Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Shawna Sapergia of Cochrane, AB brought home the bronze medal from the FEI World Reining Masters, held October 17 – 22 in Denver, CO, USA.

Competitors from 18 different countries, including the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Israel, Switzerland, Belgium and more gathered under the flags of their countries to battle for the title of FEI World Reining Masters Champion, many mounted on borrowed horses.

During the Saturday evening performance of the $100,000 FEI World Reining Masters Final, two divisions ran concurrently: the Restricted Division for all riders except those whose National Federation qualified for the finals at the last World Equestrian Games (USA, CAN, GBR, ITA, GER), and the Open Division for all competitors.

Sapergia drew a middle of the pack entry with BL Whiz Kid owned by Gib and Rhonda Thompson. The 10-year-old stallion has only been ridden sporadically since Sapergia rode him at the Canada Cup in September 2005, and prior to that he’d had the previous year off as well.

“I had BL for three weeks prior to Denver,” said Sapergia, whose run earned a score of 221.5. “I think he did pretty awesome! We did the same thing before Quebec last year but that time I had a chance to school him before showing him, we didn’t have the opportunity to do that this time.”

“Our right circles were great. During the small slow circles to the left he started to get a little excited. The crowd really started to get into it and that excited him,” continued Sapergia. “He ran really good on fast circles and guided nice. Again he got excited on the rundowns, but his stops and rollbacks were good.”

Fellow Canadian Lisa Coulter of Kelowna, BC also contested the Open Division, finishing seventh after scoring 215.50 aboard Alberto Hawa Sarquis’ 11-year-old stallion Jalapeno Peppy.

This was Sapergia’s first time showing at the Denver facility and she had nothing but praise for the show committee and how efficiently the show was run. “They had our stalls separate from everyone else and in amongst our stalls they had a lounge area with couches and TVs. They served us complimentary wine, beer and cheese and made us as comfortable as possible,” stated Sapergia, who went on to explain that the horses were also treated very well, with Denver police on site as security in the stabling area, and FEI Stewards rotating through to ensure the horses were safe and well taken care of.

“The show was run really well and the staff was very accommodating,” said Sapergia. The Western International provided Friday night entertainment including a 45 minute concert from a Nashville recording artist, Native American Hoop Dancers and several other attractions that kept the crowd’s energy up the entire weekend.

Reining Canada would like to congratulate Sapergia and Coulter on their excellent results at the 2006 FEI World Reining Masters.