Givrins, Switzerland – A talented group of up-and-coming athletes represented the Platinum Performance U.S. Teams at the 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders on August 11 and 12. Under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Jeff Petska, the U.S. combinations put forth determined efforts throughout the championships. The Platinum Performance U.S. Junior Team of Sam Flarida, Emma Lane, and Emilia Reutimann earned the team silver medal on Friday, while the Platinum Performance U.S. Young Rider Team of Gabriella Kammerer, Dani Latimer, Cade McCutcheon, and Jack Medows had strong performances to finish in fourth in their team championship. Six U.S. combinations moved on to the individual championship and gained valuable experience on the international stage.
“Hats off to our first team of juniors and young riders to compete in international competition," Petska said. "Our Junior team captured silver in a tough field and overcame some adversity on the way to the podium. Emilia, Sam, and Emma showed with composure beyond their years and let the world know we are going to be a force for years to come."
Fifteen-year-old Reutimann (Sherrills Ford, N.C.) and Black Hails Gold led off for the Platinum Performance U.S. Junior Team in Friday’s team championship against five other teams. Reutimann and Lisa Reutimann’s 2010 Quarter Horse gelding had a great run to score 212. Next in the ring for the U.S. were Flarida (Springfield, Ohio) and Footwork Revolution. Fourteen-year-old Flarida and Katsy Leeman’s 2010 Quarter Horse stallion delivered a solid performance to score 211.5. Last to go for the U.S. were 14-year-old Lane (Gates, N.C.) and Gunner Gump. Not fazed by the pressure of having no drop score, Lane and Bundy Lane’s 2008 Quarter Horse gelding laid down an impressive run to score 215.5. The three-person team’s scores tallied to 639.0 to earn the team silver medal. Italy won gold with a score of 645.0 and France received bronze with a score of 634.5.
In the young rider team championship, Latimer (Marietta, Okla.) and Fancy Sailor Oak led off for the Platinum Performance U.S. Young Rider Team against five other teams. In her first competition with Angelucci Quarter Horses' 2006 Quarter Horse gelding, 16-year-old Latimer rode well to score 209.5. Sixteen-year-old Kammerer (Mt. Sterling, Ky.) was up next with her own Gunners Star and put forth a good effort with the 2009 Paint gelding, earning a score of 211.5. Seventeen-year-old McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) wowed the judges with his run on Tim and Colleen McQuay’s Yellow Jersey. He and the 2004 Quarter Horse stallion laid down a solid performance for a score of 216.5. Unfortunately, 20-year-old Medows (Cuba, Mo.) and Wimpys Show Stopper, his own 2006 Quarter Horse gelding, went off pattern, resulting in a score of zero. However, the team’s scores were high enough to finish in a respectable fourth place with a score of 637.5. Germany won gold with a score of 655.0, Italy won silver with a score of 648.5, and Belgium won bronze with a score of 644.0.
“Our young riders were primed and ready but were plagued by more than their share of bad luck. Dani, Gabriella, Cade, and Jack’s preparation and execution were outstanding, but things didn't come together as we hoped,” Petska explained. “Sometimes we learn more about ourselves in defeat than in victory. I leave inspired by the horsemanship, class, and maturity of this group of juniors and young riders. The future of reining is in very capable hands! It was an honor to be here with the fine people that make up the USEF family.”
In Saturday’s individual championship, four U.S. combinations finished in the top 10. Reutimann and Black Hails Gold earned a score of 213.5 to tie for sixth place as the top U.S. finishers in the junior individual championship. Flarida and Footwork Revolution were not far behind in 10th place with a score of 212. In the young rider championship, Kammerer and Gunners Star had a fantastic run to receive a score of 217.5 and finish in sixth place. McCutcheon and Yellow Jersey had a slight bobble in their first spin but recovered well to score 215 and finish in ninth place.
Find out more about the 2017 SVAG FEI World Reining Championships for Juniors and Young Riders and view results.
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