Behind the Slide – Marlin Holroyd, Michigan

He’s the friendly face ushering you into the arena, but he’s also handing out pluses and minuses in the ancillary classes at the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. Marlin has taken a few laps around the reining industry, first as a competitor and now more often as an NRHA judge. 

“I got into reining in 1979 because it looked like a fun class. I was working for American Appaloosas back then as a colt-starter and trainer.” 

Marlin took the NRHA judge’s test in 1984 because “if you’re going to play the game, you’ve go to know the rules.” 

Equipped with a heart of service, Marlin is happy to help out in whatever capacity show management needs him to. On the first day of competition in Oklahoma City, Marlin checked equipment and ushered riders into the show pen. 

“This position helps speed up the show and get people into the pen. And, of course, we need to make sure everyone is using the proper equipment. One of the most common mistakes people make is using the wrong curb chain or bit, but people are pretty educated about it now so we don’t see that very much.” 

Perhaps Marlin and his fellow judges are the unsung heroes who prevent the show from going long into the night. Time is of the essence when your event is pushing record-breaking numbers. 

“This is my third year helping out at this show, and the numbers are definitely up.” 

Check back for more Behind the Slide features as part of the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel coverage.