USA’s biggest reining groups kicked out of FEI

Spread the word
  • 5.9K
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun won the individual reining bronze medal. 
Reining at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. (File image) © FEI/Liz Gregg

Horse sport’s world governing body the FEI has terminated its agreements with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).

Update: Quarter horse body responds to FEI: we’ve done nothing wrong

FEI Secretary-General Sabrina Ibáñez told delegates to the FEI General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain, that the two US-based reining bodies were in breach of the terms of their cooperation agreement with the FEI.

“In order to ensure the integrity of the discipline and maintain a level playing field for all athletes competing in FEI Reining, the agreement with these two bodies has now been terminated.”

Both the AQHA and NRHA have been informed by the FEI that a binding commitment to implement the FEI rules on anti-doping, stewarding requirements and the age of competing horses are prerequisites for any future cooperation.

Ibáñez advised delegates that FEI Reining events will continue, and invited National Federations to provide feedback to the FEI on how they see the future of the discipline at international level.

Reining became an FEI discipline in 2004, and the FEI signed a cooperation agreement with the NRHA and the AQHA in 2014.

The agreement covered areas of common interest including horse welfare, FEI Rules and Regulations, FEI Clean Sport, stewarding, education and FEI recognition.

Under the agreement, the FEI had sole jurisdiction over reining competitions for horses aged seven years and over, and the NRHA and AQHA managed all competitions for horses of six years and under. An exception was made for WEG 2014 in Normandy, where six-year-old horses were eligible to compete.

The NRHA, based in Oklahoma City, was formed in 1966 and brings together more than 19,000 members, including 1400 youngsters.

The AQHA, in Amarillo, Texas, was created in 1940 and is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organisation. It first recognised reining as a sport in 1949.

17 thoughts on “USA’s biggest reining groups kicked out of FEI

  • November 20, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    Permalink

    If they cannot comply to the rules than they need not compete. I support the decision.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 12:14 am
    Permalink

    No other discipline has ALL its competitors for horses over 7 years old under FEI rules… It was an impractical arrangement.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 2:51 am
    Permalink

    Ma fatemi il piacere, tutte stronzate. I cavalli da reining stanno benissimo ed ho visto cavalli di 14 anni gareggiare. Semplicemente nelle discipline inglesi nessuno fiata perché c’è più giro di soldi, scommesse ed è più mondano. Noi del reining ci facciamo tutto da soli, non siamo serviti e riveriti dai groom. Vergognatevi. Ho lasciato dopo 14 anni il salto ostacoli proprio per questo. Il reining è tutt’altra storia. Poi che c’è gente di merda che rompe i cavalli e non li sa trattare, ce ne stanno in tutte le discipline perfino dei trekking. Perciò tappatevi la bocca, cara FEI per me puoi pure affogare nei soldi degli eventi più mondani, non meriti attenzione proprio!

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 9:51 am
    Permalink

    Does anyone know if dressage, 3 day and show jumping horses have to be 7 and up? Reining is a tough game and mature, downhill
    built quarter horses have a tough time staying sound without certain “supplements”. Having said that 7 should be the minimum age for ALL FEI competing horses.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 11:26 am
    Permalink

    Well done FEI !!!

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 6:05 pm
    Permalink

    Yes, the minimum age is consistent across all FEI disciplines.

    As I understand it, reining begins serious competition for horses at much younger ages than the other FEI disciplines. I believe reining horses can begin competing at 2 years old? The other three disciplines you mentioned have many participants who don’t even back their horses before 2 or 3 years old, even 4 years old.

    The average age of Olympic level dressage and event horses is usually about 12 years old, and many compete into their high teens, and yes there are strong demands on the horse’s body. These disciplines typically have horses who develop over years and have very long careers.

    Reply
  • November 21, 2018 at 9:46 pm
    Permalink

    Yes, they do mature “downhill”. The reason for this is why, I believe, they have been kicked out. The growth plates on QH are wide open till at least 3 years of age. When competitions begin at age 2, they must be started (Broken) at 18 months or so. To be taught to carry a rider at this early age does, indeed cause very early deterioration of the bodies of these horses.
    Yikes!! I have personally witnessed a Grand Prix jumper winning at age 23.
    Minimum age for most international competitions is 7-8 years of age. The reasons for this include emotional maturity, physical strength, coordination, balance and confidence. I simply cannot explain the American Rush experience.

    Reply
    • November 24, 2018 at 7:20 pm
      Permalink

      I love this comment–Great points.

      Reply
  • November 22, 2018 at 10:33 am
    Permalink

    Who started and governed reining until the FEI got involved? AQHA AND NRHA. Frankly, I do not see how the FEI has benefitted reining. They were doing just fine before hooking up with FEI

    Reply
    • November 23, 2018 at 10:53 am
      Permalink

      C. Reiner, I agree. The FEI, who needs them? We got along just fine before this.

      Reply
  • November 24, 2018 at 12:51 pm
    Permalink

    Chuckling a bit, because many eventers and endurance riders feel the same way about the FEI! Might be better off without them. 😉

    As I understand it, the the only way for a horse discipline to be in the Olympics is through the FEI. So it comes down to how important that is.

    There are a fair number of American riders in Olympic disciplines who don’t think the Olympics is such a positive, other than exposure of the discipline to the general public to help grow the sport.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2018 at 8:27 am
    Permalink

    I heard that the only reason reigning was brought into the Olympics/world’s was because the US EF wanted the money from the AQHA membership.

    Reply
  • November 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm
    Permalink

    This is how it starts, they claim they are protecting the growth of the sport but any day now the smaller and not so exciting or provocative disciplines will be on their own..

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *