Martin teen saddles up for gold
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 12:00 pm
It is not the Olympics, but Martin’s Nick Taylor brought home the gold from the 2012 Reining Team Championship competition at the Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships.
The event was held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, July 17-22, at Alltech Arena.
Taylor was a member of the USA-Southeast Reining Juniors and rode Outlaw Whiz for the gold medal winning team. Other members of the winning team are Melody Morris of Germantown, she rode Mr. Lonley 2006, Savannah Ostner aboard Spankin Hat Skidmark from Memphis, Stephen Timberlake of Millington aboard his horse, Whiz Bang Boom.
Team USA-Southeast won with a score of 594 points, narrowly beating out Team Canada by 1.5 total team points.
Team USA-Southeast was credited for always having a set of very skilled riders in the competition.
Taylor had an individual final score of 198 that placed in a tie for sixth place.
This was the first year the reining competition had two separate divisions since joining the championships in 2008. The two divisions are junior with competitors in ages 14-18 and young riders in ages 16-21.
For those unfamiliar with reining, it is designed to bring out the athletic ability of ranch-type horsemanship in an arena. The competitors are required to ride in one of 10 approved patterns, divided into seven or eight maneuvers, including slow small circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, 360-degree spins done in place and sliding stops that are the highlight of reining.
Reining horses are judged individually. Each horse automatically begins the required pattern with a score of 70.
One or one-half points are given or taken away for each maneuver. Credit is given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority. Controlled speed in the pattern raises the level of difficulty.
To be selected for the reining team, individuals must acquire a high ranking while showing at National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) sanctioned events which offer a special United States Equestrian Federation class (USEF).
Riders acquire points from showing in this class and are ranking by their points.
Taylor, 14, attributed the team’s success to “really good practice shows” and “really good horses.” Taylor is one of three members who made it to the NAJYRC for the first time.
Morris and Ostner are the other two members who made their first showing at the event.
Another team from the mid-south won the silver medal in the young riders competition.
The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport, and is the only FEI championship held annually in this country.
Many of North America’s best equestrians who now regularly represent their country on Olympic, World Championship and Nations Cup teams got their first taste of International experience at NAJYRC.
These include Olympic medalists Greg Best, Karen O’Connor, Chris Kappler and McLain Ward.
Young equestrians come from the United States, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands to vie for team and individual FEI medals in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of show jumping.
Taylor is now qualified to compete in the NRHA Adequan North Amercian Affiliate Championships to be held during the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City, Okla. from Nov. 22 through Dec. 1.
There will be more than $2 million in purse and prizes at stake during the 10-day competition.
The NRHA was incorporated in 1966 and is based in Oklahoma City.
Taylor will once again be riding his quarter horse, Outlaw Whiz in the championships.
Highlights from the championships will air on NRHA’s television show, NRHA Inside Reining. The show airs on HRTV. Published in The WCP 9.13.12