Team USA wins gold in reining at World Equestrian Games

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – With a combined score of 674.5, USA dominated the team competition and proved that they are what many predicted was a Reining “Dream Team.” In the afternoon session, Flarida sealed the Gold Medal podium position for Team USA by riding RC Fancy Step to a 227 – also the highest individual score of the competition. This is the second team Gold Medal for USA (2002).

Gold Medal – Team USA:

• Shawn Flarida and RC Fancy Step, owned by Buffalo Ranch;

• Tom McCutcheon and Gunners Special Nite, owned by Sarah Willeman;

• Craig Schmersal and Mister Montana Nic, owned by Ericka Smith;

• Tim McQuay and Hollywoodstinseltown, owned by David Silva; and

• Chef d’Equipe Jeff Petska.

The roar from the crowd still hadn’t settled from Flarida’s run, before Belgium’s Bernard Fonck entered the arena on BA Reckless Chick. Fonck held his own by scoring a 223.5 and boosting Team Belgium’s overall score to 659 and ultimately the Silver Medal. This is Belgium’s first World Equestrian Games medal in Reining.

Silver Medal – Team Belgium:

• Bernard Fonck and BA Reckless Chick, owned by Nietvelt Van Tendeloo;

• Ann Poels Fonck and Whizdom Shines, owned by Heaven Reining Horses;

• Cira Baeck and Peek A Boom, owned by Susy Baeck & Ellen Wintermans;

• Jan Boogaerts and Gumpy Grumpy BB, owned by Susy Baeck; and

• Chef d’Equipe Susy Baeck.

Team Italy earned it’s third consecutive WEG Bronze Medal (2002 and 2006) with a combined score of 655.5. Stefano Massignan contributed the team’s top score during Saturday’s afternoon session – a 224 aboard Yellow Jersey.

Bronze Medal – Team Italy:

• Stefano Massignan and Yellow Jersey, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA;

• Dario Carmignani and Red Chic Peppy, owned by Maria Bianchi;

• Nicola Brunelli and Spat A Blue, owned by Claudio Risso;

• Marco Ricotta and Smart And Shiney, owned by Lyle Lovett; and

• Chef d’Equipe Mario Sbrana.

Despite a strong showing from Rudi Kronsteiner, riding Einsteins Revolution to a 221, Team Austria finished in fourth place – only 1.5 points behind Belgium.