New Opportunity for NRHA Show Secretaries

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is excited to announce the opportunity for show secretaries to attend an in-person workshop at the 2017 NRHA Winter Meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. The event is open to all current NRHA secretaries, those needing to recertify, or those who are interested in becoming certified. Show managers interested in taking part in the seminar are welcomed to attend as well. For more information on the 2017 NRHA Winter Meeting, click here.

The training seminar is scheduled to take place on Friday, February 10 from 8 a.m. until noon. During this seminar, participants can expect to discuss a variety of important topics for show secretaries including:

  • A look into the show manager’s responsibilities at an NRHA show and how the manager can make the event a fun-filled experience
  • A review and study on how affiliates tie into NRHA shows, what is needed, and how to qualify for the Affiliate Regional Championships and the Adequan North American Affiliate Championships
  • Certification to be an NRHA Show Secretary, including in-depth training on management and affiliate involvement
  • A chance to sit down with other secretaries, show managers, and affiliate contacts to share stories and ideas from past experiences

To register for this event, please contact Kristen Liesman at or by calling (405)946-7400.

If you are unable to attend the February seminar, NRHA is currently planning a fall seminar this October in Ohio. More information will be made available on at a later date.

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Varsity Reining Club Scholarship Recipients Announced

Top National Reining Horse Youth Association members receive high honors through the Varsity Reining Club for their philanthropic, academic and leadership accomplishments.

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. (1-20-2017) - The National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) Varsity Reining Club ended 2016 by awarding scholarships totaling more than $5,000. The Varsity Reining Club encourages reining youth to become active in their communities, all while rewarding those participants for their scholastic accomplishments.

Point values in the Varsity Reining Club are awarded based on participation in four main categories: philanthropy, creativity, publicity, and academics. Within these primary areas of focus, participants may record such activities via photography, community service, report back, and fundraising. Participants are then awarded scholarships depending on their age as of Jan. 1, 2016: Varsity (ages 14-18) or Junior Varsity (13 years and younger).

Varsity Youth of the Year Award Recipients

Top Varsity Youth of the Year: Cyann Molengraaf from Simoshaven, Netherlands ended the year with 6,619 total points. Molengraaf has been awarded “Youth of the Year” and will receive a $1,000 scholarship for earning the most points in the Varsity Reining Club.

Second: Megan D’Andrea, 19, from Fowler, Ohio, with 6,359 total points.

Third: Grace Wilson, 16, from Smithfield, VA., with 5,500 total points.

Fourth: Reagan Stephens, 16, from Weatherford, Texas, with 3,150 total points.

Fifth: Holly Lansidel, 18, from Roy, WA., with 2,770 total points.

Sixth: Carlysle Salter, 17, from Mobile, AL., with 2,120 total points.

Seventh: Ally Jones, 15, from Franklin, KY., with 2,056 total points.

Eighth: Taylor Masson, 17, from Davie, FL., with 2,040 total points.

Junior Varsity Youth of the Year Award Recipients

Top Junior Varsity of the Year: Kalena Reynolds, 13, from Dennis, Texas earned 5,794 in total points and will receive a $500 scholarship on behalf of the Varsity Reining Club and NRHyA.

Second: Casey Abbo, 13, from Woodside, CA., with 5,729 total points.

Third: Raeanna Thayn, 12, from Oxford, NE., with 3,208 total points.

Fourth: Robin Foster, 11, from Strawberry Plains, TN., with 2,403 total points.

Fifth: Marissa Jones, 12, from Franklin, KY., with 1,888 total points

Cyann Molengraaf photo by Troullioud Fotografie.

The Varsity Reining Club is free for NRHyA members and serves as an innovative tool to help youth become more involved at a local level all while developing valuable life skills. Learn more and enroll online today at

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The 2017 NRHA European Summit

Brussels, January 19 – The very first National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Summit was held in Brussels, Belgium, on January 16-17.

Thirty-two representatives, from thirteen European countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and The Netherlands), met in the capital of the European Union and, once it was time to adjourn, ‘unity’ was the key word.

The summit brought together NRHA European Affiliate Council members, NRHA professionals, NRHA judges, non professional riders, owners, breeders, event sponsors and show organizers. Welcoming those taking part in this historical meeting was NRHA Vice President, Mike Hancock, along with NRHA Senior Director of Events, Shianne Megel, NRHA Manager of Competition and Education, Samantha Oldfield, and NRHA Senior Director of Publications, Simona Diale.

A long-term program for reining in Europe was the intent and thanks to the expertise and input of those present, it was possible to look at the sport in Europe from all angles with four main goals:  uniting the European reining affiliates, better communication at all levels, growth and promotion of the sport with a focus on youth activities, and the restructuring of the NRHA European Affiliate Council according to the NRHA Governance structure.

“I believe the outcome of the summit was very positive,” said Mike Hancock at the conclusion of the meeting. “An important number of projects are in the works, thanks to the enthusiasm and will to work of all those present. I am certain that the outcome will further promote our sport in Europe thanks to the foundation laid during this historical occasion.”

A special meeting of the NRHA European Affiliate Council was convened.  The agenda consisted of discussions regarding the Council structure and the European Federation of Reining Horse Associations (EFRHA).  At the conclusion of the meeting a new structure had been approved with a task force appointed to oversee the details of the transition, and a vote to not support any further work concerning EFRHA.

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Gunnatrashya – NRHA’s Newest Million Dollar Sire

For Immediate Release- Oklahoma City, Okla., January 9, 2017- Thanks to the success of his offspring at the 2016 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, we are excited to announce that Gunnatrashya is NRHA’s newest Million Dollar Sire. Owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, Gunnatrashya is by NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee and Eight Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Natrasha.

The 2006 Sorrel stallion has had just as successful a career in the show pen as he has in the breeding shed. With NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider and Hall of Fame Inductee Shawn Flarida at the reins, Gunnatrashya was the 2009 All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Futurity Champion, 2009 NRHA Open Futurity Champion, and 2010 NRHA Open Derby Champion. Even with limited showing, his NRHA Lifetime Earnings are over $218,000.

Gunnatrashya had 22 offspring entered in the 2016 NRHA Futurity, and together they earned more than $82,496 at the event, giving him a lifetime total of $1,017,438 in offspring earnings. One of the most notable offspring was Loveya, owned by Cam Essick, who won more than $48,937 alone. Loveya was Level (L) 2 Open Reserve Champion, L3 Open fifth place, and a L4 finalist at the Futurity. Additionally, Bugattti, owned by Jay Prather, earned over $13,453 and Dontrashmystage, owned by Dale Harvey, won more than $12,764.

Gunnatrashya’s top earning offspring are:

  • ARC Gunnabeabigstar (NRHA LTE: $193,418)
  • Inferno Sixty Six (NRHA LTE: $161,993)
  • ARC Gunna Sparkya (NRHA LTE: $119,605)
  • Loveya (NRHA LTE: $75,732)
  • ARC Shesgunnasparkya (NRHA LTE: $59,151)

Congratulations to Gunnatrashya and Arcese Quarter Horses on this outstanding achievement!

Photo by Cam Essick

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NRHA’s Newest Four Million Dollar Sire: Custom Crome

 For Immediate Release- Oklahoma City, Okla., December 30, 2016- The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is excited to announce that Custom Crome has become the association’s newest Four Million Dollar Sire. With offspring earnings totaling more than $4,000,256 this accomplishment makes him only the ninth stallion to achieve this milestone and is well deserved after reaching NRHA Three Million Dollar status in 2012.

The 1990 AQHA stallion is owned by Steve Simon of Marietta, Okla. Custom Crome is by Crome Plated Jac and out of Another Greyhound. However, his success isn’t just limited to the breeding shed. He won the 1993 NRHA Open Futurity with NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Mike Flarida at the reins. Throughout his entire show career Custom Crome earned nearly $110,000 in the show pen and was inducted in to the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Top Progeny of Custom Crome Include:

  • Custom Pistol (NRHA LTE: $233,230)
  • Custom Legend (NRHA LTE: $228,364)
  • Custom Cash Advance (NRHA LTE: $ 227,495)
  • Custom Mahogany (NRHA LTE: $200,338)
  • Custom Red Berry (NRHA LTE: $172,011)
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Smart Spook Hits Milestone Number Four!

For Immediate Release- (Oklahoma City, Okla.) (12-23-2016) - It has been a year of milestones for the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) during its 50th anniversary as an association. With the help of 13 money earning offspring in the NRHA Futurity Finals, Smart Spook helped write in another milestone this historic year by becoming NRHA’s newest Four Million Dollar Sire.

Owned and bred by NRHA Million Dollar Owner and Hall of Fame Inductee Rosanne Sternberg, the 2001 Stallion by NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena and out of Sugarplum Spook (by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Grays Starlight) had a successful show career with $403,150 in NRHA lifetime earnings.

Smart Spook’s show career includes being named the 2004 NRHA Futurity Open Level (L) 4 Champion, 2005 NRHA Derby Open L4 Champion, and 2005 AQHA Junior Reining World Champion, all shown by NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. Smart Spook is a six-time Gold Medalist in the Federation Equestrian International (FEI) World Reining Masters competition.

Smart Spook’s 13 offspring made over $162,300 collectively during both nights of the 2016 NRHA Futurity finals.

Smart Spook’s top offspring include:

  • Custom Spook (NRHA LTE: $221,787)
  • Shine N Spook (NRHA LTE: $204, 695)
  • Red Stripe Spook (NRHA LTE: $179, 767)
  • Ebony Spook (NRHA LTE: $159, 758)
  • Spook Off Sparks (NRHA LTE: $142,339)

NRHA congratulates both Smart Spook and Rosanne Sternberg on this newest accomplishment!

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Our Loss – John Hoyt

NRHA is saddened to hear of the passing of John Hoyt on the morning of December 20, 2016. He was surrounded by family and friends in his cabin in Texas. Hoyt was loved and admired by many in the reining community and his presence truly will be missed.

John-hoyt-in-Germany-smallHoyt was a wonderful man and legendary horseman that influenced many of today’s top riders. Al Dunning summed up Hoyt’s influence on reining and other western disciplines by saying, “John is the Dale Wilkinson of the West!” NRHA Judge and long-time friend Greg Darnall added to that opinion by saying, “He’s the John Wayne of the horse training business. He backs away from nothing.” Hoyt was well-known for his ability to mentor others with blunt honesty and to get extraordinary performances out of ordinary horses.

Hoyt, a native Californian, was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2010 after a decade-spanning and award-winning career. His accomplishments include more than $49,300 in NRHA earnings and multiple AQHA World Championships. Hoyt qualified for 21 AQHA World Championship Shows in a row. He was the 1986 NRHA Futurity Limited Open Reserve Champion on Okies Sure Bet. In 1988, he rode Lady Kiper to win the Intermediate and Limited Open ancillary classes at the NRHA Derby.

More information regarding John Hoyt’s celebration of life will be posted here when it becomes available.


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NRHA Congratulates the Open Affiliate Champions Crowned at the Adequan® NAAC

Representatives from more than 70 affiliates and 11 regions descended on Oklahoma City, Okla., to battle it out for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC), a culmination of a year’s worth of preparation and hard work.

NAAC Open Champions, Matthew Palmer & CC Enterprise

NRHA Professional Matthew Palmer piloted Mark Hurd’s CC Enterprise to the NAAC Open title and $2,749.78 with a score of 224, redeeming himself after tying for the win in 2015. The 7-year-old gelding is by Wrangle Whiz and was purchased for Hurd’s oldest daughter to finish her youth career.

“I’m just fortunate to ride him, to be honest,” says Palmer. “This is the best of the best and it’s an honor to compete against some of the people you look up to.”

NRHA Professional Jay Dee Anderson riding Skeets Conquistador and Jared Leclair riding Coded N Karma tied for reserve with a 222 to earn $1,464.56 each.

NAAC Intermediate Open Champions, Jay Dee Anderson & Skeets Conquistador

Anderson and Skeets Conquistador’s 222 held up to earn the NAAC Intermediate Open title for Jay Dee and Janis Anderson. The 8-year-old bay gelding is by Conquistador Whiz. Their second check of the day was worth $1,670.34.

“I’ve been showing here for 37 years, and this was the nicest run I’ve ever had here,” says Anderson.

NRHA Professional Kim Diercks riding Susan and Harry Jones’ Chic From Shinola  and Nicholas Nelson riding Amy Thompson’s KR Smart Lil Devil tied for the reserve title with a score of 217.5, earning both $925.95.

NAAC Limited Open Champions, Parker Wurst & Easy Money Miss

Marshall and Melissa Baird’s Easy Money Miss won the Limited Open championship with NRHA Professional Parker Wurst in the saddle for a score of 219. The 9-year-old mare and Wurst earned a check for $233.47 while riding NRHA Pattern 8.

“I messed up my pattern in the Intermediate Open, so I was glad to have a chance to redeem myself in the Limited Open,” says Wurst.

Gottasmokethatchic and NRHA Professional Matt Goodman scored a 218 for reserve honors for owner Jorge Pernas.

NAAC Rookie Professional Champions, Don McLaughlin & Gangster Maid

Don McLaughlin and Larry Handley’s Gangster Maid bested 11 other entries in the Rookie Professional with a score of 215 for the title and a check for $200. Massimo Tallone and Hangten In Wrangler, owned by Massimo and Amanda Tallone, were Reserve. McLaughlin and Tallone are both NRHA Professionals

NAAC Novice Horse Open Level 1 Champions, Shane Allen Brown & Wimpys Lucky Girl

Wimpys Lucky Girl, ridden by NRHA Professional Shane Allen Brown, slid to the Novice Horse Open Level 1 championship for owner Holly Van Duys. The pair scored a 219 to earn a check for $820.03 for the mare’s third ride of the show.

“Holly showed her twice already this week, and for me to get on her and have her be as honest as she was today, that says a lot about this mare,” says Brown.

Guy Vernon, an NRHA Professional, and Outwestkid, owned by Betsy Hardy, scored a 216.5 for the reserve title.

NAAC Novice Horse Open Level 2 Champions, Dan Huss & Chics Dream

Dan Huss and Morris Kulmer’s Chics Dream scored a 221 to earn the Novice Horse Open Level 2 title and $1,333.27. The NRHA Professional had been using the class to school the 5-year-old gelding for the owner, so the qualification was a nice surprise.

“It was a surprise to qualify, but I was trying real hard to win today,” says Huss. “He placed fifth with Morris earlier this week.”

Gunnin Fancy, ridden by NRHA Professional Shawna Sapergia for owner Alison Howden, scored a 219.5 and secured the reserve title and a check for $869.52.

PHBA Open Awards

The Palomino Horse Breeders of America awarded the highest scoring Palomino in each division during the NAAC. Chics Dream won the Open PHBA Award coming out of the Novice Horse Open Level 2 class.


Visit for photos, videos, and news from the event!

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NRHA Congratulates the Non Pro Affiliate Champions Crowned at the Adequan® NAAC

Non Professional representatives from more than 70 affiliates and 11 regions descended on Oklahoma City, Okla., to battle it out for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC), a culmination of a year’s worth of preparation and hard work.

NAAC Non Pro Champions, Shannon Rafacz & Better Not Rest

Shannon Rafacz and her 16-year-old gelding Better Not Rest are no strangers to the winner’s circle. The pair defended their Non Pro NAAC title with a score of 219, making a comeback after an injury earlier this year. The win earned the pair a check of $3,323.35.

“What a special horse…the past 365 days have been amazing,” says Rafacz. “He deserves his place in history as one of the great ones –to own him is a privilege.”

There was a three-way tie for reserve honors with a score of 218: Ashley Weaver riding Starlight Per Se, Cameron Sanford riding GS Smart Kitty Cat and Sheley Brien riding Wimpys Cat Step all earned a check for $1,613.51.

NAAC Intermediate Non Pro Champions, Alicia Rapp & Kelvins Spark 

Alicia Rapp bested a field of 42 horse and rider pairings in the NAAC Intermediate Non Pro with a score of 217, earning $1,991.53.  Her long-time partner, Kelvins Spark, a bay 2007 Quarter Horse gelding carried her throughout the year, culminating in their outstanding showing in Oklahoma City. In Reserve Champion position was Savannah Grace Ostner at the reins of Debbie Honeycutt’s A Bueno Chic.  The pair earned $1,212.24 for their effort.

NAAC Limited Non Pro Champions, Paige Barton & Diamond Oak

Eighteen-year-old Paige Barton claims to be a perfectionist in the arena, and she couldn’t get any better with a score of 217 in the Limited Non Pro to win aboard Diamond Oak. The freshman at Fresno State University had been aiming to bring home a bronze from her trip this year.

“I got second last year, so I wanted to come back and win it. My trainer told me to just go show and forget about training,” she says.

Her score bested the reserve winner, Michelle Miola and Bella Juice by just a half point.

NAAC Prime Time Non Pro Champions, Cady Shaw & Dream Whiz Me

Prime Time Non Pro winner Cady Shaw has been competing in Reining for 33 years. She earned this year’s title on Dream Whiz Me, a second generation reining horse Shaw bred herself.

“I showed her mother, so this was a fun trip,” says Shaw. Her check totaled out to be $831.50 for the win with a score of 216.5.

James Windham and Walks With Swagger picked up the reserve check, equaling $506.13.

NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 Champions, Kara Gray Frye & Juice N Silk

Kara Gray Frye capped off a storybook 2016 with a win in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 aboard her Quarter Horse, Juice N Silk, with a score of 218.5. The pair also earned the reserve honors in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2.

“My ride was a lot of fun,” she says. “He’s been there for me all year, and today topped it off for me –this was a dream horse show.”

Shannon Kasten was reserve in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 1 aboard Schoen Smart.

NAAC Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 Champions, Shannon Rafacz & Iboom

Shannon Rafacz made another appearance in the winner’s circle with Iboom in the Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 with a score of 219. The win was an unexpected one for Rafacz, but one that she’ll treasure.

“I was hoping to do well, I’ve been doing well with him (this year), but you never really know,” says Rafacz. “He’s been steadily getting better, so I’m excited for the future.”

Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year, Amy Rushing & West Coast Magnum

Amy Rushing’s debut year in the reining show pen culminated in a big way, winning the Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year aboard West Coast Magnum, a horse she leased from Karen Marie Elliot. The former hunter/jumper and Dressage rider decided it was time to join her husband’s discipline and help one of his customers who was sidelined with an injury.

“I had hoped to win this title, but I was trying not to think about it,” says Amy. “My husband says that I can’t think about winning, but to think about every maneuver.”

Her score was also good enough for reserve in the Rookie Level 2.

NAAC Rookie Level 2 Champions, Kylie Robinson & Wimpys Tonnob

Kylie Robinson and her Wimpys Tonnob, scored a 218.5 for the winner’s check of $163.92 to earn the Rookie Level 2 championship.

Robinson’s main goal for 2016 was to bring home the win from Oklahoma City, and after finding the perfect horse earlier this year, the 14-year-old did just that.

“I knew I had a chance of winning, and if he loped off well we’d be set,” says Robinson. “He loped off perfect, so I knew it was time to show.”

NAAC Youth 14-18 Champions, Dani Latimer & Snapbacks

Dani Latimer continued the Latimer family tradition in the reining pen, piloting Snapbacks to a score of 217.5 to secure the Youth 14-18 Youth championship. The 4-year-old mare and Latimer were finalists in the 2015 Futurity, and have spent the past year getting more miles under the saddle.

“She’s just gotten better and more consistent throughout the year,” says Latimer. “She finished the year really strong.”

The 2015 NRHA Youth 14-18 World Champion Terri June Granger was reserve aboard her mare Jeans N Reeboks.

NAAC Youth 13 & Under Champions, Ariana Kate Dejong and White Chocolat Chunk

Ariana Kate Dejong and her family travelled all the way from Canada for her to compete in her first NAAC, and the trip was well worth the drive as the 12-year-old and White Chocolat Chunk won the NAAC Youth 13 & Under championship with a score of 220.

“For our first time down here, I couldn’t ask for anything better out of Chip,” she says. “This is the horse I started reining on three and a half years ago.”

Emma Lane and Gunner Gump finished just a half point behind for the reserve title for their first trip to Oklahoma City.

PHBA Awards

The Palomino Horse Breeders of America (PHBA) awarded the highest scoring Palomino in each class during the NAAC. Ariana Kate Dejong and her White Chocolat Chunk earned the Youth PHBA Award and James Windham and Walks With Swagger earned the Non Pro PHBA Award.


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NRHA Professional of The Year Awards Announced

NRHA Professional of The Year Awards Announced

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla., 12-16-2016 - Each year the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) allows current NRHA members to nominate their peers for five NRHA Professional of the Year awards. Nominees must exemplify excellence in the reining community, and are chosen based on their mastery and contribution to promoting the sport of reining and NRHA. These individuals should set an example of integrity and sincerity within the reining community and to the public. In addition, ensuring the welfare of the reining horse should be the top priority for an NRHA Professional.

The five categories for NRHA Professional of the Year are as follows:

  • NRHA Professional Horseman of the Year
  • NRHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year
  • NRHA Professional Non Pro Coach of the Year
  • NRHA Professional Up-And-Coming Trainer of the Year
  • NRHA Professional Horseman of the Year

NRHA Professional Horseman of the Year

Residing on Hidden Springs Ranch in Gainesville, Texas, Van Luse and his wife Cathy train 365 days a year and it has been said that “reining is a true passion in the Luse houshold.” According to his nominators, Luse “sets an example of integrity with how he handles his horses.”

Many would describe training a horse is a journey from start to finish for Luse. A nominator said, “He recognizes that showing horses is an emotional journey.” With his “patience, respect, passion, and humor,” Luse’s “uplifting” and “unique ability to build teams that trust and support each other” is seen throughout the industry.

Luse’s accolades include, winning the All American Quarter Horse Congress Limited Open Futurity, in addition he took home the championship title in the Intermediate Open Futurity and placed third in the Open Futurity Finals. Luse’s training caters specifically to the rider and horse, no matter the level of skill. Luse “exudes passion” both in and out of the show pen. His training motivates members making them “feel like they never want to quit.” With 23 years in the business, Luse has created a successful training program for himself, his family and his clients.

NRHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year

With 16 years under her belt in the reining industry, Mirjam Stillo, from Rome, Italy, currently resides in Tioga, Texas. Her hard work and dedication to the industry is evident.

“Mirjam is an incredibly talented horsewoman!” said one of her nominators. “She is a great example of a hardworking and dedicated young professional horsewoman.”

Speaking four different languages, Stillo sets herself apart from other professionals in the industry. Working primarily with futurity and derby Prospects, Stillo’s training program also caters to open and aged show horses in addition to colt starting and organizing clinics for her clients.

Many of Stillo’s peers look up to her not only as a remarkable trainer, but also as a role model to women in the industry.  One reining competitor described Stillo as, “a strong female role model,” who is “encouraging and uplifting those around her.”

NRHA Professional Non Pro Coach of the Year

Joe Schmidt has an incredible 20 years of experience in Reining. Originally from California, Schmidt and his family now live and operate out of Tom McCutcheon’s training and breeding facility. In 2014, Schmidt won the NRHA Level 2 Open Derby Championship with horse, Gun Affair. When he is not conducting interviews with professionals or training, Schmidt coaches non pro riders to excel in the show pen.

Spending hours with his students, Schmidt “is knowledgeable and relentless in coaching his non pros” answering any questions his clients have and will not stop teaching until they “get it.” Creating an innovative lesson program, Schmidt engages his students to absorb his coaching methods through entertainment and laughter. A client said he uses “the kind of process that is fun,” creating a learning atmosphere his clients enjoy.

NRHA Up-and-Coming Trainer of the Year

Fernando Salgado, NRHA’s newest up and coming trainer rode his way to a reserve championship during the 2016 NRHA Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show. Taking three horses to the NRHA Open Futurity Finals, Salgado marked a 218.0 aboard Loveya (Gunnatrashya x Love Em N Lena) owned by Cam Essick. Additionally, Salgado rode Bugattti (Gunnatrashya x Shinerette) owned by Jay H. Prather and Hollywood Hype (Hollywoodstinseltown x Shiners Miss Lena) owned by Humphrey Quarter Horses.

Always remaining humble Salgado always “gives credit” to those who have shaped him into the trainer that he is today. Aside from being a hardworking and dedicated trainer who “takes great care of his clients and horses.” His clients also recognize Salgado as a loving husband and father.

NRHA Youth Trainer of the Year

With 34 years in the business, Brett Walters knows a thing or two about Reining.  Owner and head trainer of Walters Equestrian Center in Bourbon, Ind., Walters’ passion in the industry has catered mainly to the future of reining, the youth. Working closely with para reining riders, Walters has made a tremendous impact on riders with special needs.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, I did not have a clear understanding of the challenges that we would face when my son wanted to make the change from pleasure horses to Reining.”

Walters is quoting for saying, “My goal is to guide my students to their personal best, not only as it relates to horses, but in life as well.”

Along with training and giving lessons, Walter holds judges’ cards with NRHA, American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the NRHA Professionals program or to find a professional to help with training or lessons, visit

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