WPR Ups the Ante with $25,000 Money Added At 2017 International Championships in Europe!

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WPR Ups the Ante with $25,000 Money Added At 2017 International Championships in Europe!

 

Following the overwhelming success of the 2016 World Para Reining International Championships at the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, World Para Reining (WPR) is proud to announce that it will be taking the 2017 International Championships to Europe! The 2017 Championships will be held July 4-9 at the Diamond League Western Show in the Dutch city of Ermelo, the base of the Dutch Equestrian Federation, and will include both Team and Individual competitions, including $25,000 in added prize money!

The 2016 WPR International Championships crowned the United States WPR Masters team as the Gold medal champions, with the Canadian team bringing home Silver, and the Netherlands winning the Bronze. The 2017 Championships will be another World Equestrian Games style event, with International teams competing for team medals, and an individual event to be held on the second day of competition. To be eligible to participate, riders must compete in 2 classes at WPR approved shows between the qualification period of November 1, 2016 to May 1, 2017 (*dates subject to change). Watch the WPR Calendar for upcoming qualifying events! 

WPR is an organization dedicated to fostering competitive reining events for Para riders around the world. WPR is helping to bring the Para community into mainstream reining by coordinating with Worldwide Reining organizations to give Para riders many competitive opportunities. Prior to 2016, FEI style international para equestrian competitions had been limited to those riders in Dressage and Driving disciplines, and we are proud to see Para Reining receive such enormous support and participation in 2017. World Para Reining is excited to see countries from around the world getting involved in education, training, and competition! This is an exciting opportunity for Para-equestrian competitors - for more information, membership and qualification criteria please visit the World Para Reining website: www.worldparareining.org or email us at worldparareining@hotmail.com. 

 

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2016 World Para Reining International Championships to be held at AQHA World Show

Pilot Point, Texas – October 10, 2016:  World Para Reining is holding its first ever International Team Championships hosted by the AQHA at the 2016 AQHA World Show November 12th-14th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The competition will be in World Equestrian Games format including a draw and jog (Nov. 12th), team competition (Nov 13th) and individual competition (Nov 14th) as riders compete for medals and thousands of dollars in prizes, including a saddle to the winner of the Individual competition, donated by Continental Saddlery.  Riders attending the International Championship will also have the opportunity to participate in a clinic at Apex Ranch with Lisa Coulter, founder of WPR, November 8-11th.

Photo credit:Waltenberry

Photo credit:Waltenberry

Para reining is a competitive sport designed for riders with physical disabilities. World Para Reining (WPR) is an organization organized by para-equestrians for para-equestrians and has gained momentum in countries across the world and created the foundation for para-reining.  The sport is judged on the performance of the horse and rider as a team. Riders are NOT judged on their level of disability.  Per Lisa Coulter, founder of WPR in 2013, “There were some great organizations getting involved, but as they’re so busy with their current programs, Para was important to them, but time-consuming. There needed to be an organization dedicated solely to fostering the Para Reining program.” Thus began the start of WPR. “One of my visions was to get Para Reining to the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).  As an FEI rider myself, I know the AQHA and NRHA programs would not meet the FEI criteria, so to get the FEI’s attention we would need to create an organization that showed Reining could fit into the FEI Para program. On top of that we also needed to create a Para program that was inclusive and international. You can now take part in WPR classes in US, Canada, Germany Austria and Japan and they are currently in talks to hold classes in UK, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Italy and Poland among others!”  With this year’s International event, they are well on their way to reaching their goals!

The International Team Championship is hosting 30+ riders from 6 different countries. Each team is working hard to be ready, and given the history of these riders, the competition will be fierce. Teams include:
 
WPR Team USA Masters - 2015 WPR World Champion Briana Bartlett and 2015 Res. Champion Heather Smith, and multiple WPR winner and former National and International USA Para Dressage winner Erin Alberda
WPR Team Canada - Gold Medal Para Olympian and Para Hall of Fame athlete Lauren Barwick, Janice Boucher and current WPR Year End leader Courtney Braun.
WPR USA Team Rookie - Danielle Koeppen, JoDee Peterson-Lochner, and Angela Meyer
WPR Team Germany - Susanne Brinkmann, Elinor Switzer, and Ramona Waltenberger
WPR Team Netherlands - Roy Jaspers and Kimberly Olivetto
WPR Team Austria - Lucas Fiedler and Julie Olson
WPR Team South Africa - Nicole Sanders and Wendy Moller
WPR Stable Strides Team 1- Reyna Taylor, Stacey Johnson, Joel Haltom
WPR Stable Strides Team 2- Spencer Roberson, Amanda Webber, Forrest Terry
USA Para Reining Team (2 teams tbd) - 2015 USA Para Reining Champion Cole Jacobs, 2015 Wild Card Para - Reining Challenge Winner Frederick Win, Former US Para Dressage team members Dale Dedrick and Holly Jacobsen, Beth Kelly, Jennifer Flanagan, and Cullen Santino LaRoy
 
Please stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for further event information and information from the World Show, and join us to cheer on the future of Para Reining!

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Continental Saddlery Sponsoring the 2016 WPR International Championship Event

WPR is proud to announce that TWO saddles will be awarded this year at the 2016 International Championship, held November 12-14 at the AQHA World Show!  Continental Saddlery has generously donated one saddle to be awarded to the for the Individual Championship Class, and a second will be awarded to the winner of the 2016 WPR Saddle Series!   With over 30 riders representing 6 countries committed to compete in this WEG style event,   this event is making history.  Riders are vying for thousands of dollars in prizes, team medals, and awards.  An educational event will also be taking place November 8-11 at Apex Ranch in Pilot Point, TX, hosted by Lisa Counter, founder of WPR.  A special Thank You to Continental Saddlery for your generosity and support of this historical event! 

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Coaches, horses and team sponsors needed for AQHA World Show and International Para Reining Competition!

We are looking for people to get involved with the 2016 WPR International Championships in Oklahoma City at the AQHA World Show this November. We need coaches, horses and team sponsors. We have over 20 riders coming from at least 6 countries. South Africa, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Canada and the US are committed. And this may grow! This will be a World Equestrian Games like event for Para and will involve a team day and individual day. Medals will be presented. This will be a historic event for Para. WPR is wanting trainers and owners and anyone who loves this sport to get involved. Please share our update from the blog, or from our Facebook page and spread the word! If you can help please contact Lisa Coulter or us through the Para-Reining Facebook page or email. We appreciate everyone's support so far!!!

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JOIN WPR at the First Annual Wild Card Reining Challenge!

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JOIN WPR at the First Annual Wild Card Reining Challenge!

WPR is excited to announce competition at the upcoming Wild Card Reining Challenge, to be held at the Southpoint Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV,  May 25-29, 2016!  There will be both team and individual competition with thousands in cash and prizes up for grabs!  This is an exciting event in it's inaugural year, and we are fortunate and thankful to our friends at Brumley Management Group for hosting this historical WPR event!  Contact us for information and entries! 

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WPR Kicked off the 2016 competition year at the Florida Reining Classic in Tampa, Florida!

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WPR Kicked off the 2016 competition year at the Florida Reining Classic in Tampa, Florida!

WPR kicked off it's second year of competition at the 2016 Florida Reining Classic in Tampa, FL January 24-28th. Riders from the USA and Canada were there to compete, and we were excited to welcome several new para riders to the event!  These were the first WPR classes held in 2016, kicking off our second year of full competition for our riders!  We are excited for the events to come!

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WPR class held in Saskatchewan August 14th & 15th an inspired success!

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WPR class held in Saskatchewan August 14th & 15th an inspired success!

Story by Sherry Clemens
Photo by Karen Knox

Moose Jaw, SK - An AQHA Versatility Ranch horse competition was held at the Golden Mile Arena in Moose Jaw on August 14 and 15, 2015. The Versatility competition was once again a huge success with competitors coming from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to compete for cash, buckles and prizes. We were proud to offer the first ever World Para Reining class in Saskatchewan. This was also only the second time the event has been held in Western Canada. . Two competitors amazed the audience with their courage, enthusiasm and ability as they went through their level one reining pattern. This event inspired a young lady to compete in her first ever competition and her first Para Reining. Jennifer McFarlane of Moose Jaw came to the show initially just to watch the Para Reining. She told us her dream was to compete in this event but her horse was not ready. We just happened to know of the perfect horse for Jennifer. Major Twist It Up owned by Jody Eyolfson was called upon to partner with Jennifer. After a warm up and some quick instructions to Jennifer, the seasoned mare showed us all an example of the excellent disposition of our AQHA horses. “Twister” had never carried a rider with disabilities before but complied completely with Jennifer’s commands. The team successfully completed their pattern. It was a special moment to see Jennifer’s dream come true.

Courtney Braun from Beechy, SK also competed in the level one WPR class on her horse Solanos Smart Chic. Courtney’s Mom, Vicki Braun said that Courtney pestered them for weeks wanting to know how soon they would be leaving to come to the event. Following her winning pattern, Courtney gave the spectators her signature high five. Courtney’s enthusiasm and obvious joy that she has for competition was a pleasure for everyone to see. Both riders are members of the newly formed World Para Reining Association. Courtney Braun compete several times throughout the year and finished the year ranked in the WPR Top Ten standings.

We could not be more proud of these two riders. Plans are underway for our show for August 13 and 14, 2016. We will once again be offering World Para Reining.


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Summer Update from WPR

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Summer Update from WPR

Its been a busy Summer at WPR!  Para Reiners have been preparing and showing and 2015 has exceeded expectations in growth and development - and we are barely 7 months through the year!

The first official WPR classes to be offered in the Northwest were held at the West Coast Classic in Chilliwack BC July 11-13. 5 riders each posted great scores on Saturday and Sunday in separate sections of Grades 1&2 and 3&4.

Catherine Sherwood riding Natalie Vonk’s Our Dualler posted a score of 69 on Saturday to tie for first place, and a 70 on Sunday for the win and to walk away with the Grade 1 & 2 championship with Nancy Gill and Lucky Kato and Tara Kowalski and Molly close behind. In Nancy and Lucky Kato’s first trip into the reining pen on Saturday she tied for first with a 69, and would take the Reserve championship with a Sunday score of 69.  Tara Kowalski on Molly posted a fantastic Saturday score of 68.5 and was our very first Grade 1 competitor in a WPR sanctioned event!

Erin Alberda made it 2 years in a row at the West Coast Classic, following up her 2014 win with the 2015 Championship on Rafter D Reiner’s Berry Shiny. Berry & Erin posted scores of 71 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday to claim the championship. We also welcomed Nancy Huntley and her Wranglers Pep O Lena into the WPR family coming in with the Reserve Championship with scores of 69 and 70.5

Catherine Sherwood and Natalie Vonk's Our Dualler - Champion Grade 1&2

Catherine Sherwood and Natalie Vonk's Our Dualler - Champion Grade 1&2

Erin Alberda, Nancy Gill, Nancy Huntley, Catherine Sherwood and Tara Kowalski and their equine partners at the West Coast Classic in Chilliwack, BC. July 11-13, 2015

Erin Alberda, Nancy Gill, Nancy Huntley, Catherine Sherwood and Tara Kowalski and their equine partners at the West Coast Classic in Chilliwack, BC. July 11-13, 2015

Erin Alberda and Rafter D Reiner's Berry Shiny - Champion Grade 3 & 4.

Erin Alberda and Rafter D Reiner's Berry Shiny - Champion Grade 3 & 4.

Meanwhile in the Midwest, Jennifer Flanagan and the Northern Stock Horse Organization have been busy putting WPR on the map  at the NSHO shows, including the Eau Claire Bit & Spur Pleasure Show and the Polk County Ranch show in August. Jennifer and her Doc’s Handy Ruby have posted championship scores each time out! Thank you to Jennifer and the NSHO for being big supporters of WPR!

Jennifer Flanagan and Doc's Handy Ruby and friends, Photo courtesy of No Fences Photography

Jennifer Flanagan and Doc's Handy Ruby and friends, Photo courtesy of No Fences Photography

A special thank you as well to our sponsors, supporting affiliates and individual supporters!  Great things are coming for WPR, including more shows that have been added in 2015 (see our Events page for the latest additions) and we are extremely excited for the WPR Challenge at the High Roller Reining Classic in Las Vegas in September! We are expecting an international group at the HRRC, including riders from Australia, Germany and of course Canada and the USA, with more to be added!  If you are interested in helping to sponsor our efforts at WPR please contact us for more information! We need your support!

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