Austria’s Muehlstaetter Takes Top Honors in First of Two Scottsdale CRIs
US Reining Team Qualifying Reaches Fever Pitch
From USA Reining/Brad Ettleman – Scottsdale, Ariz., USA – In an international field of starters, the Sun Circuit of Scottsdale, Arizona names its first of two FEI champions. Riders from Australia, Austria, Canada and the United States vie for valuable remaining qualifying points. Additionally, as the gold-medal defenders, the US Reining Team hones it’s team-building process, with outcomes gripping the attention of Reining enthusiasts from around the globe.
Showing some international muscle, Austria’s Martin Muehlstaetter claimed both gold and silver positions showing to first place with an exciting 150.5 point run, aboard Blue Collar Tag, Shaunda Ruckman’s a six-year-old bay AQHA gelding by Whiz N Tag Chex out of Kachina Oak Olena by Smart Chic Olena. The Ruckmans are hometown favorites of Scottsdale, AZ.
Martin Muehlstaetter with Blue Collar Tag (by Kirkbride Photography)
“He’s a very sturdy show horse that offers a great deal of consistency in the show pen, with one hundred percent heart every time” said Muehlstaetter of his mount. “We are very fortunate to have a great partnership with owners Shaunda Ruckman and her husband Tim. They have been loyal friends for years and we all have our sights set on the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. The Austrian team looks very strong and we have podium expectations.”
Muehlstaetter’s second place finish was a score of 148.5 aboard Wimpy’s Little Buddy, owned by Madalyn Roberts of San Diego, CA; and in third, it was Andrea Fappani with a 148 score for the United States showing Smoking Whiz owned by Silver Spurs Equine, LLC of Cave Creek, AZ.
Additional riders gaining US Reining Team Official Selection Trial advancement qualifying scores include: Dana Cohen showing Gail Klapper’s Magnum Refund (also the event’s top amateur rider) and Matt Mills showing both Janice Dickson’s Mia Little Whiz and Inga Guernsey’s Custom Great Pine.
Mills Wins Sun Circuit Open Concours de Reining International
Non-Pro Sensation Cohen Takes Silver
February 2, 2014 – The first of two remaining qualifying opportunities in the United States, the Sun Circuit FEI Concours de Reining International (CRI3***) offered another day of action-packed Reining.
Sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation, the United States Equestrian Federation and USA Reining, and offering a valuable and vital qualifying opportunity for US Riders to advance to the Official Team Selection Trial, Matt Mills of Rio Verde, Arizona took the gold medal spot aboard Janice Dickson’s Mia Little Whiz with an outstanding score of 149, showing to plus-one maneuver scores throughout the pattern and commanded the attention of the ground jury.
Matt Mills riding Mia Little Whiz (by Kirkbride Photography)
“She is an outstanding and consistent mare that gives me everything I ask, every time,” Mills raved about the six-year-old AQHA sorrel mare. “We are thrilled to have had such a great result here in Scottsdale and look forward to an exciting trip to Lexington to ride for a spot on the US Team.”
Dana Klapper Cohen riding Magnum Refund (by Kirkbride Photography)
Earning the silver podium position, and rising through the ranks as an amateur rider, Dana Klapper Cohen of Denver, Colorado was showing Gail Klapper’s Magnum Refund, an eleven-year-old chestnut AQHA gelding.
Showing as an amateur competitor among the FEI entries is rare in the sport of Reining and the second place finish for Cohen is notable. The success at the Sun Circuit gives Cohen a highly-coveted berth at the Selection Trial, held at the Kentucky Reining Cup this April. In addition to the rarity of an amateur qualified contestant, Cohen is sure to be one of only a handful of elite female riders to join the field of US challengers in a discipline that is often dominated by men among the high performance level of the sport.
USA Reining, the official affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation serves as the kick-start organization for US riders with international aspirations. Providing a pipeline of talented horses and riders to the USEF’s high performance programs, USA Reining offers competitive programs, education and support within the FEI/USEF sport structure for Reiners. For more information about USA Reining, click on: www.USAReining.org.
The final US qualifying event will be held next weekend in Ardmore, OK on February 7-8. For more information on the Winter Slide Horse Show, click on www.WinterSlide.com.
Athletes then advance to the super-competitive US Team Selection Trials at the Kentucky Reining Cup, held during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 25-27, 2014. For more information about the Official Selection Trial, click on: www.KentuckyReining.com.
The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this posting. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.