Enjoy LLC Joins NRHA Corporate Partner Family

The National Reining Horse Association welcomed a bevy of new partners in the 11th hour of 2021, including Enjoy LLC, based out of Whitesboro, Texas. Owners Stefano and Elena Ronco of Italy partnered with longtime friend and NRHA Professional Francesco Martinotti to create the business.

“Enjoy LLC was created by Stefano and Elena, who have been clients and friends of mine for a long time,” Martinotti explained. “It is their dream to own and care for exceptional horses in the reining industry. They are passionate about every part of the industry, from breeding to the show pen and everything in between. It’s all about the horse for them!”

Martinotti and the Roncos’ relationship began many years ago in Italy. “They were my clients there, and were actually the first people to buy a horse from me when I was only 17 years old,” Martinotti recalled. “When I moved to the United States in 2016, they came to visit and said they wanted to start something here.”

Smoking Trash

One of the first horses purchased by Enjoy LLC was Smoking Trash, by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Gunnatrashya out of NRHA Million Dollar Dam Snip O Gun.

With Martinotti at the reins, Smoking Trash was a 2019 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Finalist and has made the finals at every major event since his career began. At the 2021 The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge, Martinotti guided the stallion through an impressive and flawless pattern in the $100,000 Shootout. That score qualified the pair for the 2022 The Run For A Million Invitational.

“We knew from day one that he was going to be special, and he has proven us right time after time. Each year he shows tremendous growth and strength in the show pen,” Martinotti said. Smoking Trash will stand for the 2022 breeding season at Foals-R-Us, also an NRHA Corporate Partner, in Whitesboro, Texas.

According to Martinotti, joining the NRHA Corporate Partner family served dual purposes. “We decided to become an NRHA Corporate Partner for a couple of reasons. The first was to introduce Smoking Trash as a stallion and promote him. The second is because NRHA has been very good to us, even as foreigners. To come here and grow this business is very hard, but NRHA has been great for me and the owners, so we wanted to be a bigger part of the association and help it grow,” Martinotti, Enjoy LLC’s head trainer, explained. 

Sammi Miller, NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations & Communications, said the Board of Directors and Staff of the Association were thrilled for this new partnership. “We at NRHA are excited to welcome Enjoy, LLC as a new corporate partner. We look forward to working with Francesco Martinotti, Stefano and Elena Ronco, and the rest of the team at Enjoy, LLC to heighten exposure of their program,” she said.

Follow Enjoy LLC, Smoking Trash, and Foals R Us on Facebook, or connect with Enjoy LLC at enjoyreining@gmail.com. Find information about breeding opportunities at Foals-R-Us.com or by emailing breeding@foals-r-us.com

It’s That Time! NRHA Nominations Must Be Received by January 10

When Ten Thirty and Casey Deary claimed the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Open Futurity Championship, it was a dream come true for Brooke Wharton, who bred the colt by Gunnatrashya out of Dainty Little Step.

That win – and accompanying check for $350,000 – no doubt sparked dreams and aspirations for countless breeders around the world, and one of the first steps to that dream’s fruition is the NRHA Nomination program.

The opportunity to nominate weanling foals into the NRHA Nomination program at the lowest rate ends on January 10. These nominations must be received in the office by Monday, January 10, so the best way to ensure nominations are received by the deadline is to complete the process online through ReinerSuite.

The NRHA’s Nomination Program was created to grow its North American and European Futurities and Derbies to new heights through enhanced payouts. It has done that by allocating 60 percent of all the fees to the Futurities and 40 percent to the Derbies after a 10 percent retainage. Simply put, the enrollment of foals creates additional added money to the purses at the Futurities and Derbies which saw a 42% increase in the North American Open Futurity in the very first year.

Horses can be nominated to both the European and North American program or nominators may select one or the other. If only one is selected initially, the other can be added at a later date.

When a horse competes and wins money at one of the Futurities or Derbies, the nominator receives 5% of the earnings! It does not matter if the nominator still owns the horse or not. For example, at the 2021 NRHA Futurity, although Wharton had sold Ten Thirty during the 2019 NRHA Markel Futurity Sales, she still received $17,500 of the winner’s $350,000 purse.

Any horse can be nominated, and the original nominator can never be changed. NRHA Member and Show Services/Nomination Representative Emily Rush said, “We are so fortunate to have ReinerSuite available to us now because it really is the fastest and most economical way to nominate a horse. The $10 handling fee is waived when you do it online, and you receive an instant digital confirmation.”

When members log in to ReinerSuite, they can get guidance on how to complete nominations in the Resources Library.

Although NRHA staff is always available to help you with the online nomination process, they compiled a trouble-shooting page that can be found here.

The deadline for 2021 foals is approaching quickly! After January 10, the fees double until January 31, after which date the foal is considered a yearling and the fees adjust appropriately. Horses foaled in the Southern Hemisphere July 1st through December 31st will still be considered weanlings during the next calendar year. They will be considered yearlings during the subsequent year.

More information, including nomination forms, can be found at nrha.com/nomination.

Vaughn Zimmerman Becomes NRHA’s Newest Two Million Dollar Owner

When Not Ruf At All won the 2013 National Reining Horse Association Futurity Open Championship, owner Vaughn Zimmerman, of Missouri, was propelled into the elite ranks of NRHA Million Dollar Owners

The success of Not Ruf At All and Zimmerman has gone hand-in-hand, and in 2021, when Not Ruf At All became an NRHA Million Dollar Sire, Zimmerman surpassed two million dollars as an owner.

Zimmerman first became interested in horses decades ago. Although the venture began as a hobby, he soon began to focus on halter and pleasure horses. In the 1990s, he met reiner Kenny Eppers, and Zimmerman focused his sights on reining.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to breed and raise winning horses in so many different areas. I’ve had racehorses, halter horses, pleasure horses, but the reiners have held my interest for the longest time,” Zimmerman recalled.

A discerning eye quickly led to success, and by 1996, Smart Little Jewel (Smart Chic Olena x Gay Freckles Rio), ridden by Eppers, had given Zimmerman his first NRHA Open Futurity Finalist. In 1999, NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Todd Bergen showed Zimmerman’s Roosters Wrangler (Gallo Del Cielo x Hustlers Sugar) to a reserve championship at the NRHA Futurity.

In the late 1990s, Zimmerman turned his focus to breeding, with headline stallion Skeets Peppy. The son of legendary sire Peppy San Badger was an NRHA Open Futurity Finalist and claimed the NRHA 1999 Open Reserve World Championship. He went on to win more than $77,000 in competition, and his foals have won money in multiple associations, including more than $885,000 in NRHA.

In 2012, Zimmerman and NRHA Professional Jason Vanlandingham teamed up, when Vanlandingham piloted Zimmerman’s Wimpys High Bid (Wimpys Little Step x Lucky Little Jewel) to the Level 3 Open Futurity reserve championship and fifth place in the Level 4.

That same year, a young prospect named Not Ruf At All, by A Sparkling Vintage out of All Ruffed Up, was catching eyes in Zimmerman’s barn.

Bobby Avila had taken the stallion through his early training, then the Zimmermans decided to offer Not Ruf At All in the 2012 NRHA Futurity Prospect Sale. When the reserve wasn’t met, they decided Vanlandingham would be the right fit for the big-stopping colt.

From that point, the Zimmerman program began to domino. Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All first won the Tulsa Reining Classic Open Futurity Championship, then went on to win the High Roller Classic. The pair were the odds-on favorite at the 2013 NRHA Futurity, and they didn’t disappoint. Vanlandingham and Not Ruf At All had marked a 225 to take the Open title, winning more than $200,000 for the year and pushing Zimmerman more than $20,000 past the million dollar threshold as an owner.

Not Ruf At All and Vanlandingham continued to win, and the pair went on to earn more than $456,501, but ultimately, it was time for the next stage of Ruf’s career. “We hated to see him quit showing. He’s the best show horse we’ve ever owned,” Zimmerman admitted.

Not Ruf At All was more than ready to excel in his new role as a breeding stallion. “The first crops were small because we weren’t standing him to an open book. But soon we were seeing strong support from people around the globe – even Europe. People have a lot of choices because they can breed to established studs – so when you’re in the proving stages and they support you, it means a lot,” Zimmerman explained.

In the beginning, Zimmerman bred his own set of broodmares to the young stallion, and the first foals came of age in 2018.

Not Ruf At All’s highest money earner is Excessive Rufness (Smokin Lady Gunner), a 3-year-old owned by Zimmerman. Winning the inaugural Invitational Futurity with Vanlandingham boosted his earnings over the $100,000 mark. Another Zimmerman-owned standout by the stallion is Its All About Ruff (out of Dun Pretty Nifty), with $73,715 in lifetime earnings.

Zimmerman was inducted to NRHA’s Hall of Fame in 2018. Throughout the years he has been a staunch supporter of the reining industry, serving on the Board of Directors for NRHA, for the Reining Horse Foundation, and by being a longtime NRHA Corporate Partner.

Although he never showed himself, Zimmerman’s family has seen much success in the show pen. Both his sons, Matt and Justin, have NRHA earnings. Justin has been the most active in the show pen with earnings nearing $77,000, including a Level 3 Non Pro NRHA Futurity reserve championship.

Justin’s son, Jacob, and daughter, Taylor, are both active in reining. Jacob, whose lifetime earnings exceed $81,000, won the 2020 NRHA Futurity Level 2 Non Pro Championship and Level 3 Non Pro Reserve Championship on Rufin Up The Chics (Not Ruf At All x Ms Playalotta Chic). Taylor, whose biggest victories in NRHA competition include multiple Level 4 Non Pro finals qualifications at all the major NRHA events, has lifetime earnings of $255,642.

Zimmerman Performance Horses is located on 150 acres just outside Springfield, Missouri. With a 40,000 square foot, the state-of-the-art facility can easily accommodate not only the breeding and foaling of broodmares but also the training of their two-year-olds and personal show horses. With the assistance of Zimmerman Performance Horses’ resident trainer, Bobby Avila, Jr., the young prospects are started, evaluated, and sent on to the open trainer who can best develop the abilities of each individual.

For more information about Zimmerman, visit NotRufAtAll.com.

Reining Horse Foundation Announces Major Scholarship Expansion

For Immediate Release – January 3, 2022 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The Reining Horse Foundation set a record for fundraising at its major annual gala, Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch on December 1, and announced a significant expansion of its scholarship program benefiting youth reiners

According to Mike Hancock, chair of the RHF Scholarship Committee, the RHF Board of Directors recently approved growing the number of RHF Scholarships from eight to 10 and increasing annual funding support for these awards from $13,000 to $28,000 per year for the next three years. In addition, several scholarship amounts are rising, including the three top awards, which will increase from $2,500 to $5,000 each effective this year.

“Our national youth officers, delegates and members get involved with fundraising through programs such as the annual NRHyA Stallion Auction and the Buy-A-Pro Auction, so they learn organizational skills and help keep the youth programs funded,” said Hancock. “These efforts are going well, and the reining community has dramatically increased support of the Reining Horse Foundation in recent years. This enables the RHF to make a greater impact on its core programs. Scholarships are one of the best ways to help support young reiners for bright futures.”

In addition to the RHF Scholarships, the RHF makes possible another $32,000 per year in NRHA affiliate and Varsity Reining Club scholarships. This expansion will make the total commitment $60,000 per year.

The 2022 applications are available now at nrhya.com/scholarships. To be eligible to apply, students must be members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association for at least 24 months prior to applying and be a senior in high school pursuing an undergraduate degree in a two- or four-year institution, trade or technical school. A previous recipient of an RHF Scholarship may reapply for a second scholarship if she or he meets all other criteria.

The 10 RHF Scholarships will be structured as three at $5,000; three at $2,500; three at $1,500 and one at $1,000. Selection is based on financial need, academic record, involvement in the school and community, a special essay, and references. Applications must be postmarked by March 1.

Leslie Baker, executive director of the RHF, said, “Donors are a big part of this announcement. There are those who are specifically interested in the leadership development and scholarships available through the NRHyA, and we appreciate and welcome their support.”

For details on contributing toward youth programs, contact Baker at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106 or email rhf@nrha.com.

Beurskens and Anderman Elected to NRHA Executive Committee

Paulus Beurskens

Paulus Beurskens and Ann Anderman were elected by the National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors in its December meeting to fill two Director-at-Large positions on the NRHA Executive Committee. Beurskens and Anderman, who will each serve a one-year term in 2022, bring a diverse perspective to the Executive Committee.

Beurskens, of the Netherlands, returns to the NRHA Executive Committee where he has been a member since 2020. He has been involved in reining since the ‘90s and rides as a Non Pro. He and his wife Gisela Haas own Galaxy Quarter Horse, where they breed and raise reining horses.

His company, Galaxy Executive Management Solutions, focuses on connecting people and businesses based on equality and inclusive leadership. He is also Partner/Managing Director at Energyprofs, a consultancy agency specialized in the Dutch energy market.

A former President of the Dutch Reining Horse Association and member of the NRHA European Affiliate Council and Executive Board, he has served on the NRHA Board of Directors and various NRHA committees.

Ann Salmon Anderman

Ann Salmon Anderman, alongside her husband Monte, is involved with teaching riders and horses of all levels, hosting clinics and is currently based out of Cinder Lakes Ranch in Valley View, Texas. She serves on the NRHA Board of Directors, as well various committees. Additionally, she is a past chair of the NRHA Judges Committee, Policy Review Task Force and Judges Work Environment Task Force. She served on the Southwest Reining Horse Association Board of Directors for eight years and was president for three years.

In addition to competing, Anderman has traveled around the world judging and teaching and has officiated at two NRHA European Futurities. She was previously awarded the NRHA Volunteer of the Year for her dedication and service to the Association.

Beurskens and Anderman will serve on the Executive Committee alongside President Rick Clark, Vice-President Mark Blake, Director-At-Large Shane Brown, and Director-At-Large John Tague.

For more information concerning how representatives are elected, refer to the NRHA Bylaws page and the NRHA Elections page.