People Behind the Partnership – Kyle Zanetti

Kyle Zanetti of Kyle Zanetti Trailer Sales is in it for the long haul—pun intended—as an NRHA Corporate Partner. 

The NRHA Media department had a chance to sit down with Kyle during the 2020 NRHA Futurity and visit with him about what it’s like for Kyle Zanetti Trailers to be involved with NRHA. 

How did you first become involved in reining?  

“Well, I met Casey Deary about eight years ago, we started doing some repair work for him, and I got to know Casey and we became friends. Casey and his family live not far down the road from us in Weatherford. He was after me to ride one [a reining horse], and I told him that with my crippled knees and hips—I bulldogged for about 15 years in the PRCA—I’m probably not going to be the one riding reining horses. But he encouraged me to come to a show and over time as I met more of the reiners, some of them started coming to the shop for repair work and we had some people approach us about building a trailer for them. It’s really morphed into something great. As I got to know more of the people involved in NRHA, we wanted to show our support so we talked to Sammi Miller [Sr. Director of Corporate Relations & Communications] about how to get involved and we became a NRHA Corporate Partner.”

Favorite Futurity memory?  

“We’ve been attending the Futurity for about four years now and we love watching these spectacular horses. But honestly, I expect this year to be a fun one for me and my family because being the trailer sponsor is very exciting for us. The Futurity is like the Daytona 500 of the reining industry so for my family and my business, especially now that my daughter Kylie is riding reining horses, being at this year’s futurity is a big deal for us, both on the personal side and on the professional side. I expect this year to be the banner year for us. I have a soft spot for Casey and want to see him do well, and it looks like he’s got three great horses, but I like to see all the people I do business with and become friends with do good.”

How long have you been involved as an NRHA Corporate Partner?  

“This is actually our first year as an NRHA Corporate Partner. I’m really looking forward to what we will be able to do as a longterm sponsor.” 

How did you come up with the idea to build the Zanetti Ambulance Trailer? 

“Seven years ago at my parents’ shop I sat down with Lindy Burch, who was working on the project for NCHA’s welfare committee at that time, and with Chris Benedict, whose been around the racehorse business and NCHA forever, and we came up with the design for NCHA. That’s where it started. There are things I’d do differently from that first one, but when you look in that trailer and see the cable system, slings, sleds and vet boxes, it’s definitely more than your average trailer. It’s a great staple for shows and organizations that are looking out for the welfare of the horse. Ruidoso Downs is talking with us about building something similar.”

Zanetti ambulance trailer
The Kyle Zanetti ambulatory trailer gives exhibitors peace of mind that their horses can be safely transported for a medical emergency, if needed.

What would you like people to know about Kyle Zanetti Trailers? 

“We’re a family business. We aren’t a mass production, mass marketing manufacturer. I started working in my parents’ shop in Apple Valley, California, my parents are Pete and Jan Zanetti, when I was a kid back in the 1970’s. My mentality is we’re here for the right reasons and for the longevity, not selling people a product that won’t hold up. The history of my involvement in this business; it’s my birthright, that’s how I feel about it. I’ve seen a lot come and go, but I’m 43 and I’ve been in the shop with my dad since I was 7 or 8 years old. I’m 43 now and I grew up in this business. I’ve stuck around by doing things right and taking care of my customers. When people come to me with trailer questions, I tell them the honest truth. I’m a black and white kind of guy and I’m honest. I might not always tell you what you want to hear, but I can’t not want people to come back because return business is what keeps people in business.

“My wife Michelle is half owner and CEO of this business and she’s the glue that holds everything together! I’ve got three kids. My oldest, Victoria, is grown and has three kids of her own. My daughter Kylie is 15, she’s the one into the reining horses that rides at Casey’s. It’s a lot of fun and she’s really enjoying that. She’s the one in our family that if a Zanetti ever walks into the show pen at the Futurity, it’ll be her. My son Zack is my youngest, he’s 11, and he’s into all the sports and works some in the shop.”