Although still unofficial, current standings show Todd Sommers and Todd Crawford at the top of the United States Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) list of qualifiers for the inaugural FEI World Masters Series Finals, scheduled to take place during the 2004 NRHA Futurity & Championship Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, November 25 through December 4. Because of Team USA's Gold Medal finish at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, two riders will compete for the U.S.A.
Any country that had a team qualify for and participate in the 2002 WEG Reining Finals have the privilege of sending two riders to the World Reining Master Series Finals. Those countries include the USA, Canada, Italy, Germany, and Great Britain. It is expected that another 10-12 countries will also be sending their best riders to the elite competition. The excitement surrounding this event is on a scale with that seen when Reining was added to the schedule at the WEG. The excitement and anticipation is expected to escalate as qualified riders are announced and the competition approaches.
Todd Sommers, Whitesboro, Texas, leads the list of qualifiers with $22,328.59 in earnings by virtue of a win at the Denver, Colorado, USEF Open qualifying class and a second place finish at the NRHA Derby Show. Sommers' partner has been Lucy Van Swearingen's Remin Whiz. Todd Crawford, Blanchard, Oklahoma, earned his standing through an NRBC CRI-B fifth place finish at Katy, Texas, and winning the Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship Finals (formerly held at Gladstone, New Jersey) at the NRHA Derby Show on May 23, 2004. Crawford's total earnings in USEF/FEI 2004 competition is $21, 324.38. Crawford has been riding Matt Dillon Dun It owned by 3 Peaks Ranch.
Other familiar names that appear in the top ten placings include Tom McCutcheon, Craig Schmersal, Bill Horn, Tim McQuay, Scott McCutcheon, Bryant Pace, Tanya Jenkins, and Michael Berg.
The National Reining Horse Association is the governing body of the sport of Reining, responsible for promoting the sport, working to ensure the highest standards of competition. With corporate support from Cinch, Cowboy Central, Horse & Rider magazine, Markel Insurance, Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Quarter Horse News, Kiser Arena Specialists, Houston Embryo Transfer Center, Classic Equine, Bloomer Trailer Mfg., Cowboy Tack, John Vance Auto Group, and LaQuinta Inn and LaQuinta Inn & Suites, the NRHA continues to educate its members and the public about Reining. For information on the NRHA or the sport of Reining visit www.nrha.com or call 405-946-7400.