Dan James Wins 2014 Kentucky Reining Cup Freestyle Championship

From spinning and sliding backwards to his horse spinning without a rider, Australian Dan James impressed the crowds and judges in Kentucky with this freestyle reining performance.

52 Responses

    • Vicki Rawlings

      Why does everything have to be racist?? This was a fabulous exhibition of horsemanship. If anything, I feel like he is paying homage to the native Americans. I would hope they would appreciate his exhibition as a honor being paid to them for the horsemanship they displayed throughout history. What an incredible display! Go Dan!!

    • Jo

      Indians/native Americans gentled their horses, they didn’t “break” them…so this in y mind is a tribute.

    • Marie Yates Nater

      No more racist than the Arabian horse people dressing up for their costume classes or the Paso Fino/Peruivan Passo people for theirs.

    • Anonymous

      He was wearing the same clothes that Johnny Depp ware in the Lone Ranger note this was theatrical riding

    • outlaw

      You are kidding right??? Why havent I seen any comments here about how talented he is? That is amazing talent and an amazing animal.

  1. Venessa

    Why does everything have to turn to racism? This was an incredible ride and amazing animal!!

  2. anonymous

    Incredible performance. That’s a nice horse and Dan did a great job with him.

  3. Ed

    Okay, Doesn’t everyone realize this is an ode to the Long Ranger. He was dressed up like Johnny Dep’s character down to the crow on top, which I thought was great!! So, if anyone is calling anyone racist the Lone Ranger movie would be. Ridiculous, it was a great bit of showmanship. We need more of that.

  4. Anonymous

    The horse’s mouth is open all the time in pain.Does nobody notice this? These results were received by very hard long and painful training sessions.

    • tiffy

      I have trained horses for reining and there were no long hard painful training sessions. A good horseman does not have to do that and this is one very talented horseman. A lot of horses like to mouth the bit, mine loved to play with his bit, it had a roller in it. If you look really close you will notice he uses the reins very little and when he does it is with a light hand. This is an example of excellent horsemanship and a great sync with his horse. you don’t get those results with pain ever. this horse was enjoying it as much as the rider was.

    • Goat

      Agree. It was choppy, painful to watch, and he was in the horses mouth way to much!!! Uggh. I know so many better reiners…

    • slr

      Sorry to disagree with you but considering the horse did the same thing after the riderless spin, I would guess the dust he was making was irritating him some. Riders at this level don’t get to this level with heavy hands. I was impressed that this rider was able to keep his spurs out of the horse bareback, that’s some very impressive riding!

    • Anonymous

      I know dan personally and have trained with him. He is a great horseman and does not hurt his horses!

  5. Anonymous

    Let him put on black face paint, and call himself a slave. See how far that gets him.

  6. Anonymous

    It takes great talent and dedication to pull this off. Anyone that thinks this was racist is a damn idiot and any one thinking it was painful for the horse is ignorant. It amazes me just how stupid some people are in this world. I love the entire show and he deserved to beat the others.

  7. Tina

    Racist? Disrespectful? A horse in pain? Good grief! There was hardly any contact on that horses mouth and the rider was in fancy dress as Tonto! Whatever next!?

  8. Ministik

    Wonderful ride and excellent horsemanship. This is performance art on horseback. Costumes are part of the picture. Do you dis the people who dress like a harem girl on Arabians? How about those who dress the part for the multi horse hitches with antique carriages? Have any of the negative commenters ever spoken to a Native? Being Native is not just a costume, it is a way of life both physically and spiritually. In Canada we had Grey Owl, an Englishman who wanted to be native. He dressed the part and lived it and did more for the respect of wildlife than most. The Indians accepted him as he portrayed himself. Yes one Chief did state he danced like a child who was mimicking the adults because he had yet to learn the spiritual meaning of dance and regalia. That this man dressed in a costume doesn’t disrespect anyone.

  9. Dressage Man

    The only thing that I saw was a talented horseman, on a willing horse, riding bareback….(which by the way – a reining horse bareback is tough enough) and never EVER losing balance or falling off.
    What an amazing team and really entertaining ride to watch!

      • Goat

        The rider was in the horses mouth before, during, and after entering the arena. This ride would never make it in a “normal” reingin competition without “show”. For me this was painful to watch. The horse was never relaxed, had short choppy gates encouraged to hold back.

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