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State Seal Kentucky Horse Park
Press Release Date:  November 22, 2004
Contact:  Cindy Rullman, 859-259-4209,

            LEXINGTON, KY  (November 22, 2004) Which athlete slides and hustles like Pete Rose, kicks like Bruce Lee, has the confidence of Ali, the grace of Baryshnikov, the heart of Wilma Rudolph, the trackwork of Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the sweetness of Walter Payton, is quicker than Alan Iverson, prettier than Anna Kournikova and will be competing at the Kentucky Horse Park in 2005?  The Reining horse!

           The inaugural United States Equestrian Federation Reining Championship will be the headline event of Fiesta in the Park – a new horse show that offers reining and hunter-jumper events, side by side at the Kentucky Horse Park August 23-28.

           The best reiners in the country will converge in Lexington as a result of the combined efforts of three mega equine associations: the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).  It will be the first time many horse lovers in the Midwest will get to see reining at this level.  Reining fans and the general public will have an opportunity to watch athletes in this sport who are at the very top of their game.

           According to John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, "Hosting the USEF Reining Championship is an extremely positive development for the Kentucky Horse Park. Reining is one of the seven equestrian sports included in the World Equestrian Games, which we hope will be in Kentucky in 2010. We are proud to be the venue for this prestigious event and we look forward to working with the leadership of USEF, NRHA and AQHA to make Fiesta in the Park truly one of the premier equine competitions in the United States."

            The NRHA describes reining as “… a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. Contestants run one of ten approved patterns. Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.”  Spectators simply describe reining as “incredible.”

            Many horses competing in this reining championship will be eligible to compete in the World Reining Masters Final in Europe.  Bill Bradley, President-elect of NRHA commented, “This event will showcase not only the elite of the sport of reining, but encompass classes for all reiners.  And what better place to have an event of this proportion than the Kentucky Horse Park.”  He continued, “Through the joint efforts of USEF, AQHA and NRHA, this event is sure to become one of the premier reining events in the world.”

            For more information, contact Sarah Lane at 859-225-6974 or visit these websites:, or

            New Seasonal Hours and Rates: From November 1-March 14, admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12.  Children six and under are always admitted free of charge.  Open from 9 am until 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday.  Admission includes the American Saddlebred Museum.


            The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse.  The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted 913,000 visitors and 80 special events and horse shows in 2003.  The park is located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington.  The place to get close to horses, the park is open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.




Last updated: Monday, November 22, 2004