US Equestrian National and International 21 and Under Youth Reining Programs

A Chance to Compete for Larger Purses in 2018!


Spanning from January 1 – August 1, 2018, the US Equestrian Youth Championships Qualification period has begun.  Interested youth must earn a score above a zero in a USA/USEF Reining class during this qualification period to be eligible to compete at the 2018 US Equestrian Youth Championships held at the Tulsa Reining Classic on Friday, August 31 at 5:30p.m in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

US Equestrian Director of Reining Programs Bryn Wells stated, “The US Equestrian Reining programs are working hard in 2018 to support the 21 and under group of reiners as they are our future. We’re working to grow these national programs and introduce young reiners to the international opportunities available through US Equestrian while supporting their training and competing along the way.”

The rider, horse, and horse’s owner must have current USEF and USA Reining memberships in order to qualify. The 2018 Qualifying Competitions are as follows:

  • Winter Slide (Jan 30-Feb 4) – Ardmore, OK (USA Reining, USEF, FEI)
  • Cactus Reining Classic (March 21-25) – Scottsdale, AZ (USA Reining, USEF, FEI)
  • NRBC (April 12-23) – Katy, TX (USA Reining, USEF, FEI)
  • NRHA Derby (June 24-July 1) – Oklahoma City, OK (USA Reining, USEF, FEI)
  • Tulsa Reining Classic (Aug 27-Sept 2) – Tulsa, OK (USA Reining, USEF) USEF Championships

If the title isn’t enough, the prizes and increased prize money are. All competitors placing 1-10 at the USE Youth Championships will receive a ribbon. The reserve champion in each age group will be given a monogrammed cooler for their horse. The champions will receive a monogrammed cooler and a custom trophy belt buckle.   Each class also features added money: the 19-21 class has $7,500 added, ages 14-18 has $5,000 added, and the 13 & Under class features $2,500 added.

For more program information, visit or contact Bryn Wells at

USA Reining
Cheryl Cody
(580) 759-2400

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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National-bound teams and individuals determined at IHSA Western Semi-Finals

IHSA_LogoFairfield, Conn. ­­– March  20, 2018 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association held its Western Semi-Finals, sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), March 17-18. Hosting the events were Black Hawk College in Galva, Illinois, West Virginia University in Reedsville, West Virginia, and Alfred University, held at the Hamburg Showplex in Hamburg, New York. Alumni Semi-Finals were held at Black Hawk College and West Virginia University.

Each IHSA region sent their two top Individual riders and the regional championship team. At each Western Semi-Finals Individual competition, the first through fourth-place finishers will progress to compete at the 2018 IHSA National Championship Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, May 3-6. In Team competition, the top three teams at each Semi-Final will qualify to compete at Nationals. In addition, all regional high-point riders earned the right to compete at Nationals.

Photo_1University of Nebraska-Lincoln “Husker” Equestrian Team won the overall Team championship at the Black Hawk College Semi-Finals. Coach Lori Jaixen Team is pictured with the team riders, including Selena Finn, Anna Heusinger, Sierra Nelson, Audrey Heusinger and Brooke Imm. Photo courtesy of the Husker Equestrian Team.

Semi-Finals Hosted at Black Hawk College
At Semi-Finals hosted at Black Hawk College the team from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln clinched the overall team win just edging out Black Hawk College by one point. In 2017, the “Husker” team finished fourth at Nationals. Middle Tennessee State University took the third spot and to round out the National Championship-bound teams.

“It was a fantastic experience and a fantastic group of horses,” said University of Nebraska – Lincoln Coach Lori Jaixen. “Everyone was really evenly matched.”

Contributing to the Team success was Anna Heusinger, a senior on the team for the second year, who won Team Advanced Horsemanship. She was regional and reserve national champion in Novice in 2017. Her sister Audrey Heusinger, a first-year student on the Husker Equestrian Team, won Team Intermediate Horsemanship. Coach Jaixen teaches both hunter seat and Western and has been with the Huskers for about ten years.

Photo_2Anna Heusinger from University of Nebraska – Lincoln won first place in the
Team Advanced Horsemanship at the Semi-Finals hosted by Black Hawk College.
Photo courtesy of the Husker Equestrian Team

“The whole team is hard-working and dedicated,” Jaixen said. “We’ve won the region every year since 2005. This is a group of riders that’s always advancing. I take great pride in the culture we’ve created.”

Carla Carford from Northeast Oklahoma A&M University nabbed the win in Individual Open Horsemanship. Second-place finisher Kendall Woeller from West Texas A&M University will join her to compete at Nationals along with Rachel Kanaziz from Adrian College and Kamryn Krutchen from Black Hawk College, who were third and fourth respectively.

In Individual Reining, the judges’ top pick was Alexandra Britt from the University of Tennessee. The second-place prize went to Travis Fortune from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. Third-place competitor Woeller and fourth-place Kanaziz will compete at IHSA Nationals in both Individual Reining and Open Horsemanship.

Judges Pete McAlister, from Mitchell, Indiana, and Dawn Kreakie from Seville, Ohio, officiated.

Photo_3Audrey Heusinger from University of Nebraska – Lincoln won Team Intermediate Horsemanship at the Semi-Finals hosted at Black Hawk College. Photo courtesy of the Husker Equestrian Team

Semi-Finals at West Virginia University
West Virginia University hosted their first-ever Semi-Finals at their Ruby Research Farm. Judges Tyler Crouse of Kansas City, Missouri, and Lori Gordon of Washington, Pennsylvania, presided over the event.

The overall Team championship went to the University of Findlay earning a whopping 35 points. Reserve champions St. Andrews University will return to Nationals to defend their two-time national championship title. Ohio State University finished third and also punched their ticket to Harrisburg.

The Findlay “Oilers” also had seven individual riders qualify for Nationals and won six classes at the event. In 2017, Findlay was fourth in the overall Team standings at Nationals.

Photo_4Tyler Kirby from Ohio State University won the Individual Reining at the Semi-Finals hosted by West Virginia University. Kirby is pictured with Ohio State University coach Ollie Griffith.
Photo by Teresa Fischer

Miami University’s Lauren Martyn won the Individual Open Horsemanship Finals and will be joined by second-place finisher Conner Smith from St. Andrews University at Nationals. Third-place finisher Anna Rizi from the University of Findlay and fourth, Morgan Koontz from Ball State University will also make the trip to Harrisburg.

Ohio State University’s Tyler Kirby grabbed the win in Individual Reining with Aubrey Braham from Slippery Rock University in second. Hannah Hein from Saint Mary of the Woods and Morgan Knerr from the University of Findlay were third and fourth.

Photo_5Aubrey Braham from Slippery Rock University was the reserve champion of Individual Reining at the Semi-Finals hosted at West Virginia University. She is pictured with Ollie Griffith.
Photo by Teresa Fischer

Semi Finals at Alfred University
Alfred University in Alfred, New York, hosted Western Semi-Finals at the Hamburg Showplex in Hamburg, New York. Judges Joe Carter from Toronto, Ontario, and Gretchen Mathes from Harwinton, Connecticut, presided over the two-day event.

Oregon State University, Alfred University and the University of Wisconsin, River Falls finished in the top three spots respectively in the overall Team competition and will progress to the IHSA National Championships in Harrisburg.

Photo_6Oregon State University Equestrian Team and Coach Dawn Ross won the championship at the Semi-Finals hosted by Alfred University. Photo courtesy of Oregon State University

In the Individual Open Horsemanship division, Codi Uecker from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, clinched the win. Alfred University home-team rider Haley Ruffner took the second spot. In 2017, Ruffner was No. 2 in the AQHA High-Point Western Rider roster at Nationals. State University of New York Cobleskill’s Emily McLaughlin was third and Racheal Nordby from Oregon State University rounded out the top four that will all face-off with the eight other qualifiers. Nordby is the captain of the championship team.

In the hotly-contested Individual Reining division, Elizabeth Jones of Montana State University had the nod from the judges for the first-place prize. Danielle Paulson from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls earned the red ribbon and Courtney Slack from Alfred University and Morgan O’Sullivan from State University of New York at Cobleskill had the third and fourth slots to qualify for IHSA Nationals.

NRHA_LogoIHSA thanks the NRHA for their continued support and sponsorship.

“The NRHA sees the value in IHSA for many different reasons,” said Hayley Eberle, NRHA Manager of Marketing and Outreach. “However the two most notable are: how it keeps the college-aged individual involved in the equine industry while providing them an affordable way to continue showing and, how reining is positioned as the pinnacle event on the Western side. “NRHA knows that IHSA riders go on to be the leaders of tomorrow. Regardless of whether they stay in the equine or ag industry or select a different career path, we want them to remember the amazing memories, relationships and life skills they learned while riding in college. We can’t wait to see everyone at Nationals!”

Make sure to share your Semi-Finals photos on social media with #SlideOfYourLife and #rideihsa.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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Updated AAEP Biosecurity Guidelines Now Available

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has published updated biosecurity guidelines to help minimize the occurrence and mitigate the spread of potential disease outbreaks.


The downloadable PDF file incorporates comprehensive information and step-by-step protocols in three distinct areas: identification of key personnel, important contacts and reference materials; routine biosecurity protocol; and outbreak response. The AAEP’s Infectious Disease Committee updated the protocols.


The outbreak of an infectious disease can inflict significant economic hardship due to loss of horses, loss of use and shutdown of industry activity. To further reduce risk, the AAEP is assembling a companion worksheet that will serve as a practical resource for practitioners to use with their clients in planning for an outbreak. This fillable PDF worksheet is expected to be available in March.


View the updated guidelines or to save them to your phone or tablet for future reference here. Additional biosecurity information specific to common situations and locations such as breeding operations, events and travel are available from the Equine Disease Communication Center through the “Biosecurity” link at


The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse. Currently, AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 9,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.


Contact:  Sally J. Baker or 859.233.0147


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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Take Action! NRHA Elections and Rule Changes

Important Dates for NRHA Elections and Rule Changes

NRHA members have the opportunity to nominate members to represent their interests on the NRHA Board or Executive Committee. Members can also help guide the future of reining by giving input on 2019 rule change proposals. Read the following overview for more information on how you can get involved in the process!


Read through this year’s rule change proposals in the March NRHA Reiner magazine or online in the Members Only section of!

Want to share your opinion? Take the member survey by April 16 to have your opinions shared with the NRHA Board of Directors! The board will vote in May and results will be posted online and in the NRHA Reiner for all members to see.


Vice President and Director-at-Large on the Executive Committee

  • August 5 – Deadline to submit write-in candidates for either seat

Director for North American Regions (One per region):

  • Mountain – Idaho*, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado
  • Southeast – North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Virginia
  • Southwest – Arizona, California*, Nevada* and New Mexico
  • July 5 – NRHA Affiliate nomination deadline for candidates
  • August 5 – Deadline to submit write-in candidates for any of these positions



If a director position isn’t quite your style, you might consider serving on an NRHA Committee. Complete and submit a Committee Interest Form to be considered for a 2019-2020 term. More details on NRHA Advisory and Standing Committees can be found in the Members Only section.

*If a member lives in this state and designates an affiliate for the Affiliate Regional Championships qualifying in that region, the member will be given voting privileges for that region. If the member lives in this state and does not designate an affiliate, voting privileges will be given as follows: California and Idaho – Northwest region; Nevada – Southwest region.

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Internships Available for NRHA Derby

For Immediate Release – March 9, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The application period is now open for 2018 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby interns. Qualified candidates will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience within the horse industry, learn essential knowledge on event organization and be a part of the third-largest reining event in the world. Internships with NRHA also provide individuals with real-life experiences that create lifelong skill sets.

Many current NRHA employees began their career as a show intern at the NRHA Derby or Futurity. “I had already fallen in love with the sport of reining, which is what led me to apply for the internship with the NRHA,” said NRHA Member & Show Services Representative Riley Jordan. “Although the shows can be long and demanding, working alongside the NRHA employees truly caused me to fall in love with the company and the way they treat their employees and members. I had never worked in an environment where I loved and respected people that I barely knew so much. I never saw myself being one to move across the country for any reason. NRHA turned out to be the one exception.”

Internships are available in three categories: general, marketing and youth. All internships are based at NRHA headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and include participation at the NRHA Derby June 23-July 1, 2018*. Selected candidates should meet the following criteria:

  • Able to assist with all functions of the departments listed, including early mornings and long days during the event
  • Willing to work closely with youth members, leaders and NRHA staff
  • Demonstrate an interest in the livestock or horse industry, and have the ability to work collaboratively
  • Creative, energetic, patient and reliable

To apply, complete the online application at Send the completed application, resume and references to the appropriate contact listed on the application.

*Interns will arrive for set up before the show begins and assist with tear-down at the conclusion of the event.

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Reining Horses at Jacksonville Equestrian Center Compete for $130,000+ in cash prizes

For Immediate Release Jacksonville, FL (March 8, 2018) — The Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosted the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA) Classic February 20-25. The annual competition paid out more than $130,000 in added prize monies.

The multi-day reining competition offered 75 classes across multiple divisions from short stirrup and youth to amateur, non-pro, novice, green and open. The event also included US Para Reining Grades 1-4 and World Para Reining Grades 1-4, which are for athletes with a physical disability.

“We had roughly 450 horses here,” said Karen Randall, the show secretary from Lockport, New York. “We had more exhibitors from outside of Florida than from the state of Florida.” Riders hauled from as far west as Texas and Oklahoma and as far north as New York and Pennsylvania and points beyond. Each exhibitor had hopes of winning cash prizes, one of 35 championship buckles, a saddle or one of nearly 600 other prizes.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s facilities contribute to the event’s popularity. The facility offers more than 400 permanent stalls and a large indoor coliseum, which includes a 123,000 square foot arena with permanent seating for 3,700. “The Equestrian Center goes above and beyond for us,” Randall said. “The facility and staff are simply fabulous to work with.” FRHA will host another event at the facility March 23 -25 of this year and has already signed a contract for events in 2019.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a favorite destination for equestrian competitions, recreational events, and social events for the community. The 80-acre facility, which is easily accessible from major highways in Jacksonville, Florida, also features miles of hiking and riding trails and a picnic pavilion. For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, visit or call (904) 255-4215.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
13611 Normandy Blvd,
Jacksonville, FL 32221

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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New Protocol for NRHA Professional of the Year Awards

In the fall of 2017, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Professionals Committee unanimously voted to modify the nomination and voting procedures for their yearly awards. The intention of this modification is to gain more participation from NRHA Affiliates and broaden the pool of deserving nominees.

The new nomination and voting process will be implemented this year and will follow the procedures below.

  1. NRHA Affiliates will submit one nomination for each of the five award categories. It will be up to each affiliate to determine how they select their nominees. Nominations for each category will need a separate form.
  2. Nominations will remain at the current due date of November 1. Once the nomination period is complete, the NRHA Professionals Committee Staff Liaison will collect and compile all nominations for the committee to review.
  3. The NRHA Professionals Committee will review all nominations, selecting the top five professionals for each category.
  4. Once the top five are selected, an electronic vote will be sent to all current NRHA Professional members.
  5. After the voting is closed, winners will be announced. Any ties will be broken by the NRHA Professionals Committee.

The NRHA Professionals Committee strives to strengthen its current programs through constant evaluation. They hope this change will afford more of the industry’s best professionals the opportunity to receive the recognition they deserve through a more structured nomination and voting processes.

Forms and further instructions will be available on the NRHA website before nominations begin this fall. For questions, contact Hayley Eberle, NRHA Professionals Committee staff liaison, at or (405) 946-7400 ext. 103.


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Tamarack Ranch Becomes NRHA’s Newest Ranch Partner

For Immediate Release – March 3, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – As a nonprofit organization, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) relies on partnerships and alliances to help promote and develop the sport of reining. NRHA is pleased to welcome Tamarack Ranch as a new Ranch Partner in 2018.

Tamarack Ranch, located in Joseph, Oregon, prides itself on raising reining horse prospects of sound mind and healthy body. Owned by Suzy Simar, the ranch breeds and houses elite reining horses of every age. Tamarack also serves as the training location for NRHA Professional Gabe Hutchins who says, “Investing in the future of reining is a key initiative of Tamarack Ranch. In the past, we have sponsored many different shows and events. This year, we decided to use our resources to become an NRHA Ranch Partner in order to best help promote the reining horse industry.”

NRHA is equally excited about this decision. “We are proud to welcome Tamarack Ranch as a new NRHA Ranch Partner and Futurity Level 4 Open Semifinal sponsor,” said Sammi Miller, NRHA Director of Corporate Relations. “A partnership with Tamarack Ranch supports NRHA’s mission of promoting the sport of reining and producing great reining horses.”

NRHA looks forward to working with Tamarack Ranch in the future and is excited to see what opportunities this partnership will afford.

About Tamarack Ranch

Tamarack Ranch, located in Joseph, Oregon, is focused on raising, selling and showing elite reining horses. We pride in a very selective group of mares that are the focus of our program. Investing in the future of reining starts with quality horses of all ages available that will be the future of reining.

Besides raising exceptional quality horses, Tamarack Ranch also has a training program that is guided by NRHA Professional Gabe Hutchins. Hutchins has over $560,000 in NRHA lifetime earnings and has been a multiple finalist in all major events.

Come visit us in beautiful Joseph, Oregon and find the reining horse that is just right for you! Our plentiful pastures, clean mountain air and rich soil are ideal for raising reining prospects of sound mind and healthy body.

For questions or to schedule a visit, please contact us at or give us a call at (260) 249-0158 or (260) 416-1377. Be sure to visit our website at

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FMCSA Responds to AHC Request

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) followed their recent meeting with AHC staff, a meeting in response to the AHC request for clarification , by releasing two documents on the existing Commercial Driver License (CDL) regulations and how those regulations impact the horse industry. The AHC is appreciative of the horse specific efforts that FMCSA have taken to quell the concerns of our recreational enthusiasts.

The guidance titled “Agricultural Exceptions and Exemptions to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Hours of Service (HOS) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Rules” and “Non-Business Related Transportation of Horses ” explain how published FMCSA guidance provides an exception for the transportation of horses when the transportation in question is not business related (neither for compensation, nor where the driver is engaged in an underlying business related to the move). In these cases, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations do not apply, even if prize or scholarship money is offered. This includes the Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations, requirements for Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and CDL regulations, unless required by the driver’s home state. Both documents contain example scenarios that may help horse owners better understand the regulations as they exist today.

The documents can be found on the FMCSA website at:

The AHC will continue to pursue clarifications until the industry is satisfied that there are no unintended consequences from current CDL or ELD regulations. The AHC will take action where clarifications are not sufficient, including the continued collaboration with the entire livestock industry to get a delay in ELD enforcement.

AHC staff are still compiling the industry’s concerns and questions to forward to DOT and invite people to share their comments. Additionally, DOT has established a specific email address for agricultural specific questions at . This address will be used to generate a future F.A.Q. page.

The AHC encourages our members to share their questions to the DOT email as well to better highlight the existing concerns regarding the interpretation of CDL regulations. If clarifications and the F.A.Q. fail to address the concerns of our members, then the AHC will continue their efforts and pursue both legislative and regulatory solutions.

Find AHC resources at

Please contact the American Horse Council with any questions or comments.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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2018 NRHA Convention & Awards Recap

2018 NRHA Convention & Awards Concludes in Oklahoma City 

For Immediate Release –- February 23, 2018 -  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The third annual National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Convention & Awards concluded February 10, and after four days of education, constructive discussion and networking, the event was clearly deemed a success. The convention started with NRHA Executive Committee and NRHA Board of Directors meetings, which set a productive tone for the rest of the week.

The NRHA Board of Directors had their first reading of 2019 proposed rule changes, received an update on the 2018 European Summit that was held earlier this year, approved the 2018 NRHA Derby schedule and also got a first-hand demonstration of the information technology rebuild project. NRHA Directors also had the opportunity to give an update on their region including successes and challenges they are currently facing. The board also approved for the well-received NRHA Pro Trainer magazine to move to a quarterly publication and allocated the necessary resources to ensure current NRHA Professionals receive the publication.

Other items of discussion included:

  • Dual entry options were added and a Prime Time payout clarification was made to the 2018 Futurity Conditions.
  • NRHA Luxembourg was approved as a new NRHA Affiliate.
  • 2018 Election Procedures – This year’s procedures and deadlines were approved with the following positions up for election: vice president, director-at-large on the executive committee and director for the Southwest, Southeast and Mountain regions.

Friday and Saturday morning were full of committee meetings, all of which were loaded with ideas and discussion on how to continue improving the sport of reining. NRHA Professionals attend the Professionals Summit on Saturday morning where they had guest speakers covering a variety of topics such as media training and an update on the Electronic Logging Devices mandate. Saturday night concluded with a star-studded celebration as NRHA World Champions and various other winners were presented with their awards.

The NRHA Judges Summit and Annual General Membership (AGM) meeting were also held Saturday prior to the awards banquet. Attendees of the AGM received updates on the Reining Horse Foundation, NRHA financials and the strategic plan and watched as Mike Deer was awarded his NRHA President’s buckle made by NRHA Corporate Partner Montana Silversmiths.

When asked about the event, NRHA President Mike Deer had this to say, “I always look forward to the NRHA Convention & Awards. It allows our membership, committees, board and staff to gather together and set the tone for all the great things we want to accomplish this year. Conversations among everyone were passionate and purposeful, making each meeting a true success. 2018 is going to be an outstanding year for NRHA.”

NRHyA Leadership Summit

The 2018 NRHA Youth Leadership Summit took place in conjunction with the NRHA Convention & Awards. Kelly Barnes served as the facilitator, where he challenged youth members to “amp up their leadership.”  The summit attendees participated in three sessions of workshops, each led by Barnes.  All five youth association officers were present, along with other NRHyA members. 

2019 Rule Change Proposals can be found under the members only section. Current NRHA members are encouraged to leave comments regarding the proposals. The commenting section will be open through April 16.

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