USA’s Tom McCutcheon wins individual gold at Reining World Championships

September 30th, 2010

Gunners Special Nite

U.S. reiner Tom McCutcheon and 6-year-old Gunners Special Nite turned in a score of 228 yesterday in the individual finals at the FEI Reining World Championship, as part of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY. The score was enough to earn the individual gold medal by a margin of 5 points.

“I knew he was pretty special tonight,” said McCutcheon, who earned the individual silver medal in 2003. “I felt pressure, for sure, because I wanted to do him justice. He’s a great little horse.”

Earlier in the week, McCutcheon and Gunners Special Nite, a stallion owned by Turnabout Farm, helped the U.S. team to a gold medal in the team reining competition. Gunners Special Nite, by Colonels Smoking Gun, was the 2007 NRHA Futurity reserve champion and has $217,000 in NRHA lifetime earnings.

The individual silver medal went to U.S. teammate Craig Schmersal on Mister Montana Nic, with a score of 223, while defending WEG individual gold medalist Duane Latimer of Canada, earned the bronze medal riding Dun Playin Tag, with a score of 222.5.

At 12 years old, Mister Montana Nic is twice as old as the other horses on the U.S. team, and has been with Schmersal since he was a yearling.

“That’s what it’s all about, right there,” Schmersal said of the horse’s longevity. “We’ve just got to keep those old horses sound and happy.”

Mister Montana Nic, sired by Reminic and owned by Ericka Smith, was the 2005 FEI World Reining Master silver medalist and has $136,150 in NRHA lifetime earnings.

Gunners Special Nite stands at McCutcheon Reining Horses in Aubrey, TX for a fee of $2,500; Mister Montana Nic stands at Schmersal Reining Horse in Overbrook, OK for a fee of $2,000.

For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which continue through October 10, visit  www.alltechfeigames.com