Nation’s Best Young Equestrians Head to Oklahoma City for the 2017 IEA Western National Finals

Columbus, Ohio – June 2, 2017 – Nearly 200 of the nation’s leading middle school and high school equestrians will converge in Oklahoma in July to compete for top prizes in the 2017 Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Western National Finals.  The 2017 Western National Finals will once again be held at the Oklahoma State Fair Park in Oklahoma City on July 1 and 2. Sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), the competition will run in conjunction with the NRHADerby. IEA Western riders will display their talents in Reining and Horsemanship, as individuals and teams during the two-day event. 

Judging the IEA Western Finals will be Gretchen Mathes of Harwinton, Connecticut and Chele McGauly of Elm Grove, Louisiana.  Both judges are AQHA and NRHA certified and provide a wealth of judging and showing experience. Additional show officials include Stewards, Megan Taylor (IHSA Board Member) and Bryan Bradley (IHSA Coach), Show Committee Chairpersons, Roxane Durant (IEA Executive Director), Todd Knerr (NRHA Show Manager), and Hayley Eberle (NRHA Marketing & Outreach Manager).  Announcing the competition will be John Bahret with photography provided by Waltenberry, Inc. and videography provided by Equine Promotions.  Complete live streaming of the 2017 IEA Western National Finals will be available online and offered at no cost to viewers with links available and

Competition Schedule

Friday, June 30

  • Schooling of all Horses

Saturday, July 1

  • 6:00am Schooling of Reining Horses
  • 6:30am Coaches Meeting & Draw for Reining Classes
  • 7:00am Competition Begins – Western Individual Reining
  • 11:30am IEA/NRHyA Welcome Party
  • 2:00pm Horseman’s Knowledge Test (presented by The United States Pony Clubs, Inc.)                                    
  • 4:00pm (approximately) Competition Resumes
    Western Individual Horsemanship
  • Awards Presentation

Sunday, July 2

  • 8:00am Schooling of Reining Horses
  • 8:45am Coaches Meeting & Draw for Reining Classes
  • 9:00am Competition Begins – Western Team Finals
    Western Team Reining
    Western Team Horsemanship
    Parade of Teams
  • Awards Presentation

The IEA Western Finals competition and events are supported by the NRHA and, importantly, major assistance from the following horse providers: West Texas A&M, Halvorson Ranch, Red Dirt Riders, OK 007, Taylor Equine, Robinson Equine, Sassy Senoritas, Schwarz Reiners, Casey Hinton Quarter Horse/Cedar Ridge Ranch, Lipps Horse Training, Sliding K Performance Horses, Mike Keller, andJD/Stacey Roberson.

This is really a special event for our IEA riders because these youngsters get to compete in the same venue at the same time that the world’s best professional and non-pro western riders ride for big prizes and world-wide recognition. The excitement of the competitions transcends multiple generations and isn’t that great for equestrian sport,” said Myron Leff, IEA Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer.

Because only a fraction of the IEA’s 13,500 riders qualify for the National Finals, it is important to provide the Western Finals in real-time with live-streaming and archive viewing to the other riders, families, friends and supporters from across the world. NRHA and Equine Promotions will provide the technical capabilities so IEA’s diverse audience can enjoy the Finals competition.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the IEA has more than 13,500 middle and high school student-riders across the United States.  The IEA was organized to promote and improve the quality of equestrian competition and instruction available to middle and secondary school students and is open to public and private schools and barn teams. Its purpose is to set minimum standards for competition, provide information concerning the creation and development of school associated equestrian sport programs, to generally promote the common interests of safe riding instruction and competition and education on matters related to equestrian competition at the middle and secondary school levels. No rider needs to own a horse because the IEA provides a mount and tack for each equestrian at every event. For more information, please view the IEA website at:

Myron Leff, IEA Chief Marketing & Operating Officer
Kimber Whanger, Communications Coordinator

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

Newest NRHA Corporate Partner: Tom McCutcheon Virtual Horse Help/WorldWide Slide

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – June 02, 2017 – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) has announced its newest corporate partner, Tom McCutcheon’s Virtual Horse Help (VHH) and WorldWide Slide (WWS). The WWS and VHH team paired with NRHA promises to bring more exposure to the sport, its horses and riders through cooperative promotional and educational efforts.

“Through this partnership, we will be able to increase the exposure of NRHA and share the wonderful stories of our horses and riders,” says Sammi Miller, Director of Corporate Relations. “Our (NRHA and WWS/VHH) common goal is to promote and grow the sport of reining by focusing on the sport’s achievements, inside and outside of the arena.”

Tom McCutcheon said, “It’s exciting to partner with the NRHA, especially at this level. We are looking forward to working together.”

VHH/WWS managing partner Cheryl Magoteaux Cody added, “We provide a cohesive news and learning resource for the reining industry and our goal is to work with the association to bring more information to reining participants and fans worldwide.” She added, “A priority is to showcase the entire array of riders and performance – from Green to Level 4 Open!”

Focusing on all levels of competition is a formula that was tested and found to be sound at the recent National Reining Breeders Classic. At that event, the VHH Video team shot and posted over 70 videos which included interviews with the winners or not only the high profile event but also of every ancillary class. The result was over 450,000 views of the videos plus well over 7 million total impressions.

Cody summarized, “I have always believed that everyone has a story. We love giving reiners an opportunity to share their stories and from the response we are getting, people love hearing and reading about them.”

More about WWS and VHH

Tom McCutcheon’s VHH was established in 2010 and provides online access to reining industry event coverage with highlights, results, and interviews plus tips from and insights with some of the top professionals in the NRHA. In just seven years, VHH has become one of the most focal media outlets covering reining and the NRHA worldwide.

WWS was founded by Pro Management, Inc. in 2014 to bring the news of the reining industry, including event coverage, to reining enthusiasts everywhere. WWS distributes the news free to nearly 25,000 email addresses every other Wednesday. Pro Management, owned by award-winning writer and photographer Cheryl Magoteaux Cody, is also known for running events and day-to-day business for the National Reining Breeders Classic, Tulsa Reining Classic, Southwest Reining Horse Association and USA Reining.

In early 2017, WWS and VHH merged to increase their effectiveness in keeping fans up-to-date on the latest happenings in the reining horse industry through emails, social media, online learning, news videos, and much more. The combined entity is now headquartered at the Pro Management offices in Byars, Oklahoma.

For more information visit or

More about NRHA
Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association has promoted and encourage the development and enjoyment of the sport of Reining for more than 50 years. During the celebration of the 50th anniversary NRHA Futurity in 2016, NRHA leveraged its media, digital and social properties for more than 2.4 million total impressions, more than 535,000 views of daily top runs and daily diaries, and more than 500,000 viewers of three NRHA Futurity episodes produced by NRHA Inside Reining and aired on RFD-TV. Real-time online scoring and standings, plus video and photo galleries featuring winners of Futurity and Adequan North American Affiliate Championship classes helped showcase the horses and riders that make reining an exhilarating sport.

On a daily basis, NRHA takes pride in offering revolutionary programs and top-notch events for more than 15,000 members in 40 countries while providing the framework for a fun-filled, family-oriented atmosphere. More information on its shows and programs, like the upcoming NRHA Derby, can be found at