NRHA Hall of Fame Nomination Deadline is June 1

The National Reining Horse Association’s Hall of Fame is a collection of exceptional individuals, both human and equine. These industry pillars have contributed to the reining industry through immeasurable avenues. In the NRHA Hall of Fame, their accomplishments and extraordinary contributions of time, expertise, financial support, and commitment live on as their legacies.

The 2021 Hall of Fame inductees will be formally recognized during Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch. This very special event will be held December 1 during the NRHA Futurity and Adequan®­ North American Affiliate Championships.

NRHA Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Mike Hancock takes his position very seriously. “When I look back at all the previous Hall of Fame members, I am proud to say I knew most of them and saw most of the horses show,” he said. “They defined our industry, and it is important to remember them.”

The honor bestowed on these individuals by inclusion in the Hall of Fame is as immense.  Inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2017, Rosanne Sternberg remembers the emotional moment well. She said, “Being recognized by induction into the NRHA Hall of Fame is such a massive and cherished honor for a member. The association has been a wonderful organization to be part of. Meeting, learning from and working with many talented and dedicated people, who are fellow enthusiasts of the sport, give a lifetime of invaluable memories which accepting this honor commemorates.”

The deadline to nominate an individual or horse is June 1. Reining Horse Foundation Executive Director Leslie Baker explains the selection process.  “From the applications, the committee determined the nominees and then the NRHA Board and Hall of Fame members select people and horses worthy of reining’s highest honor. It is then the privilege of the Reining Horse Foundation to celebrate these individuals at our annual gala event. It is a wonderful collaboration.”

The path to nomination is rigorous in order to uphold the integrity of the Hall of Fame and the honor of the title. Hancock commented, “The criteria allow significant people and horses to be recognized for their contributions in and out of the arena. Coaches, breeders, outstanding sires or dams, owners or major influencers in the industry are all considered in the selection process. However, it is important that all are measured by the criteria that was established by the NRHA Board of Directors.”

Individuals are nominated by NRHA members, and the Hall of Fame Committee screens the nominees. Qualifying nominations are then brought before the NRHA Board of Directors and previous Hall of Fame inductees. Their attributes will be weighed against those of other nominees and a two-thirds majority vote must be achieved. The Nomination Criteria and Hall of Fame Nomination Forms can be found at

Creativity Comes to Life in NRHyA Art & Photo Contest Sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The National Reining Horse Youth Association boasts a skilled group of members. Not only do these youth compete in the show pen, many have other talents. Thanks to a partnership with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, some of the more creative members can compete for major recognition.

“We are thrilled that the NRHyA has once again partnered with the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for the 2021 Art & Photo Contest. Last year this partnership not only created prize incentives for the winners but also allowed young artists to get exposure in a public setting,” explained Sara Honegger, NRHA Manager of Youth & Professional Programs. “Last year 17 NRHyA members participated with more than 30 entries. We hope to have even more of our members enter the contest this year.”

NRHyA President Olivia Klug entered the contest, finishing first in the Mixed Medium division for the 14-18 age group. “I chose to participate in the art contest last year because I thought it was a good opportunity to show something I am passionate about. I have always loved art, but have never had the chance to display my work. The NRHyA Art & Photo contest was the perfect way for me to share that part of me,” Klug said.

As in 2020, first place in each age group of each category will be displayed June 17–27 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for visitors to see during the 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel Insurance.

“Having my work displayed at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum was a surreal feeling. The museum is one of my favorite places to visit in Oklahoma. I felt extremely fortunate to have my work there along with that of many other talented artists. I cannot describe how grateful I am to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for providing the NRHyA this opportunity,” Klug noted.

Judges for this year’s contest include NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter, Michael R. Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; and Steve Miller, vice president, event marketing at NRHA Corporate Partner Montana Silversmiths.

Entry forms for the 2021 NRHyA Art & Photo Contest can be found at Entries will be accepted until May 14.

Klug added, “I would tell anyone considering entering the Art & Photo contest to do it! For a while I was nervous about entering my work, but I am so thankful I did. I enjoyed being able to see everyone’s entries, and I would love to see yours too! Each piece entered has a special story behind it, and NRHyA would love to be able to help display it.”

Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes Debuts at NRHA Derby presented by Markel

Thanks to National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner Tamarack Ranch, 4-year-old reining horses will have the chance at even more money at the 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. That’s because the Oregon-based ranch is the sponsor of the new $40,000-added Open Stakes!

The Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes is open to 4-year-old horses. The Stakes will run concurrently with the NRHA Derby go-rounds, and while cross-entry into the NRHA Derby is allowed, it is not mandatory.

“Suzy Simar and Tamarack Ranch have supported NRHA for several years through corporate partnership and before that, event sponsorship.  This year, 4-year-old horses have the opportunity to compete for big money,” noted Sammi Miller, NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications. “Thank you to Gabe Hutchins of Tamarack Ranch for sponsoring the new division. Tamarack Ranch is forward-thinking and committed to raising the bar at events.  When they saw a need in our industry, they worked to find a solution. As with so many of our corporate partners, that kind of initiative and dedication has helped NRHA thrive over the years.”

Hutchins, head trainer for Tamarack Ranch, shared the thought behind the Stakes. “We just saw a big need for more promotion of our 4-year-olds, especially since the derbies have been changed to include 7-year-olds. That’s a big change in horsepower over that age range,” he shared. “We thought we could give 4-year-old horses the opportunity to show one more year for good money while not having to compete against the older, more finished horses.”

Hutchins and Simar spent time discussing the idea with other owners and trainers before presenting it to NRHA. “We believe in the welfare and longevity of the horse and giving those 4-year-old horses another year to finish and get ready will help them in the long run,” he said.

He added that the feedback from fellow trainers has been overwhelmingly positive. “I have spoken with a few just in the last week who told me they hadn’t planned to bring a 4-year-old to the Derby but would now.” He added, “We are committed to sponsoring the Open Stakes for the next three years, and hope it takes off and is accepted like we feel it will be.”

Tamarack Ranch, located in Joseph, Oregon, focuses on raising, selling, and showing elite reining horses. “We are just now coming into year five, and it takes a while to get into full swing. Now our breeding program is going, and we have quality horses, from yearlings to show horses, to sell and we have a good show string, too,” Hutchins shared. “It feels phenomenal to start seeing horses we have raised go compete and do well.”

For questions or to schedule a visit, please e-mail, or call (260) 249-0158 or (260) 416-1377. Be sure to visit the website at

Bob’s Custom Saddles Expands NRHA Sponsorship with Showdowns

Exhibitors competing in select divisions at the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships can earn the opportunity to perform center stage in the Jim Norick Coliseum. That is because longtime NRHA Corporate Partner Bob’s Custom Saddles has expanded its sponsorship to include a bonus round for three classes.

Those classes – Intermediate Non Pro, Intermediate Open, and Rookie Level 2 – will be held in the Adequan® Arena, with entries competing for 2021 Adequan® NAAC titles. The top 10 for each class (plus ties) will earn a spot in one of the Bob’s Custom Saddles Showdowns.

A staggering $10,000 will be awarded during the Showdowns for each class. That means that, for no additional entry fee, the Bob’s Custom Saddles Showdown Champion will win $5,000, the reserve champion will take home $2,500, third will receive $1,500, and fourth will earn $1,000. Money won in the Showdown will be considered Category 7 affiliate earnings.

“There are so many exciting aspects to this new sponsorship, and we are thrilled for our NAAC competitors to have this opportunity. Someone could win both an NAAC Championship and a Bob’s Custom Saddle Showdown title, but it also gives someone who might not have shown their best in the Adequan® Arena a redemption round,” noted NRHA President, Rick Clark. “We appreciate Chris Weaver of Bob’s Custom Saddles for always stepping up when there is an opportunity to grow our sport and support our riders.”

Chris Weaver, Vice President of Bob’s Custom Saddles, noted, “We are focusing on growth for the reining industry and for ways to attract new people and increase the longevity of the sport. This sponsorship is based on not only expanding the overall Futurity but also strengthening the reining industry.”

The Bob’s Custom Saddles Intermediate Non Pro and Intermediate Open Showdown will be held Friday, Dec. 3, and the Bob’s Custom Saddles Rookie 2 Showdown will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4.

The new Showdown format will also apply to the Toyon Ranch Rookie of the Year. Rookie Level 1 riders will compete for Toyon Ranch Rookie of the Year honors in the Adequan® Arena, and then the top 10 in that class will also advance to the Toyon Ranch Showdown, which will run concurrently with the Bob’s Custom Saddles Rookie Level 2 Showdown on Saturday, Dec. 4.

“The reining industry as a whole is blessed with many generous sponsors, and Bob’s Custom Saddles and Toyon Ranch are two of the best. Their vision is to grow this sport beginning with specific NAAC division while benefiting the industry as a whole,” noted Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications, Sammi Miller.
For more information about the NRHA Futurity, visit

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