U.S. Rider Tom McCutcheon Wins Reining Test Event for 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
RELEASE: July 24, 2009
Canada and Mexico Share Podium in Debut Event for Kentucky Horse Park's New Indoor Arena
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Classic Communications
Team USA rider Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, TX, won the individual final in Kentucky Cup Reining, the first test event for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG).
Held in the Kentucky Horse Park's new indoor arena, Kentucky Cup Reining, a CRIO**** competition officially sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), featured 12 riders, four each from Canada, Mexico, and the United States. McCutcheon's win added to a win earlier in the week by Team USA in the team competition.
"There's nothing that means as much to me as wearing the USA colors and winning for our country," said McCutcheon, winner of Team Gold and Individual Silver medals at the 2002 WEG. McCutcheon received a score of 222.5 from the five-judge panel for his ride on Darlins Not Painted, a seven-year-old American Paint Horse mare owned by Randy Paul of Scottsdale, AZ, with whom he has been paired for just 10 days. "I love the team concept and I love riding for our country."
Following McCutcheon in the standings was Canada's Lisa Coulter, who finished second with a score of 219.5 on Hollywood Aces. Dell Hendricks of Tioga, TX, scored 218.0 on Starbucks Sidekick, a nine-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, as did Mexico's Jose Vazquez on Juiced Up Doc, to put the two riders in a tie for third.
"I felt that I got everything out of my horse tonight that I possibly could have gotten," said an elated Coulter, the only woman rider among the 12 in the field, "but Tom's mare was just perfect for him. He clearly deserved tonight's win."
McCutcheon explained that he was in need of a horse for the Test Event, and the decision to ride Darlins Not Painted, a horse with non-pro experience, came after a suggestion from his wife. "She thought it would work. We got her about three weeks ago, but I didn't ride her until last week. I guess I'd have to say I'm happy the way it turned out."
All four riders praised the organization of the Test Event as well as the new indoor arena. "It was a real thrill to ride here," said Vazquez. "Everything was perfect, and I am honored to have been part of this."
Hendricks, a Team Gold medalist at the 2006 WEG, added, "This is absolutely the best arena I have ever shown a horse in. There are going to be a lot of great moments in this building!"