$120,000-Added High Class Reining Champions

Cody Sapergia rode Gotta Gold Chain to the open championship July 26 in Austria.

From High Class Reining

Cody Sapergia showed Gotta Gold Chain to the 2015 High Class Reining open championship in Austria. (Credit: Art & Light Photography)

The 2015 edition of the $120,000-added National Reining Horse Association High Class Reining in Weikersdorf, Austria, ended July 26 with two fine bronze trophies awarded to great riders and horses. NRHA non-pro world champion Tina Kunstner-Mantl and her palomino gelding Nu Chexomatic (Nu Chex To Cash-Tejons Texie Lena) claimed the non-pro trophy scoring a 146.5. The two had already earned the High Class Reining maturity reserve championship two days before. Two-time NRHA non-pro world champion Manuel Bonzano and his High Point Reiner (Sailin Ruf-Scarlet High Listo) placed second with a 145. With this horse, Manuel had already been the Austrian Reining Horse Association Futurity non-pro champion.

NRHA $1 million rider Cody Sapergia rode Gotta Gold Chain (Jacs Electric Spark-Snip O Chex) to a 149.5 and the High Class Reining open championship. Cody, who was the 2007 Canadian Trainer of the Year, was fifth with this horse at the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City, NRHA European Derby and Italian Reining Horse Association Derby and was also the Equita’Lyon reserve champion. Two other NRHA $1 million riders tied for second place honors, scoring a 148.5: Rudi Kronsteiner aboard Andrea Castrucci’s RS Nebbiolo Blue (Spat A Blue-RS Hollywood Hglo) and Bernard Fonck aboard Smart N Sparkin (Smart Chic Olena-Settin Off Sparks) for 7 Heaven Reining Horses.

The two classes were the final of five days of exceptional reining sport. Two hundred and fifteen horses from all over Europe competed in Weikersdorf, which was altogether 498 entries and a total purse of $ 125,481.82.

"With our High Class Reining, we wanted to set a strong mark,“  said organizers Elli and Jorg Preimesberger. "The quality of horses and riders was astounding – really an international championship! Everybody seemed to be happy, and we received plenty of positive response. We are really proud of this event – but we would not have been able to do this without our proven team in the background. Everything worked fine, and that was how we wanted to present such a show to the riders and visitors.“

Austrian Reining Horse Association President Helmut Schulz was impressed of the event: “The High Class Reining was a really beautiful show. I can only congratulate the organizers Elli and Jorg for it!"

This was confirmed by Austrian Quarter Horse Association President Saad-el-Din Hadj-Abdou: "I am very happy about the professional management, but this did not surprise me. With all those top-class riders from Europe and even overseas, this show presented itself as one of Europe’s best events. It was perfect."

And what’s going to happen in 2016?

The Preimesberger answered, “Basically we want to continue with this great event. But we cannot do it without support, so we really hope for our sponsors again. If they help us, there will be a 2016 High Class Reining."