Behind the Slide – Lila McAuslan

Lila McAuslan is as new to reining as her horse, Sixth Cents, known as ‘Fuego.’ Although McAuslan has only been reining for three years, the pair will compete in the 6666 NRHA Non Pro Derby presented by Markel.

Fuego has only seen the reining pen five times, with McAuslan at the reins for four of those rides. Although this could seem intimidating for a newer reiner, especially a 16-year-old, McAuslan sees it as a unique opportunity to learn alongside Fuego.

“We have a really strong connection,” McAuslan said. “It’s unique because I’m not ahead of Fuego, but instead, we are growing together as a team.”

McAuslan loves developing with Fuego instead of from a seasoned horse, as it creates a unique experience for her and strengthens their bond. She and the 4-year-old gelding by NRHA $2 Million Sire Inferno Sixty Six and out of Okie Dokie Whiz have only gotten closer each time they enter the show pen.

“It’s special to show him because he was really green when we got him,” McAuslan explains. “It is nice to build that connection with him, and my whole family gets to spend so much time with him.”

It takes a team to train a horse, and McAuslan’s family is her team. Her parents coach her through showing a young horse and adjusting to the reining pen.

“Riding a young horse helps me hear more from my parents and work harder with them to help him [Fuego],” McAuslan said. “I’m actually putting in the work on him and that’s really special.”

Being able to train a horse from green to seasoned is a special opportunity for many reiners. For McAuslan, it is a way to learn all she can about Fuego, the sport of reining and what it takes to compete as a team.

McAuslan and Fuego will compete in the Non Pro Derby on Wednesday, June 19. If you are not in Oklahoma City to cheer them on in person, tune into the free live feed at