Reining To Be A Medal Event At World Equestrian Games Seeing reining achieve worldwide recognition and prominence has long been a goal for the National Reining Horse Association. A huge step toward achieving that goal came midsummer when the World Equestrian Games, Federation Equestre Internationale and International Reining Community announced on July 2, 2001 that reining will become the seventh FEI Discipline at next year's World Equestrian Games. Scheduled for September 10-22, the 2002 World Equestrian Games will be held in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Both individual and team medals will be awarded and ten teams are expected to compete. According to a spokesman from the FEI, following agreement between the organizers in Jerez and the Worldwide Reining Community, the FEI was pleased to have its newest discipline included in its premier event. Negotiations for including reining at the WEG had been ongoing since late May when National Reining Horse Association Executive Director Dan Wall and President Elect Brian Dygert accompanied American Quarter Horse Association Executive Director of Marketing and Membership Services Don Treadway and Trigg Rentfro, AQHA Director of International Affairs to Jerez for meetings with World Equestrian Games General Manager Antonio Ortiz Rufino. They discussed the parameters necessary for WEG organizers to include reining as a medal sport and the various requirements for the facility, footing, personnel and management. According to Dan Wall, "Production of the reining at the WEG will be a cooperative effort between the NRHA and the AQHA and the NRHA will staff the event. The competition will take place in Chapin III, a 6000-seat arena which will be available to reiners the entire second week of the games when reining is scheduled. Stabling will be provided at the Spanish National Military Stud n a 160 stall facility about 400 meters from the arena. Organizers are constructing a walk path from the stables to the arena." Brian Dygert was excited about the future for reining and for the National Reining Horse Association. "The NRHA will soon become a household name for the global horse community and I think there are tremendous benefits to be realized from this milestone. Part of that is the harmony of equestrian sports. I think the NRHA has helped construct a bridge for bringing the western and English disciplines closer. "Now the NRHA community has a real catalyst to reach the ultimate goal n true International medal competition. So when we thought it couldn't get it any better, we're really just at the brink of an exciting new level." There's more to do in coming months, including creating a schedule and determining a selection process. Those tasks will be undertaken by the FEI Reining Technical Committee in a meeting on August 27. NRHA Past President and FEI Reining Technical Committee member Frank Costantini commented, "We are extremely excited about this opportunity to present reining to a worldwide audience at the WEG in 2002. The goal of this committee is to determine a schedule and create a selection process that will insure that the very highest level of reining will be seen by the world equestrian community at Jerez." Traditionally regarded as one of the world's most prestigious equine events, the World Equestrian Games bring under one organizational umbrella the world championships for the seven equestrian disciplines governed by the International Equestrian Federation: show-jumping, dressage, three-day event, carriage-driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. Jerez has a long tradition in equestrian activities and a population that loves horses. It hosts international championships and national equestrian events, including its Horse Fair and Autumn Festival. Those events bring over a thousand horses twice a year for top international competition in all FEI disciplines, along with others of a national nature such as Acoso y Derribo (pursuit and roping of cattle) and Doma Vaquera (Andalusian-style riding). The nearby Andalusian Royal School of Equestrian Art and the Yeguada de la Cartuja - Hierro del Bocado Stud Farm are known worldwide. The Jerez 2002 Organizing Committee begins advance sales of tickets in September. For information, visit the Jerez web site at www.jerez2002weg.com. The National Reining Horse Association is the governing body of the sport of reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to insure the highest standards of competition and educating its members and the public about reining.
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