Lisa Coulter of Vernon, BC recently made history in the sport of Reining as both a rider and a coach.
As a rider, Coulter made her mark on the 2013 USA Reining Series, finishing as the inaugural Open Division Reserve Champion.
USA Reining is a newly-established affiliate organization of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) that was launched in May of 2012. The organization held 10 Reining competitions throughout the 2013 season. The series culminated with the CRI1*/2*/3* Oklahoma City competition, held in conjunction with the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show, which took place Nov. 8-23 at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
After tying for fourth place on a score of 214.50 in the Oklahoma City CRI on Nov. 15, Coulter brought her points total to 48, and was named the inaugural 2013 USA Reining Open Division Reserve Champion.
“All of the CRI3* competitions I did this year were determined to help me vie for a spot at the 2014 World Equestrian Games and to qualify for the Canadian Final,” said Coulter, who is a long-time member of the Canadian Reining Team and represented Canada at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.
“In doing so, I was named the USA Reining Reserve Rider of the Year. I’m really very proud and excited. It’s an elite group to be ranked with and it shows that Canada is very strong competitively.”
Her mount for the series was Western Whiz, a 10-year-old Quarter Horse gelding owned by Robert Thompson.
“At 10 years old, he can still go out and be highly competitive,” said Coulter of her mount. “His performances show that there is a place for our aged horses, and they can continue to win. I think it’s also super cool that “Whiz” was named the 2013 USA Reining Reserve Champion Horse.”
In addition to her accolades as a rider, Coulter also broke ground as a coach this month, contributing her expertise to the first-ever Para-Reining demonstration in North America, held during the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show.
The demonstration was the result of a partnership between USA Reining, the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA), the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). Their goal is to induct Para-Reining as an official discipline under the umbrella of Para-Equestrian.
Three Para-Equestrian athletes with no prior experience in the sport of Reining were invited to attend the debut event. Each Para-Equestrian athlete was paired with a veteran Reining athlete for coaching and support. Coulter was asked to provide coaching to two-time Paralympian Rebecca Hart of Erie, PA, USA.
“My experience coaching was beyond inspiring. It felt like I was doing something that really mattered. It’s also especially cool to see a person’s face light up when they do their first spin or slide. Reining horses have a level of thrill, yet control, which is hard to duplicate,” explained Coulter. “Rebecca was amazing. She jumped right up on an unfamiliar horse and went right for the tough maneuvers.”
Coulter also hopes to help introduce the sport of Para-Reining at home in Canada.
“I am definitely going to stay involved with Para-Reining. I am also interested in working on bringing Para-Reining into Canada via Equine Canada and their wonderful Para program. I have been involved in Equine Canada for years and am always working to promote the sport within Canada. I am fully devoted to getting riders of all levels and abilities onto the back of a Reining horse,” said Coulter.
Complete information, results, and rankings related to the 2013 USA Reining Series can be found at www.usa-reining.com.
For more information about Para-Reining, visit www.usa-reining.com/para-reining.html.