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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Pete Kyle relived the 1960s, as he grooved his way to the top of the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup World Championship Freestyle on April 28.

Riding A Ruf Gal, Kyle got the crowd of almost 5,000 in the Alltech Arena to clap along to Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World. Kyle topped the evening’s leader board with a score of 227.5.

“I always look for songs people will recognize and that crowd will get into.” said Kyle. “It’s good for the horses, and it enables me to have fun with the crowd. Hopefully it’s fun for the crowd too.”

Second-place finisher and returning 2011 Champion, Shane Brown, enjoyed competing in the event again this year. Riding Houston Shine, Brown finished the evening only one point behind Kyle, with a score of 226.5.

“Both years were great for us and great for our horses,” said Brown. “We really enjoy coming here, and I hope it grows each year.”

The youngest competitor of the evening and third-place finisher, Laura Sumrall, dazzled her way to the top with a score of 224.5 riding Einsteins Fancy Pine. Wearing an all black sparkling dress, Laura said she had help from her mother in choreographing her round.

“I have an awesome lady in my life that helps me with my choreography and music and it happens to be my mother,” said Sumrall. “[The music] she helped me choose, fit my mare perfectly.”

She added that she’s thrilled by riding with theother reiniers in this event.

“It is an honor to be here and ride with these guys,” she said. “They are top dogs, regardless of what discipline they ride.”

Held in conjunction with the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event presented by Bridgestone, the Ariat Kentucky Reining Cup Freestyle had several familiar faces for the Eventing fans. Karen O’Connor and Gina Miles both competed in the World Championship Freestyle.

“It’s a different kind of fun!” said O’Connor, comparing the fun event to her two cross-country trips earlier in the day. “I’ve always been a cowgirl.”

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