By Shianne MegelNational Reining Horse AssociationFebruary 6, 2014
Para-reiner Rebecca Hart rides Zins Smart Wrangler at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. (Credit: Journal)
The National Reining Horse Association, partnering with their supporting entity, the Reining Horse Sports Foundation, is proud to implement an adaptive reining program, beginning in 2014 for equestrians with disabilities. As the standard setting-body for the sport of reining, NRHA now will approve and recognize adaptive reining classes and bring the sport to reining enthusiasts of all ability levels. The program’s standards, rules and policies will ensure NRHA’s ability to offer an inclusive, safe and fun environment for para-equestrians worldwide. RHSF will support the program in the form of scholarships and NRHA affiliate grants that may be used to award prizes for adaptive reining classes.
"I’m very excited to be able to expand the access to the sport of reining," said NRHA President Beth Himes. "The thrill of experiencing reining is amazing. NRHA is very happy to provide an avenue in which we can welcome para-equestrians with the adaptive reining program."
The inaugural NRHA adaptive reining classes will be held Friday, February 28, and Saturday, March 1, during the 2014 Florida Classic hosted by the Florida Reining Horse Association.
On Tuesday, February 25, prior to the Bill Horn Shootout, an adaptive reining demonstration is scheduled with AQHA Professional Horseman Pat Parelli and his son, Caton. Caton was born with a condition known as hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. After going into a coma, doctors doubted his survival and predicted if he did, he may never walk or talk and would need constant care for the rest of his life. Caton is now almost 30 years old and a seasoned competitor in NRHA and AQHA, National Cutting Horse and National Reined Cow Horse association events. The combination of Pat’s natural horsemanship concepts and the newly recognized adaptive reining program promises to be an educational and enjoyable event for all.
An auction to benefit the program will be held Thursday, February 27, through Saturday, February 29. The FRHA is looking for items to benefit the NRHA adaptive riding program. Items may be sent to FRHA at 2330 NW 140th St., Citra, FL 32113.
For more information on the NRHA adaptive reining program, contact NRHA at 405-946-7400.
AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities Program
For 2014, the AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities program has added 11 classes, including para-reining, which was demonstrated at the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show.
The new rules were a year-long collaborative effort with the National Reining Horse Association, National Snaffle Bit Association, United States Para-Equestrian Association, AQHA and USA Reining.
Visit www.aqha.com/ewd to learn more about AQHA Equestrians With Disabilities classes.
Ever wonder how to properly fit a horseback riding safety helmet? Find out in "Fit for Competition" in the February American Quarter Horse Journal.
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