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The Challenge

In 2004, reining is going to enter a new area – after receiving official F.E.I.-status and the inauguration of C.R.I.O. events, international reining competition will take on another dimension due to the sheer price money offered in European reinings. No longer can anyone who is running for the NRHA World Championship afford not to travel to Europe - if he or she wants to retain his or her chances to win the title!

"The Challenge", scheduled for July 8 through 18, will offer the hitherto unheard-of sum of Euro120,000 guarenteed price money (approx. $150,000). With $60,000 added money for the Open Lawson Bronze Trophy and another $60,000 added money for the Open Pullman Bronze Trophy (approved by the German NRHA), a price money of Euro 120,000 is guaranteed! These two contests are run separately, so everybody has a second chance at 60,000 Euros (approx. $75,000).

Price money is of course awarded according to the NRHA payback schedule, so each of these reinings' winner will take home close to 14,000 Euros - between $16,500 and $17,000. Theoretically, both reinings could be won by the same rider, of course, who then would drive home with total earnings of around Euro 28,000,000 (ca. $35,000)!

And as if that were not enough, one of the reinings is also an AQHA Special Event, so participants riding a Quarter Horse will be earning points as well.

This mega-event was initiated by Hans-Peter Reiss, known as "H.P.". The native Swiss has in the past excelled at organizing the European Quarter Horse Championships. He found a main sponsor in Hotel Matheshof, situated at the by now world-famos riding and show facilities in Kreuth/Germany. It was here where in 2001 the USET team, consisting of Clint Haverty, Dell Hendricks, Craig Johnson, and Scott McCutcheon, enjoyed the super arena conditions, the hospitality of Gut Matheshof, and the great atmosphere among European reining enthusiasts.

"Our first motivation was to reward with a high- dollar reining all those reiners from Germany and surrounding states who regularly travel to Kreuth for the many shows put on here", says H. P. Reiss. "But then the idea expanded, and we managed to put together a concept that is bound to attract reiners from all over the world. This is going to be a one-of-a-kind international reining show, and we are proud to be able to offer it. We expect it to go a long way in the international promotion of the sport of reining."

Besides the Open Lawson and Open Pullman Bronze Trophy reining, a Non-Pro Lawson Bronze Trophy with a guaranteed price money of Euro 30,000, and a Euro 30,000 Non-Pro Pullman Bronze Trophy are offered (Euro 30,000 = ca. $37,000). These are also run separately, given all non-pro contestants two gos at it!

The rooster of contests is completed by an 8,000 Euro Intermediate Open reining, a 7,000 Euro Intermediate Non-Pro reining, a 7,000 Euro Limited Open reining, a 6,000 Euro Limited Non-pro reining, a 5,000 Euro Rookie class, and two Youth Reinings worth a total of 3,000 Euros - what an occasion for reining enthusiasts!

With cuttings and working cow horse events, a total of Euro 251,000 in price money (ca. $310,000) is going to be awarded at The Challenge!

"To ensure perfect preparation conditions, we will also include jackpot reinings and paid warm-ups", informs H.P. Reiss. "The cattle classes are scheduled for July 9 through 11, the reinings for July 13 through 18."

Any way you look at it - The Challenge is the place to be in July 2004!

For more information, please visit, or write to the show management at


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