Next Steps for Reining

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medallists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg (GER). (Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne)

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medallists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg (GER). (Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne)

A cooperation agreement has been signed formalizing the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) relationship with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), which has been in place since Reining became a FEI discipline in 2002.

“Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have worked closely with the NRHA and the AQHA to grow the sport worldwide, and the expansion has been huge, with 115 Reining events last year compared to just five in 2002,” said Bettina de Rham, FEI Director Reining, Driving & Vaulting.

In the agreement, which covers areas of common interest including horse welfare, FEI Rules and Regulations, FEI Clean Sport, Stewarding, education and FEI recognition; the FEI will have sole jurisdiction over Reining competitions for horses seven years and older, and the NRHA and AQHA will manage all competitions for horses younger than six years.

However, an exception has been made where six-year-old horses will be eligible to compete in the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy.

“FEI Reining will again be under the global spotlight this summer at the world’s biggest equestrian event, the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, in the heart of Normandy. Just one month before, the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors will take place in Switzerland at the beginning of July. Our busy Reining event calendar is a true reflection of just how popular Reining has become amongst athletes of all ages, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with the NRHA and the AQHA to foster growth of Reining worldwide,” said de Rham.

The NRHA which is based in Oklahoma City (USA0) was formed in 1966 brings together over 19,000 members.

The AQHA, which is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization and is located in Amarillo, Texas (USA), was created in 1940. They first recognized Reining as a sport in 1949.

“The FEI, NRHA, and AQHA, while separate and distinct organizations, have recognized as the major stakeholders in the Reining world that together they can foster the growth of our sport globally, and this agreement is a major milestone in the expansion of Reining,” said Bob Thompson, FEI Reining Committee Chairman.

Both the NRHA and the AQHA are excited to have a partnership with the FEI and are looking for other new ways to grow the sport of Reining globally.

“The NRHA is very excited to be moving forward with its relationship with the FEI, and to grow the sport of Reining worldwide,” said NRHA President Beth Himes.

Executive Vice President of the AQHA Don Treadway elaborated. “Since Reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have seen the sport introduced to several new countries, and we look forward to working closely together with the FEI to advance the worldwide growth of Reining well into the future.”