First Para-Reining Competition in United States

The 2013 AQHA World Championship Show will host the first-ever Para-Reining competition in the United States. This event marks the maiden Para-Reining within the U.S. Para-Equestrian system and a launching of efforts to bring the discipline online as a fully recognized sport in 2014.

Debuting at the AQHA World Show, Para-Reining will include a clinic and educational seminar on Thursday, November 14, and a first-ever Para-Reining demonstration class on Friday, November 15.

USA Reining, together with the United States Para-Equestrian Association are pleased to announce that several established and well-known Para-Dressage athletes have signed on to cross over to the sport of Reining for this inaugural Para-Reining event.

Included in the ranks are a former Paralympian, an American disabled veteran and a host of other dedicated riders, all hoping to give Reining a try as the sport works for full inclusion in the Para-Equestrian movement. Additionally, seasoned western riders from the National Reining Horse Association and AQHA ranks will step into the stirrup for the discipline of Reining at this kick-off event.

First among the featured riders, Rebecca Hart was born with a rare genetic disease called Familial Spastic Paraplegia. As an adult, it primarily affects her muscles and joints from the waist down, causing partial paralysis and severe spasticity. As a child, it also caused her to have difficulty gaining strength in her upper body for a few years and slowed all her motor development. Rebecca began riding at the age of 10.

Rebecca is a multiple USEF National Para-Equestrian Champion and was a member of the United States Paralympic Equestrian team, competing in Hong Kong with her horse, Norteassa, and taking fourth place in the freestyle. In 2010, she and Norteassa competed at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Rebecca retired Norteassa after WEG. She rode Jessica and Missy Ransehousen’s Lord Ludger, aka “LoLu,” for the 2012 show season. The pair was named a member of the 2012 United States Paralympic Team, competing in London. Rebecca was the team captain and highest scoring U.S team member at the 2012 London Paralympics.

Also featured, Derrick Perkins is a U.S. Air Force veteran who was injured in 1988 while on active duty. After his initial physical rehabilitation, he was stabilized as a tetraplegic, with significant loss of use in all four extremities. Since then, he has become a member and volunteer of the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Texas Chapter and began participating in various wheelchair sports for recreation, physical rehabilitation and the thrill of competition. Derrick has competed annually in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and has a closet full of medals. He was recommended, by friends, for the SIRE – Houston Therapeutic Equestrian Centers program in 2008. During his years of riding with SIRE, Derrick has seen unbelievable improvements in balance, strength and coordination.

Derrick has multiple award titles and championships from top events and organizations and is an FEI-rated international rider. He has also competed for a chance to represent the United States in various events, including the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 2016 International Paralympic Games. USA Reining and USPEA, together with the AQHA and NRHA, are proud to welcome an American hero to our ranks of Para-Reining competitors.

For more information about attending the USA Reining/USPEA Para-Reining Clinic and Demonstration Class at the AQHA World Championship Show, including schedule, entry form and more, email [email protected]

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