The Importance of the NRHA Markel Futurity Sale to Oklahoma

For Immediate Release — 05-24-2016 Oklahoma City, Okla. – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) has called Oklahoma City, “the horse show capital” of the world, home since 1998 and is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary as an association. The NRHA Futurity Sale, sponsored by Markel, offers three successful sales each year, Select Yearling, Marketplace, and the most prestigious, the offering of 2-year old Futurity prospects. The 2016 NRHA Markel Futurity Sale will be held December 1 -3 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City during the sport’s largest event, the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) Show.  The world-renowned event impacts the Oklahoma economy far beyond the show grounds and the state’s boundaries. It increases the state’s global reach, enhances the economy and provides jobs.

Increasing the State’s Global Reach
In an effort to make the event more accessible and to increase its global reach, the NRHA has made progressive efforts to work with the Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese in regard to Oklahoma becoming a United States point of entry and quarantine location for horses intended to be shown and/or offered for sale at the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. The entry point serves as means to export horses to other parts of the world.

Enhancing the Economy
The NRHA Futurity and sale greatly impact Oklahoma City globally, bringing more than 1,300 horses, and 127,000 buyers and spectators from countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, U.K., Belgium, and Canada.

The convenience of the NRHA Markel Futurity Sale running concurrently with the Futurity and the Adequanâ North American Affiliate Championship is a great benefactor to its success, according to prolific breeders. In 2015, the sale watched 160 horses change hands and produced the following sales:

Futurity Prospect: (39 head) $1,832,000
Select Yearling: (56 head) $1,566,000
Marketplace: (65 head) $584,000

The total gross revenue for the 2015 NRHA Markel Futurity Sale was approximately $4 million.

Supporting Jobs
Not only does NRHA benefit the state of Oklahoma, its residents and employers, but it also employs staff worldwide with salaries and benefits accumulating to more than $2 million a year. This included more than 20 Oklahoma residents who work full-time for the Association. Locally, the economic impact of the NRHA Futurity and Markel Futurity Sale reach approximately $50 million in revenue.

This Year’s Event
With the most notable reining sale just around the corner, don’t miss out on this date.  The consignment deadline for the 2016 NRHA Markel Futurity Sale is September 1, 2016. For more information on how to register your Futurity Prospect, Select Yearling or Marketplace horse for consignment, visit

The 2016 NRHA Futurity and the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship will be held November 24th - December 3rd, 2016.  Visit for more information pertaining to the world’s most celebrated reining event.

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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2016 IRHA/NRHA Derby Finals Wrap Up

Chiara Bartoletti & Spark Magnetic Olena

Chiara Bartoletti & Spark Magnetic Olena

Lady Reiners take the Non Pro Derby titles

Three young ladies tied to win the Level (L)4 Non Pro Derby Championship with a 215.5 score in Cremona: Chiara Bartoletti and Lara Lorengo – both from Italy – Nicole Huebner-Lee of Germany.

Bartoletti rode Spark Magnetic Olena (Chic Magnetic x Five del Maso), a 6-year-old stallion. The duo had won the L2 division of the 2014 IRHA/NRHA Non Pro 4-year-old Futurity. «He was simply perfect tonight!», said Chiara.

Nicole Huebner Lee & Star Struck Tag

Nicole Huebner Lee & Star Struck Tag

Lara Lorengo and her Wimpys Little Chees (Wimpys Little Step x Tuck Oak Enterprise) started of the 2016 show season by winning the 2016 NRHA Roma Intermediate Non Pro Shoot In. “It took us a while to reach an understanding but now I think we’ve made it!” said Lara who gives her boyfriend, NRHA Professional Giuseppe Prevosti, credit for the work done with her mount.

Lara Lorengo & Wimpys Lil Chees

Lara Lorengo & Wimpys Lil Chees

Nicole Huebner- Lee and her 2015 IRHA/NRHA Derby L 4/3/2/1 Non Pro Champion, Starstruck Tag (Whix N tag Chex x Marilyns Benz), did it again this year. “He was really good for me tonight and we both really gave it all we had in our circles. I think it’s thanks to these maneuvers that we made it to the winners circle here,” said Nicole who, along with Lorengo, also took the L3 title. Bartoletti also went on to claim one more championship in the L2 division.

Susanna Sodi & Saturday Nigh Mizzen

Susanna Sodi & Saturday Nigh Mizzen

Earning the L1 title, with a 211.5, was Susanna Sodi and her Saturdaynigh Mizzen. a 4-year-old gelding by Saturdaynnight Custom and out of Westcoast Mizzen,the 2015 IRHA/NRHA Futurity Open L4 champion with Pierluigi Chioldo in the saddle. “I purchased this horse 20 days before coming here and I’ve only been riding reiners for the last 2 years. He took really good care of me and I couldn’t be any happier,” claimed an enthused Susanna.

Gunnerlicious and Ann Fonck win the IRHA/NRHA Open Derby

Ann Fonck & Gunnerlicious

Ann Fonck & Gunnerlicious

Taking the prestigious title – as well as a standing ovation – was multiple past NRHA Open World Champion, Ann Fonck, riding Gunnerlicious, a flashy 6-year-old stallion by Gunner and out of Mifs Doll owned by Vannietvelt/de Pauw. “This is an incredibly talented horse that spins and stops in an outstanding manner which we’ve had in our barn since he was 3 years old,” said Ann who posted a 224.5 for the win. “Bernard took the NRHA France Futurity Open 3/4 YO L4 Championship, the NRHA Belgium Futurity Open 3/4YO L4 Championship, the Belgium Derby Open Reserve Championship with him and I went on to claim reserve honors in the IRHA Derby last year. He was just great for me tonight and I am thrilled because I know what he’s capable of.”

With a 221.5, Ann also tied for sixth place riding This Wimps So Fly (Wimpys Little Step x Fly Flashy Jac), for owners Klipfel & Lisec, and Spook N Perla (Smart Spook x Shine On Ruff), for owners Golden Paint Ranch.

Max Ruggeri & Mister Little Uno

Max Ruggeri & Mister Little Uno

The L4 reserve championship, with a 222.5, went to her husband, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Bernard Fonk, aboard Smart Shootin Spook (Smart Spook x Colonels Cattin Gun), a 5-year-old mare owned by Rosanne Sternberg.

Christan Baldelli & Tinseltown Surprise

Christan Baldelli & Tinseltown Surprise

Winning the L3 Open division, with a 222, was Italian Max Ruggeri riding Mister Little Uno (Mister Uno x Bonita Bahia), a 6-year-old stallion owned by Paolo Morandotti. The pair had already left their mark in the show pen by winning the 2015 IRHA/NRHA L3 and L2 Open Derby. “The level of competition here tonight was truly high but I knew that my horse could bring home a title. He’s an extremely intelligent horse and his athletic ability is outstanding. I know he can do more in the future and I can’t wait!” said Max about the horse he broke and trained.

Daniele Sapigni & Gunslinger Lil Step

Daniele Sapigni & Gunslinger Lil Step

Earning the L3 reserve championship as well as the L2 title with a 220.5, was Christian Baldelli riding Tinseltown Surprise (Hollywoodtinseltown x Flashy Sparkle Doll), a 5-year-old mare owned by Stefano Badioli. Bred and raised by Baldelli, the talented mare was his first futurity mount.

Giacomo Poli & Chic Sailor

Giacomo Poli & Chic Sailor

Daniele Sapigni riding Gunslinger Lil Step (Wimpy’s Little Step x Playguns Rose), a 6-year-old stallion owned by Tommaso Coltrioli, and Poli Barberis riding Cf Frozen Smart Jaba, a 6-year-old gelding by RS Little Red Jaba and out of Chic Sailor owned by Francesca Polito, closed with a 214.5 to claim the IRHA/NRHA Derby L1 Open co-championship.


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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IRHA/NRHA Non Pro Derby: The Go-round Leaders

2016 IRHA/NRHA Derby 
The Non Pro Go-round Leaders

The second day of competition in Cremona welcomed the 2016 IRHA/NRHA Non Pro Derby go-round and 109 riders made their way in the pen of which 38 in the Level (L) 4, 42 in the L3, 85 in the L2 and 64 in the L1.

Starstruck Tag & Nicole Huebner

Starstruck Tag & Nicole Huebner

With a 215 score, three riders tied to lead the go-round:  the duo made up of Starstruck Tag (Whiz Tag N Chex x Marylins Benz) and German Nicole Huebner, 2015 IRHA/NRHA Non Pro Derby Champions in all four levels; Italian Antonio Zagaria aboard Sailor Chicca, a 5-year-old mare by  Frozen Sailor and out of Little Peppy Snap; Mj Heavens Nite, a.k.a. “Gnu” (Gunners Special Nite x Gallo Del Blanco) ridden by yet another German rider, Marina Becker. In 2015 the latter took the ARHA Futurity L4 Non Pro Championship, the German Breeders Non Pro Snaffle Bit Futurity Championship – with an outstanding score of 220 – and they also lead the go-round of the  e IRHA/NRHA Non Pro L4 Futurity.

Mj Heavens Nite & Marina Becker

Mj Heavens Nite & Marina Becker

Zagaria and Sailor Chicca, a mare trained by Stefano Angelucci also lead the L3 and L2, a half a point ahead of Italian Lara Lorengo riding Wimpys Little Chees (Wimpys Little Step x Tuck Oak Enteprise) owned by PL Reining Horses and trained by Giuseppe Prevosti.

Tying for the lead in the L2 division, with a 213, are Remin Lilly Whiz (Remin Whiz x Precocious Lil Whiz), a stallion  ridden and owned by Tullio Mascarello, and Luke Phillimore, from Great Britain, riding Tin Whizin, a stallion by Tinsel Nic and out of Whizin Off Sparks, owned by Luke’s mother, Roma Phillimore.

Antonio Zagaria & Sailor Chicca

Antonio Zagaria & Sailor Chicca

Leading the L1 with a 212.5, is Ercolino Night (Saturdaynight Custom x Little Pobreta), a stallion owned by Seahorse Srl with Maddalena Esti in the saddle, followed by Starlit Spook (Smart Spook x Gaylight Star), a gelding owned and ridden by Wolfgang Hammer. The duo scored a 212.

The 2016 IRHA/NRHA Non Pro Derby finals will be held this coming Friday. The grand finale, featuring the Open Derby finals, will take place on Saturday.


Photos by Andrea Bonaga

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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IRHA/NRHA Derby Open: The go-round leaders

Ann Fonck & Gunnerlicious

Ann Fonck & Gunnerlicious

The 2016 IRHA/NRHA Derby welcomed the qualifying go-round of the Open division on Tuesday 17 May. The best 4-5 and 6-year-old European reining horses made their way in the oval arena hosted by CremonaFiere vying for the € 86,000-added money offered of which €10.000 is guaranteed to the Open Champions and € is guaranteed to the Non Pro division champion.

The 76 high caliber horse-rider combinations were judged by American professional riders and traines, Dean Latimer and Ronnie Wayne; by Italian Eugenio Latorre, trainer and rider based in Spain who has judged all major events world wide; Italian Alberto Villani and Austrian champion, Dennis Schultz.

Mister Little Uno & Massimiliano Ruggeri

Mister Little Uno & Massimiliano Ruggeri

Setting the bar after posting a 219 aboard Spook Perla (Smart Spook x Shine On Roof) for owners Golden Paint Ranch, and soon to be equaled by Guglielmo Fontana riding Rtr Schic Magnetic (Chic Magnetic x Little H Powered), for owner by Giacomo Marazzi, was multiple NRHA Open World Champion, Belgian Ann Fonck. The incredible horsewoman, based in Italy out of the 23 Qh facility, topped the qualifier with a score of 220 aboard the AQHA/APHA 6-year-old stallion, Gunnerlicious  (Colonels Smoking Gun x Mifs Doll). Owned by Steve Vannietvelt and Gina de Pauw, the talented stallion boasts the NRHA France Futurity Open 3/4 YO L4 Championship, the NRHA Belgium Futurity Open 3/4YO L4 Championship, the Belgium & Italian Derby Open Reserve Championship to his name.

Ruf Little Chex & Nicola Sergio

Ruf Little Chex & Nicola Sergio

Tying for second place with Ann and Fontana was Mister Little Uno, a stallion owned by Paolo Morandotti, finalist in all the special events he’s taken part in as well as 2015 IRHA-NRHA Derby Open Level (L)3/2 Champion with his trainer Massimiliano Ruggeri in the saddle. The duo also lead the L3 Open division and two points behind are Ruf Little Chex (Lil Ruf Trouble x Nu Dynamite Chex), owned by Ferruccio Bucci and ridden by Nicola Sergio. The latter lead the L2 and the L1, followed by Tinseltown Surprise ( owned by Stefano Badioli and ridden by Christian Baldelli in the L2 and by Magic Xylophones (ARC Magic Enterprise x JC Kilebars Star) and Matteo Vedovato (213,5), co-owner along with Vittorio Rabboni.

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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IHSA Nationals 2016 Kentucky: The Four Most Exciting Days in College Riding

For Immediate Release
Contact L.A. Pomeroy
Images Available on Request
(413) 586-6121

IHSA Nationals 2016 Kentucky: The Four Most Exciting Days in College Riding

Fairfield, CT — To watch Tufts University senior Chase Boggio ride is to see the next generation of greatness in the making. The 2016 USEF Cacchione Cup champion opened his week at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships with a win in Individual Open Fences and never stopped his chase for the most prestigious individual college riding title in North America until the last stride of a last work-off Shakespearean in its proportion: To simple, or to flying change?

That was the question put by judges Carole O’Brien and Julie Winkel before powerhouse callbacks Boggio; Victoria ‘Tori’ Bauer, of 2015 Cacchione Cup-winning coach coach Bob Story and the College of Charleston; and Ryan Genn of the Collegiate Cup-defending Bees of The Savannah College of Art & Design.

Their courses were by USEF R designer and Johnson & Wales University graduate Tom Hern, Jr., who said his intent was to offer “interesting options based on the horses,” like his IHSA Fence into a rollback over a straight line.

That Tufts University had not seen a Cacchione Cup win in 30 years (since 1986, by future US Olympic Show Jumping Gold medalist Peter Wylde) didn’t add any pressure, no sir.

Boggio’s equitation over fences draw was Miami University of Ohio’s Carco, a 16.2hh bay called a “great draw, ride leg to hand, very adjustable.” Adjustability would become very differently defined with Boggio’s final draw, Aram, a 17hh bay gelding from Saint Lawrence University known back at the gate as “a more sensitive ride than he appears.”

It would take every inch of Boggio’s long legs and every ounce of horsemanship to answer this final work-off’s questions, including cantering a serpentine the length of the Alltech Arena while demonstrating flying or simple changes.

“I liked my draw but he was a little greener so I chose simple changes and made it up in the hand gallop. It helps,” he grinned, “to have long legs.” Parents Nancy and Scott Boggio were on hand for a timely Mother’s Day gift, much like three years earlier, when their son won his first grand prix on Father’s Day.

Boggio’s first coach, Christina Schlusemeyer, was there to echo her longtime student’s conservative approach to Aram’s leads: “We broke the serpentine into four exact pieces, and he stayed deliberate and composed riding each quarter, each simple change, one at a time. We did our part right and he made it happen. Plus a fabulous hand gallop.”

USHJA President (on leave of absence) and USEF Interim CEO Bill Moroney observed, “Chase is a fabulous rider and a great example of the quality of training and degree of enthusiasm Intercollegiate brings to its programs.”

Boggio graduates with a degree in Economics and International Relations, having served for two years as captain of the Tufts University IHSA equestrian team and as its treasurer. He has accepted a position with an Atlanta (GA) management firm and will start in July.

“IHSA was so good for him,” said his parents. “He made the commitment and was all in.”

Accepting the Achievement of Excellence Award for a $500 stipend and internship with Stacia Madden, and reserve in the USEF Cacchione Cup, was Victoria Bauer for the College of Charleston and coach Bob Story, who also coached last year’s Cacchione champion, Elizabeth Hayes. “This week was about riding my personal best. I’m grateful to my friends and family and most importantly to Coach Story for his hard work helping me get ready for Nationals,” said Bauer, who had three generations of matriarchs cheering her on, including her 97 year-old grandmother, Yvonne, who never doubted her granddaughter would not live up to her “victorious” name.

“I’m proud of her,” said Story. “Of course I wanted back-to-back wins because it hasn’t been done in so long (1982-1983, CeCe Williamson, University of Virginia) but she was wonderfully consistent. Weak points? Tori doesn’t have any weak points.”

Ashley Henry, coach of The Savannah College of Art & Design 2015 national champion team had to confess that okay, maybe plans to start a family were built (just a little) around defending their high point team Collegiate Cup title in 2016 and, like a good over fences round, she hit all her marks. The SCAD Bees came to Kentucky having won eight out of nine IHSA shows and anchored in their focus by senior captains, Ryan Genn and Devon Walther.

“Devon and Ryan have been upper level, educated riders that stay focused and never forget that it’s not over as long as there’s still classes. This has been an amazing team that has worked endlessly. All we’ve tried to do is stay humble,” said coach Henry, whose next “Trip” after Kentucky is a baby boy expected in mid-June. “We planned it out, after Nationals,” she blushed. And over baby’s crib… that Collegiate Cup?

Nationals were proud yet bittersweet for Collegiate Cup reserve team coach, CJ Law, and her Mount Holyoke College Lyons. Joined by alum of the 1986 Collegiate Cup team, the Michelle Cook Trophy to the national Walk-Trot champion was retired to the USHJA Wheeler Museum, not far from the pinks of US Olympic Show Jumping Gold medalist Bill Steinkraus. The trophy remembers the spirit of a young IHSA rider whose future was cut short by a drunk driver.

“Michelle would have been amazed by this. She loved horses and riding,” said Law, who also had praise for her 2016 reserve national champion team captain, Bridget Finnerty. “She knew the stakes. She had a plan going into Nationals.” As did sophomore Sabrina Fox, whose Collegiate Cup Walk-Trot-Canter win sealed the deal on the reserve championship for the Lyons after a winning season of seven shows, a Regional title and a Zone 1 reserve.

With maybe a little help from above. “I’m superstitious,” said Law. “My son, father and father-in-law are named James. When Bridget drew a horse by that name (Centenary’s 16.2 grey with a “big stride under a soft hand”), I think Michelle was smiling down.”

Hunt seat horses honored included University of Kentucky’s Red Alert (TJC Mac Goo) for the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Incentive Program (TIP) Award; Cazenovia College’s Collins and Morrisville State’s Rex tied for Triple Crown Nutrition Inc. High Point Hunt Seat Horse; Skidmore College “one-eyed wonder” Amitelli (who took Ryan Genn to third in the Cacchione Cup) was named SmartPak Most Popular Hunt Seat Horse.

For a second time, Anna Knowles of Dartmouth College won the Theresa L. McDonald Scholarship Challenge sponsored by EQUUS; Miami University of Ohio coach Lori Cramer received the Lifetime Achievement Award and was joined by the IHSA 50th Anniversary Committee in unfurling a new Gold Anniversary logo and “50 years in the saddle and striding forward” 1967-2017 motto and banner during Saturday’s awards.

IHSA Western Horsemanship & Reining Wrap-Up

“It’s the love of the sport that drives us,” said Grand Valley State University’s Michelle McDowell after learning she had won this year’s AQHA High Point Western Rider award at the IHSA Nationals 2016, May 3-5, in Lexington, KY. Grand Valley State, which does not offer an equine program, produced the top Western college rider in the nation, but not without giving thanks to a little help from its friends.

“It’s a big deal for a school without an equine program to win this. I’m so grateful to my team. We worked so hard. I’m grateful for the help from Lori Arthur and Saginaw Valley and for those here in spirit. It’s the love of the sport that drives us every day,” McDowell said before remounting for her first official photo as new national champion. A past president of MQHYA and current MQHA member, McDowell also shows a mare, MillionDollarDetails, in hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation.

Respect for horsemanship was mutual between the new champion and Saginaw’s Arthur: “This is well deserved. She’s worked hard and I’ve been rooting for her all year.”

There was a more robust than usual cheering section to announcing the AQHA High Point Team. Or teams (plural) as overall scores would prove, with six teams seeded within three points of one another and the top two teams sharing an AQHA Team trophy and title for the first time since 2003 (West Texas A&M and Texas A&M Universities) as three-time national champion Berry College and coach Margaret Knight joined first-time title holders, St. Andrews University and coach Carla Wennberg.

“Last year and this, it was down to the wire. Our coaches are best friends so we couldn’t have tied with a better team,” said Berry team captain, Elizabeth ‘Possum’ Poczobut.

“I love Coach Wennberg,” said St. Andrews team captain Kara Copeland, a senior majoring in Psychology. “She inspires us to put 110% into ourselves and each other. Teamwork carried us through.”

Teamwork and friendship. In expressing gratitude for the camaraderie shared between coaches at both colleges Copeland added, “Berry gave our SAU team a clinic and worked individually with everyone to improve our Western Horsemanship and Reining. It was an amazing experience.” Sharing knowledge turned into sharing one of the most honored team titles in college riding.

Coach Wennberg was also recognized with the 2016 IHSA Western Coach Sportsmanship Award for her work as “a teacher who positively reinforces her riders, makes sure her team is prepared, and is always ready to help others.”

For the top four finalists in the NRHA Open Reining national championship at IHSA Nationals, there will be no time to slide back on their laurels, having qualified for the June 30 NRHA Collegiate Reining Championships in Oklahoma. Earning the honor, following the decisions of Western judges Gretchen Mathes and Kim Myers, to represent IHSA in Collegiate Reining are Leah Piper (Middle Tennessee State University), Kelsey Wilson (West Texas A&M), Sarah Yu (Ohio State University) and Dylan Dombrowski (Cazenovia College), who accepted the 2016 IHSA Nationals Western Rider Award as a team player known for “fairness to horses inside and outside the pen.”

Black Hawk College rider Alex Miller was selected by Nationals Western coaches for the Achievement of Excellence Award, accepting a $500 stipend and apprenticeship with Tim McQuay at McQuay Stables and lifetime membership to Black Hawk coach Donna Irvin was also recognized with an membership.

SUNY Oswego’s Quarter Horse stallion Colonel Peppenator was named Triple Crown Nutrition Inc. High Point Western Horse. The NRHA High Point Reining Horse Award went to “light contact” Little Bill for University of Findlay. St. Andrews University’s “honest and great to show” Vinnie was named SmartPak Most Popular Western Horse.

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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 Governance Structure and Bylaws Approved

On May 10 and 11, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Board of Directors came together in Oklahoma City to discuss business and identify opportunities to advance the sport of Reining. Among those business discussions was a follow-up item related to the Association’s Certificate of Incorporation (COI), in addition to changes to the bylaw amendment process and governance structure.

Changes to Bylaw Amendment Process

On May 10, the board reviewed and unanimously approved proposed changes to NRHA Bylaws (Article XV. Amendments.). The approved changes kept in place member’s ability to submit bylaw amendment proposals. The approval process for bylaw amendment proposals was modified to comply with Oklahoma state statutes officially giving the board the authority to adopt, amend or repeal the bylaws of the Association. Click here for information on NRHA’s Certificate of Incorporation.

Governance Structure Changes

In June of 2014, NRHA convened its first Long Range Planning Committee in Columbus, Ohio, The group agreed on four areas of NRHA that needed considerable effort and focus. One of those was NRHA’s governance structure. Subsequently in May 2016, the board received and approved a proposal to streamline the structure including the creation of regional councils, adjustment of regional director allocations and establishment of term limits.

President Rick Clark commented, “NRHA governance has unique challenges. These include a complex, far-flung operation with a global board; maintaining engagement of a board separated by geography, local issues, language, culture and customs; communicating in a timely manner with a large group that cannot meet face-to-face; and finally, volunteer time commitment. Many boards face some of these challenges, NRHA faces them all.”

He continued, “In August of 2014, the NRHA Board of Directors approved a Global Governance Task Force to tackle these issues and to create a global governance structure and process that optimizes growth of the sport. Since that time, this task force has had several conference calls and at least four in person meetings. All of these issues received considerable attention and deliberation.”

More Details on the Changes

On May 10, 2016, the task force presented two options to the board. These options tackled the previously mentioned topics, as well as addressing board size to have a structure to have board members that are fully engaged, well-qualified, effective and focused on the strategy and direction of NRHA. As noted above, the board approved (27 to 1 vote) one of the options. Furthermore, they instructed the Bylaw Committee to develop proposed bylaws to implement this structure. The board will review and vote on proposed bylaws in August 2016.

Following a transition year in 2017, the 2018 board will include:

  • 20 total board members
    • 15 Directors to represent global membership*
      • 11 North American directors, two European Council directors, one South American Council director, one Oceana Council (ex. Australia and Japan) director and one Reining Horse Sports Foundation President (ex-officio)
      • These will be elected by the membership
      • *One of these directors will be elected to the Executive Committee
    • 5 Executive Committee members
      • President (2-year term), Vice President (2-year-term), two members elected by the membership (2-year terms) and one member elected from the board to the executive committee (1-year term)
      • Members can be re-elected to three consecutive, 2-year terms, and may be re-elected after a one-year hiatus.

2017 Transition Year

The task force presented a bylaw amendment proposal to add a provision to allow for a special transition term of one year through 12/31/17. The board approved the proposal unanimously. Therefore, NRHA will follow the new guidelines that will result in an overall reduction of the board from 38 to 27 for the transition year in 2017:

  • 22 Regional Directors
    • Western Canada (1), Eastern Canada (1), Mexico (1), Mountain (1), North Central (1), Southeast (1), Southwest (1), South Central (2), Northeast (2), Northwest (2), East Central (3), European Council (3), South American Council (1), Oceana Council (1), Reining Horse Sports Foundation (1)
    • Regional directors with terms expiring 12/31/17 will serve the remainder of their term
    • 5 Executive Committee
      • President (Mike Deer) and Vice President (to be elected in October), as well as three directors at large (Mike Hancock, Brian Welman and Casey Hinton to serve the remainder of their terms)

President Rick Clark commented after the meeting, “I am proud of our directors for thinking of our future, and excited to see how these changes will move us forward globally. This work was done with the membership and our future in mind. The past 50 years of our association have been great, and the next 50 promise to be even better.”

Elections of directors and Vice President will be held in October as approved at the 2016 Winter Meeting. The deadline for nominations and specifics on the voting period will be published in the NRHA Reiner and on The board will review and vote on proposed bylaws in August 2016. Following their approval, the updated bylaws also will be published online.


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Summary of Approved 2017 NRHA Rule Changes

Summary of Approved 2017 NRHA Rule Changes

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Board of Directors reviewed all 2017 rule change proposals submitted to the body at the end of 2016. The board considered long-term administrative, global and fiduciary impact, in addition to member feedback provided via its website, direct contact and committee recommendations.

All action taken will become effective January 1, 2017. For more detailed and complete information on each item, log onto the Members Only section of


APPROVED – Rule Changes

• 68-01-17: No longer requires mandatory cross entry into Rookie 1 or Rookie 2 if showing in Prime Time Rookie

• 76-01-17: Requires Show Secretaries to be recertified every two years

• 77-01-17: Clarifies that medication testing fees are included in the list of show-related fees

• 82-01-17: Clarifies conditions regarding added monies in Category 1 Open classes

• 86-02-17: Clarifies procedures regarding donated trophies

• 88-01-17: Clarifies rules in regards to NRHA World Title

• 105-01-17: Allows the creation of a judges approval and testing policy

• 111-01-17: Use of Bluetooth headsets will result in a no score, excluding para reining

• 152-01-17: Provides a more specific definition of obvious lameness

• 154-01-17: Updates the Penalty Score Zero section of the NRHA Judges Guide to include circles that are completed incorrectly


Failed or No Action Taken

• 44-01-17: Add a section in disciplinary action that matched the Code of Ethics that must be on file for an NRHA Professional

• 65-01-17: Limits Non Pro exhibitors to one entry per aged event class

• 65-02-17: Clarify snaffle bit or hackamore rules

• 66-01-17: Allow youth to compete in aged events without eliminating them from rookie eligibility

• 71-01-17: Create a Ranch Reining class

• 77-02-17: Create a Rider’s Representative at NRHA events

• 86-01-17: Would require that only Open and Non Pro classes in ancillary show to award a Lawson trophy

• 89-01-17: Eliminate the Certificates of Achievements

• 66-02-17: Restrict riders from cross entering the 13 & Under and Short Stirrup at the same show

• 96-01-17: Create a Walk Jog Reining class

• 109-01-17: Clarifies ties in Freestyle classes

Complete information on rule change voting will be posted at a later date on the Members Only section of 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


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The ARBC Grows up and Becomes the NARHA…the National Arabian Reining Horse Association

For Immediate Release

The ARBC Grows up
and Becomes the NARHA …
the National Arabian Reining Horse Association 

Half-Arabian_TS_Mae_Gossip_and_Andrea_Fappani_won_the_Scottsdale_HA_Reining_Futurity_in_FebruaryOriginally created as an incentive program that would inspire breeders of reining horses to seriously consider the talent, athletic ability and heart of Arabian and Half-Arabians, the ARBC has been offering large cash prize incentives at premier NRHA events starting in 2014.  Since then ARBC Futurities have paid out over $250,000 in prize money. At the beginning of 2016, the ARBC founders opted to turn over the program to the newly founded NARHA (National Arabian Reining Horse Association), wisely comprehending that a national association would grow a broader, sounder basis and platform, with the sort of longevity that helps these programs thrive and survive. Meanwhile, the structure of the ARBC program has been working quite well, and will remain much the same. The major change will be a new name … the NARHA Incentive Program, but the ARBC Membership will simply pay their current dues to the new organization. Previous enrollments will not have to reregister with the NARHA.

Of course, there are always a few things to bring up-to-date. The new organization means new program certificates which will be sent on receipt of current dues. A much larger assortment of NARHA classes will soon be available at NRHA shows that apply to have them nationally. The NARHA will provide these events with prizes for Champions in each division at no charge to the events. On the marketing side, NARHA has formed a liaison with the National Horseman Arabian publication so that NARHA members and their horses can be advertised and editorialized in the Working Western section of that magazine. Along with advertising options for Arabian Reiners, the magazine offers seven full color “coffee-table” style issues annually, both print and digital, featuring up-to-date news, editorial, outstanding event coverage and beautiful photos of the Arabian horse and its shows.

   Reining horse breeders initially start out with NARHA by enrolling their stallions in the program. Stallion owners pay a nomination fee; then an annual enrollment fee. Stallions are invited to participate in any NARHA promotion at shows where classes are held by bringing their promotional materials to those shows. It’s almost worth the price of stallion enrollment just for the show promotions! The NARHA is currently on a stallion enrollment campaign and has also agreed to sign up aged stallions (and those deceased or over the age of 20 with frozen semen) for a modest $750 lifetime enrollment fee.

Right now, NARHA looks forward to participating at the First Annual Las Vegas Wild Card Challenge which debuts this spring in Las Vegas, bringing with it the Four-Year-Old Reining Futurity.  This brand new event, which runs over the Memorial Day weekend, May 25th through 29th at the South Point Event Center, Hotel and Casino, does not require nominations or enrollments for participation. The horses must have an NRHA Competition License to compete. Horses that are entered in the Wild Card Reining Challenge Four-Year-Old Futurity cannot have competed in any reining futurities (Category 2 Aged Event) as a three-year-old.

The Four-Year-Old Futurity is the spotlighted event of the show that will also offer two full slates of ancillary reining classes, the NARHA $47,000 Added Futurity for 4 and 5-year-old Arabian and Half-Arabian reining horses, a $10,000 Added SmartPak Non Pro Maturity which includes Arabian divisions, and the popular World Para Reining Challenge for riders with physical handicaps and for discharged military with post-traumatic stress disorder. Though the ARBC has been in place at shows for several years, officially, the 2016 Wild Card show will mark the first appearance of NARHA competition at an NRHA sanctioned show.

Owners of NARHA Enrolled Incentive Program horses must be members of the NARHA as of 2017, see membership information at

For additional information contact Amanda Brumley, or (602) 677-3774

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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APHA Rewards Paints at 2016 National Reining Breeders Classic

For more information, contact:
Cristin Conner
Senior Director of Marketing & Membership
(817) 222-6409

APHA Rewards Paints at 2016 National Reining Breeders Classic 

FORT WORTH, Texas – For the third consecutive year, high-scoring registered Paint Horses and their exhibitors took home beautiful trophy buckles at the National Reining Breeders Classic, thanks to APHA. The show, which took place April 17–24 in Katy, Texas, is one of the nation’s richest National Reining Horse Association-approved events, boasting purses exceeding $1 million.

Four Paints ended up in the Top 10 of the prestigious Open Classic Finals with impressive scores exceeding 226.5. According to show management, approximately one-third of all horses showing this year were Paint-bred, most of which were already registered through APHA. Five horses eligible for APHA registration papers joined the family at the NRBC, thanks to on-site registration options, and one—Yes Ima Gunner—even took home a buckle in the Youth division, thanks to the last-minute decision.

Congratulations to the following 2016 APHA/NRBC buckle winners:

L1 Open Classic

Lil Money Gun, a 2011 palomino overo stallion by Colonels Lil Gun and out of Miss Shiney Cat (QH), ridden by Arnaud Ferret (right) for Double PR Ranch of Pilot Point, Texas

L2 Open Classic

DP Gunnaoutshinya, a 2011 sorrel overo stallion by Gunnatrashya and out of Out Shinin Wimpy (QH), ridden by Jamie Bissell for Dorminy Plantation of Fitzgerald, Georgia

L3 Open Classic

Cannon Gun, a 2012 sorrel overo stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Tuckerette Command (QH), ridden by Gabe Hutchins for Tamarack Ranch of Joseph, Oregon

L4 Open Classic

Gunner Dun It Again, a 2011 buckskin overo stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Dun Its Deja Vu (QH), ridden by Andrea Fappani for Paulo Tripoloni of Brazil

Open & Open Classic Challenge

Doc Bars Smokingun, a 2007 palomino overo stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Docs Dunnit Bar (QH), ridden by Shane Brown for Glo Tazi of Castle Rock, Colorado

L1 Non-Pro Classic

Big Creme Chic, a 2010 sorrel overo gelding by Big Chex To Cash and out of Cremes Chic Olena (QH), ridden by Samantha Roper of Hobart, Indiana

L2 Non-Pro Classic

Diamond Studded Guns, a 2012 sorrel overo stallion by Gunnatrashya and out of Like To Flo, ridden by Bailey Kolsun of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

L3 & L4 Non-Pro Classic

MsDreamy, a 2010 sorrel solid mare by Magnum Chic Dream (QH) and out of A Gal With A Gun, ridden by Rick Christen of Whitehouse, Ohio


Gunners Chic Magnet, a 2011 bay solid stallion by Colonels Smokingun and out of Wind Her Up Chic (QH), ridden by Michelina Carbone of South Bend, Indiana

Non-Pro Classic Challenge

Jumpin Jac Trash, a 2007 sorrel solid gelding by Trashadeous and out of Sail Away Rene (QH), ridden by Madison Steed of Cochrane, Alberta, Canada


Yes Ima Gunner, a 2005 sorrel solid gelding by Colonels Smokingun and out of Double Sweet BH (QH), ridden by Sidney Perdue (right) of Granbury, Texas


Nuff Gun, a 2006 sorrel solid Paint-bred gelding by Colonels Lil Gun and out of Freckles Frannie (QH), ridden by Suzanne Allman-Mathura of Rockwall, Texas

Exhibitors and Paint Horse owners can look forward to even more opportunities to win Gist Silversmiths buckles this year at the Tulsa Reining Classic in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the High Roller Reining Classic in Las Vegas and the Southwest Reining Futurity in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

The NRBC—along with other NRHA-approved reining events as well as cutting and cow horse competitions—is one of the numerous designated events for 2016 APHA World Show qualification. The show counts as one of the four required shows needed for participation-based qualification, as well as two of the eight required judges. For a complete list of shows, visit


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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NRHA Professional of the Year Awards Announced

NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks was named the National Reining Horse Association’s Professional Horseman of the Year for 2015. He was in good company with NRHA Professional Sam Smith earning the NRHA Non Pro Coach of the Year, plus NRHA Professional Kim Dierks as the Horsewoman of the Year, Devin Warren as Youth Coach of the Year and NRHA Professional Mathieu Buton as Up-and-Coming Trainer of the Year. With the highest number of nominations NRHA has ever had, Shane Brown, Chair of the Professionals Committee was elated. “It’s amazing the gratitude these professionals show when receiving these awards,” said Brown.

NRHA Professional Horseman of the Year

NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks, a resident of Tioga, Texas and active member of the Southwest Reining Horse Association, has been an NRHA member since 1991 and throughout his reining career has earned more than $1,697,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.

More important than his winnings, has been his dedication to his clients and their success. His ability to communicate with riders of all ages, having clients ranging from 12 to 78, touts his success as a coach.  Not only has he been a mentor to an abundance of non pros over the years, he has served on the Executive Board, he’s a past President of NRHA and has taught clinics across the world at the request of NRHA.

Hendricks has been an NRHA Professional since 2003 and has had great success in the show pen having been an NRHA Futurity Champion, NRHA Futurity Reserve Champion, 5-Time NRBC Open Derby Champion, AQHA Congress Open Futurity Champion and World Equestrian Games Team USA Gold Medalist, accomplishments that are just a portion of his major event winnings. Hendricks’ dedication not only to the reining industry but also his clients is evident as he sets up his clientele to be in the winner’s circle.

NRHA Non Pro Coach of the Year

Sam Smith of Marietta, Oklahoma has been said to “live and breathe the sport of Reining.” And it is this lifelong dedication to promoting the NRHA and the preparation of the horses to the sport that has enabled him to be successful not only as a rider but also as a coach. With over 30 years of experience as a trainer, Smith has more than proven his talent in the show pen boasting in excess of $570,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings.

More importantly, Smith has coached countless youth, open and non pro circuit champions and year end winners and “demonstrates great patience with all of his riders” and “truly wants them to succeed.” In addition to Smith’s superior coaching skills, he has served on several professional committees and is also an NRHA Judge. He is also active in the Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA).

With Smith’s work ethic that is “second to none” and a focus that “never falters,” he, along with his clients, will continue to be successful in the show pen.

NRHA Professional Horsewoman of the Year

Between showing reining horses as a professional, coaching clients, and developing high caliber reining prospects, Kim Diercks has established herself in the reining horse industry. An NRHA Professional, Diercks has been involved with the association since 1986 and has since established herself as a respected and successful trainer. Diercks has dedicated herself to the promotion and success of the NRHA at both the affiliate and national levels. She’s an Affiliate Board member, show manager, Rookie Day Professional, an NRHA Judge and an NRHA show representative. As well, she is active in her local affiliate, the North Central Reining Horse Association (NCRHA).

In addition to her contributions to the association, Diercks has had a successful show career with over $264,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings. Her list of accomplishments includes being a multiple NRHA Open Futurity Finalist, NRHA Derby Open Finalist and an NRBC Finalist. In addition, she has several National and World titles in the Morgan and Paint Horse associations as well as two US National Arabian Championships. Along with her own impressive list of accomplishments, she sets up her clients to be in the winner’s circle in both local and major competitions.

NRHA Youth Coach of the Year

Five-time World Champion Devin Warren has over 20 years’ experience as a horse trainer, breeder and showman. His dedication to “his clients, horses and family are unsurpassed,” which makes it no surprise that he has been selected as NRHA Youth Coach of the Year. Warren is active in his local affiliate, the Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association (RMRHA) and has been on the board for six years. As well, he donates time to local 4H clubs and allows various groups to utilize his facilities. He’s also been known to reach out to up-and-coming trainers and “thinks of others before himself.”

Based in Franktown, Colorado Warren has excelled both in the show pen and in teaching on the national level. Warren not only qualified for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) but also had numerous clients to qualify as well, which were just part of a number of successes during their 2015 show season.

Warren is an APHA and AQHA member, has numerous APHA Reining Championships and has been an NRHA Derby finalist. In addition, his clientele have won an extensive amount of titles and he has coached youth riders who have later gone on to ride on National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) teams.

NRHA Up-and-Coming Trainer of the Year

An NRHA Top 20 Professional and a successful horse trainer and non pro coach, Mathieu Buton has several years of experience working with some of the best professionals in the industry including NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal and NRHA Million Dollar Rider Mike McEntire.

The 34-year-old trainer piloted Ms Mercedes Whiz owned by Buton and his wife Angela, to a Level (L) 2 Open championship title at the 2015 NRHA Futurity along with a Reserve in L3 and placed ninth in the L4 Open division to bring home a paycheck of more than $54,000. Hailing from France, currently a Texas resident and active member of SWRHA, Buton has been making his presence known in the reining horse industry.

He has been said to have an “unique ability to softly teach correctness to his horses as well as teaching his students to understand not only the how but also the why.”

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

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