Raise A Million Auctions Garner More than $190k for Reining Horse Foundation

When reiners gather, great things happen, and it happened in spades in Vegas.

The 2022 Raise A Million Auctions, held during The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge in Las Vegas, Nevada, brought in more than $190,000 through both the live and silent auctions. The proceeds benefit the reining community through the Reining Horse Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association.

It was the second year for the Raise A Million Auctions to be held in conjunction with TRFAM, and although expectations were high, they were exceeded.

“It was an incredibly successful event, and between the two years that the Reining Horse Foundation has been invited to The Run For A Million, nearly a million dollars has been raised,” shared Tim Anderson, president of the Reining Horse Foundation. “On behalf of the RHF Board of Directors, I thank Taylor Sheridan and Amanda Brumley who have been incredibly supportive of the Foundation. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to pull something like this off.”

Anderson added that fundraisers – whether large like the Raise A Million Auctions or on a smaller scale – all contribute to the RHF’s mission. “Because of fundraising activities like this, we have been able to expand and increase our scholarship program as well as increase the amount of the grants we distribute through the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund,” he said. “The Foundation is not like a bank. We’re not trying to save this money; we are going to give it out to the people who need it and use it in ways that best support the Foundation’s mission.”

The Reining Horse Foundation received 37 lots for the Silent Auction from generous donors, including art, décor, tack, apparel, jewelry, autographed memorabilia, equine products, services, breedings, and unique experiences such as events and travel. The Silent Auction was held over several days and closed just prior to the Million Dollar Invitational competition. When the bids were tallied, the Silent Auction had brought in more than $42,000.

“In addition, NRHA member Diana Duffey pledged to match the donation made from Elite Equine for their equine spa services. Elite Equine donated 10 percent of their service proceeds to the RHF during The Run For A Million,” shared Reining Horse Foundation Executive Director Leslie Baker.

The generous spirit of the reining family continued to be on full display during the Live Auction, which was held just prior to the Million Dollar Competition Draw Party. There, seven incredible and unique items were auctioned off, raising $147,000.

There was a tie for the high-selling lots in the live auction. The first was a Supreme Breeding Package that was donated by Amber Gokey, Schmersal/ThorSport Inc., and NRHA Corporate Partner Toyon Ranch. The impressive lot included breedings to 2021 TRFAM Champion Gunna Stop, a breeding to 2019 TRFAM Co-Champion No Smoking Required, and an embryo from Icing Required. It was purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Santa Hill Ranch.

The other high seller was a NASCAR Truck Series Primary Partnership Package to Daytona International Speedway, which was donated by ThorSport and purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Clark’s Pump-N-Shop.

“Thank you to the generous donors to both the live and silent auction and of course to the purchasers of those items. We are grateful for everything they have done,” Anderson said. “Thank you also to Leslie Baker for her efforts in making this a success, and also to the volunteers who were there day after day helping. We have a tremendous Board of Directors for the Foundation, and it’s a great group of people who truly have the reining community in mind.”

The mission of the Reining Horse Foundation is to care for and honor the reining community. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund to benefit reiners enduring hardships such as major illness, accidents, and disasters; youth leadership development and scholarships for members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame.

For information on the RHF, visit ReiningFoundation.com

Photos by Leslie Baker

An Open Letter to the NRHA Membership

In view of all the comments on social media regarding the recently approved updates to the NRHA Animal Welfare and Medications Policy, I felt that it is time for me, as NRHA President, to clear the air and give a factual account of how this decision came to be and why.

In May of 2021, the NRHA Executive Committee identified animal welfare and the need to update our Animal Welfare and Medications Policy as a top priority for the Association following an increased number of positive medications results at NRHA-owned events.

Over the past 14 months, there has been thoughtful conversation and deliberation coupled with diligent, thorough research and consultation, including with legal counsel and leading industry experts.

The executive committee worked alongside the NRHA Board of Directors and other advisory committees to develop several drafts of the updated policy which went to a roll call vote last week.

The current policy for penalties, which took almost six years of work until it was approved in 2015, was essentially a policy that contained rules but no consequences for those who knowingly broke those rules. The only penalties were letters and fines, most of which were entirely insignificant. Even worse, after a year, the probationary phase reset, so everyone’s slate was wiped clean.

Since then, there have been zero updates to the policy. Zero.

This was never the intention. There was always supposed to be a transition to increased penalties and testing to align with our industry peers.

Instead, we had exhibitors who repeatedly broke our rules because they could with no repercussions. If a horse tested positive, their name was never publicized, and they got to keep their title, purse money, and prizes. They essentially got away with a slap on the wrist, and no one would know.

Additionally, when you do not raise the medications testing fee for seven years despite rising inflation and a booming industry that has seen an explosion of entries and events, you cannot raise the funds needed to test properly. As our testing is funded today, the fees only provide enough funding to test about 15–20 events in North America annually. I think we’d all agree we’d like to do more.

The question now faced by our leadership was “how do we get these drugs eliminated from our industry for the welfare of our horses and for the integrity and fairness of our competitions?”

It was clear it was the right thing to do to try to come up with stricter guidelines. In the long run, that would be best for our industry.

It is also important to understand that the industry was totally split on this from the beginning—from the extreme of those who wanted no medications policy at all—to those who wanted zero tolerance.

I’m not trying to change minds here. Everyone has their own opinions and views. I am trying to get the membership to understand that this was not a simple decision and not a matter of a simple vote. Any change required a 67% supermajority approval.

Like the industry, the board was split between the people who wanted the policy and those that were against it.

We did not have the support to go to no allowance for Romifidine (Sedivet) at this time. It is as simple as that. We were faced with some unfortunate but very likely scenarios if we did not get the support we needed to enact some changes.

One being that no changes would be approved. Again.

If we did not get any changes approved, the Association would be taking significant steps backward, and we would be right back at square one.

Let me make this clear: the goal of the Association is to eventually get to an animal welfare and medications policy that has no allowance for sedatives or tranquilizers.

But, sometimes you have to take little steps to get to the big steps. Sometimes, those first steps are the hardest.

In order to get any changes approved, we had to compromise. That compromise came in the form of allowing a small dosage of Romifidine.

Personally, I own a lot of horses and currently have over 30 in training with eight different NRHA Professionals. I will not be signing permission for the use of the drug on any of my horses. The decision to use it will be between the exhibitor, owner, and veterinarian, all of whom are required to sign off on its use.

Going forward, the Animal Welfare and Medications Policy will be reviewed annually so we hopefully never find ourselves in such a dire situation again. We will also see a huge uptick in testing at our owned events, NAAC, and AA Events. We know this process will take time, but we know we are on the right path to an appropriate policy.

As you can clearly see, there are significant improvements made to the penalty portion of the policy when you compare the “old” policy to the “new” policy. I encourage every member to study this closely and educate themselves on the charts.

Current Penalty Chart:

New Penalty Chart:

I just cannot stress enough the importance of understanding that this decision was not easy, but we truly feel it is best for the industry to start holding people accountable for their actions.

Sincerely yours,

Rick Clark
NRHA President

Brazil’s Cordeiro Martins Conquers the NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup

Avaré, August 27—Brazil is not what you see, it’s what you feel they say. True to the saying, the sound and feel of Brazil made the NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup in Avaré, a competition that will remain in the hearts and memories of many. With riders representing 11 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA), all cheered on by the enthused public, the top score was for Gabriel Cordeiro Martins of Brazil riding Evandro de Oliveira’s Doc San Whiz.

With a 212.5 to beat, scored by Italy’s Rebecca Folcia early in the draw and with one horse left to go, Cordeiro Martins was determined to claim the title on home turf. “As everyone else, my horse and I only had a couple of days to get to know each other. Though he’s not a very easy horse, in the short time had together we managed to build trust and confidence in each other,” he said. “In any case I really wanted to win for my country and am super happy.” The young rider, who took $3,000.00 USD for the win, has been showing and training his own reining horses for the past eight years; “All the trainers here in Brazil are always willing to help and give me advice, since I do everything myself. My dream? To one day meet Shawn Flarida and ride with him!”

Rebecca Folcia of Italy made her way to South America with her trainer Angelo Benedusi and both were thrilled with the experience. “Everyone was so kind and always available with both me and my trainer making this an amazing experience,” said Folcia who rode Francisco Moura’s Summertine Tag and took home $2,000.00 USD for Reserve honors. “My horse was really good and performed to the best for us. Being able to share these moments with riders from all over the world is memorable, we all got to know each other and share our passion and how we live it.  I would like to thank everyone that made this happen, in particular Joao Marcos and Chico Moura, and look forward to hopefully repeating this experience again.”

Third place honors, along with a $1,000.00 USD paycheck, were for Switzerland’s Nanina Staub who made her way over with Italian Professional Andrea Costa. “This was a very intense adventure and I got a really cool horse to show,” shared Staub who rode Flashy Rooster owned by Ana Cristina Chiattone Pinfildi. “He was so much fun to ride, even though we had a little bubble in the lead change. I am very thankful to Joao Marcos to have given us this opportunity and I enjoyed every moment here. It’s far away from home, everything is different, but everyone is so kind and helpful. I would repeat all this in a heartbeat!”

All the riders who took part in the inaugural World Cup confirmed the saying; “In Brazil it’s what you feel” and the feeling was fantastic they added.

“There was a lot of work behind this event and I have to thank the super team that put it together,” said NRHA, RHF and ANCR Board member Joao Marcos. “Once again it was wonderful. My goal, since I first came into this world over ten years ago, was to promote the youth worldwide and my motto has always been globalization. We should all carry on in this direction and this first World Cup has been another step forward in that direction. Italy will be host to the 2023 World Youth Reining Cup and we look forward to having close to 20 countries represented. A huge thank you to NRHA, ANCR, the riders, the owners that loaned their horses and to all that made it happen.”

To relive the highlights of the event held during the ANCR Futurity: https://youtu.be/vRgqzazfkko

To watch the runs: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ride2play/id1541311927

For more info: www.ancr.org.br

Photos by International Horse Press

Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press

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.

Youth Riders Are Ready for the Inaugural NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup in Brazil

Avaré, August 24—The beautiful Parque de Exposições Dr. Fernando Cruz Pimentel horse show facility set in Avaré, Brazil, is host to the ANCR POTRO DO FUTURO DE RÉDEAS 2022 which includes the Futurity, the National Championship Finals, the Copa Internucleos, the Brazilian International Reining Cup, and the inaugural NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup.

Thanks to the vision of Cardinal Reining Horses’ Joao Marcos, to the passion of ANCR President Chico Moura, and to the generosity of the owners loaning their horses, riders representing 11 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA) will ride for the title—and write history in the main arena ground—on Friday, August 26, at 2 p.m.

“We are so thrilled that Joao Marcos has created this event for our youth to showcase their talent on a global scale. Not only are these the top youth riders, multiple are involved on NRHyA Youth Councils helping to grow the sport in their regions. It will be an exciting week for our youth making lasting connections worldwide,” said NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter.

Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director, added: “The Reining Horse Foundation proudly supports youth leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association. The World Youth Reining Cup is a unique event that promotes global connection and awareness for our reining community. We are excited for everyone who is involved.”

Adding to the excitement for the NRHA approved event is the prize money offered:

o 1st Place: $3,000USD

o 2nd Place: $2,000USD

o 3rd Place: $1,000USD

The young riders vying for the podium— Guillermo Gellmini (URY), ALIERA CHERNOFF (CAN), REBECCA FOLCIA (ITA), Guillermo Armendariz Jr. (MEX), Vladimir Cejka (CZE), Giovanna Rocha Pucchi (ARG), Jhi Whatts (AUS), Luna Faverais (CHL), Nanina Staub (SUI), Gabriel Cordeiro Martins (BRA), Anna Harris (USA)—were treated to a great Brazilian Churrasco BBQ generously offered by Jefferson Abbud and family’s Harras Sacramento, the beautiful breeding and training facility located in the rolling hills of Avaré.

For further information regarding the event: www.ancr.org.br

Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press

Upcoming NRHA Futurity & Derby to Feature Guaranteed Payouts for Multiple Levels

Additional $100K Added to 4-Year-Old Division at 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

Exciting changes were voted on and approved during the August 21 National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors meeting, with several being implemented by the end of 2022.

A major development is the increased added money at NRHA’s premier events, beginning with the 2022 NRHA Futurity. While the Level 4 Open Champion is already guaranteed a check for $350,000 as part of an earlier initiative between the NRHA and members of the Futurity Challenge, contestants in the Level 3 and Level 2 Open, as well as the Level 4 and Level 3 Non Pro, will also be vying for guaranteed checks that far surpass those of previous years.

In 2021, the Level 3 Open Champion was awarded $32,236, while the Level 2 title came with $15,123. This year those amounts have risen to $70,000 and $50,000, respectively.

The Level 4 Non Pro Championship was guaranteed $60,000 in 2021 but has now been elevated to $75,000, while the Level 3 Non Pro winner’s payout has nearly doubled to a guaranteed $40,000.

As with the Level 4 Open, which guarantees $150,000 to the Reserve Champion and $100,000 to the third-place contender, the new guaranteed payouts for Open Levels 3 and 2, and Non Pro Levels 4 and 3, extend through third place.

2022 NRHA Futurity Guaranteed Payouts

  • Level 4 Open Champion – $350,000
  • Level 4 Open Reserve Champion – $150,000
  • Level 4 Open Third Place – $100,000
  • Level 3 Open Champion – $70,000
  • Level 3 Open Reserve Champion – $50,000
  • Level 3 Open Third Place – $35,000
  • Level 2 Open Champion – $50,000
  • Level 2 Open Reserve Champion – $25,000
  • Level 2 Open Third Place – $15,000
  • Level 4 Non Pro Champion – $75,000
  • Level 4 Non Pro Reserve Champion – $45,000
  • Level 4 Non Pro Third Place – $35,000
  • Level 3 Non Pro Champion – $40,000
  • Level 3 Non Pro Reserve Champion – $25,000
  • Level 3 Non Pro Third Place – $15,000

NRHA President Rick Clark is excited about all the new guaranteed payouts. He said, “When we guaranteed the payout in the Open Level 4 at the Futurity, it elevated our industry, and now we are building on that for other Open levels and for the Non Pro. We needed to do this, and I feel that it will help riders in these levels to have something bigger to shoot for.”

He continued, “We are also excited to increase the championship payout at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.” Beginning with the 2023 event, the championship payout for the Level 4 of both the Open and Non Pro will increase, with the Open Champion receiving $100,000 (up from $75,000) and the Non Pro Champion taking home $50,000 (up from $30,000).

Total of $160,000 Added to the 2023 4-Year-Old Stakes

Also debuting at the 2023 Derby will be the revamped 4-Year-Old Open and Non Pro Stakes with an additional $100,000 added. Last year the Tamarack Ranch Open featured $40,000 added with $20,000 in the Colston Paving Non Pro. With the additional $100,000, those added money totals will grow to $110,000 in the Open and $50,000 in the Non Pro.

It was the consensus of the NRHA Board that this will give 4-year-old horses the opportunity to show one more year for good money while not having to compete against older, more finished horses. As in the past, the division will be run concurrently with the Derby preliminaries, and the placings will be decided in the first round. Entry in the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel will be optional.

Clark continued, “We feel that growing this 4-year-old division at the Derby will give a huge boost to our industry. It will provide more opportunities for owners, breeders and riders.”

Information regarding the NRHA Futurity and Derby can be found online at NRHAFuturity.com or NRHADerby.com.