The sport of reining — the western equivalent of dressage — is to receive a major boost from the FEI, which has unveiled a five-year strategic plan designed to establish the sport as a major discipline.
The ultimate aim of the “Road to Aachen and Beyond” plan is to help reining to become an Olympic sport but initially it will focuses on increasing the number of countries which hold competitions for the discipline.
“The implementation of the five-year plan is strategically the logical, next step toward the growth of reining as an international discipline,” stated Frank Costantini, FEI reining committee chairman.
“In development for two years, the plan moves the sport forward following its successful debut at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain last year.”
The 10-point plan includes:
- An international series, The FEI World Reining Masters, beginning in 2004 for individual riders
- Assist 15 countries to hold CRI qualifiers in 2004
- Continental championships starting in 2003, with all continents hosting a championship by 2005
- Three nation’s cup competitions held in 2004, increasing to six in 2006.
- Qualification of a minimum of 15 teams for the World Equestrian Games in 2006
- The incorporation of reining as a discipline in FEI children’s competition in 2006
- The introduction of reining through clinics and demonstrations, to a minimum of two countries per year, beginning in 2004
- Organizing a world championship for reining in 2008
- The development of a platform for reining to enable the discipline to become an Olympic sport
- Development of a funding mechanism for the growth of reining internationally, and keeping prize money in line with other FEI disciplines
The first element of the plan is the implementation of the FEI World Reining Masters, announced earlier this year, which will feature a $100,000 prize fund at the final.
The Reining Masters is a series of qualifying events for individual riders competing on horses six years old and older, concluding with a final, which will be held on 3 December 2004 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in conjunction with the National Reining Horse Association Futurity.