Gladstone, NJ - April 16, 2001 - Since reining became sanctioned by the Federation Equestre International (FEI) as an international discipline in March of 2000, the United States Equestrian Team (USET) has been working to develop international reining programs. In its third year of involvement with Reining, the USET administers three distinct reining programs targeting potential international riders of all ages.
The Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, presented by State Line Tack, held in June at the USET Olympic Training Center in Gladstone, NJ, hosts championship classes for Young Riders, Futures, and Open Reiners. A Nations Cup Reining Competition, featuring teams from several countries, and an Invitational Freestyle competition are also included in the Festival of Champions. The reining competitions at the Festival are held June 21 - 24, 2001.
In 2001, the USET began the Young Riders Reining Medal Program, focusing on riders aged 16 to 21. These Young Rider classes are held across the country in conjunction with various NRHA and registered breed horse shows. This program allows the Team to identify potential international competitors. The USET provides training grants, so that grant recipients may work with other accomplished Reiners, as well as providing opportunities to gain show experience, ultimately producing seasoned international riders.
The USET Reining Futures Program represents a population of riders competing at the national level who need more experience to become international contenders. This year, six qualifiers between January and May, are producing 24 horse/rider combinations for the finals, a $25,000 added two-go-round event to be held at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions. The USET provides training grants and international competition grants to these future international competitors.
Now in its third year, the Cosequin/USET Reining Championship, presented by Bayer, is open to all riders on the USET Long List. Seven qualifying shows, sponsored by Intervet, are held across the country between January and April. The top six qualifiers from each show advance to the Intervet/USET Semi-Finals, held at the NRHA Derby, in Oklahoma City, May 16-19. The top twenty finishers then advance to the Finals and the $100,000 added Cosequin/USET Open Reining Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions.
On the national level, the goal of the USET Reining program is to provide national and international competition experience, allowing reiners the opportunity to develop so that they can successfully represent the United States internationally.
USET Reining Programs are made possible through the generous support of corporate sponsorship and individual member donations. The Reining Championship’s title sponsor is Cosequin with Bayer as the presenting sponsor. Bayer is the title sponsor of the entire USET Festival of Champions. Intervet sponsors the qualifiers and the semi finals for the Reining Championship and Sooner Trailer is sponsor of the Futures Championship at the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions. Sponsorship support is critical to the success of Reining’s programs.
The USET selects, equips & finances teams for international competition. This year, three international reining events are scheduled: in Italy, the United States and Germany. Coming years promise more opportunities for international competition.
For more information on USET reining programs, the Bayer/USET Festival of Champions, how to hold a Young Rider Class, or general information, please visit the USET online at www.USET.org or call (908) 234-1251