Decembr 5, 2008 -- The top reiners in the world came together December 4 for an evening of intense competition at the 2008 FEI World Reining Masters in Oklahoma City, Okla., as part of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship Show. Austria's Rudi Kronsteiner and Smart Spook scored 221 to take the 2008 FEI World Reining Masters in the Open division. The U.S. won the silver and bronze medals in the Open division--Jordan Larson and Lena Gallo took the silver medal with a score of 218, and Craig Schmersal and Mr. Dual Rey earned the bronze medal with a score of 216.5.
Kronsteiner outmaneuvered 18 horse-and-rider pairs from 15 countries to win for the second year in a row. Last year, Kronsteiner took home the title which made him the first reiner outside of the U.S. to win the FEI World Reining Masters.
Larson, of Whitesboro, Texas, and his partner Lena Gallo, an 8-year-old bay Quarter Horse stallion owned by Lapke Quarter Horses, have proved to be quite a pair this year with their consistent performances. Larson said that he was especially pleased with Lena Gallo's efforts in the Masters since he continues to step up to the plate in all of the competitions this year.
"A horse that can mark a 76 three times in a year is a remarkable horse," said Larson. "Lena has stepped up and done his best every time we enter the arena."
Similar to Larson and Lena Gallo, Craig Schmersal, of Overbrook, Okla., and Mr. Dual Rey, an 8-year-old sorrel Quarter Horse stallion owned by Holly Casey, have been quite a team this year. Schmersal said that they have had a good year and that he was pleased with Mr. Dual Rey's performance in the Masters competition.
"We had a penalty in the first set of turns but after that he did really good," said Schmersal. "He gave every time I asked."
Schmersal credits Mr. Dual Rey's owner, Holly Casey, who has been very supportive of the partnership.
"She is one of those lifetime owners that you get few and far between and I am happy to have her," said Schmersal.
Larson and Schmersal competed in September at the 2008 FEI World Reining Championships in Manerbio, Italy. Together, they won the team silver medal, and Larson took the individual gold while Schmersal tied for individual bronze.