Raised in Italy, Lorenzo Lotti has always had a passion for horses, and over the years, he has transitioned that love into thriving businesses that are all equine-centered. Lotti, under the name of Foals-R-Us Reproduction Center and Stallion Station, recently joined the National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner lineup.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Lorenzo Lotti and Foals R Us as an NRHA Corporate Partner, and we look forward to a successful partnership,” Rick Clark, NRHA President, noted. “Corporate Partners support our association and our industry in a way that is wonderful for the riders, owners, breeders, and everyone else who has committed their lives to this sport.”
A spontaneous trail ride when Lotti was just 10 years old in Italy sparked his drive to be around horses. “I haven’t been away from horses since then,” he shared. “From the age of 10 to 16, I helped every day after school in a barn close to home. From 16 to 18, I helped at Latorre Quarter Horses, and then at the end of 1998, I went to Texas to work for 50 days with (NRHA Million Dollar Rider) Craig Johnson.”
Two years later, Lotti went back to work for Johnson for three months, then began to train two-year-olds before starting work as a horseshoer assistant.
During that time, he met renowned reproductive veterinarian, Dr. David Hartman. “I got to be at the Hartman clinic pretty much daily, and I was always trying to stay longer than I needed and help if they were short-handed,” he recalled. “One day, Dr. Hartman told me, ‘If you ever need a job, just drive in and start.’”
When his boss decided to downsize his business, Lotti knew it was time to take Dr. Hartman up on that invitation. Fourteen years later, Dr. Hartman decided to retire. “He gave me the opportunity to purchase the Hartman Equine Reproduction Center, and I am excited that it is now the home of Foals-R-Us Reproduction Center & Stallion Station, the home of Pro Fit Equine and EQ Promo. I am finally able to run all my businesses under one roof.”
Lotti’s services include breeding, foaling, stallion management, semen freezing for domestic and export, on-site full-service embryo transfer, oocytes aspirations, ICSI transfers, sale fitting, sales, and more.
“I would never be where I am today if it weren’t for David. He helped me and did more for me than I can ever thank him enough for. I feel it is only right for me to take on and continue with the business,” Lotti said. “Thank you to all my past, current, and future clients for keeping me going forward.”
Learn more about Foals-R-Us, Pro Fit Equine by Lotti, and EQ Promo, visit foals-r-us.com.
In recent years, the planet has been in a state of upheaval and change. COVID-19 had a staggering impact. Some marginal businesses thrived and grew. Other long successful companies couldn’t survive and people lost jobs as well as lifelong enterprises.
For the equine industry, facing a pandemic was especially challenging. In early 2020, the National Reining Horse Association Board and Executive Committee scrambled along with the rest of the horse world to make correct decisions – to plan, predict, and survive. Now, with two years of history, the state of the reining industry shows very positive statistics according to the data released during the NRHA Winter Meetings, held Feb. 13-16 in Denton, Texas.
Thankfully, along with the pandemic, the reining industry and the entire western performance industry has enjoyed the unprecedented publicity created by Taylor Sheridan. “The impact on the reining world, through Yellowstone and The Last Cowboy, along with The Run For The Million, can’t be calculated. It’s been incredible for our industry,” said NRHA President Rick Clark. He continued, “These are exciting times and overall, the Association is thriving.”
Money won at NRHA events worldwide hit an all-time high in 2021 at $19,157,953, as did added money at $12,621,353. Total annual entries, at 112,929, were also the highest ever.
The number of shows recovered last year, as well, after a drop of more than 50 percent in the number of events in 2020 at the peak of the COVID restraints.
As far as entries, both ends of the spectrum, from entry level Ride & Slide classes to aged events, set records in 2021. With the all-time high of 10,465 entries in entry level classes to the record-breaking 28,959 entries in Aged Events – Categories 2 and 6, the growth was overwhelmingly positive. The number of unique horses shown, 10,211, was also the highest in the past five years.
Membership numbers tend to correlate to the amount of people showing, so it was not surprising that NRHA membership numbers fell off in 2020 when there were fewer events to attend. But the indomitable spirit of reiners showed in the 10+ percent upwards recovery in 2021. The number of NRHA professionals was at the highest in ever, at 1,833, and Non Pro numbers were the highest in the last three years, with 8,841 Non Pro members.
At the NRHA produced shows, the news was overwhelmingly positive in 2021. The 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel was a record-breaker in number of entries, number of stalls, added money, and payout. The Four Sixes Ranch was joined by Yellowstone and Bosque Ranch in naming the event and along with Markel, the Story Book Stables Amateur Derby, the Tamarack Ranch Open 4-Year-Old Stakes, the GlycoGuard Novice Horse Derby, and the Colston Paving Inc. Non Pro 4-Year-Old Stakes headlined the variety of opportunities for reiners.
The 2021 NRHA Futurity paid a record $350,000 to L4 Champion Casey Deary on Ten Thirty, thanks to the efforts of the Futurity Challenge Sponsors and increased commitment from the Association. The show also boasted a 16 percent increase in total entries and paid out a record $2,668,910 – more than $400,000 above the previous year
The NRHA Markel Futurity Sales were once again held on Thursday of Futurity week for an all-in-one-day sale spectacular. The event boasted the second-highest net income in history with $4.9 million in horses sold.
Another key function that takes place during the Futurity, the Reining Horse Foundation Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch, set attendance and fundraising records. The charitable arm of the NRHA announced major scholarship expansion through 2024. In addition, it was announced that 2021 show entry donations totaled $26,000 and Professionals’ donations increased 22 percent over the program’s first year.
Support for NRHA continued to grow as the year went on and over the past four months eight new Corporate Partners have come on board: Foals R Us, Enjoy LLC, Cinder Lakes Stallion Station, Oswood Stallion Station, Tenda, White River Ag Products, Teton Ridge and Priefert.
Another set of statistics indicates that people are planning ahead for the horse business of the future. NRHA Foal Nominations reflect upward growth with North American nominations, at 2,675, the highest in three years, and European nominations at 1,339, the second-highest in five years.
Competition licenses surged to a new 5-year high, with 4,656 new horses licensed.
NRHA Chief Executive Officer John Foy summarized, “In March of 2020 the NRHA Finance Committee, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors reacted swiftly and decisively to implement a pandemic response plan. This was successfully executed by NRHA Staff and with the help of NRHA independent contractors and service providers. Oklahoma State Fair, Inc. has been a loyal partner throughout, as have NRHA’s Partners and Sponsors who supported the association during this time. As a result, the NRHA and the reining industry have thrived together, leveraging NRHA’s most strategic assets and strengthening NRHA events and programs. The NRHA today has no debt and is stronger than it was prior to the pandemic. We are excited to see what the future holds.”
The National Reining Horse Association began its search for a Director of Education and Officials in late 2021. The purpose of the new position was to serve in an educator role while continuing to advance the NRHA Judges & Stewards programs, ensuring they remain the best in the western performance horse industry.
NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter announced in mid-February that the perfect candidate had been found, adding that Patti Carter will take the reins of the new position on March 7. “Patti will provide additional horsepower, insight, and experience to augment our judges’ program,” Carpenter said.
According to NRHA President Rick Clark, the leadership of the Association created the new position because of the incredible growth of the reining industry. “With all the wonderful developments in the sport of reining that are happening right in front of our eyes, the NRHA Executive Committee felt this was an opportune time to invest more resources into our judges’ program,” Clark explained. “We get tremendous reviews from those who attend our schools and seminars, but want our judging program to continually evolve and improve.”
Carter brings decades of experience to the position, both as a competitor and a judge. The former American Quarter Horse Association Professional Horsewoman of the Year has spent the last several years as AQHA’s Senior Director of Judges and Stewards, and prior to that served as AQHA’s Sr. Director of Shows and Professional Horsemen.
“I am over-the-top excited to be joining the NRHA team. I have so much respect for the NRHA and its leadership. The Association is on fire, and I’m looking forward to expanding the educational footprint for the judges and stewards at NRHA,” Carter said.
Education of judges and exhibitors is of utmost importance to Carter, which is why, during her tenure at AQHA, she helped create and implement AQH University. This platform was developed for AQHA Judges to continue their judge education and to give potential judges insight into what it takes to be an AQHA All Around Judge. Patti and her team recently launched “Behind the Clipboard.” This program offers competitors an in-depth look at how judges prepare and evaluate classes. “In addition, the program helps competitors understand not just the rules, but how judges evaluate runs during a show so they can improve their performances,” Carter explained. “I am blessed to have had the opportunity to serve AQHA, its membership, and the horses. AQHA is a part of my life and always will be. It’s great that NRHA and AQHA are Alliance Partners, and that these two incredible associations work so closely together.”
As an NRHA-accredited judge, she officiated numerous NRHA events worldwide, including the NRHA Futurity twice, the NRHA Derby, and twice for the World Equestrian Games. She has judged at every major show and multiple world championship shows for AQHA, the American Paint Horse Association, and the National Snaffle Bit Association, and held AAA status as a judge for the National Reined Cow Horse Association.
Carter currently lives in Amarillo, Texas, but plans to relocate to Oklahoma City near the NRHA headquarters. “I believe it’s important to be close to the office, and I look forward to working alongside the amazing staff in the day-to-day operations of serving NRHA members,” she said. “I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”
Carter will officially start work on March 7 and will be in Oklahoma City for the Judge Applicant School on March 9–10 and the Judges School March 11–13. “I want to expand on the already excellent education process NRHA has for judges and stewards, and I look forward to continuing the education of members and exhibitors,” she explained. “I’m humbled and honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with NRHA’s Commissioner, the NRHA Executive Committee and the NRHA Judges and Steward Committees and will strive to maintain the high standards for NRHA and its membership.”
For more information about NRHA’s Judges Program, visit nrha.com/judges
The National Reining Horse Association continues to thrive, and a major contributor to the association’s success is the support from Corporate Partners. Most recently, Teton Ridge, a wholly American-owned multi-platform brand dedicated to the American Western way of life, pledged its support to reining when it joined the NRHA Corporate Partner line up.
“The impact and promise of Teton Ridge’s influence can hardly be overstated. I believe it is an honor for NRHA to be part of this brand’s vision and future,” Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner, said. “This is a paradigm-shifting development for all western horse sports, and we at NRHA look forward to years of partnership and prosperity.”
Teton Ridge has made a splash in the industry, not only through partnerships and acquisitions, but also in the show pen. At the 2021 NRHA Futurity, NRHA All Time Leading 7 Million Dollar Rider, Andrea Fappani, piloted Teton Ridge’s Winding Inferno (Inferno Sixty Six x Wind Her Up Chic) to the Level 4 Open Futurity Co-Reserve Championship.
In fact, Fappani is one of an elite group of riders who now represent Teton Ridge in the western performance horse industry as part of TEAM:TR. Joining Fappani is NRHA and National Reined Cow Horse Association Two Million Dollar Rider Todd Bergen, and NRCHA Million Dollar Rider Corey Cushing.
TEAM:TR also includes dynamic barrel racing champions Sherry Cervi, Lisa Lockhart, Brittany Pozzi-Tonozzi and Hailey Kinsel. The brand has also formed a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) team, the Arizona Ridge Riders. The new elite league features some of the world’s top bull riders and will begin games in June 2022. In addition to competing in the PBR Team Series, the Arizona Ridge Riders will host an annual bull riding event and western lifestyle festival in Glendale, Arizona to continue building on the excitement and enthusiasm for the sport.
In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American Rodeo, the iconic event of the rodeo circuit, to continue to expand the audiences for rodeo sports and make it the world’s premiere western culture event. The American is a beloved event in the world of rodeo, a true showcase for our nation’s most treasured way of life and the sports that grew out of western culture.
Over the course of qualifier events across the country, competitors vie for the biggest single-day paycheck of their careers. A true open competition in format, the iconic event brings together top professional rodeo athletes and honest, hardworking cowboys and cowgirls in a winner-take-all showdown, meant to crown the finest talent the world has to offer. The American Rodeo will be held on Sunday, March 6 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and will also feature a live concert by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Leading up to The American, INSP is broadcasting the world television premiere of Teton Ridge’s all-new action-packed, unscripted original series, “Guts and Glory.” The five-episode series will air on INSP every Sunday at 5 p.m. ET through Feb. 27. “Guts and Glory” chronicles twelve rodeo athletes hailing from the Midwest and beyond, as they arrive at TR9 Ranch in Weatherford, Texas to compete for the life-changing opportunity to compete for millions at The American alongside storied icons of the sport.
In addition to supporting the equine industry, the Teton Ridge Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Teton Ridge, has partnered with the NRHA’s Reining Horse Foundation, Sherry Cervi Youth Championships, Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, Western Sports Foundation, and the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
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.