Behind the Slide – Reiners from Thailand Visit NRHA Futurity

As reining grows in popularity around the world, more and more visitors arrive from all parts of the globe to see the National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships in person.

For 2023, a group from Thailand has joined the spectators in hopes of learning more about reining and seeing the best of the best 3-year-olds compete.

“The first time in America is exciting!” said Nok, the group sponsor and mother of 10-year-old Baibua.

Others included Jean, assistant translator, as well as three-day eventers Jean and Ball.

Toru McCoy from NRHA Thailand led the group as it went to Cremona, Italy, for the World Youth Reining Cup, Tamworth, Australia, for the NRHA Oceania Affiliate Championships, and now the NRHA North American Futurity in Oklahoma City.

McCoy, a native of Japan, spent 15 years in the United States and has lived in Thailand for five years to support reining sports in Asia, including Japan, China, Mauricia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. He was influential in the creation of NRHA Thailand, the first NRHA affiliate in the country.

After the Futurity ends, the group will travel to breeding and training facilities in Oklahoma and North Texas.

McCoy competed in the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

“I would love to see some more Asian faces in the world competition,” he said.

Many members of the group are hoping to purchase reining saddles at the Futurity.

“Because in Thailand, we don’t have much of any (western tack) to buy, so we have to go outside to buy it,” Jean said.

Baibua bought a saddle in Italy, but the rest of the group will be perusing vendor saddles closely.

For 2025, they hope to rein in Switzerland – and maybe beyond.