09.26.10

Italy Takes Day 1 Lead In Reining World Championships, Presented By John Deere

Posted in 2010 Games, Disciplines, Reining, Results, World Equestrian Games at 8:53 am by Press Release

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 25, 2010 — With roughly half of the rides completed in the team Reining competition of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Team Italy is on top in the Reining World Championships, presented by John Deere.

Italian Stefano Massignan scored a chart-topping 224 aboard Yellow Jersey, winner of the 2009 Italian Reining Horse Association Level 4 Open Derby. Yellow Jersey is a 6-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion sired by Wimpys Little Step and owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA.

“He’s an easy horse, but he has a big heart, a big mind,” Massignan said of his mount. “He’s phenomenal. You can make that go-round if you ride a special horse, (and) he’s special – for the rest of my life.”

The team Reining competition continues Sunday, September 26, with the remaining 35 riders.

U.S. team rider Craig Schmersal is sitting in the second-place slot with a score of 223.5 aboard his “old faithful” horse, Mister Montana Nic, a 12-year-old American Quarter Horse stallion who was the 2005 FEI World Reining Master silver medalist.

Tim McQuay of the United States and Grischa Ludwig of Germany are tied for third with scores of 220.5.

Ludwig, who was the last rider of the day Saturday, admitted to having some nerves as he entered the World Equestrian Games arena, but midway through his run, he was actually smiling.

“When I saw the second stop there, I knew, exactly, we were going to have a good run. And then I was trying to get the German corner [of fans] a little bit loud,” he said.

The adrenaline even got to veteran rider McQuay, who earned a team gold and individual silver at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany.

“When I quit getting nervous, I won’t do it anymore,” he said.

Another highlight of Saturday’s reining competition was the performance of dressage star Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands. She scored a 211, her personal best.

“I know it can be much better than this, but for me, I am very happy that I was here and that I did the equestrian games in Reining. It’s a new challenge. … I love it,” she said.

She rode Whizashiningwalla BB, an American Quarter Horse bred in Belgium. As most of the horses in the reining competition are Quarter Horses, the American Quarter Horse Association is the official breed sponsor of reining at the games.

Countries competing with full reining teams include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. Eleven of those countries will field four riders, allowing them one drop score while the remaining three teams will have three competitors.  Countries competing as individuals include: Columbia, Dominican Republic, Spain, Ireland, Israel, Poland, South Africa and Uruguay.