NRHyA European Youth Council Gearing Up for 2020

The European Youth Council of the National Reining Horse Association was launched in 2019 to support young reiners in Europe. Members of the European Youth Council work closely with the National Reining Horse Youth Association officers to promote the sport of reining and represent the needs of youth reiners on the continent.

“Even though this year is different in so many ways, the NRHyA hopes to provide a sense of optimism as we look towards the remainder of the year,” noted Sara Honegger, NRHA Manager of Youth and Professionals Programs. “One of the ways we can do so is through our European Youth Council. Although it’s only in its second year of existence, it is a program we look forward to watching grow and flourish, especially focusing on involvement and leadership opportunities.”

The 2020 European Youth Council is fortunate to have three familiar faces returning from the inaugural year, with Pia Boonstoppel, Netherlands, serving as President; Nanina Staub, Switzerland, as Vice President; and Erin Wielsma, Netherlands, in the role of Historian. Joining them will be Treasurer Isabeau Keiser, Sweden, and Secretary Elena Wuorimaa, Finland.

“I think our team this year is a really strong one. We can make anything happen together, and have already created a strong bond by video-calling and talking through our ideas. Now that we are in this Council for the second year, we know our way better and have gained some valuable experience,” Boonstoppel said. “I’m very proud of our team because everyone is now, in these difficult times, more motivated than ever.”

Boonstoppel added that the youth reining programs in Europe have seen tremendous growth. “With Europeans being able to get involved with programs like the Varsity Reining Club, it gets really attractive to be an NRHyA member. We are always trying to get people to join the NRHA, because the more the merrier!” she said.

The EYC is currently organizing an Instagram Horse Show together with their counterparts in the United States. “This way people will still be able to ‘compete’ against each other since most of the events in Europe have been canceled,” Boonstoppel explained. “As for the rest of the year, we are focused on getting a stable base for our council. We want to work closely with the U.S. Council so we can support and help each other.”

Honegger stressed the importance of the fledgling European program, noting, “The council is an important volunteer opportunity for youth to represent NRHA at events, help spread the education and promotion of reining, and network with other youth members that have similar passion for the sport. They will also work closely with the NRHyA Officers.”

Boonstoppel added, “The EYC is a great initiative to let us European kids become close and grow together. We are becoming a closer community every day. We are very thankful for every opportunity we get from the NRHA, and we will definitely work hard this year to make it happen.”

For more information about the opportunities available to youth reiners, visit

NRHA European Futurity On Track for November

For Immediate Release – July 10, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – As reining events around the world start to organize again, the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) is looking forward to the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity in Cremona, Italy, November 20–28.

Although IRHA is excited for a successful event, what started off as one image for the event at the beginning of the year, quickly changed due to COVID-19. At the beginning of March, European Futurity sponsor ELEMENTA announced that, with the intent to make an injection of confidence and support for the industry, they would contribute significant added money to the 2020 NRHA European Futurity purse. Following this announcement, the world went into quarantine as the global pandemic took over, forcing businesses to close, events to be canceled or postponed, and the overall worldwide economy to take a large hit–the reining industry being one of many sporting groups that felt the impact. After careful evaluation of every opportunity, ELEMENTA will not support the 2020 European Futurity as they originally announced, remodeling their corporate sponsorship for this year.

However, with the end of the lockdown hopefully on the horizon and new reining events starting back up (with specific limitations to keep everyone safe and healthy), the Italian show season is preparing to resume with regional championship competition. In addition, IRHA is proud to announce the added money for the 2020 NRHA European Futurity will be €230,000 and looks forward to seeing everyone in November at the Cremona Fair Grounds.

Press Release by Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA).

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.

2020 Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship Moves to Jacksonville

Due to a host of uncertainties impacting the event, the Heart of Dixie Reining Horse Association cancelled the Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship Show originally scheduled for August 19–23 in Perry, Georgia. Fortunately, reiners came together to find a solution and a new home for the event.

According to HDRHA Board Member Kyndall Peeples, there were discussions with the Florida Reining Horse Association about the future of the event and the FRHA Board offered to run the Affiliate Regional Championships at its show in Jacksonville, Florida. Peeples noted, “This is the best option for our region and its membership. We know FRHA will highlight the ARC with pride and give it the recognition it deserves.”

The National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors gave its approval to the location change during its July 2 meeting. The 2020 Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship will now be hosted by the FRHA October 29 – November 1, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center provides exhibitors with a large indoor coliseum and a large outdoor covered arena with additional outdoor riding areas. There are 470 permanent stalls at the facility as well as five local hotels (within 5 miles) and 80 camper hookups on site.

It’s a popular and familiar facility for reiners as the Florida Reining Classic, an NRHA Top 20 event, is held there each February. Besides the onsite accommodations, there are several restaurants nearby and an international airport within a 25-minute drive.

The FRHA has committed to hosting the ARC classes and providing the roughly $4,000 in added money that was planned by HDRHA. The ARC classes will run with the second slate of NRHA classes throughout the four-day show.

FRHA Secretary Shannon Rafacz noted, “We are fully staffed and ready to handle this event as we understand its importance to our Southeast membership. We will work hard to make this a true regional championship, putting emphasis on the ARC classes and providing championship awards for each division, including the short stirrup.”

She continued, “We are prepared to award down to 10th place for each ARC. This particular show was already slated to host a derby, futurity, and 7-Up. The FRHA was not able to hold its March or May shows so the club opted to pool the monies and put together a larger show, pushing our projected total added money over $57,000 for this event.”

New Rules For 2020 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships Qualifications

When the National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors met on July 2, a key discussion involved the qualification route for affiliate reiners hoping to compete in the 2020 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) at the NRHA Futurity November 26–December 5.

With the looming possibility of COVID-19 restrictions impacting future shows, along with the number of events having already been cancelled, the Board approved the Affiliate Committee’s proposal that anyone receiving a score higher than a zero at an Affiliate Regional Championship be eligible to enter that class at the NAAC. It was felt that this solution would encourage people to attend the ARCs and support the affiliate program without limiting the number of horses that will attend the NAAC.

The Board also removed the existing stipulation that if someone competes in a class at an ARC, they are unable to compete at another ARC. So, for 2020, riders will be allowed to participate in multiple regional championships with one exception. If they win a class, they cannot compete on the same horse in the same class in another ARC (for example, a horse and rider that won the Non Pro ARC class at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championships would not be allowed to compete in the Non Pro ARC class at the Southwest Affiliate Regional Championships).

“We feel that this is a positive solution that protects all the different components of the affiliate program,” said NRHA Affiliate Committee Chairman Kelly Brummett. “We’re still supporting the ARCs by requiring that people attend one to qualify. The clubs and affiliates that commit the work and effort every year are an essential and very appreciated part of this program, and we want to do all we can to help their events.”

Another benefit for exhibitors is, since qualification from the ARC is not limited to the top 10, people will not be bumped out of qualifying in their own ARC by people coming from other regions to compete.

Affiliate Committee Staff Liaison Sara Honneger is excited about the possibilities created by these measures. She said, “If you have ever thought you wanted to be a part of the NRHA’s Affiliate program, this is the year to see what it’s all about. 2020 has been a difficult year for so many, but maybe these new rules will give NRHA members a chance to try this program that we are so passionate about. We hope to see everyone at the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships at the NRHA Futurity.”