New Reining Freestyle World Championship to Take Place in April

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Reining at the Kentucky Horse ParkEquestrian Events, Inc. (EEI) and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) have announced that the Kentucky Reining Cup, which includes international reining and the first-ever World Championship Freestyle, will be held in addition to this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day-Event at the Kentucky Horse Park, April 28-May 1.

One of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions and the only CCI**** in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event annually attracts 50-100,000 spectators and millions of viewers on international telecasts including a 60-minute domestic broadcast on NBC.

The World Championship Freestyle, expected to draw competitors from around the world, will mark the first time that the title of “World Champion” will be awarded in freestyle reining, a consistent crowd favorite. The event’s $25,000 prize money will also mark the largest purse for a reining freestyle anywhere in the world.

“It was always our belief that one of the legacies of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games would be that new international events would come to Kentucky,” said Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear. “It is with great pride that we welcome this elite competition to Kentucky and host it alongside what is already one of our favorite events, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. The long-time international success of the Rolex opened the door for the Kentucky Horse Park to garner the bid for the WEG and presents us with another opportunity to broaden our international appeal.”

“Given the overwhelming success of last year’s WEG, which featured World Championships in eight FEI disciplines, it makes perfect sense to host a major competition in another popular discipline during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said John Long, CEO of the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF). “The chance to see the highest level of eventing and reining is sure to draw even more people to Kentucky and add to the excitement of what is already one of the world’s premier equestrian events.”

“Reining is a tremendous crowd favorite and is sure to be a huge hit with the fans who attend the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event,” said EEI President Lisa Ball. “Reining’s fast-paced action gets the crowd actively involved and the Freestyle is one of the most entertaining events in all of equestrian sport. I think this is the perfect attraction to have at the Kentucky Horse Park during our event.”

Born of the required work of a ranch-type horse, the sport of reining traces its origins to the American West. Agility, bursts of power and speed, and a gentle and calm demeanor were all essential traits of a preferred ranch horse. Evolved to the confines of a competition arena and developed into a crowd-pleasing and thrilling competition, FEI reining can now be found in more than 40 nations worldwide and on six continents.

Reining events will be integrated into the schedule of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at times that will allow equestrian fans to enjoy both eventing and reining during a single trip to the Kentucky Horse Park.

Tickets will be available for the Friday night CRI5* for only $10 and the Saturday night freestyle competition for $20 in advance. A limited number of sponsor and patron opportunities are available for the entire event, each offering international reach into equestrian markets. Tickets may be purchased online via www.kentuckyreining.com.

Further information on the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Bridgestone, tailgating and ticket packages are available at Rolex Kentucky at www.rk3de.org or Kentucky Reining Cup at www.kentuckyreining.com. Tickets may also be ordered by calling 859-254-8123. For further information please call 859-254-8123 or email tickets@rk3de.org.

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