Givrins, Switzerland – The U.S. Reining Teams had excellent performances at the 2019 SVAG FEI Reining World Championships for Young Riders & Juniors in Givrins, Switzerland. The talented U.S. combinations collected two team medals and four individual medals under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Jeff Petska. The U.S. Junior Reining Team won team gold and swept the individual podium, while the U.S. Young Rider Team collected team bronze and Cade McCutcheon won individual gold.
The U.S. Junior Reining Team dominated in Friday’s junior team competition. Sarah Armenta (Whitesboro, Texas) and Gun Smoke Dennis, Julia Kraetschmar’s 14-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, were the first U.S. combination in the show pen and they earned the highest score of the juniors with a 217.5. Next, Mattie Gustin (Weatherford, Texas) and Guns R Spooky, her nine-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, delivered a great run for a score of 217.0. Raeanna Thayn (Tioga, Texas) and Coded N Karma, Robbin and Robert Thayn’s eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, were next in the show pen for the U.S., and they delivered another quality run to score 216.5. Emma Lane (Gates, N.C.) and Gunner Gump, Bundy Lane’s 11-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, were last to go of the U.S. juniors, and they had a solid run to score 211.0. The U.S. Junior Reining Team finished on an impressive score of 651.0 to claim team gold. Germany collected team silver with a score of 641.0, and Switzerland earned team bronze with a score of 622.5.
“The juniors were outstanding. There were some jitters early in the week when we got here, but they performed great,” explained Chef d’Equipe Petska. “I am proud of them as horsemen as well as young adults and people they are going to become.”
The U.S. Young Rider Reining Team showed determination in Friday’s young rider team competition. Dani Latimer (Marietta, Okla.) and Crime Wave, Letizia Tosetti’s 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, were the first U.S. young rider pair in the show pen. Though they had some miscommunications in their pattern, they finished strongly to earn a score of 207.5. Next, Taylor Zimmerman (Springfield, Mo.) and Wimpys Dolled Up, Vaughn Zimmerman’s eight-year-old Quarter Horse mare, laid down a phenomenal run to score 220.5. Cade McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) and Smart Little Dunnit, Turnabout Farm, Inc.’s seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, were the anchor combination for the U.S. and did not disappoint with a score of 218.0. The U.S. Young Rider Reining Team took home team bronze with on a score of 646.0 in an extremely close contest. Germany won team gold with a score of 646.5, and France collected team silver with a score of 646.0, winning the tie breaker against the U.S.
“The young riders did great,” said Chef d’Equipe Petska. “They came in at a disadvantage [being on a three-person team], and there were a few errors, but I am proud of how hard they fought for it. We also have a great support staff from USEF with Bryn [Wells], as well as the vets, farriers, owners, parents, and grooms who make this all possible.”
The U.S. athletes laid down strong performances again in the individual finals on Saturday. The members of the U.S. Junior Reining Team continued their domination by sweeping the medals in the junior individual final. Thayn and Coded N Karma delivered a great performance with strong stops to punctuate their run, winning individual gold with a score of 218.0. Armenta and Gun Smoke Dennis had a solid entrance and nice circles and changes to earn individual silver with a score of 217.5. Lane and Gunner Gump performed a consistent, smooth pattern to collect individual bronze on a score of 217.0. Gustin and Guns R Spooky had a respectable run to score 209.5 and finished tied for 10th place.
In the young rider individual final, McCutcheon and Smart Little Dunnit wowed the judges and spectators by producing a spectacular run with fast spins and powerful sliding stops to earn a score of 227.5, claiming individual gold. Zimmerman and Wimpys Dolled Up had nice stops and rollbacks to score 219.0 and finish in seventh place.
Charles Owen, the USEF’s Official Helmet Supplier and Safety Partner, provided Ayrbrush helmets for the U.S. Junior Reining Team members. The U.S. Junior and Young Rider Reining Teams also competed in shirts from Ariat, the USEF’s Official Footwear and Apparel Partner.
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