June 26, 2006 -- The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named the reining team, sponsored by Adequan, that will represent the United States in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games held in Aachen, Germany, from August 20 to September 3, 2006, with reining competition being held September 1 and 3. The four horse-and-rider combinations and alternates are as follows:
- Matt Mills, of Scottsdale, Ariz., riding Easy Otie Whiz, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, owned by Out West Stallion Station and Bobbie Cook
- Aaron Ralston, of Silt, Colo., riding Smart Paul Olena, a 12-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, owned by Meg Griffith-Ralston
- Tim McQuay, of Tioga, Texas, riding Mister Nicadual, a six-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, owned by Jerry Kimmel
- Dell Hendricks, of Tioga, Texas, riding Starbucks Sidekick, a six-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, owned by Adair Reiners, LLC
1st alternate: Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, Texas, riding Ruf Hearted Jac, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, owned by Sarah Willeman; 2nd alternate: Crystal McNutt of Scottsdale, Ariz., riding Dun With Caution, an eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, owned by RUR Performance Horses, LLC
The team was decided based on their rankings at in the 2006 Adequan/USEF Open Reining Championship held June 25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. Matt Mills won the championship aboard Easy Otie Whiz. Aaron Ralston and Tim McQuay tied for second with a score of 229.5.
"It means a lot to me. Just the company that I am in now, you've got two of the most celebrated, most famous riders in National Reining Horse Association on the team, and it's nice to be sitting there next to them. You know, it makes you feel good," said Mills.
Chef d'Equipe Jeff Petska is looking forward to sharing the experience of another gold medal with the team.
"After being fortunate enough to win the Gold in 2002 and to stand in that arena and hear the national anthem being played and knowing you had, my part in it was minute compared to the riders, but even with the role I played, just to stand in that arena and see them raise your flag and play that national anthem... I hope these guys get that opportunity," he said. "It's something that growing up you watch the Olympics, and you watch and see folks stand on that podium...it's an awesome feeling. I think we've got a strong enough group that we can take a good, hard run at it."
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