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Reining is a western riding competition for horses where the riders guide the horses through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. All work is done at the lope (a slow, relaxed version of the horse gait more commonly known worldwide as the canter), or the gallop (the fastest of the horse gaits). Originating from working cattle, reining is often described as a Western form of dressage riding, as it requires the horse to be responsive and in tune with its rider, whose aids should not be easily seen, and judges the horse on its ability to perform a set pattern of movements. The horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely. A horse that pins his ears, conveying a threat to his rider, refuses to go forward, runs sideways, bounces his rear, wrings his tail in irritation or displays an overall poor attitude is not being guided willingly, and is judged accordingly.

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Reining: Boemil Twin Robotop - the only Appaloosa in the Individual Finals

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Reining competition is open to all breeds of horses. Though the American Quarter Horses dominate the field, American Paint Horses, Arabians, Morgans and Appaloosas are among some of the breeds seen at reining shows world-wide.

Appaloosas have competed successfully in the sport for many years and have made their presence known winning many classes and earning worthwhile purses and prizes. In 1986, Gunsmokes Skeeter became the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) all-time leading Appaloosa money earner. Barbara Mazziotta’s 1983 mare (Boss Nowata Star x Mr Gunsmokes Doll) was shown exclusively by Terry Thompson to win $30,174. During the 2011 National Reining Breeders Classic, Frank Marley’s Some Kinda Shine (Shine Of A Kind x Precious Lady D) topped that mark with NRHA Professional Matt Mills aboard. The Appaloosa stallion racked up more than $30,517 in NRHA LTE.

2014 welcomed another change. The highly sought-after title now belongs to Boemil Twin Robotop with $32,570 in NRHA LTE. Boemil Twin Robotop, bred by Emilio Bonoperti, is by Topsail Speckles and out of Boemil Valentwin. Lara Lorengo, of Italy, has owned and shown the 2006 stallion for almost four years earning many a prestigious event. The duo was on the Italian Young Riders team that conquered the Gold medal at the FEI European Reining Championshipin 2013. All of the stallion’s earnings have been accumulated at NRHA shows in Europe only.

In the 1st Individual qualifier during the 2014 Games, Giuseppe Prevosti, riding for Team Italy, qualified the talented stallion, aka ‘Raiden’ for the Individual finals. “I’ve had this amazing stallion in training ever since he was a 2-year-old. He belongs to my fiancé, Lara, and has always been shown in non pro competition by her. This year we decided to try to qualify him for the Games and I must admit that she was the one that really believed this dream could come true. Here he proved that he was able to step up big time,” says Prevosti. “He’s the best minded horse I’ve ever been around and even though he’s been in the breeding barn, it never comes out when he’s in the pen. My goal here was to do the best we could and hold high the Italian flag – we now look forward to the finals!”

The much awaited for individual finals count 21 horse-rider combinations. All are Amercian Quarter Horses except for Boemil Twin Robotop!

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