Reining: The Second Individual Qualifying Competition
Draw 5, Cody Sapergia (CAN) riding Nu Chexomatic (Nu Chex To Cash x Tejons Texie Lena) owned by Jac Point Quarter Horses of Austria, set the bar after scoring a 219 and put the pressure on the rest of the contestants. “Today my horse was much better than the first day and, even though there are still a couple of things we need to fix, I am confident he will do well in the final,” said Sapergia.
In a field of 23 and with only one competitor left to go, Troy Heikes, representing the USA on an individual level, walked in aboard Lil Gun Dunit (Colonels Lil Gun x Hollywood Baby Dunit). With the 8-year-old stallion (owned by Denise Bixler and Steve Tarani) between the reins, Heikes was set on making it to the finals and closed his run with a 220. “In the 1st qualifier we had a problem in his right circles. He’s an honest, really good horse, so there must be something bothering him there but I tried not to concentrate on that today. Though he felt really good, we did have a 1 point lead penalty. After that I knew that we had to earn it back and he gave me all he had. I will now have to work more on those right circles and look forward to the finals!” With Troy’s winning run today, the USA now has all their athletes back riding for the individual FEI medals.
All the competitors rode hard in order to earn a spot in the finals, providing the spectators with a great show. The third highest score in today’s competition was posted by Josh Collins (GBR) riding his Spook A Little (Smart Spook x Jessie Wright On). “Being able to represent my country here has been my dream and my goal since the beginning of the year,” said the 24-year-old non professional rider. “My horse was amazing for me today and I am very proud of being in the individual finals.”
Stefano Ferri of Italy, riding Rooster Nic (Gallo Del Gicelo x Sanjos Pistolett), owned by Eleonora Malerba, scored a 217. “I’ve only had this horse in training since the beginning of the year and we still have to get to know each other, but today I was very happy with him,” said Stefano about the horse who – with Pier Luigi Fabbri in the saddle – took home the Silver medal for Italy in the past FEI European Senior Reining Championship in Augsburg, Germany.
Along with Sapergia, Heikes, Collins and Ferri, the following will also make their way to the individual finals: Romuald Poard (FRA) riding Peppys Ruf Sailor, Paolo Koury Neto (BRA) riding Don’t Whiz WRB and Laércio Casalecchi Filho (BRA) riding He’s A Question QR.