2023 World Reining Championship Welcomes World Para Reining Athletes

July 02, 2023

For Immediate Release:

Givrins, July 2 — Provided by Simona Diale — With an unexpected yet sought-after result, the very first World Reining Championship hosted at CS Ranch in Givrins, Switzerland, will welcome 128 horse-rider combinations representing 13 European nations. The number of teams competing in the event is pretty impressive and counts five Junior Riders, six Young Riders, six Amateur Senior Riders, and five Open Senior Riders teams with the top 20 horse and rider combinations in each category vying for the coveted individual medals.

What makes the inaugural show offering Euro 150.000 prize money even more special is the number of participants in the World Para Reining Championship 2023. With no age restrictions, the para reining competition, also generously sponsored by California’s Jamie Walters and World Para Reining, will open the event on Thursday, July 6 with nine athletes representing their country and three national teams: a Franco-German combination, Great Britain, and Italy

From Great Britain, Nicola Tustain and Wayne Michael Lightbown will be performing for their flag. Tustain, a retired Welsh Paralympic dressage rider who boasts multiple para-dressage medals at the World Championships and Paralympic Games, was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2010. Lightbown, an Isle of Wight equestrian sportsman and an avid reining enthusiast started successfully showing in para reining competition in 2018.

The combined French and German team sees Ophelie De Favitski riding for France and Elinor Switzer representing Germany. The two athletes are more than just a team in the reining arena; they also have a very special bond in life which we will discover in the beautiful CS Ranch arena next week.

The country which has already left its mark in Givrins in terms of the number of entries is Italy. Paolo Pettena, Paolo Muserra, Martina Panizza, Nicoló Maggi, and Sara Borgonovo will be competing for the green, white, and red flag. “Firstly, we are very proud of how our team was selected,” says Alessandro Pavoni, Italian Equestrian Sports Federation (FISE) and IRHA (Italian Reining Horse Association) National Coordinator for Para Reining and National Coach. “Five athletes out of 15 were chosen through a selection procedure where they had to show in two out of the six legs of their Regional Championship — the series which determines who is qualified for the FISE year-end National Championship. Three out of the five selected athletes have physical disabilities and two have visual disabilities; I am very proud of all of them and even more proud of how para reining has developed in our country, mostly thanks to ELEMENTA's Maria Cecilia Fiorucci's dedication and huge support.”

In Givrins, we will see grade 1-2-3-4 and -5 athletes showing for the World Para Reining Championship Team medals on Wednesday, and for the individual competition on Thursday where the Champions will also be awarded the stunning CS Ranch custom-made trophies.