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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sixteen combinations entered the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena Sunday morning with National Championship honors and selection for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on their minds for the second and final round of the Adequan/USEF Open Reining National Championship and Selection Trial for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Reining Squad. And in a repeat of Friday’s initial round at the Kentucky Reining Cup, Shawn Flarida posted the top score of the day to claim the National Title and punch his ticket to Normandy, France for the World Championship in August. Additionally, five other riders earned their place on the squad with strong performances over the week.

Flarida, of Ohio, and Michell Kimball’s 7-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, Spooks Gotta Whiz, posted a score of 225 in Friday’s first round and bested that by 2.5 points scoring 227.5 Sunday morning. They finished on an overall score of 452.5 to top the field by 3.5 points.
The multiple times National Champion and 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold medalist was pleased with his horse throughout their time in Lexington and knows that there were some points left on the table.

“Friday night seems like a month ago,” said Flarida. “I had a few bobbles in each pattern but he’s just a nice horse; he’s fun to show and just a great horse.”

Flarida looks forward to getting to Normandy and retaining the title he helped to earn four years ago and believes the U.S. riders are poised for greatness in France.

“They’re all super talented and hardworking,” said Flarida of his squad-mates. “When you get there it’s just time to put your hand down and get to work.”

Others earning spots on the U.S. squad were reserve champion Mandy McCutcheon with an overall score of 449 on her father’s 10-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, Yellow Jersey; Jordan Larson of Texas and Heritage Farms’ HF Mobster, a 6-year-old Quarter Horse stallion; Andrea Fappani of Arizona, who had an extremely successful weekend at the Kentucky Reining Cup, qualifying two of Silver Spurs Equine’s horses for the U.S. World Equestrian Games squad — the 7-year-old Quarter Horse stallion Smoking Whiz (448) and the 8–year-old Quarter Horse stallion Custom Cash Advance (445) to a weekend total of 445.

Finishing in sixth place and earning a place on the squad were Troy Heikes Of Arizona on Denise Bixler’s 8-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, Lil Gun Dunit (442), and rounding out the squad in seventh place were Texan Tom MCCutcheon on Jennifer Marley’s 6-year-old Quarter Horse stallion, Dun Git A Nicadual (440.5)

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