The first WPR endorsed classes got off to a great start this year on January 30 and 31 at the AQHA Sun Circuit show in Scottsdale, Arizona. The competition consisted of four riders: Briana Bartlett of Lincoln, Nebraska and her horse Chromed Tejon; Erin Alberta of Seattle, Washington riding Berry Shiney owned by Dusty and Royal Worbets; Catherine Sherwood of Seattle, Washington riding Hollywood Aces owned by Lisa Coulter; and Lara Oles of Heber City, Utah riding Smart N Shiney owned by Regina Kozlik. All four riders have had extensive training in English riding, but became interested in reining in 2013 when Para Reining was demonstrated at the AQHA World Show.
Briana Bartlett and Chromed Tejon came in first both days, clinching the overall Champion title. Erin Alberta and Berry Shiney executed two solid runs winning the overall Reserve Champion prize. Lara Oles and Smart N Shiney combined scores put them in third position. Catherine Sherwood and Hollywood Aces rounded out the competition in fourth place.
WPR would like to thank all the sponsors for the Sun Circuit Para Classes, especially Stephanie Bjorkman owner of Sami Fine Jewelry from Fountain Hills AZ, who donated the awards – two beautiful custom sterling silver Arizona Four Peaks amethyst pendants designed with Silver Spurs Equine.
All four riders demonstrated their determination to learn the sport of reining, and have come a long way in a short amount time. While none of these women can run on their own due to their various disabilities, reining horses allow them to transcend their physical limitations and run, slide and spin as well as many able bodied riders.