Bluffers’ guide to reining at WEG

  • As we countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games, we bring you all you need to know about each of the equestrian sports.

    What does it involve?

    Reining is fast-paced and adrenalin pumping. It shows off the athletic ability and movements commonly used by ranch-type horses who are used to work cattle.

    At WEG, each rider has to ride one of 10 approved patterns in an arena. A pattern in reining is similar to a test in dressage. There are around seven movements that must be shown including 360-degree spins, sliding stops, flying changes, small and slow canter circles plus bigger, faster canter circles. Riders only have one hand on the rein and the contact is loose — their seat does the majority of the work — and each movement must be smooth, controlled and have finesse.

    Riders wear true cowboy attire and the crowd is encouraged to cheer them on.

    What’s the format?

    There is a team contest as well as an individual one. The team competition takes place on 12 September. The first round of the individual competition is being held on 13 September, with the final individual competition on 15 September. Individual medals are awarded on 15 September.

    How does the scoring work?

    There is a panel of five judges for each stage of the competition but only three of the marks count. The judge who awards the highest mark and the judge who awards the lowest are both discarded — ie only the middle three marks count.

    Teams are made up of a maximum four riders or a minimum of three. The total score for each nation’s top three riders over both rounds makes up the final mark. The country with the highest score wins.

    How many medals are there and when are they awarded?

    Two. Team medals are awarded on 12 September and the individual champion is crowned on 15 September.

    Who’s representing Britain?

    Details of the British squad will be added here once the information has been made available.

    Do they have a chance?

    Britain is unlikely to be in contention for a medal. This is a world contest and America is likely to be the favourite with Canada, Italy, Germany and Belgium also fielding strong teams. Only a quarter of the starting field will qualify for the individual contest, though, and if a British rider qualifies for that it will be a great achievement.

    When will H&H report it?

    H&H’s WEG reports will run in 20 and 27 September issues of the magazine.

    We will also carry reports, pictures and video online throughout the competition. Find all our online WEG coverage here >>

    For an early look at the WEG venue, turn to p34 of 18 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine. The full WEG preview will be on sale on Thursday 6 September.

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