Duane Latimer: Canada’s Reining Royalty

Credit: Clix Photography

We are pleased to present the winners of our third annual Readers’ Choice Awards, honouring remarkable horses and horse people for their achievements and contributions to Canada’s horse industry.

Our sincere appreciation goes our generous Readers’ Choice Awards sponsor, Bucas, who graciously donated fabulous prizes to our winners. Thank you to everyone who nominated and helped make our Readers’ Choice Awards a success again this year.

Congratulations to our deserving winners.

The 2012 Readers' Choice Awards Winners Are (please read more at each link):
Grated Coconut: Born to Buck
Duane Latimer: Canada's Reining Royalty
Pippa Hodge: A driving force behind therapeutic riding in Canada
Karen Brain: Anything is possible
Hickstead: “He was the best horse in the world”
Eve Mainwaring: "A tremendous horsewoman"
Dianne Tidball: Matriarch of Thunderbird Show Park
Somebeachsomewhere: Racehorse of the Decade
Orion: A Remarkable Therapist
Bill desBarres: "A lifetime in the service of the horse"

Western Event Reining AQHA Duane Latimer NRHA WEG

Photo: Robin Duncan Photography
Aboard Dun Playin Tag, Duane won the Individual Bronze Medal at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

As a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) millionaire (having surpassed the $1 million rider NRHA lifetime earnings mark), NRHA Futurity Champion, the winner of six American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Championships, and two-time World Equestrian Game (WEG) individual medalist, Duane Latimer is a member of Canada’s reining royalty.

Growing up in Saskatchewan with a horse trainer for a father, and a mother who was also involved with horses, Duane was competing in reining classes at an early age, winning his first class when he was just 12 years old. The family moved to Alberta when Duane was 16, and was instrumental in promoting reining within the province and beyond.

“There wasn’t much reining when we moved out [there],” Duane said. “It was more cow horse oriented.”

From a very early age, Duane knew that he wanted to reach the top of his chosen sport, so he made the decision to move south to the US, where there were more opportunities. In 1992, while he and his wife, Wendy, were waiting to receive their “resident alien” cards for the US, they moved to Italy for three years, where Duane found work with a reining trainer. Eventually they moved to the States, and are now based in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Western Event Reining AQHA Duane Latimer NRHA WEG

Photo: Clix Photography
Duane walked away from the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, with Team Silver and Individual Gold Medals in reining.

Although Duane has scored many victories over the years, several stand out as being particularly memorable. In 2003, he won the NRHA Futurity aboard The Great Whiz.

That same year Duane became the fourth individual to become a NRHA Million Dollar Rider, and also broke the record of one-year earnings, previously held by American Shawn Flarida, with an annual earning of over $300,000. His total NRHA Earnings exceed $1.8 million, making him one of the most successful Canadian reiners in history.

The crowning glory of Duane’s reining career to date is his Individual Gold medal at the 2006 WEG in Aachen, Germany which he earned with a flawless performance aboard Hang Ten Surprize. Latimer describes the stallion as “an incredibly good minded horse – which is what you need for these international competitions.” Duane also helped Canada clinch the Team Silver medal.

Duane returned to the WEG in 2010 in Kentucky and took home another individual WEG medal for Canada, this one bronze, riding Dun Playin Tag, a 2004 Quarter Horse gelding.

With Individual Gold and Team Silver WEG medals under his belt, Duane’s next goal is to bring home a Team Gold medal for Canada.

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