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WPR rider Catherine Sherwood

WPR rider Catherine Sherwood

Waltenberry photo

LAS VEGAS, Nev.– The High Roller Reining Classic announced May 4 that it will host two divisions of WPR/AQHA-approved Para Reining this September during its annual show at the South Point facility. Bob Haley of Bob’s Custom Saddles will provide two trophy saddles to be awarded to the winners of each class.

“We’ve worked with Arizona Veterans and wheel chair-bound riders in the past,” said Haley, who plans to be in Las Vegas to personally present the award saddles. “We’ll customize them individually to suit the WPR class winner’s particular disability.”

When WPR creator, Lisa Coulter was asked to Chair the Para Reining board for Equine Canada, she was intrigued and interested.

“We had been talking about Para Reining as a potential organization for a number of years,” she said. In 2013, she was asked to coach the Para Reining demonstration at the AQHA Championships in Oklahoma City, and then a second demonstration at the Kentucky Cup in 2014.

“I knew that it was time to get to work and really make this happen,” she said.

The World Para Reining Organization was launched this year. Coulter, a Canadian horseperson with a background as a coach and competitor, is an NRHA Champion and multiple FEI Master. She was ranked No. 1 in the 2010 FEI World Ranking and Standings and was a Silver Medalist at the WEG trial Kentucky Cup.

At her ranch in Pilot Point, Texas, Coulter put together a five-day “boot camp” for disabled riders last winter and then persuaded the NRHA to add a Para Reining class to their schedule at the 2014 Futurity. Lisa’s own reining horses, NRHA champions and winners in excess of $180,000, were utilized to train the riders. Lisa says that the horses connected to their riders and were “… amazing in their reactions and in the way they took care of their partners.”

A number of NRHA shows in North America are planning WPR classes this year, though none of them with greater anticipation than the Las Vegas High Roller Reining Classic Show. WPR classes at the High Roller Reining Classic are already attracting entries and attention from all over the world. Riders have expressed interest in competing from America, Canada, all over Europe and Australia.

“The High Roller Reining Classic is committed to its ultimate goal of joining forces with groups like the World Para Reining Organization,” says Amanda Brumley, the show’s organizer and manager. “The WPR has assisted many physically handicapped individuals in their quest for confidence and to achieve that very sense of freedom on a horse that many of us take for granted because we are not challenged by physical limitations. We are very grateful to be in a position to host such a worthwhile event and to increase awareness of the WPR and help them grow globally!”

The High Roller Reining Classic runs Sept. 11 to 20.

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