The president of Reining Alberta called this weekend’s equestrian event in Red Deer the biggest reining show in Western Canada.
From June 7 to 10, the National Reining Horse Association will bring its Reining Alberta showcase to the Westerner Park for four days of equestrian events.
It is the 25th anniversary of Reining Alberta and the organizations president Austin Seelhof said There will be competitors from across Western Canada, Montana and even Ireland and Australia.
“It’s a really big showcase,” said Seelhof. “We have derbies, for horses aged four to six, which is a high profile class.
“We also have classes to help get people qualified for the World Equestrian Games.”
All the horses will compete in equestrian type events along a set course. There will be one or two judges, depending on the level of the competition.
The WEG are held every four years, in the middle of the Olympic cycle. With the next summer Olympic Games set for 2020, the WEG will be held this year.
The Federation Equestre International WEG will be held in Tyron, North Carolina from Sept. 11 to 23.
There will also be events for Team Canada Reining in eight disciplines: jumping, dressage, eventing, vaulting, driving, endurance and reining.
“We have all levels from the people who are just starting out, the green as grass type people, and youth classes, which gets families involved,” said Seelhof. “Right up through all the different levels. From the entry-level right through to the top end of it with people trying to get on their nation’s teams for the WEG.”
More than 200 horses will be at Westerner Park, 4847A 19th St. Shows start at 8 a.m. every day and go into the evening.
“With that many horses, it’s going to be long horse show days,” said Seelhof, estimating there will be about 30 champions crowned this weekend.
The show is one of three NRHA held at the Westerner, the other two will be held in July and September.