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Canada Wins Silver in Reining at WEG

The favourites won the first World Championship title in Reining at the World Equestrian Games. The United States Team took the Gold medal on Sunday, 22. September on the last day of the competition.

Craig C SCHMERSAL, Scott E MC CUTCHEON, Shawn W FLARIDA, and Tom MC CUTCHEON were way in front with a score of 657.5. The silver medal was for Canada on a score of 650. The bronze medal went to the first European team from Italy that scored 646. The German team lost their goal of bronze by three points.

The rides for the individual medals became really competitive when the juror announced a run off for the silver and bronze medals between the Canadian rider Shawna SAPERGIA and the American Tom MC CUTCHEON who holds several important Reining titles in his own country. In the end with the help of the crowd MC CUTCHEON lifted his performance to a higher level to clinch the silver medal leaving the third position for the Canadian SAPERGIA.

Shawna SAPERGIA of Team Canada was very happy with the final results. "I am really happy with the horse. He was a little tired in the run off but I went into it with gusto.”

And she's hoping to see a lot more women at the top level of competition in this sport. "“At open level there are a lot more men, at non open level there are more women competitors. We keep encouraging ladies to come into it.”

Team-mate Francois GAULHIER had a definite strategy going in to the competition. “Our strategy was to make the final and then in the second round to do a good score and put pressure on the Americans.”

And he's very happy that Reining is now officially recognized by the FEI. “There are a lot of riders round the world and to be recognized by the FEI is a good thing.”

With confidence and amazing style Shawn W FLARIDA was the absolute leader on the first Reining competition in a World Equestrian Games, winning the Gold medal with 221.05 points, his maneuvers and technique made a place for him in the history books as the first ever reining world champion.

“The Competition was very good and I am very pleased with my horse. Tom did a good job too. Thank you for having us come to Spain."

Royal eyes were watching this premiere of Reining at the Games. For the final, Her Majesty Queen Sofia of Spain and HRH Doña Pilar de Borbon, President of the FEI were among the spectators.

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