Reining: At half time Mandy McCutcheon equals Fappani’s top score for Team USA

The second part of the Reining Team Competition and 1st Individual Qualifier of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy offered great runs this morning.  At half time, with 20 horse-rider combinations left to go, Team USA is leading the rankings with a total score of 669 followed by Team Belgium with a total of 660. Both squads have seen three of their riders go and anticipation runs high as the last contestants wait for their turn in the Parc Expo arena.

Reining:  At half time Mandy McCutcheon equals Fappani’s top score for Team USA
© PSV Photos

Performing for Team USA this morning was NRHA’s only 2 Million Dollar lady rider, Mandy McCutcheon.  The 38-year-old non professional rider slid Yellow Jersey, a 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion by Wimpys Little Step and out of Ms Clara Melody, to a score of 224.  Yesterday, in the first part of the Team Competition, Andrea Fappani (US) had posted the same score and now the two lead the individual ranking after 62 combinations have made their way to the prestigious show arena.

“It’s an honor to be here at this venue to represent my country. To have the opportunity of riding a horse like Yellow Jersey is just unreal, I am truly blessed,” said McCutcheon following her performance.  “I just tried really hard to focus on what I had to do and how to get him through the run the best I could.  It’s all a matter of being focused because if you let all that this event represents get in your way, you could panic! In my first maneuver I was a little abrupt so I thought to myself, ‘trust him and believe he’s going to do his thing’ and he did.  He’s just an amazing show horse!”

The FEI reining team competition medals will be determined this afternoon.  Draw 65, representing Belgium, will be NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck with past NRHA Open World Champion, Sail On Top Whizard (owned by Danny Cerato), between the reins.  The last team member for the US will be NRHA’s only 5 Million Dollar Rider, Shawn Flarida.  Shawn will be riding Spooks Gotta Whiz, owned by Michel Kimball.

Possible contenders for the podium are Team Australia (653), Team Germany (646.5) and Team Austria (644.5), but, as the saying goes: “it’s never over ‘til it’s over”! 

Back to the news list