Gladstone, NJ—Having won the 2001 United States Equestrian Team (USET) Young Rider Reining Championship Final held during the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, Kyle Johnson of Portland, CT, was invited to participate in a week-long USET training session with champion reining horse trainer Todd Bergen of Eagle Point, OR. The USET covered the expenses of the session, while Bergen donated his time.
Johnson commented on the week, “This was a good experience for me. Todd is so talented, I learned a lot just watching him ride. I rode a lot of horses myself, and enjoyed working cows. I had never done that before and it was a very good experience.”
He continued, “I am interested in competing at future international competitions. The opportunity for young horsemen today is just incredible and there are so many options to take between national and international competition.”
Kyle, who is currently training a two-year-old gelding by Smart Play, hopes to compete at the 2002 NRHA Futurity. He will also continue to compete with Boomerfritz with whom he won the Championship.
Bergen stated, “The USET Young Rider program teaches riders the end product of training. Keeping an open mind about horses is an important key to improving a rider’s skill and showing horses is the easy part. Training horses and conducting business is difficult. Any exposure to various riding styles is positive and promotes good horsemanship. It takes an open mind, countless hours of hard work to reach the peaks of equestrian competition.”
Started in 2001, the USET Young Rider Reining program is designed to identify future international riders while promoting valuable horsemanship experience and test the riding abilities of each athlete. The Young Rider Reining program is one of many programs that the USET has developed to assist riders in their quest for equestrian excellence.