National Reining Horse Association



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Horses and riders from eleven countries make the Championships a big success

Bokeberg, Sweden – Eleven countries were represented at the 2009 National Reining Horse Association European Affiliate Championship (EAC) held in the beautiful Bokeberg Arena, just outside Malmo, in Sweden. The countries represented include: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden and The Netherlands.

The very first edition of the event was held in Egna Ora, Italy, seven years ago with 62 qualifiers in the Championships and 104 entries in the ancillary SWRHA Summer Slide NRHA-approved classes. This year, 220 qualifiers were recorded in EAC classes and more than 500 entries were seen in ancillary classes! If that were not enough, for the very first time, Finland took part in the Championships making the sport of Reining all the more global.

“I’m really happy with the way things went this year,” said the organizer of the event, Monica Widh. “We had to reschedule the program due to the high number of entries, yet everything went really smoothly. I would like to thank all those involved – they’re the ones that made this possible”.

The final Nations Team standings saw the host nation Sweden at the top of the rankings followed by The Netherlands (396 points) and Germany (308.5 points). Points were determined by the placings of the horses and riders in the nine European Affiliate Championship finals classes offered:

EAC $5,000 added OPEN

Bernard Fonck of Belgium rode BA Reckless Chick owned by Nicky Nietvelt van Tendeloo to the win with a score of 222.5. Reserve honours went to country fellowman Jergen Pouls who scored a 220.5 aboard Tabasco Tari for owner Edward Patist.


Ulrich Kofler, Italian rider now based in Germany, rode Hot Smokin Chex for Germany’s Curtis-hof to top honors in this class with a score of 221. Michel Sandyck placed second aboard Roy De Bruin’s Lil Ruf Ngreat Sstar after posting a 219.


Yet another win for The Netherlands as Dave Young rode Megan Schmidt’s Great Kid Whiz to the top step of the podium with a score of 212.5. A point behind was Great Britain’s Jessica Sterberg riding Roseanne Sternberg’s Sashimi.

EAC $3,000 added NON PRO

Belgium again left its mark with Cira Baeck riding her own Gumpy Grumpy BB. The pair scored a 218 to win the Championship title. Two points behind were Germany’s Michael-Schubert and Moms Lil Rufian.


It took a run-off to determine who would wear the crown in this class after both Fenna Elzinga of The Netherlands riding Smoking Kills and Martin Binder of Germany riding Lil Peppy Dunnit Right both scored a 213. Fenna posted a 216.5 in the run-off and clasped championship.


Jessica Sternberg and Sashimi rode to the first step of the podium with a score of 212 in this class. A half a point behind the talented young rider from Great Britain, Pete Perkio of Finland took reserve honors riding Boogies Little Lena, owned by Polar Circle Quarter Horses.


Twenty-four year old Sebastian Ohman of Sweden rode his Dun It With Spark to win his first major NRHA title with a score of 208.5. The Reserve Championship in the class which saw 33 horse and rider combinations went to Rebekka Yitalo of Finland who rode her Brown Sugar Presence to post a 206.5.

EAC $100 added YOUTH 13 & UNDER

Anna Elzbieciak of Poland and Psycho Bob also won their first NRHA title with a score of 206. Placing second in the young rider’s class were Ebba Lange and Beso Del Gallo. They scored a 205.5 for their home country, Sweden.

EAC $100 added YOUTH 14-18

Simon Andersson of Sweden, riding Miss Keyhole Cowboy, rode to the first step of the podium in the Youth 14-18 class which saw twenty-three entries. The pair score a 215.5. A half a point behind the champions, once again Jessica Sternberg and Sashimi stepped on the podium claiming reserve honors.

The 2009 Youth Team Tournament saw 13 teams compete. The ‘Brent Wright Bunch’ won with a total score of 623.5. In the competition, each team was made up of one 13 & Under rider and two 14-18 Youth riders picked at random. On the winning team were Anna Elzbieciak/Psycho Bob, Pete Perkio/Boogies Little Lena and Isabella Capobianco/Impressive Majority. The first ten teams were awarded NRHA medals along with great prizes.

For the second year running the NRHA European Affiliate Championships were held in Sweden. A full slate of NRHA approved classes were also offered. Next year the prestigious NRHA European Affiliate Championships finals will move to Switzerland, at the CS Ranch.

NRHA Corporate Partners wholeheartedly supported the competition which saw a total added money of $36,100. Champions were awarded a package that included saddles from Pard’s Western Shop; handmade Rios of Mercedes/Anderson Bean Boots, and Classic Equine products. The Champions will be the envy of many with a variety of NRHA trophies such as Lawson and Morrison bronze trophies, pewter trophies and plaques. For more information on the National Reining Horse Association, visit .