EQUITANA Australian Open - Reining Championships

Sport Logo 1 Sport Logo 2

The EQUITANA Australian Open Reining Championships will be a gripping, world class event, featuring the top Australian Reiners. One horse and rider combination will be crowned the Champion.

EQUITANA’s Australian Open Reining Championship promises an afternoon of action and athleticism at its very best. Watch as 5 Non-Pro and 10 Pro trainers guide horses through an exciting pattern of circles, spins and sliding stops, showcasing the seemingly effortless movements of the elite western trained horse to fabulous, foot stomping music!

EQUITANA Australian Open - Reining championships

Grand Pavilion
Thursday 17th November 3.30pm - 6.00pm

Contact & Follow
Reining Australia

Karen Lowe
0458 307 566

About Reining

Reining is the most elegant western discipline. The sport combines equine athleticism with a range of patterns designed to demonstrate the talents of the horses and their riders. Circles at the gallop are stylishly alternated with the gentle lope characteristic of the western horse. The horse is required to spin at speed, and slide from full stride to a full stop with minimum resistance. It takes a special combination to maintain the loose grace and relaxation required to perform an ideal Reining pattern.

Reining is often referred to as Western Dressage, although the two disciplines have different roots. Dressage evolved from the movements performed by horses of war. Reining traces back to cattle horses in the United States of America, with an extra dash of Spanish style. The cow horse’s duty was gathering, moving and holding cattle on the wide open spaces of the new territories. The cowboys also liked to show off their skills. The ability to move quickly, change direction and speed, and be willingly directed in movements whilst on a loose rein are trademarks of the Reining horse in the past and in the present. The meteoric growth of this sport has led it to be the first Western Discipline to gain full FEI (Féderation Equestre Internationale) recognition. Reining is also now part of the World Equestrian Games.

There are eleven Reining patterns with slightly different levels of difficulty. The patterns are divided into seven or eight groups and always include: circles and transitions between small slow and large fast circles, two flying lead changes, 360 degree spins done in both directions, and the amazing sliding stops that have become synonymous with the sport of Reining. Judging begins when the horse enters the arena; all competitors begin with 70 points in credit. The judges then add or deduct points for each manoeuvre group in the pattern. A score of 0 (no deductions, no credits) indicates a judge’s evaluation of “correct”. The evaluation scale has increments of ½ point, from a low of -1 ½ (extremely poor) to + 1 ½ (extremely good). Separate, wholly objective penalty scores apply for errors such as an incorrect lead, a break of gait from lope to jog, or disobedience like kicking or rearing. Credit is given for smoothness, finesse, attitude, quickness and authority, as well as degree of difficulty. Controlled speed in the pattern raises the degree of difficulty for the competitors while making the Reining horse competitions so exciting for the public to watch.