Pete Kyle relived the ‘60s as he grooved his way to the top of the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup World Championship Freestyle. Riding A Ruf Gal, Kyle got the crowd of almost 5,000 in the Alltech Arena to clap along to Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World. Kyle topped the evening’s leader board with a score of 227.5.
“I always look for songs people will recognize and that crowd will get into. It’s good for the horses, and it enables me to have fun with the crowd and hopefully it’s fun for the crowd too,” said Kyle.
Second place finisher and returning 2011 Champion, Shane Brown, enjoyed competing in the event again this year. Riding Houston Shine, Brown finished the evening only one point behind Kyle, with a score of 226.5.
“Both years were great for us and great for our horses,” said Brown. “We really enjoy coming here, and I hope it grows each year.”
The youngest competitor of the evening and third place finisher, Laura Sumrall, dazzled her way to the top with a score of 224.5 riding Einsteins Fancy Pine. Wearing an all black sparkling dress, Laura said she had help from her mother in choreographing her round.
“I have an awesome lady in my life that helps me with my choreography and music and it happens to be my mother. [The music] she helped me choose, fit my mare perfectly.”
“It is an honor to be here and ride with these guys,” Laura said of being the youngest. “They are top dogs, regardless of what discipline they ride.”
Held in conjunction with the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event presented by Bridgestone, the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup Freestyle had several familiar faces for the Eventing fans. Karen O’Connor and Gina Miles both competed in tonight’s World Championship Freestyle.
“It’s a different kind of fun!” said O’Connor, when asked how it compared to her two cross-country trips earlier in the day. “I’ve always been a cowgirl.”
Further information on the 2012 Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup, including the chance to purchase tickets, is available on line at http://www.KentuckyReining.com