IRHA Futurity & NRHA Euro Futurity Postponed Due to EHV-1 Outbreak

Considering the high number of horses and riders entered in the event and the necessary priority of preserving the health of athletes and horses, as well as respecting and applying the protocols imposed by International and National Federations with the aim to contain the EHV-1 (Equine Herpes Virus) contagion, IRHA and NRHA European Executive Boards, together with the Italian Equestrian Sport Federation (FISE), have made the decision to move the IRHA and NRHA European Futurity to May 1-8 2021 (horses may arrive on April 29).

The postponement was deemed necessary in order to facilitate the organizers in putting in place protocol procedures for the prevention of the contagion so as to safeguard the high number of horses and riders entered in the most important national sporting event.

Upon arrival, as requested by the Protocol, it will be MANDATORY TO PRESENT A NEGATIVE EHV-1 NASAL PCR SWAB (taken no more than 4 days before arrival to the event). All procedures specified in previous communication will be followed.

Until May 9, IRHA has suspended all reining competitions on the Italian territory which will regularly resume only following the Italian and Euro Futurity.

Simona Diale
+393405354629 |
Via Firenze, 2 – 15121 Alessandria – Italy

Event Approval Deadlines Shortened for All 2021 Events

With difficulties still being seen by show management teams due to COVID restrictions, NRHA has amended its approval deadlines for events to be considered as “Top Ten.” The first accommodation involved events from January 1 through May 31 and allowed them to be submitted up to 30 days prior to the start of the event. This extension is now available for all 2021 events.

Depending on the size of the event, these are typically due 90 or 60 days prior to its start. It is recommended that approvals be sent in according to typical deadlines if possible. This will allow events to be approved and listed online as soon as possible for members. However, NRHA hopes this later deadline accommodation will help those events that are struggling to secure dates and help members have more showing opportunities.


  • Any size event received 30 days prior to the start of the event will be considered a 2021 Top Ten event.

Approval requirements:

  • Must be submitted with required information – retainage, fees, patterns, judges, general conditions (ex. ages and equipment) for aged events
  • Membership for secretary must be current; not needing to be renewed
  • If an event wishes to order trophies, NRHA needs the completed order with a form of payment no later than 45 days prior to the event.
    • On request, NRHA can wait until approximately 30 days out to order trophies. In this case, it is recommended to use a shipping address that is acceptable should the trophies arrive after the event. In most cases, this is not an issue and something we work hard to avoid, but if there is a spike in orders or other issues with shipping channels, this could create delays. NRHA cannot reimburse additional shipping expenses for any order placed less than 45 days prior to the event.
    • NRHA will continue to work with events that place an order, but later have to cancel.
  • This will apply to any events submitted thus far for 2021.

ReinerSuite Event Calendar Tips for Members

To search for approved, tentative and pending events in ReinerSuite, click on the EVENTS tab on the left sidebar.

If you want to see all events for the year, simply enter 01/01/2021 in the Start Date field and hit SEARCH. This will give you a complete list!

Want to search by more detailed criteria, use the fields provided to narrow down your search by date, country, etc.



GlycoGuard® Becomes Naming Sponsor of the NRHA Novice Horse Derby

In 2018, the National Reining Horse Association debuted its Novice Horse Derby, giving horses with limited lifetime earnings the opportunity to compete against other fledgling reiners. Now the NRHA Novice Horse Derby has a new name and a new sponsor in GlycoGuard®.

The GlycoGuard® Novice Horse Derby will be held during the NRHA Derby presented by Markel and takes place during both the Open and Non Pro preliminary rounds.  The 2021 premier event for 4, 5, 6 and 7-year-old reining horses is slated for June 19 – 27 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Okla.

NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations & Communications Sammi Miller collaborated with GlycoGuard® Senior Sales Representative Caitlyn Caldwell to create this important new partnership. She said, “On behalf of the association, a huge thank you to Caitlyn Caldwell and GlycoGuard® for choosing to support this and come on board as a corporate partner.  For the past several years, this company has sponsored NRHA events consistently and their decision to become the title sponsor of the GlycoGuard® Novice Horse Derby will greatly enhance the growth of this division, the NRHA, and GlycoGuard®.”

The GlycoGuard® Novice Horse Derby will feature a $15,000 Open Derby and a $10,000 Non Pro division to horses who have won less than $10,000 before May 15, 2021. Horses may also be entered into the Derby, but cross entry is not mandatory and there are no nomination requirements to enter only the Novice Horse Derby.

Caldwell’s connection to reining goes back years.  She said, “I’ve worked with NRHA for over a decade with both competing and sponsorships. My goal with GlycoGuard® is to make product knowledge available to more owners and trainers.”

GlycoGuard® entered the equine health care scene just six years ago but it is already becoming a staple for the performance horse industry. The combination of being a unique and effective product, along with supporting major equine events across the board, has quickly brought increased brand awareness.

The product is ideal for protecting the health and careers of reining horses. Caldwell noted, “Equine athletes can experience stress on a daily basis. GlycoGuard® is a unique drug-free probiotic made from live active bacteria, and strong enough to reach the hind gut, where much of our equine’s discomfort comes from.  I hope it will be the first product you grab for complete gut health in your equine athletes and foals!”

For more information about GlycoGuard® and to read testimonials from some of the industry’s top professionals, visit

Story Book Stables Amateur Division to Debut at NRHA Derby presented by Markel

Competing at the National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel is thrilling, and beginning in 2021, a new division has been added for Non Pros. The Story Book Stables Amateur Derby will debut this year, featuring $25,000 added money for this special segment of riders.

Creating this new opportunity was a goal for Brenda Joyce, owner of Story Book Stables – NRHA Corporate Partner since 2017. Brenda noted, “My husband, Rick Christen, and I are so excited to be sponsoring an Amateur Derby in conjunction with the NRHA Derby presented by Markel. As always, we want to support the grassroots of the industry and encourage newcomers. We believe that these groups are critical to the health, vitality and future of the Industry. So come on Amateurs, get ready for the Derby in June!”

NRHA President Rick Clark’s enthusiasm for this new division and the opportunities it will offer to reiners is palpable.  “I appreciate Brenda and Rick for their support in getting this going. They are willing to try something new and I predict that we will get a large number of entries in this division. We look forward to seeing new faces and new winners in the Story Book Stables Amateur Derby.”

To compete in the Amateur division at the NRHA Derby presented by Markel, the same horse and rider must be fully entered in the Non Pro Derby. Excluded riders include those whose NRHA Lifetime Earnings exceed $100,000 in Categories 1-12 as of Dec. 31, 2020. Also excluded are riders currently only eligible for Level 4 Non Pro only. Other exclusions include Youth riders, legal dependents of professional equine trainers, and spouses or legal partners of professional equine trainers.

The Amateur Derby Champion will be determined during the preliminary round of competition, which concludes on Tuesday, June 22, during the 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.

For more information about the Story Book Stables Amateur Derby, visit

NRBC Announces Schooling Protocol Change for 2021

Believing strongly in creating a positive future for the reining industry has long been a hallmark of the leadership of the National Reining Breeders Classic. Throughout its 24-year history, the Board and staff have explored new directions, tested innovative new ideas and adjusted their course with a laser focus on improving reining year by year. Many of the fruits of their labors have become accepted as industry standards.

So, it is not surprising that the NRBC leadership team is once again addressing an issue – one that invites strong opinions for and against change. NRBC President Tom McCutcheon explains, “It’s a new stage of history for reining. We are not where we were 20 or even 10 years ago. We feel that it’s time to evolve with the times for the betterment of our industry.”

To that end, the NRBC has announced a new protocol for its 2021 event. “All the arenas will be closed at 7 pm each night and will reopen for riding two hours before time to prep the arena the next morning,” Tom noted, then added, “If classes run past 5 PM in a particular arena, it will be open for two hours following the end of the class.”

The NRBC Board was unanimous in making this change and the decision was based on two important facets of reining. Paramount in the decision was the welfare of the horse, and the board felt that this new direction was essential to the soundness, health and longevity of reining horses.

The second reason for the decision was in consideration of the experience of participating in reining events as trainers, owners and riders. McCutcheon said. “It’s really about taking an opportunity to try to change the culture of our industry – trying to find a balance between the normal 24-hour schedule that can be fatiguing for horses, trainers, assistants, owners and Non Pros. We have to remember that we are competing for the discretionary dollars of today’s horse owners and they have many options both inside and outside the equine industry. It’s really about the NRBC trying to take the opportunity to have an amazing, fun show for exhibitors and owners alike.”

NRBC Vice President Colleen McQuay noted, “Schooling at night has always been a part of reining. Reiners have felt since day one that they had to get on the ground. It’s time to change that old mindset to today’s needs.”

The new policy has already sparked plenty of discussion. Some trainers are glad to hear of the change and others are concerned with getting their horses prepared.

NRHA $6 Million Rider Andrea Fappani said, “I’m excited about limiting riding hours at the NRBC. The Derby-aged horses know their jobs and are for the most part very comfortable in a show arena. Once they test out the ground a few times, they should be good to show. I’m looking forward to being able to have a normal schedule for a change and enjoy spending some quality time with my customers.”

He continued, “Derby horses don’t need to be ridden hard at the shows. If we have prepared them properly at home, getting them comfortable with the ground is the only thing we have left to do once we get to a show. This new format will be fair for all of us and it will prevent a lot of horses from getting overworked and stressed.”

NRHA Professional Kole Price welcomes the chance to try something different. He said, “I’ve been to shows where you don’t get to go out once with your customers. I’m thinking that maybe knowing that the schooling time will be during certain times will also encourage people to watch and enjoy the time to interact with their friends.”
He added, “It should allow riders and horses to get a good night’s sleep. So both can perform better.”

NRHA Professional Brian Bell said, “There are enough other arenas to ride in so you can get your horse loped around and relaxed. The horses need to be ready to show and getting to ride in the middle of the night when you get there isn’t going to change them if they are not. With paid warmups and schooling classes and the other opportunities where arenas are open, if that doesn’t get you ready, I don’t know what would. My Non Pros just don’t want to come out and ride at three am. The way NRBC gets over early enough in the day, there are plenty of opportunities to ride. I remember the first couple years we went to South Point; they didn’t let anyone ride at night and I think the horses showed just as good.”

Former NRBC Open Champion Martin Muehlstaetter said that he, too, would welcome a scenario where the showing experience was not as exhausting. He said, “There are shows that, for different reasons, do not have riding at night. I believe that does not change the outcome of the show. When it’s the same for everyone and there are plenty of places during the day to ride, it could be a good thing to try. If we are not able to ride during the day, though, because of rain or bad weather, there would need to be an adjustment.”

That’s exactly what the NRBC’s Board has considered. McQuay added, “We definitely have a Plan B for days when it might rain and, in that case, would adjust the schedule accordingly.”

NRHA Professional Matt Palmer was also interested in the change. He said, “For me, anything we can do to improve our industry and culture is good. It’s sure worth giving it a try, and the NRBC has proven to be a great place over the years to test different ideas.”

Colleen said, “We want to thank our riders and trainers in advance for their support in taking the next step to ensure the health and welfare of our riders and horses to secure the future of our sport.”

The following protocol will be in place for the 2021 NRBC, set for April 18-25 in Katy, Texas. Arenas will be closed two hours after the end of the last event of the day in that arena or at 7 pm, whichever is later. For the ensuing two hours, there will be fencing (stopping) only, and the arena will be worked every 20 minutes. After closing for the night, the arena will reopen two hours before the beginning of ground preparation for that day’s classes.

Non-competition arenas will be closed at 7 pm each day and open at 7 the next morning. Adjustment to the schedule will be made in the case of inclement weather.

For nearly 25 years, the National Reining Breeders Classic program and show have held a singular place in the reining industry. For information on the NRBC, visit the website at, email to or call 580-759-3939.

2021 Health Requirements for NRBC at Great Southwest Equestrian Center

Influenza & Herpes Vaccine within 6 months
Negative Coggins within 1 year
21-day health certificate that states that the horse has not been treated for a temperature or other herd health issues within the last 30 days.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for the information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.