Austria’s Muehlstaetter Takes Top Honors in First of Two Scottsdale CRIs

RELEASE: January 31, 2014

U.S. Reining Team Qualifying Reaches Fever Pitch

Martin Muehlstaetter & Blue Collar Tag (Martin Muehlstaetter)
Martin Muehlstaetter & Blue Collar Tag (Martin Muehlstaetter)
Scottsdale, Ariz. - 
In an international field of starters, the Sun Circuit of Scottsdale, Arizona names its first of two FEI champions.  Riders from Australia, Austria, Canada and the United States vie for valuable remaining qualifying points. Additionally, as the gold-medal defenders, the US Reining Team hones it’s team-building process, with outcomes gripping the attention of Reining enthusiasts from around the globe.

Showing some international muscle, Austria’s Martin Muehlstaetter claimed both gold and silver positions showing to first place with an exciting 150.5 point run, aboard Blue Collar Tag, Shaunda Ruckman’s a six-year-old bay AQHA gelding by Whiz N Tag Chex out of Kachina Oak Olena by Smart Chic Olena. The Ruckmans are hometown favorites of Scottsdale, AZ.

“He’s a very sturdy show horse that offers a great deal of consistency in the show pen, with one hundred percent heart every time” said Muehlstaetter of his mount. “We are very fortunate to have a great partnership with owners Shaunda Ruckman and her husband Tim.  They have been loyal friends for years and we all have our sights set on the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.  The Austrian team looks very strong and we have podium expectations.”

Muehlstaetter’s second place finish was a score of 148.5 aboard Wimpy’s Little Buddy, owned by Madalyn Roberts of San Diego, CA; and in third, it was Andrea Fappani with a 148 score for the United States showing Smoking Whiz owned by Silver Spurs Equine, LLC of Cave Creek, AZ.

Additional riders gaining US Reining Team Official Selection Trial advancement qualifying scores include: Dana Cohen showing Gail Klapper’s Magnum Refund (also the event’s top amateur rider) and Matt Mills showing both Janice Dickson’s Mia Little Whiz and Inga Guernsey’s Custom Great Pine.

USA Reining, the official affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation serves as the kick-start organization for US riders with international aspirations.  Providing a pipeline of talented horses and riders to the USEF’s high performance programs, USA Reining offers competitive programs, education and support within the FEI/USEF sport structure for Reiners.  For more information about USA Reining, click on:

The second of three USA Reining and USEF Open Reining Qualifier classes, held concurrent with the FEI and AQHA Senior Reining classes will be held on Sunday, February 2 – the final day of the horse show.  Watch for updates and results from USA Reining.

The final US qualifying event will be held next weekend in Ardmore, OK on February 7-8.  For more information on the Winter Slide Horse Show, click on

Athletes then advance to the super-competitive US Team Selection Trials at the Kentucky Reining Cup, held during the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, April 25-27, 2014.  For more information about the Official Selection Trial, click on: