The National Reining Horse Association Winter Meetings held February 13-16 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Denton, Texas, provided a venue for NRHA Board, staff, committee members and the membership to meet and discuss issues and to guide the Association’s direction going forward. Over the days of the meetings, the Board, Executive Committee and the Reining Horse Foundation Board, along with Aged Events, Eligibility, Professional’s, Judges, Non Pro, Stewards and Youth Committees all met in separate sessions as well as in the Annual General Membership Meeting.
In his comments at the February 15 Annual Meeting, NRHA President Rick Clark spoke about the growth of the NRHA and its events and shared his optimism about the future of the Association. He noted, “The Board, the Executive Committee, and NRHA Committees are all committed to making the NRHA the best it can be and I’m proud of the work they have done and how our industry has such a bright future ahead. Horses are selling well, the events are thriving, and this is a great time to be in the reining business!”
NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter agreed, and added, “The NRHA Board held a successful first meeting of the year. There was a lot of discussion, and some thoughtful and forward-thinking decisions were made. Our committees also convened, and I look forward to seeing the results of our hard-working and dedicated members who volunteer their time to the Association.”
A highlight of the meeting was the announcement of new Affiliates approved by the NRHA. The board and staff were glad to welcome the Sicily Reining Horse Association and the Western Canada Reining Horse Association along with recognizing the Israel Reining Horse Association as an NRHA National Association Affiliate.
In response to feedback from the membership, the Board created a working group to guide the process of planning a function to recognize the 2021 Top Ten achievers during the 2022 6666 Ranch NRHA Derby presented by Markel in Oklahoma City. Details will be announced as soon as they are available.
The following items were also discussed and amended:
Nomination Deadlines for Elections
Election procedures were simplified so that now there is one nomination deadline for both write-in and affiliate candidates, and that deadline will be 90 days prior to the start of the elections. For the 2023 elections, that will be a June 1 deadline. Additionally, write-in candidates for regional director positions must now obtain 25 endorsement signatures from members in good standing who are eligible to vote.
Show Results Correction Deadline
In the past, the length of time required for possible show results corrections has often made it very difficult to get eligibility information compiled in a timely manner. The deadline for show results corrections by members has been December 31. However, the large number of NRHA events that now take place in January mean members need their eligibility quicker, so it was necessary to push the deadline back to allow this. The new guidelines stipulate that members must contact NRHA with any possible show results corrections within eight weeks of the show results being published online, and no later than December 1 for events held after October 1.
Amateur Division Clarification and Extension of Trial Period
With two rule change proposals submitted for consideration in 2023, the trial period for the Amateur classification was extended from April 1, 2022, to December 31, 2023. NRHA events may apply to host an Amateur division during this time frame. There will continue to be only one level of Amateur and added money in the Amateur division cannot exceed half of the Level(L) 4 added money and also cannot exceed
the L1 added money.
New conditions were approved for Amateur eligibility as well. They were amended so that anyone who has NRHA lifetime earnings in excess of $100,000 in Categories 2, 6, 8 and 11 as of the previous year, or is currently eligible for L4 Non Pro only, or L4 and L3 only, will be excluded from competing in the Amateur division. Other eligibility and criteria were unchanged.
Bluetooth Headset or Electronic Communication Device Use
The use of Bluetooth headsets or electronic communication devices was previously allowed only in Para-Reining classes. Now, they can be used in any class other than category 2 and 6 aged events. Use in those events will result in a no score.
European Event Approval Deadlines
Responding to a request from the NRHA European Executive Board, the European Event Approval Deadlines for AA and A event have been changed to 180 days prior to the first day of the event. Additionally, one AA event will be allowed every three weeks, and A events will require two weeks in between or at least a distance of 1000km. The European Council felt this would allow them to organize the year’s events so the overall health of each event is maintained. This submission of major events well in advance will help provide to time adjust schedules for other events to allow exhibitors to plan their year accordingly.
Judging Unapproved Events
The definition of unapproved Events that NRHA Judges are allowed to judge was clarified by the Board to amend the following exceptions where NRHA judges may judge unapproved reining classes. Judges may now officiate unapproved classes with $1,000 added or less. Total added money for unapproved classes may not exceed $2,500 for the entire event. Changes were also made to the ratio of added money in affiliate level classes and National Federation classes when compared to the concurrent NRHA approved class. These unapproved classes can now offer up to 50% of the added money in the NRHA class.
Judges may still officiate unapproved beginner or green classes as well as Junior, Senior, Amateur and Youth breed association classes.
For a full summary of all NRHA rules and policies visit nrha.com.