Sliders’ Night Out Raises $285,000-Plus While Honoring Hall of Fame Inductees and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch, the premier charitable event in the reining community, was back on the social calendar this year after not being held in 2020.

Hosted by the Reining Horse Foundation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Oklahoma State Fair Park Centennial Building in Oklahoma City, the night honored National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Fame inductees and NRHA Lifetime Achievement Award recipients from 2021 and 2020. It also offered a live auction, the proceeds of which benefitted NRHA members in a variety of ways, including the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, youth scholarships, the Hall of Fame and more.

Up for bid during the auction were a select group of items. They included a John Deere TS Gator, donated by Equine Discounts; a private clinic for eight people with NRHA Professional Mirjam Stillo, made possible by Mirjam Stillo Performance Horses, Nancy and John Tague of Toyon Ranch, and Debbie and Gary Conway of Rancho Los Vaqueros; a custom, handcrafted 18K gold pendant complete with winner’s logo from MS Diamonds TX; and a 2022 embryo out of Wind Her Up Chic, a top-producing mare with lifetime earnings exceeding $100,000, donated by RHF President Tim Anderson and Kim Niven.

When all was said and done, the auction garnered more than $285,000, making the night wildly successful for the RHF. Leslie Baker, Executive Director of the RHF, anticipated the final total of donations to increase during the weeks to come thanks to the generosity of the table donors.

“It’s a pinch-me moment,” Baker said of the amount raised during Sliders’ Night Out. “You think about two decades of history of what this foundation has been doing, and I’ve been telling people that we’re no longer a teenager — the Reining Horse Foundation is a full-blown adult and doing charitable works. Our board of directors is going to take a thoughtful approach to what we do, but we’re not going to bankroll these dollars. They have short-, middle- and long-term goals, and they’ll be doing some planning on that early in 2022 to see what the next step is as we go into our third decade.”

The night couldn’t have happened without Toyon Ranch’s John and Nancy Tague, who have been the presenting donors for three years. John said it was important to support the event because organizations like the NRHA and RHF create connectivity and foster a sense of community for the people who participate in them.

“Because of that, it was really a validation of the commitment a lot of folks have to the sport and the people that rely upon it to really turn this into a fabulous event that was going to raise funds for people in need who are in our community,” Tague said.

“We honor Toyon Ranch tonight as a catalyst,” Baker added. “There are so many people to thank for this, but they certainly took a leadership role in that three years ago to get it to this level. They felt like if they set an example, people would step up. We had over 60 tables sold tonight from people all across the world that did that. The goal is inclusiveness and diversity in this event, and the 2021 event certainly delivered.”

Baker reported that two dozen donors pledged contributions with RHF Board member Jamie Walters giving $10,000, plus another 1:1 $10,000 match. NRHA President and RHF Board member Rick Clark then matched Walters’ $20,000.

NRHA Hall of Fame Inductions

Inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame this year were Jose Vazquez and the late Doug Carpenter, who were recognized during the night’s program. Also honored was the 2021 NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Charles Vaughan.

As 2020’s inductees were unable to be honored last year, they too were included in the festivities. The 2020 class consisted of the late Sally Brown and the late Jerry Kimmel, along with Mike Carrier, the 2020 NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Jose Vazquez

Vazquez has been reining for about 24 years and is an NRHA Million Dollar Rider, Owner and Breeder. From Markham, Illinois, he is a member of the Midwest Reining Horse Association but has also supported the Asociacion Mexicana de Caballos de Reining A.C. NRHA Affiliate. His biggest wins to date as a rider were the 2009 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) and the 2018 NRBC, where he won the Level 4 Non Pro Championship both times.

Vazquez breeds and raises most of his horses, many of which are related to his stallion, NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire and 2017 NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Smart Like Juice. He gives back to the association and exemplifies great sportsmanship in and out of the show pen, supporting others, including his daughter, Mariana, who also competes.

At Sliders’ Night Out, Vazquez had a difficult time putting into words what it meant to be inducted into the HOF.

“It’s hard to explain how I feel. There’s a lot of emotion, and I’m so happy,” said Vazquez, whose entire family, including his wife, six children, nine grandchildren and brother Francisco, of Mexico, was in attendance. “I never thought I would come to this point. [When Tim McQuay was inducted into the Hall of Fame], I was joking around and I told them, ‘One day I’ll be where he is right now.’ At the time, I was a Limited Non Pro. My earnings were about $1,400. To be here 23 years later is just amazing.

“I always say I was very fortunate to have two families — I have the Family Vazquez, and the Family NRHA,” Vazquez added. “I’m very happy and very pleased to enjoy it.”

Doug Carpenter

Vazquez’ fellow inductee, Carpenter, passed away shortly before the 2020 NRHA Futurity. He is remembered as a mentor, a representative for the reining and the quintessential horseman. He sold and bought many horses that went on to have impressive careers thanks to his unmatched eye for horseflesh.

Carpenter was a Gold level donor to the RHF and helped reining become recognized on a global level. He also supported the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales and was one of the visionaries behind the NRHA Futurity Challenge, which has substantially increased the purse at the event. His numerous contributions to the sport will continue to impact the industry for years to come.

Charles Vaughan

Vaughan, a lawyer who won a landmark case in Indiana back in the 80s that resulted in laws preventing discrimination in the workplace against people with AIDS, has been involved with reining horses for years. He was instrumental in moving the NRHA Futurity from its home in Ohio to Oklahoma City. He has also owned and bred great horses over the years, including NRHA Hall of Fame mare Miss Tinseltown and Wimpys Show Stopper, an earner of more than $60,000.

Now 92, Vaughan still competes, even winning a bronze trophy at the age of 90. His character, generosity and enthusiasm for the sport helped make him the right choice for the Lifetime Achievement Award.

For more information on the Reining Horse Foundation, visit

NRHA Markel Futurity Sales Boasts Huge Event

In 2020, the National Reining Horse Association Markel Futurity Sales changed up the format of the sales by offering them all in a single day, rather than spreading them out throughout the week. That idea was so well-received that it was repeated again this year.

Held Thursday, Dec. 2, the sales took place in the Barn 3 area. The day started off with a breakfast sponsored by QStallions, followed by four sales back-to-back. New to the event this year was a phone app, a feature that greatly assisted potential buyers by providing information about each consignment and helping them follow along as each horse sold.

The sale saw record-breaking numbers this year with (unofficially) $5,520,900 garnered through the ring on 168 horses at an average of $32,683. The sold total of $5,142,900 (also unofficial) is a record over the highest year, 2007, as well.

NRHyA Stallion Auction

Breedings to 12 stallions were donated to the NRHyA Stallion Auction, the proceeds of which benefit NRHA’s youth. After the first 11 sold, the NRHyA had collected $25,000. Then, a surprise addition — a breeding to Spooks Gotta Whiz — was added, which sold for another $7,500. Overall, the youth raised $32,500.

Futurity Prospect Sale

Eight horses walked through the Futurity Prospect Sale, previously called the Prospect/Broodmare Sale. It was the final horse, hip no. 18, MMB Voodoo Gun, who came out the highest-seller when he sold for $101,000.

Consigned by St-Onge Reining Horses/Hostetler Performance Horses, MMB Voodoo Gun (NRHA Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr x Silk Guns), a 2019 sorrel colt, was purchased by Breana Carsey and her family, including her parents, Deborah and Brian. The Carseys were excited to purchase the colt and couldn’t wait to get him back home to their trainer, Shawn Flarida.

“We liked his conformation, his size, his mind and his attitude,” Brian said. “Shawn liked him too, and we trust him. He’ll got to Springfield and start training for Shawn to ride.”

MM Voodoo Gun was in training with St-Onge Reining Horses at the time of his sale. His dam, Silk Guns, is an NRHA money-earner and American Quarter Horse Association point-earner. He is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program and the National Reining Breeders Classic.

The second-highest seller, hip 7, brought $75,000. Nice Guy (Dun It For Whizkey x PS Katie Likes Cash) was consigned by G Reining Horses and sold to James Pirtle. The 2019 grey colt had been in training with Giada Camparsi and is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program and the NRBC.

The hammer fell at $31,000 for third-highest seller Legend Shine, a 2019 palomino colt consigned by Steve Simon. By Custom Legend, the colt, who was hip 4, is out of Spinderella Whiz. Alicia Rapp purchased Legend Shine, who had 300 days of training by sale time. He is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program and the NRBC.

Elite Yearling Sale

Previously called the Select Yearling Sale, this year’s Elite Yearling Sale had 72 consignments pass through the ring, an unofficial record. Averages were up drastically over the previous year, with an unofficial through the ring average of $43,861 and sold average of $46,841.

The top seller, who was also the highest-seller of the day, was hip no. 57, Deja Vue. Consigned by Toyon Ranch, LLC, the 2020 buckskin filly was purchased for $170,000 by Janice Laney.

Deja Vue’s dam, Dun Its Deja Vu, has produced earners of $254,000, including Gunner Dun It Again and NRHA Futurity Non Pro Reserve Champion Starbucks Finale. Her sire, Gunnatrashya, is an NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire. Deja Vue is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program, the NRHA Euro Nomination Program and the NRBC.

Toyon Ranch also consigned the second-highest earner, hip 62. Stargunz, who is by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of Miss Brim Star, brought a $160,000 bid from Bob Santagata. The 2020 sorrel colt is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program, the NRHA Euro Nomination Program and the NRBC.

Toyon Ranch’s John and Nancy Tague were thrilled to have brought the two highest-sellers to the NRHA Futurity Sales.

“We appreciate the quality of the horses and buyers at the NRHA Sale, and we are pleased to be able to offer such a nice filly and nice colt,” John said. “You never know who is going to be high seller, and we’re just awfully pleased people supported the program.”

“We’re thankful to the customers that are always here being so supportive,” Nancy added. “It means everything to us. It’s incredible, and we know they’re always going to go to good homes when people buy from here. We’re really thrilled.”

Two horses, both consigned by Silver Spurs Equine, LLC, tied for the third-highest bids, each bringing $150,000. The first, hip 60, SS ET Fone Home, a 2020 sorrel colt (Epic Titan x Electric Cha Ching), was purchased by Hotel Boulevard Gestion/ Daniel Bouchard. He is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program and the NRBC.

The second horse bringing a $150,000 sale price was SS Walk Tall, hip 68. The 2020 palomino colt, who is by NRHA Twelve Million Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Cremes Chic Olena, was purchased by 100X Equine. He is also enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program and the NRBC.

Preferred Breeders Sale

In its second year, the Preferred Breeders Sale, formerly called the Select Breeders Sale, saw a new record for through the ring and sold. Twenty-nine horses walked through the ring, and 27 sold.

Hip no. 114, Magic Gunna Happen, brought a bid of $75,000 to top the sale. The 2015 chestnut overo stallion, who is double-registered, was consigned by Baruch Reining Horses, Agent for Misty Valley Performance Horses, LLC. The earner of $26,633 placed eighth in the NRHA Futurity Level 3 Open in 2018 and was the 2021 American Paint Horse Association (APHA) Senior Reining World Champion. He earned his APHA ROM in reining and had 15 points.

Four Star Quarter Horses purchased Magic Gunna Happen, and new owner Emily Patton couldn’t wait to try him out.

“We’ve had our eye on him for a little bit, and he finally came up for sale. Shawn [Flarida] was like, you guys have to get him,” Patton said. “My mare has come to the end of her time in the pen, so it was perfect timing. I’m so excited to start with him.

“I love the way he stops, and I watched him at the Paint World,” Patton continued. “He has this presence about him when he goes in, and it’s so fun to watch and show.”

Patton said they planned to collect the horse, who is by Gunnatrashya and out of Nu Magic Cash, and then geld him so she could show him in the 2022 derbies in the Youth.

Another Toyon Ranch consignment, Fresh Squeezed Juice, brought $66,000 as the second-highest seller in the Preferred Breeders Sale. Hip 115, a 2011 buckskin mare, sold bred to Spooks Gotta Whiz.

By Four Million Dollar Sire Smart Like Juice, Fresh Squeezed Juice is out of Princess In Diamonds, an NRHA Million Dollar Dam. She was purchased by Eric Feder. Her 2021 filly, who is by Gunnatrashya, was also purchased by Feder for $15,500.

Hip 109, Gunnersspecialsister (Gunner x Mifs Doll), was the third-highest seller when she brought a bid of $60,000 from Tom McCutcheon. The 2013 sorrel mare, who is a full sister to NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite, was consigned by The Ranch Equine, Agent for BMW Quarter Horses. She is an NRHA earner of $31,274.

Gunnersspecialsister sold open but sound to carry her own foals. She is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program, NRHA Euro Nomination Program and NRBC.

Premier Sale

Previously called the Marketplace Sale, the Premier Sale finished out the day at the NRHA Futurity with its second-best sale since 2007. Hip 181, Boon Lite Whiz, sold for the highest amount during the sale, bringing a bid of $74,000 from Jamie Walters for consignor Cooper Smith, Agent.

The 2020 bay roan overo colt, who is double-registered, is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz and out of Peptos Little Dancer, a daughter of Peptoboonsmal.

“I’m very proud to bring a little cow horse to the reining world, and I think that’s what we’ve done here,” Walters said. “This horse was highly recommended, and we’ve been watching him for a while. Wade McDonald will be starting and training him. Wade was very fond of him, and I wanted to help Wade, so I got the horse.”

Hip 168, Shooting In The Rein (Guns R For Shootin x Singing In The Rein), brought the second-highest bid when the hammer fell at $52,000. Lynn Krekeler bought the 2020 red dun filly, who was consigned by Humphrey Quarter Horses, Inc.

Shooting In The Rein’s registration was pending with the APHA. She is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program, the NRBC and The Invitational.

Rounding out the top three in the Premier Sale was hip 178, Frozen Melody, who brought a bid of $40,000. Consigned by Cinder Lakes Ranch, Agent for TBR Ranch, LLC, the 2020 dun filly was purchased by La Coma Ranch. By SG Frozen Enterprize and out of Wimpys Lil Melody, she is enrolled in the NRHA Nomination Program, NRHA Euro Nomination Program and the NRBC.

Pictures by Jennifer Horton

Nicole Renick and Ruffinol Win NRHA Honorable Mention Futurity

Riders not advancing to the finals had the option of entering the $1,000 Added Honorable Mention Futurity, and Ruffinol and Nicole Renick were victorious. The pair marked a 217.5 to top the class and get a bit of redemption.

“We struggled this week in our left turnaround, but today he was on fire for it. We might have a little bit of an overturn, but I would rather have that than him not turn well,” Renick said. “He felt really good today. He was locked in everywhere and circled really good for me. He always stops really big and strong, and he was just with me all the way.”

Ruffinol is by NRHA’s newest Million Dollar Sire Not Ruf At All and out of One Eye Chiccy. With Renick at the reins, the stallion has won more than $7,000. The Honorable Mention Futurity win added almost $500 to that total. Owned by Steven Sandvig, Ruffinol was bred and nominated by Myron Gomulak

“Today I just wanted to have a good, clean run. I know he can go and mark like we did today, so I just wanted that smooth run, and that’s exactly what we did,” Renick said. “We’re going to just take him home and get him ready for the derbies. Our next stop is the Cactus Classic in March.”

Taking second in the Honorable Mention Futurity was Tristan Bagby and Xtra Voodoo Me with a 211. Xtra Voodoo Me, by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr out of Call Me Miss Hickory, has won more than $10,000 in competition. The stallion, owned by Ky Lake Trailer Sales Inc., was nominated by Silver Spurs Equine.  

Complete results from the NRHA Futurity can be found at

Shawn Flarida and Shiner On My Eye Slide to Top of NRHA Futurity Open Prelims

The field has been narrowed, and the scene is set for the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Futurity Open finals, to be held Saturday, Dec. 4. More than 396 entries have been whittled down to the cream of the crop, and it’s almost time to see who will come out on top.

The Open first go took place Nov. 25-27, and the top horses from each level advanced to the semi-finals. Levels 3, 2 and 1 went through the pen on Tuesday, Nov. 30, and on Wednesday, the L4 Open semi-finals, presented by Not Ruf At All, featured the top 75 horses, plus ties. From there, the top 30 competitors (plus ties) with the highest composite scores in L4-1, plus the top 10 in the Prime Time, advanced to the clean-slate Finals.

This year, the Level 4 Open exhibitors will be competing for a record-breaking $350,000 during the MS Diamonds TX L4 Open Futurity Finals — the largest limited-age event championship check in the Western performance horse industry. The Reserve Champion will still win a guaranteed $150,000, and third place will bank $100,000. Those places make up a large chunk of the NRHA Futurity’s $2,000,000 purse, made available thanks in large part to NRHA Futurity Challenge sponsors and the NRHA nomination program.

Topping the L4 semi-finals and securing their spot in the finals with a composite 445.5 were NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida and Shiner On My Eye. The duo marked a 223.5 in the first round and a 222 in the semi-finals. Shiner On My Eye, by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Flashy Lil Step, is owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owner Robert Santagata. The colt was bred and nominated by Empire Ranch. Flarida and Shiner On My Eye also top the Prime Time Open.

Flarida, a five-time NRHA Futurity Champion, also took second in the L4 semi-finals on Alpha Jac Sparrow (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Chexanicki) with a 445. Alpha Jac Sparrow, owned by Fritz Leeman, was bred and nominated by Alpha Quarter Horses LLC.

In the L3 Open, Matt McDowell rode Xtra Whiz On Ice, owned by Elisha Irwin, to the highest composite, a 442. Xtra Whiz On Ice, by SG Frozen Enterprise and out of Lil Ruf Whiz Qhiz, scored a 221 in the first go and a 221 in the semi-finals. Silver Spurs Equine bred and nominated Xtra Whiz On Ice.

Jesse Beckley held the top spot in the L2 Open on Trashinyurdreams, owned by Norma Siebert. Trashinyurdreams, who was nominated by Rhodes River Ranch, was sired by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya and is out of This Chicsdundreamin. The pair scored a 220 in the first go, which combined with their 220 in the semi-finals for a composite 440.

Shining Like Flinn, owned by Pastorino Hay & Ranch Supply and nominated by Mary Jansma, carried Wade McDonald to the No. 1 placing in the L1 with a 432.5 after marking a 216.5 in the first go and a 216 in the semi-finals. Shining Like Flinn is by In Like Flinn and out of Lil Shining Suzana.

The bubble needed to earn a berth in the L4 Open Finals was a 437.5. In the L3, it took a 433.5 to advance. L2 riders had to mark at least a 425.5, while in the L1, it took a 415 or more. To make the Top 10 in the Prime Time Open, riders needed to earn at least a 435.

Riders Advance from CINCH Non Pro Futurity Consolation

Although the preliminary round of the National Reining Horse Association CINCH Non Pro Futurity concluded Monday evening, riders who barely missed qualifying for the finals still had a chance to advance.

That’s because the CINCH Non Pro Futurity Consolation round gives entries that last chance needed to secure a spot in the Finals. In the consolation, the top five from each of the four Levels move on to Friday’s competition.

Ruben Pacheco Cuevas and Shiners Catrey topped the CINCH Level 4 and Level 3 Non Pro Consolation with a 216.5. Shiners Catrey is by Shiners Voodoo Dr and out of Ellie Rey Cat.

Finishing with the high score in the Level 2 Non Pro was Megan Jo Gunther and GT Dun Good (Gunners Tinseltown x Rio Dun Good) with a 212.5.

Marking the high score of the Level 1 was Calla Thomas and her horse Lilymay Cash (Lil Joe Cash x Great Red Juice) with a 210.5.

Bubble scores to advance to the CINCH Non Pro Futurity Finals on Friday, Dec. 3 from the Consolation were a 213 for the Level 4, 209.5 for the Level 3, 207 for the Level 2, and 208 for the Level 1.

Draw positions for the finals will be decided during the Platinum Performance Draw Party on Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Platinum Zone.