Not only does Frank Costantini carry the flag for NRHA Corporate Partner Markel, but he’s also a champion for the sport of reining in more ways than one.
Frank was instrumental in placing the sport in front of a global audience.
“Getting reining into the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) was challenging for several reasons. It was something they were totally unaccustomed to since it’s a Western discipline. Some of the rules and nuances were completely foreign to NRHA and reining at the time, too. We had a meeting of the minds, and there were so many people involved to make it all work.”
Reining made its debut at the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome. Of course, it was just a demonstration sport, but it set the stage for exponential growth as equestrians fell in love with the reining horse.
“Reining was able to capture the magnetism that we always felt it would for equestrians around the world. It was a tremendous feeling. It captured everyone’s imagination and love of horses.”
Frank came by his love and appreciation for true horsemanship honestly. His friendship with some of reining’s founding fathers—Bill Horn, Dale Wilkinson, Richie Greenberg (just to name a few)—shaped Frank’s view of the horse industry.
“My personal goal for getting reining into the FEI was to let everyone see what a reining horse looked like. I wanted everyone to have the same sort of feeling about reining as it was conveyed to me from some of reining’s biggest names.”
Inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame himself in 2001, Frank has carried the torch for reining from both the front and back seat. He’s served as NRHA President twice and as the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) President three times.
“The reining horse industry has gotten to be a way of life. It’s a passion that I’ve been able to convey to Markel.”
Check back for part two of Frank’s story in this #BehindtheSlide feature.