World Reining Championship 2023: The Wrap Up

World Reining Championship 2023: The Wrap Up Photos by Tom Hautmann
July 10, 2023

On Top of the World!

The need for international team and individual competition was much felt by the reining community worldwide at all levels. A group of passionate enthusiasts got together and formed World Reining hoping to satisfy this need. NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner Corinna Schumacher and her CS Ranch team gave their availability to host and organize the inaugural NRHA-approved World Reining Championship event with Euro 150.000 offered in prize money and the response was huge.

The first edition was held in one of Europe's biggest and most modern private facilities located in Givrins, Switzerland, on the picturesque shores of Lake Léman, and counted 123 riders who went through a selection procedure in order to proudly represent 12 nations. Showing horses age 5 and up they competed along with para equestrians riding for the medals in the World Para Reining Championship 2023 held concurrently.

Built off the format of the highly successful FEI World Equestrian Games, the competition included team and individual Championships for Young and Junior Riders, Open Senior Riders, and the innovative Amateur Senior Riders.


The Team Competition
Open Senior Riders
Competing in the NRHA-approved Open Senior Riders category offering Euro 25.000 total prize money were five teams (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Poland) and individual riders representing the Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. The string of professionals vying for the World Reining Champion titles boasted impressive show records and competition raised stardust in the impressive CS Ranch Arena.

Posting a 665-total score, Team Belgium rode to the top step of the podium with NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck and ND Pop Gun Trash owned by Nathalie Derua scored a 223.5 followed by his wife, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Ann Fonck, who rode GP A Spook In Town owned by Golden Paint Ranch to a 223. Quentin Galliere and Tinsel Whizington, owned by Sharon De Groot, posted a 218.5, and Matyas Gobert riding Vintage Days RM owned by Benjamin El Hichri / Julie Douillet closed with a 215.5.

A point behind, the silver medal went to Team Italy thanks to Nico Sicuro’s 224.5 score aboard Quarter Dream’s Colonels Dancing Gun. Raising the team’s score to a final were Sebastiano Valtorta and Four Season Whiz owned by Luca Mauri posting a 222.5; Giovanni Masi De Vargas and Chex Aristocrat Mr owned by Seahorse Srl (217); and Stefano Cerutti with FB Topsail Shine owned by Claudia Rizzola (216).

With a 650-combined score, Team Germany wore the bronze medal with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Gina Schumacher and All Right Magnum owned by CS Ranch Management SA scoring a 224; Lars Suechting and Smart Cal Bar owned by Maike Weier a 213.5 Oliver Stein and Shine Lil Whiz owned by Silke a 212.5; and Jasmin Andersdotter and Gunna Shine owned by Alexandra Baush a 207.


Amateur Senior Riders

The innovative Amateur Senior Riders, a division for nonprofessionals over 18 years of age, brought 36 horse and rider combinations representing nine nations in both team and individual (Switzerland, Poland, France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Belgium, and Czech Republic) to CS Ranch. Providing an exciting show until the very end, the Amateur riders kept the public glued to their chairs until the very end when Team Italy took the World Reining Championship gold medal with an impressive total score of 644.5.

Sliding, spinning, and circling to the highest step of the podium for the tricolor team was Fabio De Iulio riding RS Cronos Jac (score 216.5); Carlo Ambrosini and BMS Walla Getcha Gun (215.5); Vittorio De Iulio aboard MR Magic Chex (212.5), and Elena Kompatscher with Walla Golden Arrow (205.5). Reining is often referred to as ‘family’: the Italian team also saw family blood ties with uncle and nephew Fabio and Vittorio showing for the same flag!

Team Belgium wore the silver medal after closing with a total of 634 with Bert Coeckelberghs performing to a 216.5 on Gunna Be Delicious, Amber Heidbuchel and Prof Voodoo scoring a 211.5, Tanja Faes riding to a 206 on KB Silverlining Whiz, and Catharina Smetsers unfortunately posting a zero with Wimpy Special Gun.

With a final score of 633 — only one point behind, proving how exciting the show was — Team Germany slid to the third step of the podium with past NRHA Non Pro World Champion Nikolai Stiller scoring a 213.5 on his JJ Spooking Voodoo. The second highest score was a 211 earned by Karin Kamphuis and her QT Gun followed by Clemens Bellemann and MJ Einsteins Blanca closing with a 208.5. The dropped score was a 207 for Lilli Prayon and Dancing Whizard.

Young and Junior Riders
Focus on youth has always been paramount for CS Ranch and an amazing group of Young
and Junior Riders from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland rode for the medals in the Team Competition with the top 20 placed combinations making their way to the Individual Finals.

With an incredible total score of 650, Team Italy took home the Young Riders Team gold medal following the great scores earned by Filippo Milani and PL What A Woman (217.5); Ludovica Zambelli and OT Dont Miss To Wish (216.5); Rebecca Folcia with LS Dun Blue Berry (216); Lucio Marcello Lavezzari and As Just In Time (208.5). “I am incredibly proud of the Junior and Young Riders Team,” said Italy's Team Coach Alessandro Meconi. “After three years of international competition being off the scene, coming back with the new generation bringing home these medals is incredible.” With much emotion, Meconi gave credit to Italy's longtime past Team Coach Filippo Masi who prematurely passed away, and to the Young Riders team captain Matteo Bonzano who also left us way too soon. “They were here with us all the way,” added an emotional Meconi.

Team Belgium claimed the second step of the podium with a 644.5 total score with Jody Fonck and Mello Yello Jersey performing to the highest score for her team, a 217.5; Alexandre Vanderstappen and Doc O Banjo (214); Siebe Van Bekhoven with WS Check My Pedigree (213); Silke Hendrix and AM Lil Birdy Gun (211).

Making history yet again was the Czech Republic who stepped on the third step of the podium in the World Reining Championship Young Riders division. Their 639-total score earned them the bronze medal with Vladimir Cejka riding Remy Rooster SG to a 215.5, the much successful duo KH Yankee Step and Sara Karasova performing to a 212, her sister Thea Karasova with Wimpy N Mercedes scoring a 211.5, and Lucie Dofková riding Stardust In My Eyes closing with a 206.5.

Junior Riders lit up the CS arena fighting for the medals but sealing friendships outside the pen.
With a 640-total score, France clinched the gold withMatt Legrand riding Rooster Nic (219); Sarah Rovina and Wimpys Best Stop (213.5); Jules Blandin and Piccola Snappy Dude (207.5); Joana Sequeira and Fury Sweetlove Dream (206.5). “It’s the first time that France wins a gold medal in international competition and it’s ‘magnifique,’” said Team Coach Jean Jaques Borreil. “It’s a great result for all the riders that showed and a great experience for them since they are our future. France is trying hard to move up the ranks and this was a wonderful start. NRHA France took care of the selection, and it was great since we have 21 riders here putting us in second place behind Italy in terms of number of athletes. There is a real interest in international reining and this is wonderful for our future.”

Team Germany, one point behind the winners, took the silver medal. The four riders that made this happen were Thea Maschalani with A Sparkling Glo (216); Ayleen Schmid with Custom Knick Nic (211.5); Charlotte Henkelmann and Skittels (211.5); Christin Beisel with Spark Little Dun (197.5).

The Italian team rode to the bronze medal with a total score of 638, two points behind the leading team France and one behind Team Germany. The riders that made it happen were: Elia Kompatscher aboard Whizdom Shines (216); Camilla Orlandini riding Sparkwest (213.5); Giulia Travagli with KN Skeets Blasterdun (208.5); Lorenzo Ranucci and Broadlysnapper (204.5).

Individual Medals
Open Senior Riders
Open riders closed the World Reining Championship 2023 with a bang. With an explosive 228.5, and leaving the best for last, Nico Sicuro and Colonels Dancing Gun, owned by Pietro and Helena Marseglia of Quarter Dream, brought home the gold medal for Italy and the amazing CS Ranch World Reining Trophy.  

When Sicuro and his mount entered the arena, the score to beat was a 225.5 posted by Belgium’s NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonck riding Nathalie Derua's ND Pop Gun Trash. The latter settled for the silver medal adding yet another great placing to their incredible show record.

Entering in the last set, Poland's renowned Lukasz Czechowicz rode Katarzyna Roleska's CSG Wisemanfear to a beautifully performed run worth a 223 and the bronze medal.

Amateur Senior Riders
With an amazing ride, the pair made up of Carlo Ambrosini and BMS Walla Getcha Gun, owned by Kerstin Müller, laid down a strong and precise performance worth a 223 claiming yet another gold medal for Italy. It was a silver podium for France with Alexandre Giarratano of France and The Electric Bandit set the public on fire and the dirt flying: The pair closed with a splendid 220. Italy closed the podium with yet another tricolor horse-rider combination: MR Magic Chex and Vittorio De Iulio who performed to a 219 score thanks to their powerful run.

Young Riders
Competition in the beautiful CS arena raised the heat in Givrins as the Young Riders gave it their all to earn the World title and a place on the podium. It was a huge victory and the individual gold medal for little Belgium with Jody Fonck riding Mello Yello Jersey thanks to a wonderful performance paid back by the judges with a 221.5. The Czech Republic once more left its mark by riding to the silver medal with Vladimir Cejka and Remy Rooster SG scoring a 219.5. With her flashy long-maned palomino LS Dun Blue Berry, Italy's Rebecca Folcia performed to a 218.5 earning the bronze medal.

Junior Individual
Taking first place honors with a 217.5 was Thea Maschalani of Germany riding A Sparkling Glo.
It took a run-off to determine who was going to wear the silver and bronze medals after Elia
Kompatscher of Italy riding Whizdom Shines and Matt Legrand of France riding Rooster Nic both scored a 216. Once the duos made their way back to the arena in order to determine the final placings, Kompatscher rode to the higher score, a 218, taking second place honors.

By Simona Diale / International Horse Press