2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Blog- Saturday Evening – World Championship Freestyle Reining

April 28th, 2013 8:00 PM | Comments Off on 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* Blog- Saturday Evening – World Championship Freestyle Reining

By Sarah Miller, Primary Blogger for MacMillan Photography & Media Services

Saturday Evening Blog – World Championship Freestyle Reining

The excitement didn’t miss a beat on Saturday night. Once the rest of the park begins to roll up the sidewalks the Kentucky Reining Cup kicks off in the Alltech arena. The maneuvers have to be just as correct on freestyle night as they are in the individual and team competitions on Friday, but the added flair makes them as entertaining as they are technical. Even though I haven’t learned much more about reining this year than I knew last, I was looking forward to the show.

My favorite costume of the evening was sported by Jessica Dooley and Magnum Refund, who honored firefighters with their freestyle.


One of the crowd favorite pairs, and one of three horse/rider combos who tied for second place, was Aaron Ralston and Blue Taris Glo, who proved that “real men” rock their pink. And they did it with “Gangnam Style” to boot. During the press conference afterward, Aaron said that he got his costume at Target in the ladies’ department. He shared his shopping tale during the press conference, “If you’re shopping in the women’s department in boots and spurs you get some funny looks!” I wish I’d been there with a camera.

Aaron Ralston and Blue Taris Glo rock the pink

Aaron Ralston and Blue Taris Glo go Gangnam style


The ever-popular Pete Kyle and his mare A Ruf Gal, who won the freestyle last year and took second in 2011, were joined by a group of about 30 friends from Equestrian Events Incorporated. They performed a flash mob dance to the “Harlem Shake.” The enthusiastic performance earned Kyle and Ruf Gal second place score.

Pete Kyle and his Harlem Shake group

 Not all of the routines are fun and games. Drake Johnson and Sonic Chic Dream rode to the song “Amazing Grace” and dedicated their ride to those who have been affected by recent tragedies in Boston and Texas. His more understated ride earned him the final second place spot.




Shane Brown, who won the inaugural event three years ago with the stallion Houston Shine and finished second last year, claimed his title back tonight on another stallion, the gorgeous gray Quarter Horse Shepherd Star. They performed one of the softer, more elegant routines of the evening to the Kenny Chesney song “Gone.”

Shooting in an arena, especially in an arena with spotlights, is completely different than shooting outside. Sometimes the camera adds flair to the riders all on its own. Shane Brown and Shepherd Star really “shine” in the spotlight.


The international-level eventers got in on the action too as “celebrity” reiners. Bobby Costello, David O’Connor, Sinead Halpin and Allison Springer all came out to play. Allison riding Shepherd Star proved that if she ever gets tired of hurdling high fences at speed, she could trade in her helmet for a cowboy hat by taking the top spot in the celebrity section.

The three-way tie for second place made life a little interesting for the presenters. A couple of coin tosses determined who would get which ribbons (second through fourth). It was Pete Kyle’s coin, and apparently, “Lady Luck” was not smiling on him as he ended up with the fourth place ribbon.

In addition to the World Championship Freestyle prize money, SSG gloves offered an additional $5,000 prize if the wining rider was wearing their gloves. Shane got the SSG check, as well as first place.

So, after you spend a day cheering on your favorite eventers, then doing some shopping, head out to the Alltech Arena. Because, even if you can’t tell a rollback from a run down, you’ll enjoy the show.

Adios, ummm….cowboys?

All photos by Sarah Miller/MacMillan Photography. All photos are copyrighted and owned by MacMillan Photography & Media Services. To purchase photos contact us at photo@looncreekenterprises.com or 260-468-2392.


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