NRHyA Art & Photo Contest

For Immediate Release – June 19, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) 2021 Art & Photo Contest sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum returned for the second year, doubling its participation from 2020.

First place in each age group and category will be on display at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for visitors to see during the 2021 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. With over 50 entries total, this year’s competition was incredibly tough for the esteemed judges.

“I encourage everyone to take some time away from the heat of the Derby to see these works of art displayed in such a stunning museum,” said Sara Honegger, Youth and Professionals Program manager. “These young artists put so much work into their craft and I am excited how much this contest has grown in just one year, especially with the amount of younger NRHA participants. Congratulations to all!”

The contest judges consisted of 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.

A fan favorite will be voted on through the NRHyA Facebook page ending June 27 at 5 p.m. CDT. The fan-favorite will receive a gift certificate for a pair of boots from NRHA Corporate Partner Anderson Bean Boot Company.

Photography 14-18
First Place: Faith Horner
Second Place: Jaiden Cohlmia
Third Place: Raeanna Thayn

Photography 13 & Under
First Place: Kynlee Cohlmia
Second Place: Gracelyn Hansmeyer
Third Place: Claire Holoubek

Mixed Medium 14-18
First Place: Alexandra Nicole Mueller
Second Place: Hannah Schuck
Third Place: Hannah Schuck

Mixed Medium 13 & Under
First Place: Cassandra Hacking
Second Place: Gracelyn Hansmeyer
Third Place: Cassandra Hacking

Graphic Design 14-18
First Place: Raeanna Thayn

Graphic Design 13 & Under
First Place: Cassandra Hacking

Honorable Mention
Victoria McClure

Not only did Victoria’s art come in just shy of the top three finishes in the Mixed Medium 13 & Under class, but her work also inspired a new category for next year. Starting in 2022, the contest will have a 10 & Under class so younger budding artists can have a space to showcase their talents as well. Congratulations, Victoria, on this honorable mention award!

We had a total of nearly 50 entries, almost double from 2020. Congratulations to all who entered and we encourage each of you to enter again next year!

Josselyn Mumm
Michelle Fumagalli 
Lillian Bains
JP McClure
Julie Warnick
Isabelle Hildebrandt
Ava Bush
Hayden Jones
Hailey Jones
Logan Putvinski
Cambrey Hedges
Dakota Woodring

NRHA Owner Casey Hinton Crosses Million Dollar Milestone

NRHA Million Dollar Owner Casey Hinton.

With a career that has spanned disciplines, decades, states and roles, it’s fitting that Casey Hinton of Whitesboro, Texas, has achieved a career milestone that few have. The National Reining Horse Association Professional, who has also had an impressive career in the show pen, became a Million Dollar Owner in April.

Just a few thousand dollars away from that milestone, the success of Hinton’s horses at the National Reining Breeders Classic clinched the achievement.

“I think this is a major accomplishment in your career, but when I started out, this wasn’t my goal. You start out with a love of horses and training, owning, and showing them,” Hinton explained. “To reach a milestone that few have accomplished is very exciting.”

Growing up in Ohio, Hinton began showing horses in 4H. The All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, provided plenty of inspiration to the budding trainer. “It is such a big influence on every part of the horse industry. It gets you thinking that the horse business is something to be a part of,” he said.

While at Findlay College, Hinton was able to work with Dale Wilkinson. “He was the grandfather of reining, so with that exposure in college, the NRHA Futurity and the Congress both being held in Ohio, I wanted to direct myself towards a more advanced level of training,” Hinton recalled. “I saw what the successful horsemen were doing and wanted to emulate that.”

Hinton later worked for professional horse trainer Doug Lilly, and when Lilly made the move to Arizona, Hinton followed as his assistant. Soon after he began working for renowned horseman Al Dunning. “At that time, the horse training world hadn’t reached the point of specialization yet, so we trained cutters, cow horses, reiners, western riding horses, and more, because the all-around titles were the thing to win,” he explained.

Hinton soon went into business for himself, taking numerous youth and adult riders to all-around titles. His barn, however, began to evolve, transitioning from having a few reining horses to a specialized reining facility.

It was when Hinton and his wife Kathy moved to Texas that his business and career really flourished. The couple created Cedar Ridge Stallion Station, and began to diversify, not only with a training and competition division, but also breeding and selling. “We have been entrepreneurs and invested in ourselves by buying or raising our own prospects. We’ve had success with that, and are fortunate it has worked out,” he said. Cedar Ridge Stallion Station is home to NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream, NRHA Triple Crown winner Not Ruf At All, and two-time AQHA World Champion and earner of $188,000 In Like Flinn.

Hinton has owned several standout athletes, including Smarty Starlight, Lil Magnum Jessie, Black Hails Gold, Guaranteed A Magnum, and Mega Mag. It was on Lil Magnum Jessie, by NRHA $7 Million Sire Magnum Chic Dream, that Hinton won the 2009 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Reserve Championship. Hinton won the NRHA Level 3 Open Futurity Championship in 2013 on Black Hails Gold (by Shine Like Hail), and in 2017 on Mega Mag (by Magnum Chic Dream).

While Hinton initially competed on Guaranteed A Magnum (by Magnum With A Dream), he passed the reins to his assistant Jimmy van der Hoeven, who piloted the gelding to back-to-back NRHA Derby Championships in 2018 and 2019 (owned by Chad and Molly Cherry).

Hinton was adamant that his success as both an owner and showman is due to help from people surrounding him. “You can’t accomplish something like that without a team. We have had many great assistants help us over the years, and we have been a real team. I don’t think this is an individual honor for me by any means,” he said. Hinton shared that Kathy, who has owned NRHA earners of more than $720,000, has been the driving force behind the couple’s success.

The current team at Casey Hinton Reining Horses includes Casey and Kathy, along with NRHA Professional Jimmy van der Hoeven, Abby Kampman, Mateo Argentero and Rodrigo Nieves.

While achieving Million Dollar Owner status is a huge accomplishment, Hinton is not resting on his laurels and is less than $115,000 away from becoming an NRHA Million Dollar Rider. “We still have some more goals, and we hope we have the endurance to reach them. The fact that we can do what we love, which is raising, training, and showing reining horses makes us fortunate. It’s fulfilling, so we hope to continue for a long time,” he said. 

Tenda Equine Products Sponsor Drag Awards at 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

There are numerous opportunities to win prizes at the 6666® National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel, slated for June 19th-27th in Oklahoma City. The prize pool is set to expand in 2021 as contestants with the highest scoring run of each drag during the Open and Non Pro Preliminaries will win prizes from Tenda Equine Products.

The Tenda drag awards are given at the conclusion of each set and each drag award winner can go to the Super Barn paddock stand and pick up a Tenda bucket containing Tenda Giddy Up Shampoo, Tenda Pods, Tenda Sheen, Tenda Original Poultice or Tenda Hoof oil all generously sponsored by Tenda Equine & Pet Care Products and ThorSport Farm.

“We are glad to have this special benefit for our riders, thanks to Tenda,” said NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody. “It’s special and fun for our exhibitors to be able to walk out of the arena and get a gift for topping the set.”

NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications Sammi Miller echoed that sentiment. “Tenda Equine Products are a great addition to NRHA’s Derby award program,” she said. “Thank you to Tenda and ThorWorks Industries for coming on board to sponsor the high point leader of each section inside the Jim Norick Arena!”

Tenda Equine and Pet Care Products has been serving the performance horse industry for over 45 years with a primary goal of developing and manufacturing safe and effective products to promote and improve the overall health, soundness, performance, and overall well-being of equine athletes. For more information, visit the website at

Skyrocketing Entries Necessitate Schedule Changes for 6666® NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The 2021 6666® NRHA Derby presented by Markel will be the largest in history in terms of Derby entries. That’s great news; however, with 303 Non Pro and 265 Open entries in the draw, the event will present some logistical challenges.

The increased numbers were a last-minute turn-around that it is thought to be the result of the myriad of new incentives for riders that came from soaring sponsor support.  The Four Sixes Ranch’s guaranteed championship payments in all levels are a factor, as are the opportunities presented by the Story Book Stables Amateur Derby, the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes, the Colston Paving Inc. Non Pro Stakes, and the GlycoGuard Novice Horse Non Pro and Open Derbies.

It seems that, for many exhibitors, the decision to enter was made at the eleventh hour. NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody explained, “The week before draw, we were substantially down in entries. They were so much lower than expected that I had taken my concerns to NRHA management. We were nearly 50 horses off the 2019 numbers, and even more from the 2020 totals. The deadline to be in the draw was Tuesday, June 1, the day after Memorial Day. From Friday evening, May 28, until midnight on June 1, we received more than 200 late Derby entries, as well as a staggering number of horse show entries!”

In checking the NRHA’s historic records, this volume of last-minute entries is unprecedented. Cody continued, “That increase, along with the anticipated accompanying ancillary entries, will make for long days for exhibitors. We have already taken steps to add a day to the show beginning in 2022. Unfortunately for this year, we will have to manage as best we can, because people have already made travel and vacation arrangements.”

NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter is looking forward to the historic event. “We are thrilled to have incredible sponsors whose support has brought us to this level. The funds they have brought in have been spread across so many divisions, benefiting all our exhibitors,” he said. “The explosive growth in our entry numbers this year have far outpaced the available dates. We have adjusted where we could this year, and plan to add another day to the schedule in 2022. We ask everyone for their patience and flexibility this year as we navigate through a record-setting, extraordinary event.”

The 2021 schedule has been modified with changes in start times and in locations for some classes as well as an amended entry deadline and schedule for the AQHA Open Class. Be sure to check the schedule and entry forms online at for complete details.

Horse of the West “Short Stirrup Series” Continues at 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

The National Reining Horse Association has long enjoyed the coverage provided by Horse of The West (formerly NRHA Inside Reining), and the 2021 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel will be featured on the popular RFD-TV program.

According to NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications Sammi Miller, the program helps the NRHA Derby reach a much wider audience.

She said, “Horse of the West, has helped the association to reach new people each year and show them all the excitement of reining.” With the program’s change of focus and expansion to covering both reined cow horse and barrel racing, Horse of the West has increased access to people who are already in the horse business. Their understanding of the complexities of training a horse should help draw them to the reining discipline.

In 2021 Sandbur Productions, creator of Horse of the West, is celebrating 20 years of reining coverage with the “Short Stirrup Series.”  At five unique reining events this year, Horse of the West is providing a special sponsorship to the 10 and Under class and will feature the top two finishers in the TV show.

Jenifer Reynolds of Sandbur Productions has long had a passion for reining and for the industry’s youngest riders. She said, “We want to showcase our youngest riders and encourage their involvement with horses. We hope the Short Stirrup Series will encourage families to get their kids out of the house and onto the back of a horse!”

Like many others in the reining world, Jenifer believes in the benefits of being involved with showing reining horses. “We’ve seen first-hand how young kids learn confidence, responsibility, and appreciation for animals through their involvement in reining. We want to show that benefit to our viewers,” she said.

“The sponsorship by Sandbur Productions and Horse of the West of the Short Stirrup classes is new at the 2021 Derby. Supporting the youth is something dear to NRHA and to have our long-time friends, Jenifer Reynolds and Chris Cook at Horse of the West, come along side to sponsor the youth is something we are proud to announce,” Miller said.

6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel coverage on Horse of the West is scheduled for September 13 and September 20. Remember, the show airs on Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET on RFD-TV. For those who don’t have RFD-TV, the shows are posted on the Horse of the West YouTube channel.

Horse of the West is a multiple Telly Award and AHP Equine Media Award winning weekly show presenting coverage of reining, reined cow horse, and barrel racing. In 2020 Horse of the West garnered a record 6 million 18+ views on RFD-TV, rural America’s most important network, and is on target to repeat those viewership numbers again in 2021.

Go to for a complete show schedule.