New Champions Named as Para Reiners Return to the 2021 All American Quarter Horse Congress
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Columbus, OH - Riders representing four Grades of USA Para Reining competed within their respective Grades (or levels) with the scores tallied for the overall Dechra/NRHA/USA Reining Para Reining 2021 National Championship and Reserve at AQHA Congress Horse Show, in the opening week.
Stepping It Up to Win the Championship Holly Leigh Jacobson and "Juice"
Reserve Champion in 2018 and 2019, Holly Leigh Jacobson of MA, stepped up to Grade 5 and took the 2021 National Championship title riding her palomino, Shiney Juice with a 207.5. “I bought Juice here four years ago, so it makes it a very happy anniversary to move up a grade and be able to show off a clean run.”
Jacobson uses a looped Rommel rein as she lost her right arm and left fingers in a car fire. “It’s just a thrill to show at the All American QH Congress. I have met so many welcoming people in the reining community. My detour into reining has really become an addiction!”
Photo: Holly Leigh Jacobson on Shiney Juice moved up to earn the Dechra/NRHA/USA Reining Para Reining 2021 National Championship honors. all photos ©Shane Rux
Jennifer Flanagan and "Swag" Spin to the Win
Grade 3 rider Jennifer Flanagan of TN, earned the Reserve with a 205 piloting Chromed Out Swagwagon. “This year has been an exciting show season for me, I have been blessed with lots of regional showing opportunities to help prepare me for the USA Reining Para Reining National Championships. I felt confident riding this year and it paid off.”
Grade 2 uses trot-lope optional patterns, with spins and stops. Flanagan has relied on a wheelchair since childhood for mobility after a farm accident. Horses have always been part of her life and Flanagan has a competitive nature. She played wheelchair basketball in the past and has done western dressage. “NRHA and USA Reining are wonderful organizations with generous sponsors that make you feel like a true champion!”
Tate Wynn and "Twister" Wynners In Grade 6
Tate Wynn of KY showcased smooth flying changes and impressive stops aboard his Im A Dunit Twist, taking the Grade 6 honors, which uses full patterns open to those with a wide spectrum of cognitive challenges. Wynn was excited to bring ‘Twister’ to show at Congress this year. The 16-year-old by Hollywood Dun It was raised by the family and has always been Tate’s favorite horse. “This year’s Congress was the best!”
Cole Jacobs and Perseveres with Borrowed Mount Sweet Vintage
Grade 4 rider Cole Jacobs of NY, handled the antics of his borrowed mount, Sweet Vintage, who was unsure of starting her pattern but Jacobs persevered and completed all his maneuvers in good style, with especially nice rollbacks.
Jacobs has some muscle coordination and neurological issues and uses a headset to receive directions from his trainer. It was a great example of a para rider successfully dealing with the same issues most able-bodied riders have faced in a show setting when a horse expresses its own opinion. Any horseman would count that as its own victory.
It's Reining Horses and Prizes Galore
Still, it’s the reining horses’ sensitivity that makes them a great match for riders who may lack strength, stamina or dexterity and reining patterns are a great focus tool for those with cognitive challenges. Add the American Quarter Horse’s sensible temperament, it’s a winning formula.Dechra Veterinary Products, title sponsor for the last three USA Reining Para Reining National Championships, once again awarded $5,000 in prize money to support riders with varying physical and cognitive abilities who wish to compete in reining. Tinseltown Flash, Rick Clark Reining Horses, Flarida Reining Horses, and NRHA also continue their dedicated support to raise awareness about para reining.
Top placings received coolers, a personalized buckle, spurs, Congress trophies, jackets, and other certificates.
For more information on how to get involved in USA Para Reining, contact Jennifer Hoyt: email@example.com