Tuesday, July 7, 2009


By Brad Ettleman, HorsePower, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK—Record setting triple-digit temperatures and blazing hot scores were the buzz at the 2009 AdequanÒ/USEF National Reining Championships presented by Equine Motorcoach in Oklahoma City, OK. Held during the annual NRHA Derby, the championships determined the nation’s top reining horses and riders after a year of qualification. Using portable fans and high-powered misters to cut the heat for competing horses, the event was able to care for the horses and athletes alike in the unseasonably warm temperatures. This, combined with air-conditioned show rings, ensured that competing horses were safe and helped top riders keep their cool under intense competition. Internationally renowned reining star Craig Schmersal claimed the USEF Mahajan Trophy for the Open Reining Championship with a scorching score of 224 on the finals night. Riding Mr Dual Rey owned by Holly Casey of Mansfield, GA, Schmersal showed poise and experience in his claim of the Gold medal. "Holly is a fantastic owner, and we have a terrific relationship,” said Schmersal. “I’ve been riding this horse for five or six years now, and he just keeps getting better and better.” Schmersal elaborated, “The [USEF National Championship] was an extremely nice set of horses, and I feel very fortunate to be on top in a class of very tough competitors.” Scoring 221.5, longtime contender and household name, Shawn Flarida was the Silver medalist with KR Lil Conquistador owned by Cheree Kirkbride of Ocala, FL. Flarida has already secured a place on the U.S. team that will represent the United States at the Kentucky Cup CRIO4*, the official reining test event for the 2010 World Equestrian Games. The Kentucky Cup Reining will be held this month at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, July 21-23. Bronze medalist Casey Deary scored a 219.5 aboard Custom Margarita owned by Steve Simon of Marietta, OK. The AdequanÒ/USEF National Reining Championship also hosted a CRI* National Championship. The one-star competition runs concurrently with the Open Championship and is a developing program for riders who are not yet on the Reining Long List. Lakshami Mahajan of Grafton, OH, was named the 2009 AdequanÒ/USEF CRI* National Champion and earns her way onto the Reining Long List, an important step in an athlete’s quest to qualify for the WEG. A special thank you goes to Jerry Kimmel and his stallion, Dun Gotta Gun, for his continued support of reining competitions at the USEF and of the U.S. Reining Team. Kimmel supplied the prize money for the 2009 AdequanÒ/USEF National Open Reining Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Professional’s Choice congratulates Steffen Peters on his latest victory in Aachen, Germany. Steffen and Ravel came into the competition fresh off their very exciting win at the Rolex World Cup in Las Vegas. The pair won the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Spéciale and the Grand Prix Freestyle, once again upsetting world champion Anky van Grunsven. "I am very glad that Steffen is American, so he can't be a threat to us at the European Championships in Windsor," joked Anky.

For Peters, a German native, "it was almost like riding in front of a home crowd. The competition went even better than at the World Cup in Las Vegas," commented the 44-year-old rider. "You only get a horse like Ravel once in a lifetime. He is very sensitive, is always on my side and ready to fight for me, but at the same time he is extremely relaxed and totally reliable, which means I can ride into the tests without being nervous," remarked Peters.

Steffen discovered Ravel at the FEI World Equestrian Games in 2006. “We took our time with him, he was my secret weapon, and his first international tournament was the Olympic Games in Hong Kong in 2008," he commented. Ravel is an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki and her husband Jerry Yang. Yamazaki is a Grand Prix dressage rider herself and competes for Japan

Steffen and his wife Shannon have developed their own line of popular Dressage Saddle Pads manufactured and distributed by equine powerhouse Professional’s Choice. Endorsers Steffen and Shannon Peters rely exclusively on Professional’s Choice leg protection to keep their horses performing at their best. Professional's Choice continually produces high quality products recognized by top trainers, professionals and everyday horseman all over the world.

The more comfortable the horse, the better the performance. Professional's Choice, a manufacturer of equine and orthopedic products, is renowned in the equine industry for its innovative products. As inventor and manufacturer of the original patented Sports Medicine Boot, the SMB Elite™ and the SMx Air Ride™ Saddle Pad and authorized licensee for Wrangler Apparel Corp., manufacturing Wrangler® and Twenty X™ equine products, gear bags and luggage, Professional's Choice has earned the respect of top trainers, professionals and everyday horseman alike. For more information, or, for the location of your nearest authorized dealer, please contact Professional's Choice Sports Medicine Products, Inc., at 800-331-9421, or visit them on the web at www.profchoice.com.