Reining crowned the ‘fastest growing horse sport’

  • Reining is the fastest-growing equestrian sport across Europe.

    Even top dressage rider Anky van Grunsven is a convert and interest increased substantially in Britain in 2011.

    In the past three years, UK competitors have quadrupled to more than 200 and riders registered with the ruling body for international horse sport, the FEI, have increased by 130.

    The number of FEI competitions has also ballooned, from just three in 2001 to 59 in 2010.

    Peter Lane, chairman of British Reining, told H&H: “Interest is enormous. I regularly get calls from people wanting to try the sport, but we have been held back in the past by not having a large number of reining horses in the UK.

    “However, in the past year or so, we have been able to find yards where people can go to try a
    reining lesson.”

    One yard offering reining lessons is David and Sarah Deptford’s Sovereign Quarter Horses in March, Cambs.

    Sarah said: “People come to us to try Western riding and find reining through that. It is fast paced and exciting.”

    She said they teach 20 lessons on average a week, a quarter of which are in reining.

    The best-equipped centre in the country is GB team riders Francesca Sternberg and Doug Allen’s Sterling Quarter Horses in East Sussex, which has an international-standard arena.

    Four of the six riders on the GB team at the last World Equestrian Games [WEG] live in the south of England, because that’s where the facilities are,” said Anne Clarke of the British Equestrian
    Federation (BEF).

    “It is interesting that it took Anky [van Grunsven] nearly four years to reach the standard to compete at WEG, when we know what a fabulously talented rider she is,” added Ms Sternberg.

    Anky told H&H: “After so many achievements, I was looking for new challenges. I found them
    in reining

    This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (5 January 2012)

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