Oklahoma City, Okla., December 7, 2009 -- The world of reining converged in Oklahoma City on December 3, at the FEI World Reining Masters where 20 top riders from 18 nations competed on 20 world-class reining horses for one night of high-caliber competition. Riders from across the globe came on a quest for international glory. The event was held during the 2009 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity and Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show.
Austria's Rudi Kronsteiner and Smart Spook, 2007 and 2008 FEI World Reining Masters open and restricted open division champions, marked an impressive 224 to repeat their winning ways. Owner Rosanne Sternberg supplied the 2001 stallion for the event, plus three more horses. The duo took home a total of $26,750 for their efforts.
Team Belgium's Bernard Fonck and De Bruin, Gattuso and Vandorp's Great Sun Burst marked a 221 for second in the open and restricted open divisions for $19,000. American Pete Kyle and Kaitlin Townsend's Whizs Bronze Star took home $9,750 for their third-place showing in the open division. The Netherlands' Rieky Young piloted Jim Babcock's Cowboy Smarts to a 216.5 for third in the restricted open division and $4,750.
Kyle of Whitesboro, Texas, also serves as the USEF High-Performance Reining Committee Chairman.
"On behalf of the USEF High-Performance Reining Committee and as a Masters competitor myself, I cannot say how proud I am that the U.S. once again played host to the 2009 FEI World Reining Masters Final," said Kyle. "It was a terrific and spirited competition with a wide set of nations represented--yet another sign that reining continues to grow all around the world. As the sport now turns its eyes to Lexington and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the 2009 Masters was an outstanding preview of the quality and high level of competition we can expect from reining teams from all corners of the globe."
Fans at the FEI World Reining Masters also saw reiners from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.
The World Reining Masters Final involves the best individual reiners in the world. All have qualified, according to a point system, in their national federations. Once qualified, the riders advance to the Masters to compete for $100,000 in prize money in two divisions along with the honor of representing their country. The two divisions of competition include the $75,000-added open and $25,000-added restricted open. The five countries that were finalists in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, are allowed to send their top two riders to compete in the open division only. These countries are the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany and Switzerland. Other countries can send one rider and are eligible to compete in the open and restricted divisions.
The Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show announced one more champion, in the Limited Non Pro. Kathy Barker had a solid showing on Dream It Magnum. The duo marked a 214.5 for owner Larry Barker of Whitesboro, Texas. Jon Gilbert and Cielo San Lewis took the reserve championship honors with a 213.5. Barker and Gilbert represent the South Central and Southwest regions, respectively.
For more information on the NRHA Futurity, visit www.nrhafuturity.com.