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Mills Wins Sun Circuit Open Concours de Reining International Non-Pro Sensation Cohen Takes Silver

RELEASE: February 2, 2014

Matt Mills riding Mia Little Whiz (Kirkbride Photography)
Matt Mills riding Mia Little Whiz (Kirkbride Photography)
Scottsdale, Ariz
. – The first of two remaining qualifying opportunities in the United States, the Sun Circuit FEI Concours de Reining International (CRI3***) offered another day of action-packed Reining. 

Sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation, the United States Equestrian Federation and USA Reining, and offering a valuable and vital qualifying opportunity for US Riders to advance to the Official Team Selection Trial, Matt Mills of Rio Verde, Arizona took the gold medal spot aboard Janice Dickson’s Mia Little Whiz with an outstanding score of 149, showing to plus-one maneuver scores throughout the pattern and commanded the attention of the ground jury.

“She is an outstanding and consistent mare that gives me everything I ask, every time,” Mills raved about the six-year-old AQHA sorrel mare. “We are thrilled to have had such a great result here in Scottsdale and look forward to an exciting trip to Lexington to ride for a spot on the US Team.”

Earning the silver podium position, and rising through the ranks as an amateur rider, Dana Klapper Cohen of Denver, Colorado was showing Gail Klapper’s Magnum Refund, an eleven-year-old chestnut AQHA gelding.

Showing as an amateur competitor among the FEI entries is rare in the sport of Reining and the second place finish for Cohen is notable.  The success at the Sun Circuit gives Cohen a highly-coveted berth at the Selection Trial, held at the Kentucky Reining Cup this April.  In addition to the rarity of an amateur qualified contestant, Cohen is sure to be one of only a handful of elite female riders to join the field of US challengers in a discipline that is often dominated by men among the high performance level of the sport.

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:  www.USAReining.org.

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 www.WinterSlide.com.

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:  www.KentuckyReining.com.

The Kentucky Reining Cup will be broadcast live on USEF Network. You'll be able to watch the live stream at www.usefnetwork.com/featured/2014KRC/.