It will be an action-packed weekend when the Kentucky Reining Cup returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, April 25-27. Not only will this year's Reining competition serve as the Adequan USEF Open Reining National Championship and the Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Team, but on Saturday evening, stars from the world of Eventing will try their hand at Reining during the Kentucky Reining Cup's World Championship Freestyle competition.
The Kentucky Reining Cup, which features World Championship gold medalists and other world-class competitors, is held alongside the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, America's only Four Star Eventing competition, which runs April 24-27. This year's special Eventing celebrities will make a very exciting night of competition!
David O'Connor was an individual Gold Medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games, team Silver Medalist at the 1996 Olympic Games, former president of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), and is the current coach of the US Eventing Team. David is the returning champion of the celebrity Reining and will be looking to fiercely defend his title.
Bruce Davidson has been a household name in the Eventing world for over four decades. With countless wins and titles to his credit including two Olympic team Gold medals, and two Olympic team Silver medals, there is no doubt that Bruce will be a tough competitor.
Will Faudree competed at his first the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event over a decade ago, won team Gold at the 2003 Pan American Games, was on the US team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, and was short-listed for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Perhaps his motto of 'Taking Eventing to New Heights' will also work for Reining!
Lynn Symansky was a member of the 2011 U.S. Pan American Gold Medal Team, and finished in the top five at the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. She may be the only woman in the competition, but she is a tough competitor and will definitely give the men a run for the title!
"It's so exciting to have some of the world's biggest eventing stars participate in the Celebrity Reining competition at the Kentucky Reining Cup," said Brad Ettleman, President of HorsePower, Inc., and producer of the Kentucky Reining Cup. "This will make the World Championship Freestyle evening even more thrilling as the crowds will love to watch the eventers try their hand at reining!"
Produced by HorsePower, Inc., the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup will feature a three-star $35,000 FEI Concours de Reining International (CRI3*), the $50,000 Kentucky Reining Cup Team Challenge, the $20,000 World Championship Freestyle Reining, and the $15,000 Adequan/USEF National Open Reining Championship & Official Selection Trial for the US Reining Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games. Total prize money for the three-day event is an amazing $120,000.
Among other notable Reining athletes, top competitors like Shawn Flarida, Tim McQuay, Tom McCutcheon, and Craig Schmersal, who teamed to win the Gold Medal for the U.S. at the last World Equestrian Games in 2010 in Kentucky, will all be vying for a spot on the team that will be looking to defend the gold this summer.
Designed to showcase the maneuvers of a working ranch horse, reining is a judged competition that highlights the athletic ability of a horse through the performance of required elements such as small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll-backs over the hocks, 360-degree spins, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse. This variety of movements is linked into a graceful sequence with no observable resistance on the horse's part. For freestyle events, the movements are set to music and performed in costume. This is a particularly thrilling crowd pleaser.
Don't miss the opportunity to see all of the stars in action. The Kentucky Reining Cup will run in conjunction with the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Land Rover, and host numerous events over the course of the week:
Friday, April 25 - CRI3* and Opening Round of the Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and the Kentucky Reining Cup Team Challenge
Saturday, April 26 - FEI Junior and Young Rider classes, Para-Reining classes, and The Freestyle Reining World Championship - An annual crowd favorite
Sunday, April 27 - Kentucky Reining Cup CRI3* / Second Go and Final of the Adequan/USEF National Open Championship & Official US Reining Team Selection Trial
Tickets for reining's premier event are on sale now. Tickets good for the CRI3*Championship and Selection Trial on Friday are $15 per person and tickets for Saturday's World Freestyle Championship are $22 per person. Sunday admission is included with a ticket from either Friday or Saturday. Ticket packages including admission for all three days are available for just $35.00 per person. Parking is included free of charge.
For more information or to order tickets for the 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup, go to www.KentuckyReining.com.