Congress NRHA Freestyle Reining
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Often compared to a figure skater’s performance, the Freestyle Reining competition combines the athletics and finesse of Reining moves with the melodies of popular music in one of the Congress’ most popular events. Competitors (and their mounts) often wear costumes and may include props and actors in their performances.
COLISEUM SOLD OUT FOR FREESTYLE REINING
The Coliseum was once again packed and filled with excitement at Saturday’s Congress Freestyle Reining. The Freestyle Reining is popular every year at the Congress, and this year was no different. The event has been sold out since September and even sold out standing room. With 18 entries, riders competed their choreographed and musical routines in a performance that is regularly compared to the art of figure skating.
The Freestyle event is divided into 2 divisions: the open and the non pro. The open division champion was Dan James, riding Don Magnum. James and Don Magnum also won last year’s open division with a John Wayne performance. This year, James decided to pay tribute to his daughter’s love of Minions with a performance complete with a band of characters from the Despicable Me franchise, and real Minions!
Reserve champions in the open were Keith Ceddia and Gunners Money, owned by Fritz Leeman. Ceddia was accompanied by his wife and young daughter Sydney, making their routine a very family-centered event that made everyone smile. Taking third place was Karla June Switzer and A Spark of Sunshine, owned by Petra Pearson, with an Aladdin routine.
With 11 entries in the non pro, top honors were taken by Friday Night Sailing, shown by owner Frederick Win. Win competed with a Spanish dance-themed routine in an English saddle, leaving the audience amazed by the horsemanship and partnership between horse, rider, and the on-ground dancer.
Reserve champion in the non pro was Jacob Kamm and Oakies Poco Chloe, owned by Whitney Leeann Lauck, with a routine to The Git Up, by Benny Blanco. Third place went to Nicole Mackinder and her horse Shes A Smart Susie, with a Toy Story-themed run.
The 2019 Congress Queen was also crowned during the intermission of the event, with Mariah Sherer from Tri-State Quarter Horse Association being crowned! Once again, the Freestyle Reining was a success and everyone is counting down until next year!
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