2022 NRHA Judges Applicant Seminar and Judges School Held in Oklahoma City

In early March 2022, the National Reining Horse Association headquarters played host to 20 men and women who took the first major step to becoming NRHA-accredited judges by participating in the Judges Applicant Seminar. The Applicant Seminar was then followed by a Judge’s School, which boasted 15 additional participants.

“Consistent and fair judging promotes a healthy association, and it’s exciting to have new talent coming into the reining industry,” noted Patti Carter, NRHA’s Sr. Director of Education and Officials. “I look forward to watching this group continue through the accreditation process.”

There is one Judges Applicant Seminar held in the United States each year, and during the Seminar, attendees are walked through and instructed on every aspect of judging, from equipment use to maneuver evaluation and more. Seminar attendees must pass testing requirements, and once that’s accomplished, they are eligible to attend an NRHA Judging School, which is held three times a year in Oklahoma City and multiple times internationally. Only after passing the testing requirements of an NRHA Judges School will prospective judges’ names be submitted to the NRHA Board of Directors for consideration for final judging privileges.

Three members of the NRHA Judges Committee, who also serve on the Teaching Panel, were on hand to give instruction at both the Applicant Seminar and the Judges School. That included Chairman Dean Latimer of Marietta, Okla., Doug Allen of the United Kingdom, and Kelly Sapp of King, N.C.

“The education over the entire five days was outstanding and provided a lot of great information. The Seminar and School were both well-thought-out and well taught, and I commend the Committee and Panel for putting together a thorough curriculum for both the applicants and the already-carded judges. I am very proud to be part of such a knowledgeable group of horsemen and horsewomen on the Judges Committee and the Teaching Panel,” Carter said. “I also have to commend Kristen Liesman, the NRHA Staff Liaison for the Judges Committee. She does a great job of organizing the content and coordinating the entire event to ensure it runs smoothly.”

Other members of the Judge’s Committee include Liesman, Bob Kail, Bub Poplin, Maik Bartmann, Margaret Fuchs, Matt Lantz, Nick Baar, Sebastian Petroll, Todd Sommers, Manuela Maiocchi and Patrick Wickenheiser. Teaching Panel members include Mike McEntire, Bub Poplin, Dean Latimer, Doug Allen, Eugenio, Margaret Fuchs, Manuela Maiocchi, Ollie Griffith, Maik Bartman, and Kelly Sapp.

“The NRHA Judges Program is an industry leader in education for its judges. The members of the Judges Committee and the Teaching Panel look forward to expanding that education to all exhibitors, and to provide insight into the thought process behind the judging,” Carter shared. “On behalf of the Judges Committee and Teaching Panel, I thank NRHA’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee for recognizing the importance of these schools and educational opportunities for all members.”

Find more information about NRHA’s Judges Program at NRHA.com/judges

NRHA Announces Leading Events for 2021

National Reining Horse Association events around the world have grown dramatically in recent years, both in size and payout. Nowhere is that more evident than on the 2021 Leading Event rankings. Sorted by total purse, the shows span the globe and give an idea of the importance of reining worldwide.

Not surprisingly, the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships Show leads the field, with a total payout of $2,636,355! The NRHA Futurity Challenge supporters helped boost the purse, as did increased added funds from the NRHA. Ultimately, those added dollars along with incredibly large entry numbers resulted in a record-setting Futurity.

Second on the list for 2021 was the Four Sixes NRHA Derby presented by Markel. The show grew dramatically in 2021 as well, thanks to new sponsorships from 6666 Ranch, Yellowstone, Bosque Ranch, Colston Paving, Tamarack Ranch, GlycoGuard and Story Book Stables.

Along with the two NRHA-produced events, The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge and the National Reining Breeders Classic also boasted payouts in excess of $1,000,000. The Run For A Million in Las Vegas featured the highest amount of added money for any event with $1.2 million added.

Making the Top 50 list for NRHA’s Leading events is an honor for any show, and a testament to show managers and committee members working hard to promote reining, worldwide. Excitingly, 10 different countries were represented in the Top 50 Events list for 2021.

“The show organizers and affiliates who conduct our events are the quiet stars of our galaxy. Their tireless and often unacknowledged work is what makes our industry go,” Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner, noted.

NRHA President Rick Clark agreed, “We celebrate and reward the top riders and horses, but this segment of our industry is essential for our industry’s growth and continued success. The opportunities created by these great shows, worldwide, are amazing, and each year you can see that they are working to become even better.”

Exhibitors have shown their appreciation for those opportunities in 2021, with a five-year high of 112,929 total entries and more than 10,000 different horses shown. They competed for a record total annual purse of $19,157,953.

For the complete list of the 2021 Top 50 events, click here.

NRHA Announces Longtime Event Sponsor Priefert as a New Corporate Partner

Longtime National Reining Horse Association event sponsor Priefert has recently joined the Association’s impressive list of Corporate Partners.

It’s hard to picture the NRHA Futurity and 6666 Ranch NRHA Derby presented by Markel without the signature, high-quality Priefert panels and products that can be found around the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. Priefert has been an Event Sponsor for the past several years, and the new Corporate Partnership will help to enhance the NRHA Award program.

Sammi Miller, NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications noted, “It is an honor to welcome Priefert as NRHA’s newest Corporate Partner. As a proud ‘Made in America’ manufacturer, Priefert has long supported the western and equine industries. We are thankful for Priefert’s commitment to NRHA and the sport of reining!”

Family-owned and operated since 1964, Priefert is one of the largest farm, ranch, and rodeo equipment manufacturers in the world. Priefert is recognized as having the highest quality equipment on the market and is proud to have its products used and endorsed by the top cattle, equine, rodeo and roping organizations in the country. Priefert offers horse owners practical solutions for creating a safe, functional environment for their valued animals.

Designed with the highest degree of consideration for safety of both the horse and the handler, Priefert products are proudly manufactured in Mt Pleasant, Texas. Behind its success is a workforce of almost 1,000 employees helping to create and ship a multitude of Priefert products to dealers all across the US and around the world.

Courtney Dyer, Priefert’s Director of Marketing, shared, “Priefert’s partnership with the NRHA felt like a natural fit given our shared mission of preserving and promoting the Western lifestyle. As a family-owned company, Priefert recognizes the shared values of integrity, faith, family, and leadership that both of our organizations hold dear. We look forward to serving the members of the NRHA and sharing with them how our products can help keep their equine partners safe, healthy, and happy.”

About Priefert

Priefert is considered the leading innovator in the livestock handling industry. Dedicated to developing and producing equipment that is safe and durable for both the animal and the operator. Starting with Marvin’s invention of the first side closing, gliding action headgate, Priefert has continued to lead the way by introducing the first contoured side squeeze chute, the first double pivot calf table, the first open-sided sweep, and the first full line of powder-coated products. Priefert maintains total quality control by designing and executing each part of the development and production of its products. Starting with raw steel, Priefert oversees each step of the process through to finished good, creating products that are pound for pound, dollar for dollar, the best value on the market. With a dealer network of over 1200 dealers around the world, Priefert is recognized as having the highest quality equipment on the market. For more information, visit priefert.com.

2022 Four Sixes NRHA Derby presented by Markel Expands with Extra Show Days

The 2021 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel was a tremendous success by all measurements. The highest payout, plus the largest number of entries and stalls, resulted in a record-breaking mega-event.

It also created real challenges in getting so many horses shown in the allotted time. NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody explained, “Our entries grew amazingly. We went from 249 Non Pro entries in the previous year to 302 in 2021. The Open division increased from 247 to 274. In the four days allotted for the Open and Non Pro prelims, we had 80 more entries than in 2020. That was over a 16 percent increase with 576 horses to get shown.”

She continued, “Our officials and staff were faced with more than 150 runs per day in the Non Pro prelims and nearly 140 a day in the Open. Plus, the situation in the Adequan Arena was equally challenging, with comparable growth, so we knew we had to make changes.”

Cody and NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter met with the Oklahoma State Fair officials, Bill Allen, Vice President, Jim Norick Arena & Equine Facilities; Jonathan Fisher, Director of Jim Norick Arena and Equine Facilities; and incoming Oklahoma State Fair Executive Vice President Kirk Slaughter to work on the problem. Through those meetings, they were able to add two days to the Derby preliminaries and three days to the Adequan Arena classes.

Horses will now be allowed to move into the Derby at noon on Tuesday, June 14, and classes will begin on Wednesday, June 15, in the Adequan Arena with the first section of the American Quarter Horse Association and American Paint Horse Association classes. The show will continue through June 26.

The preliminaries of the Non Pro Derby will begin on Friday, June 17, and go through Sunday, June 19. The next day signals the start of three days of Open preliminaries.

Carpenter noted, “As our growth continues to amaze us in a positive sense, it also creates scheduling challenges. The State Fair staff and leadership have gone out of their way to be innovative in helping us through these record-setting shows.”