Reining Comes to Fort Worth



NRHA Cowtown Classic – Reining Horse Show & Family Fun

By Christa Morris – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Cowtown Classic comes to Fort Worth, Texas August 11-18 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The show gives attendees the ability to see Reining’s leading riders and tomorrow’s champions, plus wonderful shopping opportunities from 50+ vendors specializing in western clothing, decor, hats, boots, jewelry and more! The NRHA Cowtown Classic is a budget-friendly entertainment option for horse lovers and families with inexpensive admission for adults, free admission for youth 10 and under and for 4-H, FFA and National High School Rodeo Association members. Mark your calendars to bring the whole family Aug. 16-18 for the most exciting events.

Fun for the Family

Thurs., Aug. 16 – 7 p.m.
Jake Hooker and The Outsiders Concert & NRHA Block Party – Platinum Performance Party Patio

  • The free concert starts at 8 p.m. with Rios of Mercedes endorsee Jake Hooker and The Outsiders. 95.9 FM “The Ranch” will be onsite from 7 to 9 p.m. with a live broadcast, contests and prizes. In addition, Rio’s of Mercedes sister company, Anderson Bean Boot Company, will give away a pair of boots during the concert.

Fri., Aug. 17 – 5:30 p.m.
Ice Cream Social and eyeD Demonstration – Platinum Performance Party Patio

  • Visitors can build custom ice cream sundaes and watch a demonstration from eyeD™, NRHA Cowtown Classic Event Sponsor, on their animal identification that uses iris scan technology.

Fri., Aug. 17 – 7 p.m.
“Rein & Shoot” – Coliseum
Spectators will be thrilled by the speed, accuracy and finesse of two unique western sports – Reining and Cowboy Mounted Shooting.

  • Top reining horses and NRHA riders will perform a precise pattern of small slow circles, large fast circles, a series of 360° spins done in place, rundowns, rollbacks, dirt-flying sliding stops and a backup – with virtually no visible cues from the rider. Watch this video to see Reining:
  • Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association riders from the “Lonestar Regulators” will display Cowboy Mounted Shooting, an event where riders take their horses through a fast-paced obstacle course using two .45 caliber single action revolvers each loaded with five rounds of specially prepared blank ammunition. Watch Cowboy Mounted Shooting at

Sat., Aug. 18 – 7 p.m.
“Four Minutes of Fame Freestyle Reining” – Coliseum

  • NRHA will bring one of its most popular events to Forth Worth for the first time. Freestyle reining is a crowd favorite where riders are free to express their “style” by performing their own reining pattern to music while both horse and rider are dressed to play the part. Some ride without a saddle and others perform without a bridle for steering the horse through the required maneuvers! Have you ever seen a horse with angel’s wings or a horse and rider dressed up like a zebra, a motorcycle rider or a bride? Come to the “Four Minutes of Fame Freestyle Reining” and you might see just that! Watch the description of freestyle reining at

Anticipated Freestyle Reining acts include:

  • Shane Brown and Houston Shine to “God Gave Me You.”
  • John Horn and Pure Pleasin to “Cancion Del Mariachi.”
  • Melanie Wilhelm and A Smokin Enterprise to “I Can’t Drive 55.”
  • Pete Kyle and KR Ima Another to “Joy to the World.”
  • Barbara Aitken and Totally Dun Twistin to “Cupid Shuffle.”
  • Marcy Blakely and “Peptos Nic In Time to “It’s Time to Ride.”
  • Leslie Temple and Duntattoedavaquero to “Pink Panther.”
  • Rylee Justus and Bright Lil Gun to “I Love a Rainy Night.”
  • Plus surprise acts from Doug Milholland, Emily Winegar and Allison Smith.

Admission and Special Offers

Free admission all week – excluding Aug. 17 and 18 evening performances.

Ticket prices for Rein & Shoot (Aug. 17) and Four Minutes of Fame Freestyle Reining (Aug. 18)

  • General Admission = $7.
  • Reserved = $10.
  • Kids 10 & Under = FREE.
  • FREE admission all week to youth wearing clothing representing an agriculture-oriented youth association (4-H, FFA, National High School Rodeo Association, etc.).
  • Visit NRHA’s Facebook page for special offers and coupons:
  • Parking = $5.
  • Make fine dining reservations Aug. 16-18 with “Reata at the Backstage Club” from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. View their menu online for more information.
What is Reining?
  • A judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch-type horse in the confines of a show arena.
  • A western discipline with the most similarity to Dressage.
  • A participant sport and a spectator sport with boisterous cheering and clapping for great maneuvers and runs.
  • A sport where the horse is willingly guided and well-trained.

What is the NRHA Cowtown Classic?

The second annual NRHA Cowtown Classic offers nearly $300,000 in added money with more than 40 reining classes. In 2011, nearly 600 horses and 1,200 entries from across North America participated. The show includes a Novice Horse Open Derby (Aug. 17-18) for 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds who have won less than $20,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings, a Pre Futurity (Aug. 16-17) for today’s up-and-coming reining horses, the Silver Spurs Equine 7 & Up Non Pro (Aug. 16), “Rein & Shoot” (Aug. 17) featuring a competition amongst Cowboy Mounted Shooters and NRHA members, and the crowd favorite “Four Minutes of Fame Freestyle Reining” (Aug. 18). In addition, the show offers a range of classes perfect for all levels of riders including the Green Reiner, Youth, Rookie and 4D classes.


The NRHA would like to thank the following Corporate Partners for their support throughout the year: Adequan®, Arenus, Bob’s Custom Saddles, Cinder Lakes Ranch and Reproduction Center, Classic Equine, Darling 888 Ranch, Downunder Horsemanship, Horse&Rider, John Deere, Kiser Arena Specialists, Markel Insurance Company, Merial, Montana Silversmiths, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pard’s Western Shop, Platinum Performance, Purina Mills, Quarter Horse News, Rios of Mercedes / Anderson Bean Boot Company, Miller International – Cinch / Cruel Girl, Silver Spurs Equine, SmartPak, Twister Trailer and World Development Group. NRHA also appreciates the contributions of Event Sponsors: Cool-A-Zone, eyeD™, KO Trading, Kyle Tack, Metro Golf Cars and Sandbur Productions.

Reining photos by Waltenberry. Jake Hooker photo used courtesy of Jake Hooker and The Outsiders.

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