a score of 222.5 from the five-judge panel for his ride on Darlins Not Painted, a 7-year-old, American Paint Horse mare owned by Randy Paul of Scottsdale, AZ, with whom he has been paired for just 10 days. "I love the team concept and I love riding for our country."
Following McCutcheon in the standings was Canada's Lisa Coulter, who finished second with a score of 219.5 on Hollywood Aces. Dell Hendricks of Tioga, TX, scored 218.0 on Starbucks Sidekick, a 9-year-old, Quarter Horse stallion, as did Mexico's Jose Vazquez on Juiced Up Doc, to put the two riders in a tie for third.
"I felt that I got everything out of my horse tonight that I possibly could have gotten," said an elated Coulter, the only woman rider among the 12 in the field, "but Tom's mare was just perfect for him. He clearly deserved tonight's win."
McCutcheon explained that he was in need of a horse for the Test Event and the decision to ride Darlins Not Painted, a horse with non-pro experience, came after a suggestion from his wife. "She thought it would work. We got her about three weeks ago but I didn't ride her until last week. I guess I'd have to say I'm happy the way it turned out."
All four riders praised the organization of the Test Event as well as the new indoor arena. "It was a real thrill to ride here," said Vazquez. "Everything was perfect and I am honored to have been part of this."
Reining was added to the FEI as a discipline in 2000 and was featured for the first time in 2002 at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. Huge crowds for the Reining competitions at the 2006 Games in Aachen, Germany launched the discipline and its athletes into fame, with sold-out performances and loud, fanatical crowds.
As the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games come to Kentucky, the sport of Reining is sure to enjoy a sort of "homecoming" in the US, as the only western discipline recognized by the FEI. Plans are well under way to feature Reining in new and exciting ways in 2010, including a newly approved schedule format - allowing for more public sessions of the discipline.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games:
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Her Royal Highness Princess Haya is the current president of the 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 has marked 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 $150 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc. and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.
Further information on the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, including full results of Kentucky Cup Reining, is available on line at www.alltechfeigames.com.