World Equestrian Games Begin Today - Officials, Stewards and Top Competitors Announced

Amarillo, Texas - The World Equestrian Games, for the first time in the history of equestrian sports, will award seven world championships, including a world championship title in reining, the newest discipline approved by the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Top reining competitors from around the globe will vie for a purse of 75,000 Euros-approximately $73,000 US-and the chance to be the first-ever reining gold medal winner at the World Equestrian Games (WEG). Eleven countries, representing four continents, will have reiners participating in this historic event beginning today in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Competition will continue with presentation of medals scheduled on Sunday, September 22.

Reining became the seventh approved discipline of the FEI in 2000. As a result, WEG organizers gave reining supporters the opportunity to participate as a discipline in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The reining competition begins September 18, 2002 during the WEG. The international reining community, led by National Reining Horse Association and American Quarter Horse Association, agreed to manage and underwrite the reining competition.

To give the reining competition similar prestige to the other disciplines, Classic S Ranch of Reichling, Germany, agreed to become the presenting sponsor of reining at WEG and recently increased the prize money to 75,000 Euros. Now reining has the second greatest purse in the WEG next to the oldest of the disciplines, jumping.

Supporting sponsors of reining also include MBNA España and Gruppo FMA of Italy.

About the Officials

AQHA Past President Don Burt of Rancho Palos Verde, California, will serve as Chief of the Appeals Committee. Judges for the reining competition and their positions include: Allen Mitchels (USA), Judge and President of Ground Jury; Joe Carter (Canada), Judge; Jan Boogaerts (Belgium), Judge; Filippo Masi (Italy), Judge; Ralf Hesselschwerdt (Germany), Judge; Pierre Ouellet (Canada), Equipment Judge.

Eric Strauss (USA) will serve as Chief Reining Steward, overseeing all steward duties for the reining competition.

About the Teams

Teams and individuals began qualifying for the WEG this summer in Gladstone, New Jersey, and Reggio Emilio, Italy. The 10 teams that qualified include Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, and United States. The individual qualifying spaces went to riders each from France and the Netherlands.

Watch for these riders and horses:

Austria-

Rudi Kronsteiner - Jacs On Top

Canada-

Jason Grimshaw - Listo Pollito Lena

France-

Franck Perret - Boggies Uptown Girl

Germany-

Grischa Ludwig - Im So Tari

Great Britain-

Rosanne Sternberg - Nijomi Sonny Reb

Italy-

Dario Carmignani - Frozen Sailor

USA-

Thomas McCutcheon - Conquistador Whiz




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