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Reining Dreams Francesca Sternberg Foreword by Allen Mitchels





Christain Surname

1 2 Acknowledgements 6 3 8 Photographers’ Acknowledgements 4 5 Contents 10 Author/Judges introductions 126 7 The History of Reining 16 8 Rudi Kronsteiner – Smart Spook 9 10 Rieky Young – Burnt Starlight 11 Text starts here 12 Shawn Flarida – Wimpys Little Chic 13 Duane Latimer – Hang14 Ten Surprize 15 Craig Schmersal – Bloom 16 Shernic 17 Tom McClutcheon – Gunners Special Nite 18 Mandy McClutcheon 19 – I Spin For Chics 20 Andrea Fappani – Big Chex 21 To Cash 22 Tim McQuay – Hollywood Dun It 23 24 Cody Sapergia – Star Spangle Whiz 25 Jordan Larson – Lena 26 Gallo 27 Randy Paul – Taris Designer Genes 28 29 Martin Larcombe – Red Chic Peppy 30 31 Dell Hendricks – Starlights Wrangler 32 Matt Mills – Easy Otiedecided Whiz Satchmo Satchmo can be erratic Bernard Fonck – Sail On Top Whizard 35dn 36 FASHION 37 38 39 Glossary 202 40 Photographic Acknowledgements 205 41 Index 206 42 43 44 45 46 47

The Title

Above Caption here

18 28 38 48 58 68 78 88 98 108 118 128 138 148 158 168 178


Spin Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic

Spins are a series of 360 degree turns, executed over a stationary (inside) hind leg. Propulsion for the spin is supplied by the outside rear leg and front legs, and contact should be made with the ground and a front leg. The location of the hindquarters should be fixed at the start of the spin and maintained throughout the spins. Other elements of the spin include cadence, attitude, smoothness, finesse and speed. When performing the spin maneuver, horses are required to stop and start in a precise direction within the arena. Failure to stop a spin with some portion of the horse’s shoulder and hip aligned with the proper position will result in a penalty. The spin, for me, is the most exciting manoeuvre of all. Where the sliding stop is often perceived as the element that defines Reining, the spin is undoubtedly the movement that all horse riders from many disciplines can relate to. In Dressage the pirouette is a slow movement with the horse showing a high step over the ground. In the ideal Reining spin, the horse is low to the ground, the steps are ground covering and the movement is dynamically fast. Wimpys Little Chic, who we see here, has a vibrant style combined with lots of eye appeal from her flowing mane and tail to her well conditioned muscular body. From a technical standpoint she has everything in order. As she gains in speed and momentum she uses her pivot foot as the anchor but also occasionally puts down her second hind foot to maintain her stability. She maintains a direct curve to her body and neck which helps with her overall balance demonstrating her flexibility. She is in perfect balance and from this position can stop immediately when commanded, protecting them from obtaining unwanted over or under spin penalties points. This partnership obviously trust each other completely. You can see the very experienced Shawn is sitting in the middle of his horse and now that the spin has commenced he has put his rein hand back into the middle of his horse’s neck, providing more balance to the movement. Both Lexi and Shawn are focused on the exact same spot, once again illus-

trating the remarkable chemistry in this partnership. Shawn is now merely a passenger, he is allowing this remarkable mare to do her job, yet he is right there with his hand, ready to support her should she need it, but at the same time staying out of her way and not interfering. At the moment this image was taken Lexi is travelling at great speed, we can see this from her tail and mane flying in the wind, yet Shawn’s legs are completely still and away from her sides. This illustrates that the Spin is a maneuver she loves to do and one she does willingly. The look of concentration on her face portrays it all yet her ears are still half way forward listening to her rider - she is in no way anxious or vexed. It is hard to believe that Lexi could execute this movement to such a high standard when she was still only three years old. It is a testament also, in a discipline dominated by stallions that a mare can come through and beat them all. It not only takes a great amount of physical ability, but also one of great mental fortitude. It is also to Shawn’s credit that he has been able to take a mare so far as mares can in many ways be more difficult to train and please. Lexi benefits from having a great physique and even as a young horse had great muscle tone, but she still exhibits great femininity and is truly a beautiful mare. Shawn has been able to reveal the true grit of this mare’s nature whilst in no way changing her loveliness that makes her such a joy to watch and score.

Shawn Flarida The Rider My most memorable run Wimpys Little Chic is the best horse I have ever ridden. I can’t say enough about her mind and how intelligent she is. So much so that sometimes I felt I only had to think a maneuver and she would try to accomplish it. I have had so many good runs on her but the one that stands out as the best was the NRBC in 2008 which she won. All that year she was fantastic but during the warm-up of the NRBC final I thought to myself that this was going to be good but I didn’t realise how good. One judge marked her 80%. This was a sign to me that she had matured, in that her body had finally caught up with her mind combining her phenomenal intelligence with her phenomenal athleticism.

How my Reining career began

Above That Flarida smile and recogniz-

able green shirt for good-luck. Shawn entering the arena after another great run to collect his winnings Opposite Shawn on the podium to collect the Team Gold Medal for the United States at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky receiving congratulations from the Bronze Medal winning Italian team. Shawn held the highest score in the Team event

My father and older brother Mike loved horses and reining and got me riding when I was four. We didn’t have great horses then but I got to do all of the movements - the spins, slides, everything which I loved, so it was not surprising when I was eight years old I announced to my mother that I was going to make reining my profession and I was going to make $100,000. My Story Little did I expect that I would be riding horses who alone won much more than 1969 I was born in Wilmington, Ohio on 30th April. this. Knowing exactly what I wanted 1992 Michele my high school sweetheart and I to do so early in my life made concenmarry and together we start up our training business. trating at school very difficult but my 2002 Won the USET athlete of the month. Mother made me stick it out. Since 2003 On Wimpys Little Step we set the highMike was already an established trainer est score ever of 233 for a 3 yr old Reining horse. I when I finally graduated I was able to become a NRHA US$1 million dollar rider. work for him before starting up my own 2006 Passed the US$2 million dollar benchmark for NRHA lifetime winnings. yard in rented premises with only a handful of clients. 2008 I am the first person to pass the US$3 million dollar NRHA lifetime winnings and the first to win It has always been my ability to show the ‘Triple Crown’ on Wimpys Little Chic. well that has underpinned all of the 2010 Passed the US$4 million dollar NRHA lifetime winnings and I am the first person to do so. 2011 Inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame.

Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic

training we do. Throughout school I competed in NRHA Limited Non Pro Futurities receiving my first NRHA paycheck when I was 12 years old. Since breaking out on my own I climbed steadily toward the Open Pro division and have been fortunate to train and show some quite exceptional horses along the way. How other athletes at the top of their game in other sports cope with pressure fascinates me and this has helped me develop my own system of dealing with pressure and to stay focused in my own mind. In reining there is a point where it is very much a mental game and you have to be prepared all the time to make the best use of opportunities.

My daily routine I love to compete and I love horses, I don’t have any other hobbies - this sport keeps me going, along with my great family. I love what I do so I don’t really feel that I have a job. I am one of the few people in the world that is fortunate to do something that you enjoy getting up every morning to do. I am not very good at relaxing. On my day off we cut the grass, clean the garage and do all of the household chores. Spending time at home on our 75 acre ranch in Ohio is so special as I am away showing so much. I realise I would not be where I am today if it were not for the support of my family and the sacrifices my wife and children have made to encourage my reining career. My wife Michele manages the business so we are in constant discussion about everything to do with the children, the horses, showing - everything. My father, the biggest influence in my life, still comes over to the farm once a week to help me train and both my parents are usually with me when I compete. My second brother, Mark, is my farrier and has been since the beginning so we see lots of each other. Competing is important as it provides us with a livelihood. We attend the top-end shows as well as the smaller shows where I coach our Non Pro clients. I like to give clinics particularly for the NRHA Youth Programme because this sport has given me and my family so much that it is a privilege to give something back. Although we have over 40 horses in training they are not all in America so it means travelling abroad. Overall we are away over 30 weeks of the year so the importance of having a good team behind you is paramount.

My Competition Highlights 1997 Champion Novice Open World Championships on MR Kali Jac. 2000 Reserve Champion NRHA Open Derby on Tivitos Sugar Bar, Champion NRHA Open Gelding Futurity on Bay Bird Ninety Five. 2001 Champion Novice Open World Championships on Chic N Out. 2002 Team Gold and Individual Gold at WEG in Spain on San Jo Freckles. 2003 Champion NRHA Open Futurity at Oklahoma on Wimpys Little Step. 2004 Champion NRHA Open Futurity at Oklahoma on Smart Spook, Reserve Champion World Reining Open in France on Smart as Charley. 2005 Champion NRHA Open Derby at Oklahoma on Smart Spook, World Champion AQHA on Smart Spook, Champion Congress Open Futurity and NRHA Open Futurity in Oklahoma on KR Lil Conquistador. 2006 Champion NRBC in Texas on Einsteins Revolution, Reserve Champion Western Festival at Mallorca on Just


Gotta Shine, Gold medal Reining Masters at Denver on Tinsel Nic, 1st and 2nd AllAmerican QH Congress on Senor Tejan Whiz and BR Sheza Cameo Jac. 2007 Champion NRHA Open Derby at Oklahoma on Walla Walla Whiz, Champion Congress Open on Smart Spook, Champion Congress Open Futurity on RC Fancy Step. 2008 Reserve Champion NRHA Futurity on RC Fancy Step, Champion NCRHA Derby in Minnesota on Whizs Chic A Dee, Champion American Quarter Horse Congress Open Futurity on Whizs Chic A Dee, Champion Dorminy Plantation Futurity on Skid Whiz. 2009 Champion NRHA Derby in Oklahoma on RC Fancy Step, Champion Dorminy Plantation Futurity on Gunnatrashya, Champion All-AQH Congress Open Futurity on Gunnatrashya, Champion NRHA Open Futurity on Gunnatrashya. 2010 Team Gold medal at WEG in Kentucky on RC Fancy Step, Champion NRHA Open Derby at Oklahoma on Gunnatrashya, Champion Congress Open Futurity on SDP Justice Is Coming, 1st USEF WEG team selection on RC Fancy Step at Oklahoma.



Training & Competing Being around great horses and people all my life is a blessing but to get to the top is hard work and then to stay there is very hard work. To find the right horse is a continuous journey and it is the toughest part of my job but I have been very lucky to have ridden some of the best. As much as I like people I am always fascinated by horses. There aren’t many horses that I wouldn’t be proud to ride. I think my horses are great but I see greatness in most other horses too. To really reach the top in reining it is about the relationship between you and your horse. There has to be that something extra - that chemistry. Every horse is an individual and you have to be prepared to ride each

Left Wimpys Little Chic sliding her way to victory in the NRHA Derby Above Shawn and Lexi showing good form in the spin Opposite left A big slide from the rear view Opposite right Shawn and Wimpys Little Chic on a fast canter circle

Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic


away from a training session wondering why we didn’t connect that day and then later - and it could be much later the light goes on and I realise what they have been trying to teach me. Another great learning device I use often is to go the practise arena and just sit and watch the other competitors schooling. I don’t really feel added pressure when I am competing on other people’s horses because I put enough pressure on myself so I don’t really worry about what other people expect of me. I have always expected so much of myself on a daily basis that no one can add to it. At the big events it is so important for the horses sake to stay calm and when my adrenaline is really running I try to ride quiet but inside I am screaming and jumping. It is my feeling that in the very near future the best competitions and the best competitors may not just be from North America. Reining has opened up throughout Europe with a frenzy and their riders and horses are challenging. When I look at what the Reiners were doing 10 years ago and how they perform today there is such progression. This sport has really taken off and we are asking a lot more from the horses. But these International shows are also providing a platform for the older horses to compete. To be successful these days you have to be more than perfect. And to be perfect, practising is just not enough, you have to have perfect practise.

horse accordingly. My job as a trainer and rider is to identify the differences and respect and be sensitive to them in order to bring the best out of each horse. Lexi is very sensitive and she can also be very spooky as well. I can’t change the way she is, I can’t make her tough so I let her be who she is and as a result she is not stressed and is with me all the time. Understanding horses is hard, I like a horse with a good mind, a smart horse which can take on what you are teaching it and retain it. I have ridden some great horses but Lexi’s extreme willingness to be trained is what separates her from other horses. She is tremendously intelligent. You can teach her a lot of stuff. She is a tremendous athlete also. There are only so many great equine athletes who have this brain. Lexi has all of the qualities but she could just as easily be standing in the field with her foals. She is very laid back. As a horseman, I condition myself to learn from each horse I ride and often it is not obvious what they are saying to me especially in training - frequently I walk




Wimpys Little Chic The Horse A day in the life Wimpys Little Chic or Lexi, as she is known at home, is the only horse to win the coveted Reining ‘Triple Crown’ all in the same year and she is currently the only horse with winnings in excess of US$500,000 making her the NRHA all-time leading money winner. What makes her achievements even more special is that she is a young mare and has had to compete against the industry’s finest and most talented stallions to take top honours. So popular is Lexi that Breyer’s, the famous model horse manufacturers, have produced a toy model of her for children to buy. Lexi, was named by her breeder, Monica Watson, after the television character, Alexis Carrington. She was bred and raised on the same ranch as her famous father Wimpys Little Step. I had also trained and ridden him successfully so Lexi’s breeders were very keen to have me train and ride his daughter as well. In fact when they sold her to Arcese Quarter Horses they did so with the

Above Wimpys Little Chic relaxing in the warm-up arena at Oklahoma City before the start of her run Right An amazing moment. Winning the Derby was the final jewel in the triple crown and Lexi has been the only horse in the history of Reining to win all three prestigious events in a row - the Futurity, the NRBC and the Derby. With Shawn to celebrate are from l. to r. his eldest son Cody, his youngest son Sam, wife Michele and his mother and father Opposite, top Shawn and Lexi had a special chemistry between that made training her so easy Opposite, bottom Tired after giving her all, Lexi and Shawn leave the arena together after pickup their winnings for the last time. Lexi will now enjoy her new life as a brood mare

Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic

Wimpys Little Chic’s Competition Highlights


2007 Champion Tulsa Reining Classic Futurity, Champion NRHA Open Futurity at Oklahoma.

2009 Reserve Champion and Champion mare at NRBC, 3rd NRHA Open Derby in Oklahoma setting a new record for NRHA horse earnings of over US$400,000.

2008 Champion NRBC Champion NRHA Derby at Oklahoma, becoming the first horse ever to win the ‘Triple Crown’.

2010 Reserve Champion (tied) NRBA Open at Oklahoma, 4th (tied) NRHA Open Derby at Oklahoma, 3rd Shootout, Oklahoma. Retires from competition.


Nu Cash Amarilla Chex Nu Chex To Cash Leolita Step

Wimpys Little Chic proviso that I continue to train and show her. I broke her along with another guy. Then I got her and she has been with me since she was two. It was with Lexi’s father that I won my first NRHA Open Futurity Championship and it was just as wonderful to win it for the fourth time on his daughter. Lexi is a sweet, sweet natured mare and this comes across in her performances, a combination of grace, beauty and power, which I think is her main attraction for the audience - they all fall in love with her. Before each of her important runs Monica kisses her on the nose leaving a red lipstick mark. Like her father, Lexi is so incredibly talented it makes training her so enjoyable. Lexi is ridden almost everyday and then goes out into her paddock for three or more hours each day when she is not showing. I like her to go out to play and just be herself. She is the Queen and has a life of luxury, and why shouldn’t she?, she won over half a million dollars, there has not been another horse in this industry who has done so like her. She is the only triple crown horse ever to this point. I have such a great connection with her - when I walk down the barn in the morning she looks for me as she recognizes the sound of my spurs. Lexi will always have a place at my farm. The first of her foals will be born next year, carried by a surrogate mother and bred to the Derby winner, Gunnatrashya. We are all looking forward to the big event

Wimpys Little Chic is a palomino Quarter Horse mare. She was born in 2004 and is from the first foal crop of the famous sire, Wimpys Little Step. Bred by Monica Watson from Double Run Farm, Lexi was sold as a 2 year old to her current owners, Acrese Quarter Horses. She is the only horse ever to win over US$500,000 and the Reining Triple Crown. She retired from competition in 2010.

Wimpys Little Step

Forty Seven Step Lite

Smart Little Lena

Collena Chic Olena

Gay Sugar Chic

Smart Chic Olena Collena Freckles

Colonel Freckles Sayo O Lena



Shawn Flarida and Wimpys Little Chic

The Oklahoma State Fair Arena (also known as The Big House or by its formal name the James Norick State Fair Arena) is home to many annual equestrian events including the NRHA Derby and the NRHA Futurity. Built in Oklahoma City, this large arena with a seating capacity of 10,944 was home to the Oklahoma City Blazers Central Hockey League from 1965 to 1977. This facility now provides stabling onsite for 100s of horses, shower facilities for the horses and trailer parkingv as well as provides 3 practise arenas and the main competition arena.

Right Shawn Flarida giving the ‘thumbs up’ approval after another great run on the fabulous Wimpys Little Chic at the Oklahoma Derby. Wimpys Little Chic is the only horse ever to win more than US$500,000 in NRHA events. Shawn is the only reiner ever to exceed NRHA lifetime earnings of US$4million


Walk-In Rieky Young and Burnt Starlight

The walk-in brings the horse from the gate to the center of the arena to begin its pattern. The horse should appear relaxed and confident. Any action which may create the appearance of intimidation including starting and stopping, or checking is a fault which shall be marked down according to the severity in the first maneuver score. In this picture of Rieky Young and her very long term partner Burnt Starlight they are demonstrating total relaxation in the Walk-In. The horse’s neck is stretched out and extended downward allowing the walk strides to become long and rhythmical. Not only does this image give the impression of total relaxation but it also gives the impression of total confidence. This is a great first impression to give the judges when entering the arena. Although this movement occurs at the beginning of their run the rider must be feeling great anticipation but Rieky shows her wealth of competitive experience by giving the appearance of being totally relaxed herself - as if they were walking out together in the field rather than in the electrically changed atmosphere of the indoor stadium. Rieky is also wearing her country’s national colours which indicate that she is competing in an International event so the pressure is on her to do well. Her relaxed posture goes a long way to also encourage Burnt Starlight to stay calm. Rieky keeps her reins long allowing Burnt Starlight’s head to drop down further if he desires. In my opinion the reins could show slightly less contact but there is nothing restrictive in the position of the reins as they are shown here. Rieky’s legs hang quietly by his side allowing the walk to swing through. She is sitting balanced in the middle of the saddle with very loose hips and lower back once again encouraging her horse to relax his back and thereby creating a

picture of long low rhythmical strides. Burnt Starlight’s tail hangs down close to his hind legs creating another sign that he is relaxed. The only indication that this well trained horse is remaining focused on his rider is from the position of his ears which you can see are slightly turned backwards toward her - he is waiting to respond instantly and obediently to her slightest command. This is a long established partnership which spans many, many show seasons and the intelligent Burnt Starlight is very well acquainted with the subtlest movements and expressions from his rider and what they mean. Despite the activity, noise and distractions of the showpen this amazing horse remains totally tuned into Rieky. What also makes this image all the more spectacular is that Burnt Starlight can execute all the maneuvers with great speed and power and then suddenly at an instance show total relaxation like this when commanded by his rider. Burnt Starlight is true example the Quarter Horse breed. He is athletic, fast but very quiet and calm when he needs to be. How he demonstrates these abilities in the showpen is a testament to the care and training he has received for many years from his passionate owner. Although Burnt Starlight will in future be shown by another rider I look forward to seeing Rieky, who is a very capable trainer, out with her new youngsters who no doubt will be following in Burnt Starlight’s footsteps.

Rieky Young The Rider My most memorable run I have had some very good runs with Burnt Starlight but the one run that stands out as the very best was at the FEI World Reining Championships at Manerbio in 2008. Burnt Starlight was awesome. You always try to achieve the perfect run each time but you only get that a couple times in your career. During the warm-up in Manerbio, he was very focused on me, he was relaxed and in his ‘zone’. When he is like this I know he is ready to go, so it was good timing that we were next to enter the arena. When we compete, my job is to stay as relaxed as possible and trust that Burnt Starlight will do his job. When we entered the arena, I knew he was up for it - he flew through the pattern - everything just went to plan. I didn’t need to push him, he just felt so good and gave everything he had. He wanted to do it for me and I just sat there thinking ‘this was the best run ever’ and you can go a long time on that.

How my Reining career began

Above Rieky presenting Burnt Starlight

at the prize giving at CS Ranch 2010 Opposite, top Rieky at the opening ceremony at the World Cup 2008 representing The Netherlands Opposite, left Among Rieky’s Non Pro clients is Dressage triple Olympic Gold Medallist, Anky van Grunsven, who has taken up Reining and represented Holland at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky along with Rieky Opposite, right Rieky giving Formula One commentator for RTL7 Netherlands, Allard Kallf, last minute instructions before he enters the Celebrity Slide competition at CS Ranch

My father had a trick riding team in Holland called The Future Guys. I was a member and learned to ride at an early age. Competitively, I rode dresMy Story sage at first and was quite good at it. The famous Grand Prix dressage rider, 1970 I was born in Holland. Anky van Grunsven lives close to me and when we were both twelve years 1982 - 90 The famous Grand Prix dressage rider Anky van Grunsven and I shared a dressage trainer. I old, we shared the same trainer. I rode rode up to the highest level of dressage in FEI Ponies Junior and Young rider competitions. dressage at the highest level in the pony division - just missing out getting on the 1990 My first husband Wilhelm introduced me to western riding and I never looked back. European pony squad. I then competed at the Junior and Young Dressage Rider 1995 Burgmeijer Quarter Horses was established specializing in futurity and open horses for reining division. When I met my future first and working cowhorses. We also train top Non Pro husband, Wilhelm, he introduced me to and youth riders in these disciplines. Western horses which I started riding 2004 Became Dutch Female Athlete of the Year. and became hooked. When I turned 2008 Made history by being the first Dutch rider to win the FEI Reining Rankings. 2010 I performed a special Reining demonstration for Queen Beatrix of Holland.

Rieky Young and Burnt Starlight

Rieky’s Competition Highlights 1996 Bronze Medal European AQHA Championships in Senior Reining, Reserve Champion Americana Reining, Member of the Reining demonstration at WEG in Rome. 1998 Dutch National Champion.

eighteen, I had just finished my diploma as an English Riding Instructor and then immediately switched to Western riding. My family thought I had gone mad. They didn’t understand why I would quit dressage when I was good at it and seemed to enjoy it. But I simply liked Western horses better, in particular, the atmosphere at competitions and the training methods used - I felt at home and comfortable with the Western approach. But regardless of what discipline I was going to ride, I knew from a very young age that I would make a career out of horses. I woke up with horses and went to sleep with horses - it is in my blood.

1999 Dutch National Champion. 2000 Bronze Medal AQHA European Championship, Dutch National Champion. 2001 Intermediate Open and Reserve Champion Italian Reining Derby. 2002 Dutch National Champion.


2005 FEI Reining Masters Finalist Manerbio Italy, NRHA European Affiliate Open Champion and Intermediate . 2006 Champion AQHA Jr. Reining at Bunschoten on Expresso By Starlight, 2nd DRBF NHRA Open at Wijdewormer on A Steady Tune. 2007 3rd Intermediate Open NRHA at Schijndel, 10th FEI European at Mooslargue on Stop It, Reserve Champion NRHA Futurity in Kreuth on RX Dobsons Lil Step. 2008 1st Junior Reining Dutch Championships at Wanroij on Lil Ruf Doc, Silver Medal Restricted World Reining Masters at Oklahoma on Guners Pearl.

2003 Champion AQHA European, Gold Medal Junior Reining at Brabant, Female Athlete of the Year.

2009 2nd NRHA National Open at Wiekevorst, 1st Junior AQHA European Championships on Really Too Close, Bronze Medal FEI World Reining Masters on Cowboy Smarts.

2004 Silver Medal NRHA European Championships Intermediate Open, FEI Reining Masters Finalist at Oklahoma City USA, 1st and 2nd CRI Deurne (NED).

2010 5th European Open Affiliate Championship, Open Chamionpion at DRHA on Brady Chex.

My daily routine My grandmother raised me as my mother was in the horse business and was always busy. This is the same life I have at the moment - my mother does a lot with my children, taking them everywhere while I work, but we always make sure we eat dinner together everyday. There is no arguing about it, we always have a family dinner. At one point my husband, who shares the business with

me, and we had over 60 to 70 horses in our barn. We decided that was just too much so we have cut back on our breeding stock. On a normal day, I ride between eight and 10 horses before 5.30pm. I then start teaching after dinner, so the days can be very long. Our business covers everything from breeding, training and coaching to horse sales. We train many youths and Non Pros who also travel to shows with us.




Dell Hendricks The Trainer

Above Dell Hendricks, who travels from his ranch in the USA to Rieky’s ranch in Holland to give clinics each year, smiling for the camera at the draw party for the NRHA Derby final in 2010 Opposite Rieky and Burnt Starlight spinning at the World Equestrian Games. Rieky claims Bernie can spin so fast she sometimes feels she is going to be unseated

Training Rieky and Burnt Starlight I have conducted clinics out of Rieky and Dave’s facility in the Netherlands for over 10 years now and it is really fun to see that reining horses in the Netherlands have developed into a competitive force in the international arena. Rieky has done lots to improve the exposure of reining in the Netherlands and to introduce reining to up and coming riders through the clinics and open days she frequently holds at her ranch. She is a good coach herself and has been giving riding tuition since she was 12 - first in English and now in Western to her many Non Pro and youth clients. At the moment Rieky is developing a unique qualification system for Western riding so that children can come from school and get a degree in it. Her plan is to set up a course text book for riders to follow, coupled with hands on experience riding horses. I believe this method of teaching is the next step for the Western industry and it ensures that beginner riders and their horses learn the correct approach to reining from the outset. When Rieky and I work together, the main thing I have emphasised with her, regarding riding Bernie, is to relax in the show ring. The thing with that horse is just to let go and trust him. Rieky has never needed help with how to technically do the maneuvers, she is so good. I put more emphasis on her ring craft and presence. She is such an enthusiastic and positive rider, you can tell she always goes for it. I simply work with her to make everything she asks of Bernie look easy. Establishing a good warm-up routine that suits you and the horse is essential to maintaining a relaxed outlook. So, during competitions, Rieky tries to distance herself from everything. She tries to stay in her zone and focus on what she has to do to get her horse ready. She knows Burnt Starlight and what he is good at. During her warm-up, she tries not to look at anybody else or listen to scores - she then just goes and does her run. If it is good, she is happy and she sees where she will end up. If it’s not good, then she knows she needs to do some more work. Rieky has a few mentors besides myself. Her first husband, Wilhelm, got her into Western reining but she also rode with many top US trainers including Tim McQuay, and Shawn Flarida. If Rieky has a problem she knows she can just pick up the phone and talk to any of us. She also comes over to ride some of my horses which is an excellent way to train and learn new methods.

Rieky Young and Burnt Starlight



Burnt Starlight The Horse

Above The beautiful Bernie with Rieky at a prize giving in Switzerland Opposite, top Executing a big slide at the World Cup Final 2008 in Manerbio Italy Opposite, bottom Bernie getting well deserved appreciation from Rieky after their run in the Individual test at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky

‘Bernie,’ as we call him at home, was owned by myself and my husband Dave for many years before we sold him, to one of our students, after the World Equestrian Games in 2010. He had already done the Italian Futurity and many Derbys before we bought him and had pretty much been run wide open during his ridden career. Normally when a horse has been run wide open for so long, maneuver difficulties can develop. When Bernie first came to us we had trouble with him jumping in and out of lead on the circles, which cost us lots of points in the early days. Bernie was so quick with his changes that most people wouldn’t see it - apart from the judges, of course. Getting Bernie to run was also a problem initially. Although he looks like a Thoroughbred, he is actually quite lazy. When asked to slow down, he would do it so quickly he would ‘ping’ out of lead. This was the hardest thing for me to retrain and I had to work really hard to fix it. After these little problems had been resolved Bernie never let me down. In the beginning we were not connected but soon we knew each other inside out. I knew exactly when he was ready to go into the show pen, when he was focused and when he was not. I had to keep myself relaxed to allow him to do his job. One of his signature moves was his spin. I had to make sure I had a firm seat before he started spinning, otherwise I was in danger of flying out of the saddle. I believe that a lot of Bernie’s success was a result of how we managed him. It also helped that he loved showing which you could clearly see when he was in the arena. It is true you always need a little bit of luck but above that, you need to keep your horse fit and healthy and do everything you can to keep them happy at home and at shows. Bernie was always happy - he just loved life when he was with us. Every morning when I would go to the barn

Rieky Young and Burnt Starlight

Burnt Starlight’s Competition Highlights

NRHA Open Lawson at Bremen, 1st NRHA Open at Bodiam.

2003 Reserve Open Champion Italian Maturity, 3rd Italian Open Derby.

2008 7th Individual FEI World Reining Championships at Manerbio Italy, 2nd CRI at Lier.

2004 Intermediate Open Reserve Champion at NRHA European Affiliate Championships. 2005 Open Champion at NRHA European Affiliate Championships. 2006 1st NRHA Open Lawson at Aachen, 2nd NRHA Open Lawson at Mechelen. 2007 Champion at NRHA European. Affiliate Championships at Vienna, 2nd


2009 4th Team, 9th Individual FEI European Reining Championships at Kreuth, 3rd NRHA Open at Wanroij, 1st FEI CRI at Wanroij. 2010 8th Team,16th Individual World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, 5th NRHA European Affiliate Championships, 8th NRHA Open at Givrins, 1st NQHA Senior Reining at Nistelrode, 3rd NRHA Open at Oirschoot.

Mr. Sam Peppy

he squealed like he was saying, ‘Oh you’re here - Good Morning’. Even at shows, when he heard us coming in the morning, he was like, ‘I’m over here! - I’m over here!’. He could be a little bit stubborn but loved attention and having his picture taken. We thought he was a bit arrogant because he thought he was just wonderful. He was lovely to be around though and his temperament was so nice. Many people thought because he looked a lot like a Thoroughbred, he must be hot and fast but he was not. In fact, he was the total opposite.

Sugar Badger Peppy San Badge Doc’s Starlight

Burnt Starlight Burnt Starlight is a bay stallion born in 1998. He was bred by Doug and Betty Ann Erbes from Santa Rosa, California. After the WEG in Kentucky Bernie was sold to Jan Macharis but will remain in training with Rieky and Dave in Holland.

Gallo del Cielo

Doc Bar Tasa Tivio

Jewel’s Leo Bar

Nu Playgirl

Gay Jay Freckles Playboy Nu Rendition

Nu Bar Doc’s Rendition

Bernie was used for breeding throughout his time with us. During the breeding season we collected from him in the mornings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then he might be ridden in the afternoons. When he was at home, he thought he was the King over the mares. But when he was at a show, he knew he was at work and you could tie him next to a mare and he wouldn’t notice. He was so smart. As Bernie aged, he knew his job so well that he no longer needed to be schooled everyday. He spent more time in his pasture or I would ride him in the forest, just to keep him happy. Fortunately, I am Jan’s trainer so I still get to work with Bernie every day and watch him at competitions - he still has so much to give.


The Ostbayernhalle Arena in Kreuth, Germany is one of the largest and most modern exhibition halls in Germany. It was originally built as an equestrian site in the East Bavarian country-side by Nuremberg businessman, Ernst Schmidt. Due to its large seating capacity of 12,000 (comparable with the Olympic Stadium in Munich) and the extensive services it can offer, the Ostbayernhalle Arena has staged many rock concerts and music festivals. The European Reining Championships, the NRHA European Futurity and the AQHA European Championships have all been held at Kreuth. Like most modern sporting halls, hospitality is a big part of the spectator experience and Ostbayernhalle provides elegant ringside dining.

Rieky and Burnt Starlight

are a champion Reining combination easily recognizable by the willing exuberance of Bernie as he puts everything into his gallops and spins. Often with tail held high and mane flying, his long legs distinguish him from the shorter stockier build of Quarter Horse. Here they are in full flight on a large fast circle at the European Reining Championships where they placed 4th in the Team event and 9th Individually

Reining Dreams  

Excerpt from Reining Dreams book.

Reining Dreams  

Excerpt from Reining Dreams book.