Written by: Rebecca Walton
Client: High Roller Reining Classic
Release Date: 2009-09-10
Las Vegas, NV – September 9, 2009 – It was an exciting day of competition at the High Roller Reining Classic as the nation’s best riders competed for top honors the $40,000 Open Futurity. Nothing short of perfection would garner today’s grand prize and that is exactly what Shawn Flarida executed aboard Whizkey N Diamonds, owned by Clinton Anderson and Kathy Worley. The pair nailed each spin, rode quickly through their circles, and slid into their stops with ease to earn a score of 221.00 and the championship trophy. The High Roller Reining Classic is the international “crown jewel” of western riding competition, and features over $200,000 in added money and prizes. The show is being held at the exciting and luxurious South Point Hotel, Casino, and Equestrian Center and will run through Saturday, September 12.
Flarida and fifty-eight other exhibitors had to complete pattern eight during today’s competition. The pattern began with four spins to the left and four spins to the right. Riders then had to pick up the right lead and canter one large, fast circle, one small, slow circle, and another large, fast circle. They then had to keep up their momentum and switch leads while completing another large, fast circle. Next, riders moved into a second slow, small circle, and then completed their final large, fast circle. Finally, riders had to complete three stops, two on the right lead and one on the left lead.
When $3 Million Elite Rider Flarida entered the ring the crowd knew they were in for a treat. He and Whizkey N Diamonds completed each set of spins with speed and precision. They then loped easily into their large circle and sat back effortlessly for their slow circle. When it was time for the duo to complete each of their stops Flarida legged Whizkey N Diamonds forward and they sent the dirt flying. The judges rewarded their excellent pattern with the day’s high score of 221.00.
“Today was really good,” acknowledged Flarida after receiving his awards. “This horse is really sweet and he’s really fun to show. He walks in and he’s very docile even though he’s a big stud. Today he turned really good to the left and turned a little better to the right. For the circles, he loped off and took a big breath of air and waited for me.”
Flarida continued. “During the circles to the left, I tried to run him just a little bit harder and he was good. The first stop was really nice, but he didn’t he hit the second stop as well as I thought he could. The third stop was really good though, and overall I was really happy with his performance today.”
Whizkey N Diamonds is three years old and Flarida began riding him last December. “I’ve had great luck with him,” said Flarida. “He’s a horse that needs a little bit of leg because he’s really docile. If you don’t kick him and tell him to go he’s not going to go. But I like that, it kind of fits me.”
Whizkey N Diamonds will compete next at the Quarter Horse Congress, and then at the NRHA Reining Futurity.