Time to Ride Invests in Growing the Horse Industry


Time to Ride Invests in Growing the Horse Industry
American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance grows to include 20 organizations and businesses.

Provided By Time To Ride/Christie Schulte, February 2, 2015 - Since 2011 a group of executives representing some of the largest equine businesses and organizations have been working together to research, develop and deliver marketing initiatives to increase horse involvement. This Marketing Alliance created Time to Ride which is facilitated by the American Horse Council. Since 2011 the Alliance has grown to include 20 organizations and businesses committed to supporting Time to Ride programs and events that connect newcomers to horse activities. Each Alliance member and partner pays an annual membership fee, which provides funds for marketing outreach and program development, delivery and measurement. The Alliance is inclusive and welcomes all interested equine businesses and organizations to collaborate with Time to Ride to stimulate growth within all facets of the industry.

In 2012, the first step was research that identified a target market of potential horse enthusiasts in women aged 35-45 who had young children. The second phase, in 2013, included testing messages and images through “seats in saddles” events bringing beginner horse experiences to newcomers, along with a creation of the Time to Ride website. 2014 brought the inaugural Time to Ride 100 Day Horse Challenge where 702 stables, businesses, and organizations signed up to offer welcoming events to more than 25,000 newcomers. Plans for 2015 include the launch of a grant program supporting stables and organizations that create newcomer-friendly events. 2015 also brings a bigger, better Time to Ride Challenge with a goal of reaching 100,000 new horse enthusiasts.

Current Marketing Alliance members are:

Alliance Members:
Active Interest Media
American Association of Equine Practitioners
American Horse Council
American Quarter Horse Association
Dover Saddlery
National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Platinum Performance
Purina Animal Nutrition, LLC
United States Equestrian Federation

Program Partners:
American Paint Horse Association
National Cutting Horse Association
National Reining Horse Association
Morris Media Network Equine Group
Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital

For details about Time to Ride programs, visit the Timetoride.com website or email info@timetoride.com. For more information about the American Horse Council or joining the Marketing Alliance, contact Jay Hickey at jay@horsecouncil.org.

About the American Horse Council
The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s marketing alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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RHSF is Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

The Reining Horse Sports Foundation is Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

National Reining Horse Youth Association members can apply for more than $10,500 in scholarships now through May 15, 2015.

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, OK – January 26, 2015 – By Chris Dennis – The Reining Horse Sports Foundation (RHSF) awards nearly $50,000 in scholarships to members of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHyA) annually, of which $10,500 is awarded through academic and need based scholarships. The application is available for download at nrhya.com. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2015.

“The Reining Horse Sports Foundation Youth Scholarship program speaks to the very heart of our Foundation’s purpose; to provide a path that insures young reiners to not only pursue their respective goals in the reining horse industry, but also to pursue a higher education. I am tremendously proud of all our RHSF Scholarship recipients” said Frank Costantini, President of the RHSF.

Scholarship recipients will be determined based on academic achievement, future goals, involvement in the NRHyA and NRHA, and financial need.  Applicants must be a senior in high school planning to pursue an undergraduate degree from a two or four year institution or a trade and technical school. Eligible applicants must be a current member in good standing and have been a NRHA member for at least two years. Previous recipients of the RHSF scholarships are eligible to reapply for scholarships until they are 25 years old.Each year the RHSF awards nearly $50,000 in scholarships to NRHyA members. In 2015, the RHSF will select 7 deserving youth members to share in more than $10,500 in scholarships through its academic and need based scholarship program.

The Reining Horse Sports Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and enhancing the sport of Reining worldwide through its five core programs; Youth, Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, Hall of Fame, Research & Education and International Development.

For more information about the RHSF Scholarship program, visit rhsf.com or nrhya.com. For more information about RHSF programs, contact Chris Dennis, Sr. Coordinator of RHSF at cdennis@nrha.com or call (405) 946-7400, ext. 125.


NRHA File Photo
Additional Photos available on request.

Media Contact:
Todd Branson
Sr. Director of Marketing
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400

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The February Digital Reiner is Ready

If you weren’t in Oklahoma City this past November for the NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North feb 2015 reinercoverAmerican Affiliate Championships, then the Digital Reiner is here to help. Covered in this issue is everything from the Futurity, to the last of the Regional Affiliate Finals and NRHA/Markel Insurance Sale highlights. Other interesting topics in this issue include testimonials from NCEA Equestrians competitors and a tribute to Hall of Famer Bob Anthony, who was instrumental in the development of Reining as a sport and industry.

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Jordan Larson Hits a New Milestone

By Carol Trimmer, Oklahoma City, Okla., January 29, 2015jordan larson headshot ­­– Jordan Larson, Whitesboro, Texas, just became NRHA’s newest Two Million Dollar Rider. This milestone caps off Larson’s 2014 achievements.  Not only was the NRHA Professional the 2014 NRHA Futurity’s Level 4 Open Co-Champion riding HDC Quarter Horses’ ARC Gunnabeabigstar and banking $139,916, but he was also the 2014 NRHA Top 20 Professionals’ highest money earner with $387,545, adding to his already robust earnings. His Futurity experience was made even more poignant when his wife, Taylor, won the 2014 Cinch NRHA Non Pro Futurity Levels 2 and 3 on Larson Performance Horses’ Wimpys Dolled Up. Larson was also a member of Team USA, competing at the 2014 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games (WEG) and earning a Gold Medal in the team competition.

Other highlights of Larson’s enviable career include 2001 NRHA Open World Champion riding Amber N Oak for owner Lisa Maberry, 2010 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Champion riding Michell Anne Kimball’s Spooks Gotta Whiz, 2011 AQHA Senior Reining World Champion aboard Custom Harley owned by Rancho El Fortin, 2013 NRHA Derby Level 4 Open Champion riding HF Mobster for Heritage Farms, 2013 AQHA Junior Reining and Senior Reining World Championships partnered with Stoney Russell’s High Roller Whiz and Luga, LLC’s Custom Cash Advance, respectively.

Larson earned Million Dollar Rider status in 2011.  Today his NRHA Lifetime Earnings total $2,004,892.  Larson joins the elite Two Million Dollar Rider club, which includes Tim McQuay, Shawn Flarida, Craig Schmersal, Andrea Fappani, Duane Latimer and Mandy McCutcheon.

A complete list of million dollar earners can be found at nrha.com

Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit nrha.com.

Photo Credits: NRHA File Photo

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“Time to Ride” Stables Receive Grants to Welcome Newcomers


“Time to Ride” Stables Receive Grants to Welcome Newcomers
American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance stimulates industry growth.

Provided by Time To Ride/Christie Schulte – Twenty “Host” stables that submitted plans to produce events reaching out to newcomers from January to April 1, 2015, will receive grants from Time to Ride. This is another example of how the American horse industry’s Time to Ride marketing program supports stables, businesses and organizations in an attempt to connect new enthusiasts to horses. The 20 Hosts representing 15 states submitted plans that included events at elementary schools, equine veterinary clinics, rodeo events and more. The events invite families, students, Girl Scouts, rodeos attendees and the public to connect with horses. Hosts will be awarded between $250 and $500 following the successful completion of their event.

“Stables, clubs, feed stores and vet clinics are portals to horse involvement,” states David Foley, Marketing Alliance Member and Executive Director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. “We have found that by providing financial incentives and marketing assistance to hard-working hosts that want to grow their businesses or organizations, the entire industry benefits from the investment.”

The grant program complements the Time to Ride Challenge in Time to Ride’s portfolio of programs offered to equine industry Hosts, and will continue in the fall of 2015. In 2014 the Alliance created the 100 Day Horse Challenge, which provided $100,000 in cash and prizes to stables, organizations and businesses that hosted events catering to beginner horse enthusiasts. More than 700 hosts signed up to deliver events in 49 different states. Participating hosts provided first-time horse experiences to more than 25,000 newcomers over the 100-day period. From “princess pony parties” to stable open houses, hosts provided fun horse experiences and collected newcomers’ contact information. Newcomers received free equestrian e-books and encouragement to revisit local equine facilities.

Time to Ride programs such as the Challenge are already reaping rewards for participants. Jody Halladay, owner of 16 Acres Equine Educational Complex of Union Grove, WI, and winner of $10,000 in the small division, knows that Time to Ride 100 Day Challenge grew her business. “The Challenge made me look for new opportunities right in my hometown. People right in my neighborhood didn’t know we were there, so I learned how to step outside of the horse world to make new connections in my community.” Halladay applied for and received a grant for an additional newcomer event at her facility, and reports several new clients as a result of the new Time to Ride programs.

In addition to the grant program and Challenge, Time to Ride provides free marketing resources to those interested in welcoming newcomers to their business and the horse industry. To become involved or learn more, please visit www.timetoride.com or contact info@timetoride.com.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of American horse industry leaders formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. Facilitated by the American Horse Council, the Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, the American Quarter Horse Association, Dover Saddlery, Farnam, Merck, Merial, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, SmartPak, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Morris Media Network Equine Group, the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release.  Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

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2015 NRHA Futurity First Entry Payment Due February 1

The first payment for the 50th running of the NRHA Futurity is due no later than February 1, 2015, to avoid late fees.

Oklahoma City, Okla., January 19, 2015 – The 2015 NRHA Futurity is scheduled to take place November 27 – December 5, 2015, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Exhibitors planning to attend this pinnacle event to vie for an estimated total cash purse and prizes of more than $2 million must send the first of five payments to NRHA with a postmarked date no later than February 1, 2015, to avoid late fees.

Payments for the 2015 Futurity are due February 1, April 1, June 1, August 1 and October 1. In a concerted effort to make payment deadlines more accommodating for owners and competitors, NRHA’s Board of Directors voted to adjust the payment schedule from six payments to five throughout the calendar year. Streamlining the payment schedule in this format greatly reduced the stress of meeting the old deadline, and removed the fear of sending late payments due to the busy holiday season.

Owners and exhibitors are encouraged to visit nrhafuturity.com/forms.php now to download and view the complete 2015 Futurity Payment Guidelines, 2015 Futurity Conditions and the 2015 Futurity Entry Form. Competitors and owners can also select to have one time or installments automatically drafted from credit cards by downloading the easy-to-follow credit card form as well.

Not only is the NRHA Futurity one of the world’s most sought after western competitions by spectators and competitors alike, NRHA is also proud to celebrate the 50th running of this spectacular event this November! The world’s best reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $2 million.

Spectators are encouraged to start making plans now to come of Oklahoma City to watch the thrilling action and witness who will take home a check worth $150,000 in the Level 4 Open and the title of NRHA Open Futurity Champion!

Competitors and owners are strongly encouraged to mark February 1 on their calendar to not miss this extremely important first of five payment deadlines.

Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit nrha.com.

Media Contact:
Todd Branson
Sr. Director of Marketing
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400


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Zoetis AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships

novice cattle reining photo

Provided by AQHA - Reiners have a shot at AQHA championship titles, great prizes and jackpot money April 16-18 at the 2015 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Level 1 Championships in Oklahoma City. To enter, exhibitors must have been eligible for AQHA Level 1 classes from January 1 to December 31, 2014. In addition to Level 1 amateur and youth reining, other classes slated for the event include performance halter, ranch riding (formerly ranch horse pleasure), cutting, boxing, working cow horse, heading, heeling, tie-down roping, breakaway roping, team penning and ranch sorting. Learn more about the event, access the entry form and view the tentative schedule at www.aqha.com/level1cattle.

Photo Credit: AQHA

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this posting. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.

To find NRHA shows, including those that offer Green Reiner classes visit www.nrha1.com/entrylevel. Green Reiner events provide a fun, educational and family-oriented ladder of competition with an inexpensive $25 Associate membership. Each rung of the ladder welcomes beginning reiners to compete with others of the same skill level while gaining more experience. In addition, an awards program recognizes riders for their achievements.


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NRHA Welcomes Newly-Elected Board and Executive Committee Members


The National Reining Horse Association Welcomes Newly-Elected Board and Executive Committee Members

These individuals join NRHA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee leadership team to help grow the sport of Reining worldwide.

Oklahoma City, Okla., January 12, 2015 –The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) welcomes newly elected Board of Directors and Executive Committee members to guide NRHA in growing the sport of Reining worldwide in 2015. The first meeting of the board will be held the weekend of February 7 in Scottsdale, Ariz. The weekend’s agenda also will include Executive Committee, committee and Reining Horse Sports Foundation meetings.

The following newly elected Executive Committee members join President, Rick Clark of Catlettsburg, Ky., Officer, Jim Blumer of Spring Brook Township, Pa., and Officer, Rick Ramsey of Rush, Ky.

Mike Deer • Vice President
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Mike Deer served NRHA as a regional director for two years, vice president of the Reining Horse Sports Foundation (RHSF) for one year, and most recently on the Executive Committee for three years. He’s a former chairman and current member of the Non Pro Committee and an active member of the Compensation Committee, Affiliate Committee and RHSF Board of Directors.

His wife, Rita, and he have been active participants of the NRHA for over 15 years. They both continue to show on a limited basis and are NRHA money earners. They have also been buyer and sellers of horses at the NRHA/Markel Insurance Futurity Sales.

In addition to his NRHA experience, Deer is a Colorado Licensed Commercial Insurance Agent and Broker for a Ranch Real Estate Company covering most of the U.S. He has been a resident of Garfield County, on the Western Slope of Colorado, for the past 30 years. During that time, he has served the community as past president of the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Board and past president and director of the Western Slope Reining Horse Association.

Deer believes he is an example of the average NRHA member, a small breeder/participant with a passion for the reining horse. He’s proud to have served the NRHA on the Executive Committee for the past three years, and looks forward to supporting President-Elect Rick Clark and Commissioner Gary Carpenter as NRHA’s Vice President and plans to continue to work toward ever-greater transparency for the membership, continue to define and improve NRHA’s existing programs, be fiscally responsible and work to find common ground for all. He feels NRHA especially needs to continue to review the governance structure, improve and expand the grass-roots affiliate programs, create an active Aged Events Committee to guide and support the staff at NRHA events, domestically and internationally, and continue to embrace common sense animal welfare.”

Casey Hinton • Executive Committee
Whitesboro, Texas
Joining the Executive Committee for a one-year term is NRHA Professional, Casey Hinton.  Hinton joined the National Reining Horse Association in 1991 and became a Life Member in 2006. While serving on the NRHA Board of Directors during the 1990’s, he was Chairman of the Youth Committee. It was during his tenure that the Youth Scholarship Program kicked off with the memorable Town Talk luncheon at the NRHA Derby.

He again answered the call to serve NRHA and its membership by returning to the Board when he was elected in 2012. He has served as Chairman of the Nominating Committee and Vice Chair of the Professionals Committee. Hinton believes strongly in the NRHA and the programs it offers and believes there are even greater things to come in the future for NRHA and its membership.

As an NRHA Professional he has been a Top 20 NRHA Rider multiple times as well as winning AQHA, APHA, and PHBA World Championship titles. As an owner and breeder he has been on the NRHA Top 20 Owners list for 2012 and 2013. His commitment to the Reining discipline is further stated, as he is also an NRHA Judge. Hinton and his wife Kathy own and operate Cedar Ridge Ranch in Whitesboro, Texas, where they stand some of the top stallions in the industry and train world-class competitive horses and riders.

Jennifer Hoyt • Executive Committee
Manlius, New York
Jennifer Hoyt is 54 years old and has an A.A.S. degree in Agronomy from the State University of New York Cobleskill, Cobleskill, New York. She is an NRHA Professional and currently owns and manages Hoyts Training and Showing.

Hoyt has served six years on the NRHA Board of Directors. She has served on the NRHA Youth Committee and Affiliate Committee and was chair of the Managed Events Committee. In her six years serving on the NRHA Board of Directors and NRHA Executive Committee, she has been an integral part of the formation of the Entry Level Program that many exhibitors now enjoy.

Serving on the Executive Committee for the past two years she feels she has gained much knowledge of both national and international issues, and feels she has been an integral part of moving the sport of Reining forward, including helping in the process of finding NRHA’s Commissioner.

She worked diligently on the NRHA Affiliate Committee to help ensure NRHA Affiliates get the support that they need to grow. As a founding member of the Central New York Reining Horse Association, she has a deep appreciation for the hard work, dedication and volunteerism that it takes for an affiliate to keep growing and be successful.

Working with the Youth Committee she has been very proud to represent NRHyA at such events as the IEA Nationals and to help coordinate the NRHA Regional Clinics and RHSF Rookie Days presented by Classic Equine. “There are exciting things in the future for our youth, and I am grateful to be a part of programs and events to help our youth reach as far as they can imagine,” she says.

Rosanne Sternberg • Executive Committee
East Sussex, England
Rosanne has been a member of NRHA for over 27 years; owning, showing and breeding reining horses for the majority of that time. She divides her time between Europe and the United States, managing her breeding facility in Texas, along with several other diversified business enterprises. Sternberg travels to many shows each year in Europe and North America, having shown as a non pro and competed in FEI competitions, and represented her country at two Alltech® FEI World Equestrian Games.

She has been an Executive Committee member for four years, serving on several committees and task forces. She is currently on the NRHA Sale Committee, working with other committee members to improve the NRHA/Markel Insurance Marketplace, Breeders Showcase and Futurity Prospect Sales, held during the NRHA Futurity. All of the above, she believes, helps her bring a global view of Reining to the Executive Committee, along with a balanced business perspective, to help move the NRHA forward.

She believes that some of the most important issues the Executive Committee can help NRHA with are keeping the association progressing with the times and continue to evolve its working practices, which will keep it competitive in the marketplace, as a horse sport-organization, which will be attractive to western riders globally.

NRHA, she feels, needs to draw riders from other disciplines into Reining, showcasing the discipline, and offering an association they want to belong to. The new Entry Level Program and Regional Affiliate Finals for Category 1 riders will help NRHA achieve this, along with the continuing development of the European Futurity and Derby programs. She helped to re-formulate the levels for riders moving between Entry Level, Rookie and Levels 1 through 4, which began implementation two years ago and she hopes to work on many more projects that will benefit all members.

Her priorities in working on the Executive Committee are to bring a more global and balanced perspective of the sport to the NRHA and hopefully help the growth in membership increase, through well-thought-out and executed programs, which will appeal to a wide spectrum of riders worldwide, from youth to prime time.

Josh Visser • Executive Committee
Whitesboro, Texas
Josh Visser is an NRHA Professional and holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been an active member of the NRHA since 2000 and an NRHA Professional since 2007. He has served on the NRHA Board of Directors, NRHA Executive Committee, other committees, task forces and working groups since 2009. In 2012, he was elected to serve on the NRHA Executive Committee.

According to Visser, NRHA is constantly evolving due to the growth of the sport and with his involvement with non-pros, training professionally, and breeding, as well as his experience serving on the board, he has gained the knowledge needed to help guide all aspects of NRHA in a positive direction.

The following newly elected 2015-2016 NRHA Regional Directors join NRHA’s Board of Directors. A complete list of NRHA’s Board of Directors can be found at nrha.com.

Larry Barker • South Central Region Director
Whitesboro, Texas
Larry Barker noted that he’d like to serve on the board in an effort to give back to the sport of Reining that has meant so much to him and his wife Kathy. Barker has a broad base of experience through his 33-year career in the oilfield service business. He was part of an executive team that grew this business from a revenue base of $350 million in 1996 to over $5 billion in sales when he retired in 2008. He was responsible for 12 acquisitions and ran a division with $800 million in sales and over 6,000 employees worldwide.

Barker and his wife bought their first reining horse after watching NHRA Hall of Fame inductee Tim McQuay show NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Hollywood Dun It in 1986.  Since that time, they have competed in Reining as non pros. They have bred, raised and had many wonderful horses trained by a variety of trainers.

The Barkers currently own and operate Rock Creek Ranch in Whitesboro, Texas, where they provide facilities and full board care to Sebastian and Melanie Petroll’s training operation. They currently have horses in training with the Petrolls, Brad Giesbrecht, and a cow horse with Robert Chown. Barker looks forward to serving on the board so that he can bring this breadth of experience to further the goals of the association.

Sebastian Petroll • South Central Region Director
Whitesboro, Texas
Originally from Germany, Sebastian Petroll grew up with horses. In 2001, he relocated to the United States after graduating from business school. Together with his wife, he owns and operates Petroll Reining Horses, LLC. They have two daughters.

Petroll has made the finals at every major reining event and coached non pros to world champion titles. The 33-year-old holds NRHA Judges and Stewards cards. He currently serves on the NRHA Board of Directors and the Stewards Committee.

Fred Thomsson • South Central Region Director
Whitesboro, Texas
Fred Thomsson has been a reining horse trainer for 20 years. Originally from the Swedish island of Gotland, Thomsson moved to the U.S. in 1993 to work for NRHA legend Bob Loomis. Six years later he went to ride for Nedpoint QH where he was the resident trainer for 12 years. In 2011, he started his own business, Fred Thomsson Reining Horses, LLC, which is located at Kyle Ranch in Whitesboro, Texas.

Thomsson is currently the chairman of the NRHA Sale Committee and a past member of the Eligibility Committee. Thomsson has made the finals of every major NRHA event, plus he has won an American Quarter Horse Association Reserve World Championship and an European Championship.

“I would appreciate the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors because I want to give back to the association that provides a living to me and so many others,” says Thomsson.

Marc Wagman • South Central Region Director
Talala, Oklahoma
Marc Wagman has been raising horses and competing in NRHA events since 1983. He spent 10 years on the NRHA Board of Directors with six of those years on the Executive Committee. He also served as chair of the Non Pro Committee for four years and the NRHA Hall of Fame Committee for two years. He also served as a member of the Aged Event Committee and the Finance Committee.

Wagman currently serves as a Youth Coordinator for the Oklahoma Reining Horse Association (OkRHA). He is an active volunteer at all OkRHA events with his family highly involved at the affiliate level.

After serving on the NRHA Board of Directors for 10 years, he took time off to care for his parents. He looks forward to rejoining the board and doing what he can to chart a course for NRHA’s continued success. As an active breeder, non pro competitor, open horse owner and parent of youth competitors, Wagman believes he can speak for many segments of the NRHA. His experience with the production of NRHA competitions, large and small, gives him valuable insight into the needs of show management and affiliates hosting these events.

Jesse Chase • Southeast Region Director
Wendell, North Carolina
Jesse Chase is a lifetime member of the NRHA and has also been an NRHA Judge for the last 12 years. Chase is a full-time trainer who owns and operates Jesse Chase Performance Horses, located just outside of Raleigh. He has close to 20 years experience in training, colt breaking and coaching people of all levels in the Reining discipline.

Chase has been the Regional Director for the Southeast Region this past year and really enjoys taking constituents’ concerns and new ideas to the board. Chase would like to volunteer his time again this year because he feels his dedication; new ideas and strong sense of standards are a great combination to help keep NRHA moving in the right direction.

When he is not showing, judging or training horses, you can find him building fence, building barns or anything that is working to better his farm with his three sons.

Shannon Rafacz • Southeast Region Director
Citra, Florida
Shannon Rafacz has been a member of NRHA for 27 years. She started showing reining horses in 1987 and has seen NRHA grow from a sport with little recognition to a sport that is now a household name. As a competitor, she holds 11 world championships and 5 reserve world championships. She has seen success in the aged events and won the NRHA Derby during her senior year of high school. As a youth, Rafacz was an integral part of the development of NRHyA, serving as its first youth liaison. She worked with the NRHA staff to create and promote the NRHyA Youth Team Tournament, as well as a youth saddle series.

In 2004, Rafacz moved to Ocala, Fla., to pursue her reining career after college. She worked for Marriott International in their International sales office before heading to local hotel properties for sales and catering. She joined the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA) Board of Directors in 2005 and is still an active board member. Through those years she has served as show committee chair, vice president, president and now is the committee chair for the Florida Reining Classic.

Dave Belson • Southwest Region Director
Cave Creek, Arizona
Dave Belson is the founding president of the Arizona Reining Horse Association

(AzRHA) which started in 1985. He served as the president for the first four years and has remained active in the organization since its inception. He has served as president on several occasions throughout the years and has been the most recent president since 2011.

Belson was inducted into the California Reining Horse Association (CRHA) Hall of Fame in 2009 and into the AzRHA Hall of Fame in 2014. He has been an NRHA, APHA, and special-event AQHA Judge for over 30 years. He has judged many major events in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, Israel, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands.

Belson is the owner/manager of the 5B Quarter Horse Ranch in Cave Creek, Ariz., and has stood many successful stallions over the last 34 years. These stallions include Boomernic, Doc N Jose, Loomis Sun, and currently Gangster Chic. He still manages the ranch, raising numerous reining horses each year. He is also working on the Performance Horse Connection magazine, which recently made its debut.

The brand, 5B, was created with his family (of five) in mind, which includes his wife Myra; and, his three beautiful daughters Andi Paul, Beth Wood and the late Deni Austin.

Guy Vernon • Mountain Region Director
Kiowa, Colorado
NRHA Professional Guy Vernon is originally from Emporia, Kan., and has been training reining horses in Kiowa, Colo., for the past 10 years. Guy and his wife Valerie have one daughter, Lacey. Vernon has been an NRHA Judge for over 12 years and has shown at most major regional and national futurities and derbies.

He specializes in non-pro coaching and aged-event horses. Active in the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association (RMRHA) for many years and serving on their Board of Directors,

Vernon has always been interested in serving the grass roots membership, whether locally or at the board level. His election in 2008 to the NRHA Board of Directors is a natural progression to achieve his desire to be involved on a national level in the industry.

He is a strong proponent of a more transparent organization with better communication between the Board of Directors and the members of NRHA. He feels that for NRHA to continue to grow there needs to be a balance between the grass roots level and the major events. NRHA cannot grow without both being as strong as possible.

Shane Brown • Mountain Region Director
Elbert, Colorado
Shane Brown is 43 years old and a graduate of Liberty High School in Colorado Springs, Colo. He is currently an NRHA Professional at Shane Brown Performance Horses.

Brown has been the chair for the NRHA Professionals Committee, member of the NRHA Animal Welfare/Stewards Committee and Reining Horse Sports Foundation Crisis Fund. He also served as president of the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association for two terms.

As an active member of many NRHA committees and positions in the past, Brown is excited to once again be a member of the NRHA Board of Directors. He looks forward to becoming even more involved in programs that help to grow NRHA from the affiliates level to his ongoing dedication to NRHA Professionals at the trainer/breeder/owner level. He is honored to again be a participant and pledges to be an involved member of the NRHA Board of Directors to help NRHA meet its goals for 2015.

Please join NRHA in welcoming these members to their newly elected positions.  A complete listing of the NRHA Executive Committee and the NRHA Board of Directors can be found on nrha.com and in the NRHA Reiner magazine.

Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard-setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit nrha.com.

Media Contact:
Todd Branson
Sr. Director of Marketing
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400

Photo Credits: NRHA File Photo

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NRHA Sire & Dam Program Congratulates Stallions and Their Owners

By Hayley Lewallen -The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Sire & Dam Program continued to put money back in enrolled Sire & Dam Program sire owners’ pockets by paying out Sire Awards totaling more than $38,290 in addition to awarding NRHA Lawson trophies to these winning sires at the 2014 NRHA Futurity.

 (From left to right: Gunnatrashya, Smart Spook, and Wimpys Little Step)


Level 4 Open division:

  • $11,488.32 to Gunnatrashya, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, for ARC Gunnabeabigstar tying for first
  • $11,488.32 to Smart Spook, owned by Rosanne Sternberg, for Shine N Spook tying for first
  • $5,744.16 to Wimpys Little Step, owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, for Wimpy Chic placing third

Level 3 Open division:

  • Lawson trophy to Wimpys Little Step, owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, for Wimpy Chic placing first

Level 4 Non Pro division:

  • $4,786.80 to Magnum Chic Dream, owned by Viola Scott, for Magnum Marilynmonroe placing third
  • $2,872.08 to Wimpys Little Step, owned by Xtra Quarter Horses, for Wimpys Dolled Up placing fourth
  • $1,914.72 to Magnum Chic Dream, owned by Viola Scott, for All About Magnum placing sixth

Started in 1966, the NRHA Sire & Dam Program continues to provide significant benefits to both stallion and mare owners. Stallions who participate in the program are eligible for NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby awards, while mare owners have the opportunity to purchase breedings to the top stallions in the industry at reduced rates. Sire & Dam offspring are eligible for:

  • Reduced entry fees for the NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby, (a savings of up to $4,000)
  • Later entry deadlines for both events
  • Automatically eligible to compete at the NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby (a $300 savings)

Learn more about NRHA’s Sire & Dam Program and enroll today with Hayley Lewallen, Senior Coordinator of Marketing at hlewallen@nrha.com or call (405) 946-7400.

Photo Credit: Gunnatrashya and Smart Spook Cam Essick, Wimpys Little Step by John Brasseaux

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New – NRHA Buy A Pro Program

New – NRHA Buy A Pro Program


By Christina Brezack & Hayley Lewallen  – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is excited to announce that the Buy A Pro Program officially starts in 2015! Buy A Pro is an innovative online auction that connects riders with one-on-one lessons from NRHA Professionals, and replaces Regional Clinics as the primary funding mechanism for National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) activities.

Bidders will have the opportunity to bid on NRHA Buy A Pro training packages from January 15 until March 1 at NOON CST. Participants can bid and have a chance to win as many packages as they would like. In an effort to introduce more people to the sport of Reining, an NRHA membership is not required to bid!

These Top 20 Riders* have lesson packages up for grabs!

Participating NRHA Professionals have donated training packages consisting of two training sessions to be auctioned, and all of the proceeds will help provide scholarships and new opportunities for NRHyA’s young reiners. Currently, there are more than 60 packages up for grabs from NRHA Professionals ranging from NRHA Million Dollar Riders to beginning professionals.

Winning bidders will have an exceptional opportunity to polish reining skills or be introduced to a new hobby with some of the industry’s top professionals.

“It is fascinating to see NRHA Professionals actively involved in growing the sport of Reining. Beginners and accomplished riders alike will benefit from attending one of these private training packages on location at a professional’s facility,” said Hayley Lewallen NRHA Sr. Coordinator of Marketing and oversees the NRHyA.

Each package will include:

  • 2 (two) training sessions
  • 1 (one) stall free of charge for buyers horse to use during the training sessions

For more information about this groundbreaking effort to introduce tomorrow’s reiners to the sport of Reining, visit nrha.com/buyapro.

About NRHyA
Since 2001, young reiners in the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) have benefited from their membership through college scholarships, learning experiences from some of the top Reining trainers, life-long friendships and a whole lot of FUN along the way.

NRHyA fosters leadership qualities and provides our young members with a roadmap for success they can use to guide them through their future career plans.

*NRHA Top 20 Riders are from the completed 2013 list.

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