Chinchilla horseman reining champ

SITTING TALL: Graeme Bell after winning the Reserve Champion in the Green Rider Level 2 at the National Finals in Tamworth.
SITTING TALL: Graeme Bell after winning the Reserve Champion in the Green Rider Level 2 at the National Finals in Tamworth. Contributed

REINING: Chinchilla horseman Graeme Bell has taken out Reserve Champion at the National Reining Australia at his first ever time competing at a national level in the sport.

Reining, which Bell described as "cowboy dressage”, is a small but intense equine sport which he had only been involved with for the past three years.

"It's just like dressage, you've got to have a really well trained horse and you've got to make him look pretty. You've got the horse to try and read your signals. At first it seems easy, but it gets hard,” Bell said.

"I've ridden horses all my life but this was a bit more demanding. The degree of difficulty is quite high.”

Bell was surprised by his results at Reining Australia's national competition but said at such a level of competition, there was always room to improve.

"Every time I go to a show I learn something new that I wasn't doing and can do it a bit better.”

Bell took out the reserve championship on his 12-year-old gelding, Down Bowigie; a quarter-horse cross.

Although numbers in the sport are small, popularity for reining has been gaining momentum in recent years, with organisers pushing for reining to be made into an Olympic sport.

If that were to happen, according to Bell, Australia is in a good position, thanks to our quality of horses.

"We've got the good blood that makes rein horses. We're a bit of a blood mine.”

Topics:  chinchilla equine sports horse events horsemanship horse sports reining reining australia reserve champion

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