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American Quarter Horse Special Featured on NBC Sports

American Quarter Horse Association

American Quarter Horses take center stage Sunday, January 7 on NBC Sports Television at 1:30 p.m. Eastern/10:30 a.m. Pacific for the America’s Horse Championships presented by Ford Trucks. The one-hour special is based at a portion of the FedEx Open competition at the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City and highlights the cutting and reining competitions along with other features.

“We were so pleased with the response from viewers and NBC last year,” said Bill Brewer, AQHA Executive Vice President. “The show reached more than five million viewers and we anticipate another great program from this year’s event. We enjoy having the chance to bring The World to viewers across the country.”

Two of the most popular and growing events – cutting and reining – will have a dominant presence in the show. Cutting, the two-and-one-half minute battle of horse versus cow will feature the junior competition for horses aged 5 years and younger. In cutting, horses must keep a single cow away from the herd. Cutting horses must stay one step ahead of the cow, using fast reflexes and quick moves. Top riders Bill Riddle, Randy Butler, Phil Rapp, Gil Galyean and Al Dunning will be featured.

Reining, which has been compared to figure skating because of required maneuvers, will highlight the senior competition for horses aged 6 years and older. Reining horses perform sliding stops, fast circles and precise spins, showcasing the American Quarter Horses’ athletic ability. The exciting runs of top competitors Jay McLaughlin, Casey Hinton, Carol Metcalf and Craig Schmersal will be featured.

The program includes veteran sports announcer Tim Ryan and former jockey-turned reporter Donna Brothers along with analyst AQHA Professional Horseman Robbie Boyce of Jacksboro, Texas.

Through an additional feature, viewers will be taken through a scenic trail ride in Virginia where the breed originated. Learn why the American Quarter Horse is such an important part of the western lifestyle for millions.

Also, NBC will bring viewers an update on the World Equestrian Games, which will take place in the United States at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2010. This special segment is presented by Fort Dodge.