FEI Agreement with NRHA, AQHA to Foster Reining Growth

FEI Agreement with NRHA, AQHA to Foster Reining Growth

Massimiliano Ruggeri (ITA) on Spat Split And White, silver medalists at the FEI European Reining Championships 2013 in Augsburg, Germany.

Photo: FEI/Action Images/Henry Browne

The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) has signed a cooperation agreement with the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), formalizing the FEI’s relationship with the NRHA and AQHA that has been in place since reining became an FEI discipline in 2002.

The agreement covers areas of common interest including horse welfare, FEI rules and regulations, FEI Clean Sport, stewarding, education, and FEI recognition. Under the agreement, the FEI will have sole jurisdiction over reining competitions for horses aged 7 years and over, and the NRHA and AQHA will manage all competitions for horses of 6 years and under. An exception has been made for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, where 6-year-old horses will be eligible to compete.

“The FEI, NRHA, and AQHA, while separate and distinct organizations, have recognized as the major stakeholders in the reining world that together they can foster the growth of our sport globally, and this agreement is a major milestone in the expansion of reining”, said Bob Thompson, FEI Reining Committee chairman, who played a crucial role in formalizing this agreement.

Added Bettina de Rham, FEI director of reining, driving, and vaulting, “Since reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have worked closely with the NRHA and AQHA to grow the sport worldwide, and the expansion has been huge, with 115 reining events last year compared to just five in 2002.

“FEI reining will again be under the global spotlight this summer at the world’s biggest equestrian event, the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, in the heart of Normandy," she continued. "Just one month before, the FEI European Reining Championships for Young Riders and Juniors will take place in Switzerland at the beginning of July. Our busy reining event calendar is a true reflection of just how popular reining has become amongst athletes of all ages, and we’re looking forward to continuing our work with the NRHA and AQHA to foster further growth of reining worldwide.”

The NRHA, based in Oklahoma City, Okla., was formed in 1966 and brings together over 19,000 members, including 1,400 youngsters. The AQHA, located in Amarillo, Texas, was created in 1940 and is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization. It first recognized reining as a sport in 1949.

“The NRHA is very excited to be moving forward with its relationship with the FEI, and to growing the sport of reining worldwide,” said NRHA President Beth Himes.

Don Treadway, executive vice president of the AQHA, added, “Since reining became an FEI discipline in 2002, we have seen the sport introduced to several new countries, and we look forward to working closely together with the FEI to advance the worldwide growth of reining well into the future.”

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