Reining is a sport designed to show the athletic ability of a western type of horse in a show arena. It is included in a World Equestrian Games every four years and has either a World or European Championship in every other year.
In reining, competitors are required to run one of several approved patterns; each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs, 360 degree spins, back ups and exciting sliding stops (the hallmark of the reining horse). Horse and rider combinations perform the ‘patterns’ in front of 5 judges at different positions in the arena, the FEI specifies the pattern for each stage of a competition.
Team competition & individual championship qualifier:
The Team Championship and Individual Qualifiers run over the first two days, with the team medal decided on the second day of competition. Each combination perform the same ‘pattern’ (as specified by the FEI - for WEG 2018 this is pattern 8) in front of five judges. All riders start on a score of 70 - individual manoeuvers are scored (based on correctness and difficulty) in ½ point increments, from a low of -1 ½ to a high of +1 ½ - a score of 0 indicates a correct movement with no degree of difficulty.
A maximum of four combinations can compete per nation in the team event; the winning team is the one with the highest number of total points for the three best athletes.
Second individual qualifying round:
The second individual qualifying competition is for riders ranked 16-35 after the team test (the top fifteen placed riders from the team competition qualify automatically for the Final and therefore do not contest this round). The format and scoring for this competition works in the same way as the team test but they perform a different pattern (specified by the FEI - for WEG 2018 this is pattern 5). The top five qualify for the individual final.
The Final sees the top twenty qualified combinations come forward (from the first and second qualifying rounds); competitors compete in reverse order to their qualifying results from the first qualifying round. All combinations compete the same pattern (again specified by the FEI - for WEG 2018 this is pattern 12); the combination with the highest score after this round is crowned the world champion.