Four Finalists Selected for 2016 Equine Industry Vision Award

Contact: Christine W. Brune
American Horse Publications
(386) 760-7743

Four Finalists Selected for 2016 Equine Industry Vision Award

South Daytona, FL (April 18, 2016) – Zoetis and American Horse Publications (AHP) are proud to announce four finalists have been selected for the 2016 Equine Industry Vision Award. Sponsored by Zoetis, the Equine Industry Vision Award is intended to recognize ingenuity and service as well as benefit the equine industry by inspiring these qualities in others.

“Every year since 2002, the horse community has brought attention to the visionaries in the horse industry,” says Christine W. Brune, AHP executive director. “In recognizing these nominees, we learn of those whose dedication and service have impacted our industry and our horses in a positive way.”

The six members of the Equine Industry Vision Award Committee reviewed the nominations and narrowed the list of 16 nominees to four candidates. The committee selected the following finalists:

Tootie Bland, creator, owner, and producer of Road to the Horse, the original colt-starting competition;
Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner, whose lifelong career impacts nearly every facet of the horse industry including AQHA, AAEP, The Jockey Club, Arabian Horse Trust, and Colorado State University’s equine programs;
EQUUS Foundation, a foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, promoting the use of horses to enrich the lives of those in need, and educating the public about the horse’s unique ability to empower, teach and heal; and
Retired Racehorse Project, a charitable organization that facilitates placing ex-racehorses in second careers by increasing demand for them in the riding markets and serving the farms, organizations and trainers that prepare them for second careers.

“A nomination for the Equine Industry Vision Award is an honor in itself,” says Brune. “It recognizes these individuals and organizations for making a significant difference in the horse world.”

The Finalists will be judged on their performance in relation to the achievement(s) cited and their demonstration of the following attributes and abilities: 1) The vision and innovation of a true pioneer; 2) Leadership, commitment, dedication and willingness to serve; 3) Original and effective ideas and/or products, services, programs; 4) High moral, ethical and professional standards. The AHP Board of Directors and a representative from Zoetis will vote to select the winner.

The official announcement of the winner and presentation of the award will be made at the Equine Industry Vision Award Breakfast on Friday, June 17, 2016 during the AHP May the Horse Be with You Seminar in Orlando, Florida. The recipient will be presented with the Equine Industry Vision Award Trophy created by master artisan Peter Wayne Yenawine.

Previous recipients of the Equine Industry Vision Award are Alexander Mackay-Smith in 2002, Don Burt in 2003, the American Quarter Horse Association in 2004, John Ryan Gaines in 2005, Stanley Bergstein in 2006, David O’Connor in 2007, Sally Swift in 2008, Charlotte Brailey Kneeland in 2009, John Nicholson in 2010, Robert E. Cacchione in 2011, Equine Land Conservation Resource in 2012, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) in 2013, Patti Colbert in 2014, and Gayle Ecker in 2015

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2016 NRHA Derby Internships

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is pleased to announce that we are accepting internship applications for the 2016 NRHA Derby. What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary than to join our stellar team during this milestone year? With it being the 50th anniversary of NRHA, the 2016 Derby will certainly be an event for the books. Apply today to be involved in what is sure to be an unforgettable show.

Interns will be given the opportunity to work closely with many different programs during the internship. Consideration will be given to areas that you have expressed interest in. Depth of involvement will be based on the strengths and interests of the applicant.

Internship Requirements:
The internship is based at the NRHA headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and includes participation at the NRHA Derby. To be selected the candidate:

  • Must be willing to assist with all functions of the departments listed including early mornings and lengthy days
  • Must be willing to work closely with youth members, leaders and NRHA staff
  • Must demonstrate an interest in the livestock or horse industry and have the ability to work collaboratively
  • Must be creative, energetic, patient and reliable

Stipend based on length of internship (daily rate during NRHA owned event of $50/day, plus lodging and reimbursement for travel to and from show)

Materials to include with application:
Resume and a list of references

Application deadline is April 30, 2016

Visit the careers section of the NRHA website for an application.

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South Carolina’s Abigail Pait and Bailey Walters Named to SEC All-Championship Team

For Immediate Release
Contact: Cory Burkarth (University of South Carolina Athletics)
Cell: 804-319-6099

Link to release:

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina senior Abigail Pait (Aiken, S.C.) and sophomore Bailey Walters (Bourbon, Ind.) combined to sweep both western team selections on this year’s SEC All-Championship Team, it was announced over the weekend. Pait was chosen as the horsemanship rider on this year’s SEC All-Championship Team, while Walters was chosen as the reining selection.

Pait and Walters are the first Gamecock western riders in program history to earn a spot on the SEC All-Championship Team.

Abigail Pait

Abigail Pait

The SEC All-Championship Team is made up of one rider per event (equitation on the flat, equitation over fences, horsemanship, reining) and the selections are voted on by each of the four SEC equestrian head coaches.

Pait went 2-0 over the weekend at the SEC Championship. In Friday’s semifinal meet against No. 1 Auburn, she defeated her opponent, 149.5-142.5, and was named Most Outstanding Performer. In Saturday’s 11-8 win over No. 4 Texas A&M, Pait finished her 2-for-2 weekend with a 144.5-143 victory.

Bailey Walters

Bailey Walters

Walters also went 2-0 over the weekend at the SEC Championship. In Friday’s semifinal meet against the top-ranked Tigers, she beat her opponent, 141-131, and was named Most Outstanding Performer. In Saturday’s upset victory over the Aggies, she earned M.O.P. honors for the second time at the championship and for the third meet in a row, as she won her point, 140-138.5.

Gamecocks on the SEC All-Championship Team (all-time) • 2016 – Abigail Pait (horsemanship) • 2016 – Bailey Walters (reining) • 2014 – Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences) • 2013 – Katherine Schmidt (equitation on the flat) • 2013 – Kimberly McCormack (equitation over fences)

University of South Carolina
Athletics Media Relations
Rice Athletics Center
1304 Heyward Street
Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-5204 Phone (803) 777-2967 Fax

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Cactus Reining Classic, 2016

by Christy Egan

If there was an annual award for Perfect NRHA Show of the Year, the 2016 Cactus Reining Classic would seriously have to be in the running. You know what they say about “Location …”. The WestWorld facility in Scottsdale, Arizona has proximity to it all, great stabling, great rings, great hotels and restaurants. Most years that list of reasons to show includes perfect weather. Check that one. This year temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s for the entire show from Wednesday, March 2nd through Sunday the 6th. It’s a heavenly experience to ride or even sit in all that sunshine.

The competition Wednesday and Thursday at the show was exceptional, with Shane Brown winning the NRHA Open the first day with Double Loaded Gun (73) and the second with Wind Er Up Wimp (73.5). Paige Barton’s Diamond Oak, with Martin Padilla riding, held on tight to second with a 72.5 the first day and a 73 the next. Working For Chexs ridden by owner Deanna L. Birkle won the first slate’s Intermediate Open with Christian Rammerstorfer riding his Maddox to second place.  Rammerstorfer and Maddox tied to win Slate 2’s Intermediate Open with Gunsmokes TNT ridden by Maya Stessin for Kristen Loewenthal. On Wednesday, the Non Pro, the Prime Time Non Pro and the Non Pro Masters went to rider/owner Mark Blake and Plum Gotta Gun with a 72.5, which earned them some bragging rights and over $400 in prize money. Jennifer Greenleaf and her Dun Git A Nicadual won the Limited Non-Pro and the Intermediate Non Pro Thursday morning.

One of the best rides on Thursday, and perhaps of the show, was Sandy Vickrey and What A Lucky Hit, winning the Prime Time Non Pro. It wasn’t the score, though a 71.5 is certainly good, it was the fact that Sandy was riding her first competition since a freak horse accident more than a year ago left her struggling for life in a hospital with multiple crushed and broken ribs.  Many of us have summoned the courage to step back up on a horse after a bad fall, but Sandy had to go through months of rehab and pain before she tried to ride again. It took all of her courage. Her trainer, Bub Poplin, was a big supporter, as was her husband Gary.  She started riding just a few months ago and Cactus was her first show back. Everyone can appreciate a victory like this. Good for you Sandy. That’s one buckle you earned the hard way!

On Friday everyone was there for the $40,000 Added Protect The Harvest Non Pro Derby. Harper Conner turned in the best runs of the day.  First he posted a 221.50 on Jacs Princess and then, a 220 on Vintage GQ. Harper was also in the money (11th) with Revolutionary Jewels to take home a total of over $9,700. Julie Ridgeway showed her beautiful Palomino mare, Designed With Shine, to third, winning the PT Non Pro Aged Event. On Friday evening the show management, Brumley Management Group, LLC, hosted a taco party in the Equidome with all of the trimmings. It was a real treat to catch up with folks while enjoying the delicious hot food and iced tea.

Of course, nothing could beat the competition that lined up for the BIG money on Saturday. The day started with the $10,000 Added SmartPak Non Pro Maturity. Jessica Sternberg and Shiners Chic took home the Level 4 money, but the big winners were Kate Buchanan and Vintage Neptune, taking the Level 1, 2 and 3 divisions and going home with over $2,300 in cash plus great buckles and prizes. Youth competition ran outside both Saturday and Sunday. Luca Fappani scored the highest mark among the young set, marking a 72.5 aboard his mom’s talented reiner, Premier Diamond in the Youth 13 & Under.

Jordan Larson &  ARC Gunnabeabigstar

Jordan Larson & ARC Gunnabeabigstar

The big meet of the day was the $70,000 Lucas Oil Open Derby. It started at 1 pm and within the first fifteen minutes Casey Deary had posted a 220 on Lenas Sparkplug, and the bar was set. Mid-afternoon, Jordan Larson posted a 222.5 on Ruff Lil Magnum and that stood until Tracer Gilson and Shiners Gotta Whiz hit a 223.5 mark just after dinner.  At that point Jordan Larson came back with a resounding 226 on a shiny copper penny of a horse named ARC Gunnabeabigstar. Meanwhile, Matt Mills (Wimps Cool Breeze) and Dan Huss (Ms Dreamy) were caught in a Level 3 tie throughout the day. As the hours passed, the discussion regarding a possible ride-off grew more serious.  Finally, Matt brought in Gotta Trigger Man, scored a solid 223.5, and broke his own tie. He and Dan took their tie to second place and settled it with a coin. The Level 2 Limit and Level I Open Aged Event were won by Nicolas Barthelemy and All That Boon. Late evening, another burnished copper stallion, Platinum Vintage, this one with Andrea Fappani up, appeared at the in gate about five runs from the Derby’s end.  Earlier in the day Andrea had posted a 218 on Pinesail Jac and a 219.5 on Electric Genes. This was his last chance at the big money and he and the big Palomino both brought their A game. Winning was going to take a perfect run. Horse and rider were utterly focused and hit the in gate ready. Together they scored a spectacular 230, exactly what was needed to win.

Andrea_Fappani_and_Platinum_VintageOn Sunday the Rookie Non-Pro Level One was won by Jenny Ricotta and SS Spyderman. Jenny was also the hands behind the fabulous braids Platinum Vintage wore to victory in the Derby on Saturday. Donita Mullins and Heza One Step Ahead won the Rookie Level 1 and the Prime Time Rookie, making Donna the first recipient of the Bruzzy Cooke Memorial trophy awarded in a special presentation by Bruzzy’s widow Polly at the end of the show. It was an especially satisfying moment for the show’s producer, Amanda Brumley. “Bruzzy was such a great example of a true sportsman and competitor,” notes Amanda. “He always brought his best effort, his sense of humor and his ability to inspire everyone around him. I am so pleased to have a trophy at the Cactus Reining Classic that bears his name. The competition overall was wonderful at the show this year. I’d like to thank our sponsors and our exhibitors for their support. I look forward to seeing you all over Memorial Day weekend at the Wild Card Challenge in Las Vegas.”

Brumley Management Group, LLC will produce three other not-to-be-missed shows in 2016. In addition to the Reining By The Bay show in Woodside, California in July and their world famous September show, the High Roller Reining Classic in Las Vegas, they are adding the Wild Card Challenge Show in Las Vegas over Memorial Day, May 25th -29th. The Wild Card Challenge features an exciting new Four-Year-Old Futurity, two slates of ancillary reining classes, a $47,000 Added ARBC pre-futurity reining for Arabian and Half-Arabian reining horses, and a $10,000 Added SmartPak Non Pro 7 & Up Maturity. Pre-entries are due April 22nd. For information contact Amanda Brumley at 602-677-3774 or e-mail

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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New location announced for 2016 NRHA European Derby & Pre-Futurity

Germany will be the new location for the next National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby and Pre-Futurity, scheduled for September 5 – 11, 2016.

Oklahoma City, Okla., March 1, 2016 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to announce a new location for the 2016 European Derby and Pre-Futurity offering more than €124,000-added money. The sixth edition of this prestigious event will take place at the Messezentum Fairgrounds in Augsburg, Germany, the venue where the renowned ‘Americana’ is hosted every two years.

The NRHA event will be held September 5-11, 2016 in conjunction with the European Reining Cow Horse Association (ERCHA) Futurity and Nations Cup, which is approved by the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA).

“We are so grateful for the support of the Italian reining horse community and the wonderful foundation they laid for this event,” offers Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “Now we enter an exceptional new chapter at a more central location. The huge benefit here is that every other year we can showcase our sport in front of crowds the size of which we have only dreamed, and thereby promote reining to so many more people.”

A bonus to this location change comes with a connection to the ‘Americana’ event (to be held next in 2017), for this promises to bring even more recognition to the sport of reining in Europe in the future.  Held since 1986 – and thanks to the collaboration of the AFAG Team, organizers of the shows and exhibitions held in Augsburg, and the Ready Steady Show Management Team – ‘Americana’ has become the biggest show dedicated to western riding in Europe. Last year alone, the event attracted close to 55,000 visitors and more than 280 vendors, as well as media attention worldwide.

“We are very excited and honored to be able to collaborate with the National Reining Horse Association in the production of this great show in 2016,” state Sandra Quade and Joachim Bochmann, Ready Steady Show managers.  “We are certain that it will be a great success and that this will be a boost for the sport of reining in Europe, particularly considering that, in 2017, plans include that the European Derby & Pre-Futurity be held during the Americana where, on finals night alone, over 5,000 spectators pay their way to cheer their favorite reiners!”

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Time To Ride Challenge Returns with New Incentives in 2016

misfitfarm6The grassroots competition grew by more than 60% in 2015.

Washington, D.C., February 16, 2016 – The Time to Ride Challenge, a contest offering $100,000 in cash and prizes, will take place again in 2016 by incentivizing stables, clubs, and businesses to focus on outreach to new riders. Participants win cash and prizes by introducing new, “non-riders” to riding and other horse activities, and simultaneously benefit by growing their businesses and organizations. Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance, a group of industry leading companies and organizations collaborating to grow the horse industry.

Since its launch in 2014, the Challenge has introduced over 60,000 new people to horses through fun, beginner-friendly horse experiences. The 2015 contest saw more than a 60% increase in the number of newcomers reached compared to 2014 due to the hard work and enthusiasm of event hosts eager to share the joy of horses with new people. Hundreds of stables nationwide have opened their doors to their communities and focused on holding these public horse events designed to connect horse-interested families with local opportunities. “We brought horses to host an event at our local rodeo, and we were amazed at how many rodeo fans had never actually touched a horse! After meeting us and our horses, these families then knew exactly where to go for riding lessons,” said Christine Yeasel of Diamond P Equestrian Center.

“The Challenge puts real rewards behind a cause that’s critical to our industry,” stated Patti Colbert, Time to Ride spokesperson. “These new horse enthusiasts are becoming the next generation of riding students, clients, and customers; who will eventually be owning horses, competing in shows, using the services of veterinarians, and growing our entire industry.”

Grand prize winners in small, medium and large divisions will take home $10,000 cash each. A total of over $75,000 cash will be paid out to the top ten “hosts” in each division who introduce the greatest number of newcomers to horses throughout the summer. Approximately $25,000 in product and in-kind prizes will also be awarded.

The Challenge will take place June 1 through September 30, 2016 and will be open for registration April 1, 2016. Please visit and sign up for the newsletter to receive further updates and a notification as soon as registration is available.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC 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, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, United States Equestrian Federation, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, the American Paint Horse Association, Equibrand the National Cutting Horse Association, the National Reining Horse Association, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, and the Texas A&M University Equine Initiative; and new for 2016 I-5 Publishing, Pyranha, the America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

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NRHA Buy A Pro Auction Ending

NRHYAnrhaIf you haven’t already, hurry to get your bid in before the 2016 NRHA Buy A Pro auction ends March 1, at 12:00pm (noon) CST.

National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Professionals from across the country have generously donated two training sessions and one stall to this auction in support of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA). Auction participants may bid on and win as many training packages as they would like. What makes this even better? An NRHA membership is not required to bid.

“This program is a fantastic gateway for people to experience working with our industry’s best professionals,” said Shianne Megel, NRHA Director of Events & Affiliates. “The Buy A Pro program’s innovative format makes it a win-win for everyone involved.”

Before time runs out, visit for more information on this exceptional opportunity in the sport of reining!

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Gunner reaches Eight Million Dollar Sire Milestone

In less than one year after becoming a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Seven Million Dollar Sire, NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Gunner (AQHA Colonels Smoking Gun, APHA Colonels Smokingun) has reached a new milestone. Now an Eight Million Dollar Sire, he joins the ranks alongside Topsail Whiz and Wimpys Little Step.

The 1993 stallion by Colonelfourfreckle and out of Katie Gun by John Gun was bred by Eric Storey of Henagar, Alabama. A stand out in in the show pen, Gunner was the 1996 NRHA Futurity Reserve Champion with NRHA Hall of Famer Clint Haverty at the reins. The pair went on to earn the 1998 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Reserve Champion title. With Bryant Pace guiding him, Gunner earned the 2001 United States Equestrian Team (USET) Festival of Champions Reining championship in Gladstone, New Jersey. Gunner’s NRHA Lifetime Earnings total more than $173,700.

With a lucrative career in the show pen, Gunner has had an equally successful breeding career, having sired numerous NRHA Futurity and Derby finalists and champions in both the open and non pro divisions which include: 2012 NRHA Open Futurity Champion Americasnextgunmodel, 2012 NRHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion Gunners Tinseltown, and 2012 NRHA Non Pro Co-champion Customized Gunner. Gunner also sired Gunners Special Nite, winner of the individual Gold medal at the 2010 FEI Alltech®World Equestrian Games.

Among Gunner’s highest money-earners are:

  • Tinker With Guns
  • Gunners Tinseltown
  • Americasnextgunmodel
  • Gunners Special Nite
  • Gunnatrashya

In total Gunner’s progeny have earned $8,046,378

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

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Inaugural 2016 NRHA Winter Meeting deemed a success

Oklahoma City, Okla. – For the first time in recent memory, a gathering of directors, committee participants, members, and leaders of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) came together for business, education, and fun at its Winter Meeting, held January 20-24 at the historic Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City proved to be a wonderful location, in particular since the opening of NRHA’s new international headquarters gave members the opportunity to visit the new office and NRHA Hall of Fame.

A huge outpouring of support from the various NRHA committees meant that extensive, positive work was accomplished. In addition, the five days included two educational summits, a youth leadership symposium, the annual general membership meeting, and a comprehensive business review by the board of directors – all with a focus on benefiting NRHA members and their horses, and advancing the sport of reining.rickclark

“This has been one of the most successful meetings I have attended with NRHA,” said the association’s president, Rick Clark. “It is so humbling to work with a team of board members, committee chairs and committee members who truly have a passion for the sport and want to make the right decisions for NRHA. I can tell they all want to improve the sport of reining and help grow the horse industry.”

Perhaps the most significant single issue to be resolved during the meeting involved steps taken by the NRHA Board on January 23 concerning the bylaws. To wit:

During the NRHA Board meeting held on January 23, 2016, NRHA’s legal counsel, Michael Joseph, presented an update on the Oklahoma General Corporation Act (OGCA), wherein the legislature has revised the statutes on corporations that have an impact on our association. Joseph advised the board that when the NRHA submitted its Certificate of Incorporation (COI), which was accepted by the State of Oklahoma in December of 1999, the COI did not contain any language relating to the members’ rights to amend the bylaws of the association. In the absence of this wording within the certificate, the legislature’s revision of the statutes grant specific responsibility to a non-profit corporation’s board of directors to adopt, amend or repeal the bylaws of the association and to manage the affairs of the association in a manner that is consistent with the statutes and the COI.

After after being presented with this update, the NRHA Board of Directors noted their obligation to comply with Oklahoma state statues (OGCA, Title 18, Chapter 22, Section 1013) relative to the bylaws.

In turn, the NRHA Board agreed to review the existing bylaws for any inconsistencies with the OGCA and to discuss the findings. The NRHA Board voted to ratify all bylaw amendments passed by the membership since 2004, the date the above revision to the statutes was effective.

Furthermore, pursuant to the requirement within the current bylaws to establish the election date during its first meeting of the year, the NRHA Board voted to hold the annual elections during the month of October 2016.  The deadline for nominations and the voting period will be published in the NRHA Reiner and on the website.

NRHA Professionals Educational SummitNRHA Professionals

The week began with the NRHA Professionals inaugural educational summit hosted by NRHA Corporate Partner, Merial. Summit topics included: personal health insurance, marketing a business, legal advice on communicated contracts and expectation with clients, and enhancing NRHA’s brand by becoming involved with the American Horse Council’s “Time To Ride” program, a comprehensive effort to get more people exposed to horses.

Additional educational seminars are planned for 2016 to provide NRHA’s more than 1,700 professional members with opportunities to learn more about marketing, advertising and protecting their businesses. For more information, please go to:

Professionals & Judges Summit

Following the Professionals Summit, the members of the Professionals Committee and the Judges Committee met with the expressed intent of enhancing communication and developing new ways to collaborate for the sport. An open discussion ensued, covering judging practices, the education of members concerning current judging practices and standards, and how NRHA members, as a whole, can work together to continue to improve one of the best judging programs in the horse industry.

“I moderated the discussion, and was overwhelmed by the positive conversation and major steps forward made by all the parties involved. Reining is making all the right steps and we have the individuals involved to continue to make reining a popular sport,” said President Clark.

Additional MeetingsRHSF-Clr-RGB-Logo

Besides the two summits, more than one dozen of NRHA’s committees met, as did the Reining Horse Sports Foundation Board of Directors. NRHA also hosted a fun and informative youth leadership symposium, a successful annual general membership meeting and a Medications Education Seminar.

Further Business Matters

Among the actions taken during the Winter Meeting were the following items which were addressed and approved:

  • The FIRST PAYMENT for the NRHA Futurity deadline has been extended for 2016.  The first payment is now due (postmarked) on February 15, giving members two additional weeks to complete entries.  Payments that are sent to NRHA should reference NRHA’s new address: 3021 West Reno Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73107.
  • 361DearyAll Open Futurity entries must have a designated rider by November 1. If a rider is not designated by November 1, that entry will be moved to the top of the draw. If the designation is not made by noon two days prior to the first go, the horse will be automatically scratched from the draw. This move will create a more professional structure, while adding special consideration to other riders who have already designated. This change also creates new opportunities for the show staff to communicate a more accurate draw to competitors and owners.  The same practice will be followed for the NRHA Derby, with a June 1 deadline.
  • Additional Open Semifinalists will be eligible to compete at the 2016 NRHA Futurity:
    • Level 4 Open – Top 150 Horses
    • Level 3 Open – Top 125 Horses
    • Level 2 Open – Top 100 Horses
    • Level 1 Open – Top 75 Horses
    • The 2016 NRHA Derby will now include a Non Pro Masters competition. The winner of the Non Pro Masters will receive a buckle, and this specific class will be operated in a jackpot format. Entries will be accepted for $200, with an entry in any Level 1-4.
    • The NRHA Board held its first reading of 2017 rule change proposals during the Winter Meeting. The directors will discuss the proposals again and hold a vote during their May 2016 meeting. In the meantime, members are encouraged to read the proposals online at and in the March issue of the NRHA Reiner magazine. Member comments also can be submitted on the “members-only” section of, starting later this month through April 10.
    • NRHA offers more than 50 programs to support the sport of reining. Some of these are highly utilized while others are not. The NRHA Board, like many non-profit boards, is charged with reviewing its activities for effectiveness and long-term health of the organization. With this mindset, the board appointed two task forces to continue with a review of NRHA’s programs. These include the World Champion program, the International Affiliate Program and the Affiliate Incentive Program. In an effort to gain a variety of opinions, members of these task forces include NRHA members from diverse geographic locations and levels of participation. These task forces are challenged with making a recommendation to the NRHA Board on what actions are in the best interests of the sport and NRHA. This may include finding ways to enhance or improve those programs for the long-term.
    • The recently approved $7 medications testing fee (per horse/per event) will be applied only at NRHA events held in the United States and Canada. Events located in Europe will continue with the policy for events with more than $15,000 in added money. As a reminder, all NRHA approved events are now subject to testing. Any questions regarding NRHA’s Medications Policy should be directed to NRHA’s Headquarters at (405) 946-7400.
    • Many other recommendations and changes to enhance NRHA were discussed and approved. Members are encouraged to log in to to learn more about how the NRHA Board is working to improve the association and enhance the sport of reining.

As all look forward to everything 2016 entails, NRHA members can be assured their leaders have made an excellent start on the next chapters of success for the sport of reining.

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NRHA Recognizes Year-End Award Recipients during Winter Meeting

Oklahoma City, Okla., January 29, 2016 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) family congregated in Oklahoma City for its Winter Meeting which featured the NRHA Annual Awards Banquet on January 22 and Hall of Fame Inductions on January 23. The historic Skirvin Hilton proved to be a beautiful setting to recognize and acknowledge the achievement of many NRHA members and their horses.

Award Celebrations

The evening of Friday, January 22 featured the annual awards banquet, hosted by NRHA Announcer Jayson Jackson and Inside Reining’s Jenifer Reynolds. The banquet was light-hearted and well-attended, and the following awards were presented:

Quarter Horse News Breeders Award - SG Frozen Enterprize, Marco Franchini

AQHA Leading Sire – Wimpys Little Step, Xtra Quarter Horses, LLC

AQHA Leading Dam – Wimpys Little Chic, Arcese Quarter Horses USA

Volunteer of the Year - Gary Pipkin

Top NRHA Professional - Casey L. Deary – $323,455

Top NRHA Non-Pro, and Top NRHA Owner - Harper Conner – $108,187 and $210,992

NRHA Platinum Certificate Earners

  • Doctor Zip Nic – Zip Nic Partners
  • Dr Lee Hook – Glis Ranch
  • GS Smart Kitty Cat – Cameron Sanford
  • Gwhiz Im Smart – Amy Nosme
  • High Point Reiner – 23 Quarter Horses Az. Agricola S.S.
  • Jokin Whiz – Markus Schopfer
  • Lil Ruf And Crome – Breann Dumpert
  • Lokota Chic – Gaylene Sawchuk
  • Reining Whiz – Piet Mestdagh
  • RS Spat Man O War – Piet Mestdagh
  • Squeaky Clean Genes – Bruce & Susan Kuryloski
  • SV Can Can Olena – Daphne Ross-Bowers
  • What A Wave – Steve Vannietvelt & Gina De Pauw
  • Wimpys Little Tejano – Nancy Schmidt
  • Wimpys Tonnob – Ann Admonius

Youth 10 & Under Incentive Awards - 100 Points: Ariel Wieferich, Carlee McCutcheon, Caroline Buchanan, Drake Kanyuch, Emerson Schultis, Katelyn Cofell, Kendall Wigen, Lindsey Thomas, Luke Brugger, Madison Rafacz, Madison Wigen, Riley Dabo, Samuel Deary, Sara Filiatreau

Youth 10 & Older Incentive Awards - 800 Points: Emily Morris

13 & Under World Champion  - Emma Filiatreau, Optimus Prime, owned by Chris Ballard

14-18 World Champion - Terri June Granger, Jeans N Reeboks

Novice Non-Pro Level One World Champion - Lindsey Healy, Bingos Malibu Gal

Novice Non-Pro Level Two World Champion - Jose Vazquez, Vella Juice, owned by Smart Like Juice Inc.

Novice Open Level One World Champion - Dan Yarbrough, Got Milks A Whiz, owned by Natalie New-Composite-Lawson-7x5-croopedDicosmo

Novice Open Level Two World Champion - Dan Yarbrough, Got Milks A Whiz, owned by Natalie Dicosmo

Prime Time Non-Pro World Champion - Bruce Kuryloski, Squeaky Clean Genes, owned by Bruce & Susan Kuryloski

Limited Non-Pro World Champion - Cameron Sanford, GS Smart Kitty Cat

Intermediate Non-Pro World Champion - Cameron Sanford, GS Smart Kitty Cat

Non-Pro World Champion - Manuel Bonzano, High Point Reiner, owned by 23 Quarter Horses Az. Agricola S.S.

Rookie Professional World Champion - Hes One Smart Chic, Justin Honcell, owned by Dowle Edward Conner, Jr.

Limited Open World Champion - Meradas Freckle, Julie Bennett, owned by Janet Escoe

Intermediate Open World Champion - Jokin Whiz, Markus Schopfer

Open World Champion - What A Wave, Bernard Fonck, owned by Steve Vannietvelt & Gina De Pauw

New Multi-Million Dollar Sires

  • Two Million: Conquistador Whiz
  • Three Million: Magnum Chic Dream, Smart Spook
  • Seven Million: Gunner
  • Eight Million: Wimpys Little Step

Honoring Lifetime Achievements

The Reining Horse Sports Foundation (RHSF) hosted a special evening on Saturday, January 23 and welcomed new individuals and horses into the NRHA Hall of Fame, as well as honoring two individuals with the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Awards. RHSF’s newly-elected president, Mark Blake, offered not only kind remarks about the future of the foundation, but also reminded attendees of the importance of giving to this benevolent organization. Blake also gave special recognition to the foundation’s immediate past president, Frank Costantini, for his time, energy, donations, and passion for the sport of reining. Please help NRHA welcome the newest inductees:

Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Sharon Barr, NRHA Reiner Advertising Executive
  • Mehl Lawson, Designer, Creator and Artist of NRHA’s most prestigious trophies

NRHA Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Don Motsenbocker
  • Princess In Diamonds
  • Ebony Shines
  • Magnum Chic Dream

NRHA has many things to celebrate – the talented horses, passionate members and for being the cornerstone for one of the most popular equestrian sports in the world. As the association celebrates its 50th anniversary year in 2016, stay tuned to for updates on anniversary celebrations culminating at the 2016 NRHA Futurity & Adequan North American Affiliate Championship Show in Oklahoma City (November 24 – December 3).

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