After reining debuted on the international stage at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, September 18, the reining community took a deep breath and waited for the equestrian world's reaction.After reining debuted on the international stage at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, September 18, the reining community took a deep breath and waited for the equestrian world's reaction.
After reining debuted on the international stage at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, September 18, the reining community took a deep breath and waited for the equestrian world’s reaction.
That reaction was both swift and positive. Not only did the reiners conquer the front page of the local newspaper, they also captured the hearts of many present who were experiencing reining for the first time. As French reiner Franck Perret stated, "They are not looking at us as if we’re from Mars, but they have accepted us as an FEI discipline playing here to all effects."
Riders from the five teams qualified for Sunday morning’s clean-slate finals will run in the following order: Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada and USA. The five individual riders Rudi Dronsteiner from Team Austria, Franck Perret and Alain Calbrix from Team France, Alexandre Lhamas Ramos from Team Brazil and Jolande Christine Van Der Valk from The Netherlands will also compete.
Following the daily Chef d’Equipe meeting, each team and the five individual riders are allowed to ride their horses for 50 minutes in the Chapin III arena. Today, some riders followed the training schedule, while others rested their horses and took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Andalusian city of Jerez.
"We hauled our horses from Caluso, Italy," said Rosanne Sternberg of Great Britain. She continued, "The trip was long and exhausting. We even got stuck in an asparagus field and had to unload the horses so as to get the truck out, so today we are giving our horses a break."
Team France horses were also given a rest day and a therapeutic session with Team Veterinarian, Dr. Natasha Gimenez. "It is a treatment based on carbon dioxide, which helps relax the horses and gets out any muscle soreness," said Dr. Giminez, who is assisted by Dr Jo’ell Stafford.
Teams Canada and USA did not make all their horses go through the training session while the Germans and Italians made the most of the arena time. "We just loped our horses out there and kept them relaxed, getting them more used to the size and shape of the arena," said Paul Kratschmer, German Chef d’Equipe. He added. "The oval shape is quite different from what we are accustomed to."
Mario Sbrana, the Italian Team Chef, had all his team members in the pen working their horses. "All our riders felt the pressure on the first day," he said of his three-time CRIO Gold Medal Team. "The setup here is pretty different from what we are used to and, of course, the competition was tough. We were third overall here last night and our goal is to stay in the medal zone so we want to make the most of the available time we have in the arena."
Just as enthusiastic about the reining competition as others attending was Sissy Engelhorn of Classic S Ranch, presenting sponsor of the event. "This is just wonderful and I am proud to be a part of this chapter of international reining history," said Sissy. "Now we need to convert my mother from golf to reining and after the class last night, we may just be able to do that!"