The Reining Industry Loses a Legend – Miss Tinseltown

The reining world said goodbye to one of its most successful broodmares on September 27, 2022, when Miss Tinseltown (Great Red Pine X Ms Holywood Showtime) passed.

Foaled in 1994, NRHA Hall of Fame mare Miss Tinseltown wasn’t just a superstar in the show pen. After earning more than $114,000 in her own career, she went on to produce 13 foals that contributed more than $793,600 to her produce record.

The sorrel mare’s offspring include NRHA $3 Million Sire Hollywoodstinseltown (by NRHA $5 Million Sire Hollywood Dun It) and Gunners Tinseltown (by NRHA All-Time Leading Sire Gunner), earner of more than $305,000 and producer of more than $457,800, both owned by NRHA Million Dollar Owners Dave and Bonnie Silva.

NRHA $3 Million Rider Tim McQuay rode Miss Tinseltown to most of her show pen success, which included a 1997 NRHA Futurity Top Five finish and a Reserve Championship at the 1998 National Reining Breeders Classic. The pair upped their game in 1999, winning the NRBC Level 4 Open Championship with an incredible score of 233.5, and that score would stand for years as the NRHA’s highest all-time marking. Next was a reserve finish in the 1999 NRHA Derby.

McQuay first laid eyes on Miss Tinseltown when she was shown by Benjamin Miller, assistant trainer for Larry Rose, at a horseshow in Lexington, Virginia. “He marked 75s across the board on her and never touched her face. She just went around and showed great for him,” McQuay recalled. “We bought her for Mandy [McCutcheon]. She rode her once, and [Miss Tinseltown] pulled her right out of the saddle, so I decided that I had better ride her for a little bit. That was the only time Mandy got to ride her!”

While the mare and her offspring were integral to the reining industry, she meant the world to McQuay. “That mare was great to me,” he said. “I loved her. She was a great mare. She was kind of tricky to put through a schooling pattern and take her around there and try to be easy with her, but when you put the hammer down and said, ‘Let’s go win some money,’ she always said, ‘Okay, let’s go!”

For Dave and Bonnie Silva, Miss Tinseltown, or “Tina,” as she was affectionately known, was a part of the family for 25 years. Dave said, “I give a special thank you to Tim and Colleen [McQuay] for selling her to us.”

Shawn Flarida Surpasses $7 Million in NRHA Earnings

Shawn Flarida, an icon in the National Reining Horse Association, recently passed a major career milestone. The charismatic trainer, who hails from Springfield, Ohio, became only the second NRHA member in history to pass more than $7,000,000 in lifetime earnings.

“Reaching this milestone, it means everything to me. It is an honor to be here,” Flarida shared. “When I was coming up, we never knew we would be running at this much money. It’s a great time to be a reining horse trainer.”

Known as much for his personable demeanor as his signature green show shirts, he took the time to acknowledge those who have helped him reach this latest milestone. “I thank my wife, Michelle. She’s been with me through thick and thin and was there when I hadn’t won anything. She helped me get to the top. I also thank my mom and dad and my kids,” he said. “The main parts, of course, are the horses and the owners. I don’t know which one comes first – probably the great owners who believed in me. Without them and their horses, none of this would be possible.”

Flarida’s father, Bill, was quite the horseman and passed a love of horses to his sons. Shawn’s older brother, Mike, was the first to see major event success in the show pen. Mike won two NRHA Open Futurity Championships; the first in 1993 on Custom Crome and the second with Whizard Jac in 1996. Mike was inducted into NRHA’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Although he showed as a non pro throughout his school years, Shawn traded in his non pro card in the late 1980s and began his storied career.

He won his first All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity in 1994, and then, in 2002, won his first NRHA Futurity Championship on future Hall of Famer and $12 Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step. Also in 2002, Flarida competed at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, and won both Team and Individual Gold Medals on San Jo Freckles.

Flarida continued to rack up major event wins and then, with Hall of Fame mare and Million Dollar Dam Wimpys Little Chic, made history. Wimpys Little Chic, by Wimpys Little Step, became the first horse to follow up an NRHA Futurity Championship (2007) with an NRBC Championship and the NRHA Derby Championship (both in 2008).

Flarida became an NRHA Million Dollar Rider in 2003 and at the time was only the third person to reach that goal, just behind fellow Hall of Famers Tim McQuay and Bill Horn. Three years later, he became the second NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider (behind McQuay).

In 2008, Flarida became the Association’s first Three Million Dollar Rider, and in 2010, the first to reach Four Million. Five Million came around in 2013, and Six Million in 2017.

For 14 years, Flarida was NRHA’s all-time leading rider. While fellow Seven Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani took that position in 2020, Flarida still boasts a lead of more than $2 million in earnings over the next rider on the all-time earning list.

When he was inducted into NRHA’s Hall of Fame in 2011, Flarida said, “I’m honored. But I think it means more to me because of the people who are already in there. They are the reason that I am able to do what I love to do and earn a living doing it.”

Flarida’s Top 10 Highest Paying Wins:

  • 2004 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – Smart Spook – $175,000
  • 2002 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – Wimpys Little Step – $150,000
  • 2013 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Championship – Tinseltown Fly Guy – $135,596
  • 2014 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – Shine N Spook – $132,635
  • 2009 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – Gunnatrashya – $125,000
  • 2007 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – Wimpys Little Chic – $125,000
  • 2005 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Championship – KR Lil Conquistador – $125,000
  • 2019 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Championship – Shine Colt Shine – $105,215
  • 2016 NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Championship – Whiz Gata Prize – $104,362
  • 2021 The Run For A Million Invitational Reserve Championship – Spooks Gotta Spark – $90,000

The Count

Six Futurity Championships – 2002/Wimpys Little Step, 2004/Smart Spook, 2005/KR Lil Conquistador, 2007/Wimpys Little Chic, 2009/Gunnatrashya, 2014/Shine N Spook

Three Futurity Reserve Championships – 2013/Tinseltown Fly Guy, 2016/Whiz Gata Prize, 2019/Shine Colt Shine

Six Derby Championships – 2005/Smart Spook, 2007/Walla Walla Whiz, 2008/Wimpys Little Chic, 2009/RC Fancy Step, 2010/Gunnatrashya, 2012/Spooks Gotta Whiz

Four Derby Reserve Championships – 2000/Tivitos Sugar Bar, 2006/KR Lil Conquistador, 2011/Whizkey N Diamonds, 2011/Shine Chic Shine

Four NRBC Championships – 2006/Einsteins Revolution, 2008/Wimpys Little Chic, 2011/Shine Chic Shine, 2012/Spooks Gotta Whiz

Ten Congress Futurity Championships – 1994/Dun Its Easter Bunny, 2001/Sheza Great Bingo, 2002/Wimpys Little Step, 2005/KR Lil Conquistador, 2006/Senor Tejano Whiz, 2007/RC Fancy Step, 2008/Whizs Chic A Dee, 2009/Gunnatrashya, 2010/SDP Justice Is Comin, 2012/Yankee Gun

Note: Five of the top 10 all-time leading reining horses have been shown by Shawn Flarida.

3 – Wimpys Little Chic ($516,555)

5 – KR Lil Conquistador ($422,957)

6 – Smart Spook ($403,149)

7 – RC Fancy Step ($364,454)

9 – Einsteins Revolution ($352,720)

For more information about Shawn, visit his website at, or follow him on Facebook.

Classic Canyon Ranch Joins NRHA in New Ranch Partnership

Although Mark Doering just rode his first reining horse in January 2022, he, his wife Lisa, and their Classic Canyon Ranch are quickly making waves in the industry. That recognition is being perpetuated even further by their new Ranch Partnership with the National Reining Horse Association.

“We at NRHA are thrilled to have Classic Canyon Ranch on board as a Ranch Partner,” said Christy Landwehr, Senior Director of Corporate Relations for NRHA. “Mark and Lisa Doering are so unique in that they breed both quality deer and quality reining horses.”

The Doerings echoed that enthusiasm. Lisa said, “We are just getting started in the reining business, and we love the sport and enjoy the people so much. We are just happy to be a part of it.”

“We love the organization. We have met so many great people, such as John and Nancy Tague of Toyon Ranch; and Tim Anderson and Kim Niven,” Mark added. “We are also excited about the future of reining. If you look at how many are in the Green Reiner and Youth classes, you can tell this industry is just going to keep growing.”

Classic Canyon Ranch, located in Valley Mills, Texas, began as a private hunting ranch for Mark and expanded into a state-of-the-art deer breeding farm that specializes in trophy bucks with classic, typical antlers. As its growth continues, the ranch currently features top-notch equine facilities including a covered arena with Kiser footing and water features and a 22-stall barn with apartments and a cozy lounge area.

While Mark owned a horse when the couple met, being in the horse business was far from his mind at that time. He was led into showing and breeding reiners by Lisa, a horse lover since childhood. “I decided that if I wanted to see my wife, I’d better start showing!” Mark said with a smile, and he was hooked after his first stop.

While Lisa had bred a few mares each year, even before she met Mark, she soon wanted to step up her game. Mark, who doesn’t believe in doing things halfway, made it happen when he purchased five breedings (to NRHA Million Dollar Sire Smart And Shiney) from his cousin, Lyle Lovett.

From there, the Doerings have continued to upgrade their horses, their facilities, and their name recognition in the reining industry. They hired young trainers, Adam and Filippa Miller, to train and promote their horses. “We’ve put a lot of money and effort into building a world-class facility, and we have excellent trainers with big futures. I want people to know that we are real. We’re not just working out of a shed in somebody’s backyard. We’ve got the foundation to be a top-notch player in the reining industry. We could either wait a few years to get really involved, or we can let everybody know who we are now,” Mark said.

Some of the horses that the Doerings are excited about include Mark’s new show horse that he purchased just before Americasnexttopgun won the 2022 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. Americasnextbest, by NRHA $4 Million Sire Walla Walla Whiz out of Americasnextgunmodel, is a 4-year-old full brother to “Maverick.” Princess Josephine, a 3-year-old filly they raised by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Little Joe Cash out of Lenas Guns N Stars (by $13 Million Sire Gunner), looks like a Level 4 Open prospect, and her 2022 full sister, Princess Jolene, seems just as talented. CCR Wonder Woman (HF Mobster x West Coast Cruel Girl) is their other Futurity prospect they are anxiously watching, and another filly, CCR Chex Her Guns, purchased from NRHA Global Event Partner Toyon Ranch, is also showing promise. Although the filly, by Gunner out of Chexanicki, is only a yearling, her early abilities are certainly noteworthy.

For more information about Classic Canyon Ranch, follow their Classic Canyon Reining Horses Facebook page.

NRHA Announces 2022 Hall of Fame Inductees & Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Recipient

Talented and dedicated horsemen and women paired with gifted and prepotent horses have been mainstays in the reining industry since its beginning decades ago. That’s why the National Reining Horse Association created the NRHA Hall of Fame in 1986. With the Reining Horse Foundation, these individuals, their achievements, and their contributions to the industry are celebrated and remembered.

Following the August presentation of the NRHA Hall of Fame Committee’s recommended nominees, the Board of Directors and past Hall of Fame inductees voted to approve Jim and Pat Warren, Dutch Chapman, and Spooks Gotta Whiz for induction into the NRHA Hall of Fame.

Also announced was the selection of Dwight Sanders as the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2022.

“This year’s class represents different aspects of the industry and as a whole are very diverse in the reasons they will be recognized,” noted Mike Hancock, Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee.

“You have the West Coast represented by Pat and Jim Warren, who have been fantastic owners, breeders, and supporters of the industry, and that continues today.

“Dutch Chapman has been around forever and is an institution on the East Coast, both as a showman himself and as a coach known for pairing horses and riders, at which he is second to none.

“Spooks Gotta Whiz had a show career that is incredible. He not only won what many refer to as the ‘Triple Crown of Reining’ but also won a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games. His offspring have been outstanding as well, winning every major event possible,” Hancock shared.

“Then you have Dwight Sanders, who to my knowledge is the first person we have recognized for the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award from a support area of our industry. Dwight — through blood, sweat, tears, loyalty, and knowledge – has been a major part of the industry and was integral in making it what it is today.”

On Wednesday, November 30, these honorees will be recognized and celebrated during Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch.

Hancock added, “Our industry and membership continue to grow and transform. For that reason, it is important for us to keep our history in front of us so we can recognize and learn from the people and horses who have made it what it is today.”

Pat & Jim Warren

In 2014, Pat Warren of Arizona was presented with the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, she and her husband, Jim, will both be inducted into NRHA’s Hall of Fame.

Pat is a lifelong horsewoman who got her start in the English show jumping world. She began riding with National Reined Cow Horse Association Hall of Famer Kenny Wold, who soon suggested she might be happiest riding reining horses.

Pat and Jim built a training facility and named it Rancho Oso Rio. At the time, no one could have predicted that the Arizona hub would be named an NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner, but the couple worked hard to acquire and develop NRHA Futurity prospects.

Pat and Jim hired NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks, who was then just emerging from an apprenticeship with NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee Bob Loomis, as their head trainer.

The Warrens’ first big success came at the 1994 NRHA Futurity when Hendricks and Taris Little Vintage (Peppy San Badger x Taris Vintage) finished third. The next year, she won the Junior Reining World Championship for the American Quarter Horse Association.

While Taris Little Vintage was impressive in the show pen, she truly shined as a producer. Her first foal, Hollywood Vintage (by Hollywood Dunit), won more than $143,000. Seven years later, Taris Designer Genes (by Mr Boomerjac) hit the ground. Three years later, another future NRHA Million Dollar Rider, Randy Paul, piloted the talented mare to the 2006 NRHA Open Futurity Championship. The mare eventually won upwards of a quarter million dollars.

Eventually, Taris Little Vintage earned a place in the NRHA’s Hall of Fame.

Rancho Oso Rio has produced countless performers, and in the early 2000s, another was born. Tinker With Guns (Gunner x Tinker Nic) won the Cactus Classic with Randy Paul before an injury sidelined him from competition.

Once recovered, he was placed with Andrea Fappani, now the NRHA’s All-Time Leading Rider, and the stallion’s earnings escalated to more than $345,000. In 2011, Fappani moved to Rancho Oso Rio as the ranch’s head trainer.

While the Warrens’ influence on the reining breeding industry can not be understated, it’s important to recognize their great contributions to several of the Association’s major events.

With Amanda Brumley at the helm, the Warrens helped bring to fruition the Reining By The Bay, the Cactus Reining Classic, and the High Roller Reining Classic, all shows that annually rank in the top 10 of NRHA-approved events.

Undoubtedly, West Coast reining would not be the same without the support of the Warrens.

Under the Rancho Oso Rio banner, the Warrens first became Million Dollar Owners in 2012 and reached the next rung on the Million Dollar Ladder in 2020.

“Pat and Jim have been part of this sport for a long time. They stuck with it and hired some of the most influential trainers in the business, including Dell (Hendricks), Randy (Paul), and myself. It’s special because they have been part of the entire circle, from breeding and raising foals to Pat showing in the non pro to having very successful open-caliber horses,” Fappani shared. “Pat and Jim are the perfect partnership. Pat has the vision, and Jim makes those visions reality. Jim supported his wife’s passion in the beginning, and now he has that passion for it, too.

“Their impact on reining has been huge. Everyone owes them a great deal of respect and gratitude. They took the sport and helped it flourish. Without them, reining could not have come as far, as fast.”

Spooks Gotta Whiz

Spooks Gotta Whiz proved his prowess in the show pen, earning more than $345,000. It quickly became apparent that the stunning stallion passed that talent on to his offspring, as his get has now won more than $4 million in NRHA competition. He is the only horse to be inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2022.

“The Hall of Fame Induction is a great honor and a huge milestone. I feel like I’ve been praying for this a very long time, and it means so very much to me,” noted Michell Anne Kimball, who owns the 15-year-old stallion. “I love this horse. Every decision I have ever made on his behalf was to benefit his welfare and well-being and has been made deliberately. The horse’s needs come first.”

By NRHA Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Gun and out of Prettywhizprettydoes, Spooks Gotta Whiz was bred by Clint Haverty. Kimball purchased the colt as a 2-year-old from Duane Hicks in 2009.

“As a 2-year-old, ‘Baby’ was flirtatious and gorgeous. The moment I sat on him I could tell he was going to be special,” Kimball recalled. “I just didn’t know how special he would become and how much he would change my life.”

Started by NRHA Professional Tanya Jenkins, the flashy colt made a splash in his futurity year. With Jenkins at the reins, he finished third in the Level 4 Open at the Reining by the Bay Futurity and as the Level 4 Open Reserve Champion at the High Roller Reining Classic.

Then, just days before the 2010 NRHA Futurity, the colt moved to the barn of NRHA Professional Jordan Larson (now an NRHA Million Dollar Rider). Larson and Spooks Gotta Whiz tied for 11th in the first round of the Futurity and then finished fourth in the second go to advance to the Finals.

There, as the second-to-last draw, the pair put together a 227 to win the prestigious event.

In 2012, Spooks Gotta Whiz was teamed up with NRHA Hall of Famer Shawn Flarida. For their first outing, Flarida and the stallion won the Level 4 Open Championship at the National Reining Breeders Classic with a sky-high 236. They followed that debut with another Level 4 Open Championship, this time at the 2012 NRHA Derby. To date, Spooks Gotta Whiz is still one of only four horses to win Level 4 Open Championships at all those three events.

His prominent wins include:

  • 2010 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Champion ridden by Jordan Larson
  • 2012 NRBC L4 Open Champion ridden by Shawn Flarida
  • 2012 NRHA L4 Open Derby Champion ridden by Flarida
  • Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) 2014 Normandy Individual and Team Gold Medalist ridden by Flarida

“Spooks Gotta Whiz is a great horse himself with what he did and accomplished. He’s a tremendous athlete with an awesome mind. When you see him in person, you’re just in awe of him. When he walks into an environment, he commands your attention,” noted NRHA Seven Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida.

Spooks Gotta Whiz began his breeding career in 2011 and has sired numerous major event champions, including 2016 NRHA Futurity L4 Open Champion Spooky Whiz, 2017 NRHA L4 Non Pro Futurity Reserve Champion Night Time Spook, 2019 NRHA L4 Non Pro Futurity Reserve and L3 & L2 Champion Gotta Get Diamonds, 2016 L3 & L2 Non Pro Futurity Champion and 2017 NRHA Non Pro L4 Derby Co-Reserve Champion Gotta Twist It Up.

His biggest winner to date is Spooks Gotta Spark (out of Dolittle Lena), with lifetime earnings exceeding $210,000. Spooks Gotta Spark finished second at the 2021 The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge with Flarida at the reins. Flarida and the stallion also teamed up to win the Senior Reining Championship at the 2021 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show.

“The offspring that I’ve ridden have just been phenomenal, and they speak volumes about their sire with what they’ve won and done. It doesn’t matter what you cross on him – it works,” Flarida said. “It’s an honor to have been involved with such a great horse’s career. Now it’s fun to sit back and watch his children be good. I look at his foals all the time to try to get them into my program.”

Spooks Gotta Whiz’s Top 10 Money Earners (as of 9/1/2022):

  • Spooks Gotta Spark (out of Dolittle Lena) $210,585.45
  • Spooky Whiz (out of Myo Starlight) $186,042.62
  • Gotta Twist It Up (out of Make It With A Twist) $183,837.21
  • Spooks Show Time (out of Dolittle Lena) $175,582.06
  • Spooks Grand Slam (out of Shiney Diamond Lady) $150,458.28
  • Spooks Gotta Crush (out of Megas Sugar Baby) $149,597.73
  • Sharp Dressed Spook (out of Dolittle Lena) $120,523.22
  • Thebettertohearuwith (out of Chex Out The Cowgirl) $104,822.11
  • Seven On Seven (out of Anne Get Your Gunner) $97,455.46
  • Gotta Get Diamonds (out of Tinker With Diamonds) $81,744.47

“Jordan Larson winning the Futurity, and Shawn Flarida finishing his show career with wins at the NRBC, the NRHA Derby, and two Gold medals at the WEG in Normandy, France, cemented his opportunity to be a publicly standing stallion,” Kimball said. “However, credit for making him a Multi-Million Dollar Sire goes to everyone who has bred, raised, trained, or shown his offspring. It takes a village to make this achievement a reality, and his village is comprised of everyone from one-mare owners to the top breeders in the industry.”

Spooks Gotta Whiz currently stands at Cinder Lakes Ranch, an NRHA Corporate Partner, in Valley View, Texas. For more information, visit

Albert “Dutch” Chapman

Dutch Chapman had plenty of success on his own – including two NRHA World Championships – but the man’s legacy can be best measured by the countless riders he trained and mentored, including youth, non pros, and professionals.

The list of trainers who have been part of Chapman’s program is impressive and includes NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider Craig Schmersal and NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Brian Bell.

Chapman got his first horse at age 9 when his parents traded one of their dogs for a little pinto mare. He got a saddle and learned to ride. It was with that pony named Trudy that he first began making money. A local Ford dealership had learned of him and his horse and paid the young man $50 a day to ride around in front of the dealership to promote the newly released Ford Pinto.

He entered his first horse show in 1972 and never stopped. When he was 12 years old, he attended a show where the judge would share their critique after the run. He was told he did “pretty good” but that he’d been on the wrong lead.

Unfortunately, Chapman didn’t know what a lead was, but he met a man who did – fellow NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Smith. Smith began to teach the young man, and soon Chapman would be winning the junior classes while Smith would sweep the senior.

In 1985, when Chapman was 25, Smith invited him to work at his barn. Over the years they began to travel to NRHA events, resulting in countless wins and year-end championships.

In 1993, Chapman set out on his own and continued to coach and train.

He was as committed to his riders as he expected them to be to riding. “I really would push them to do good. I thought if you were good today, you could be better tomorrow,” he recalled. “Some people came to me and said, ‘I want to learn to rein and go show and have fun.’ That’s great, and there is a place for that. Others came to me and said, ‘I want you to make me the best there is no matter what it takes.’ I told those to be careful what you wish for. There will be days you might hate me, but I’m going to make you win.”

Chapman has continuously advocated for the sport of reining, giving reining clinics in both the United States and Canada and performing reining demonstrations for events such as the Ride For Life Dressage Show and the Washington International Horse Show.

Karen Shedlauskus, a member of NRHA’s Board of Directors and of the Hall of Fame committee, is one of Chapman’s former students. “Dutch always said he was a horse trainer, a coach, a financial planner, and a psychologist. He’d work on the horses, provide instruction for his riders, help them figure out how they could afford it, and council them on controlling their nerves and acquiring a competitive strategy,” she recalled.

Shedlauskus won two world titles with Chapman. “I’d probably not be active in NRHA today if I hadn’t gotten involved with them. The program said, ‘You can do this. We do not have the most expensive horses and big fancy rigs, but we can make it happen.’ If you worked hard, Dutch would help you to get there,” she explained.

Chapman still works, these days out of Rising Star Farm in Woodbine, Maryland. He can still be found mentoring trainers and teaching non pro and youth riders.

“The guys who worked for Dutch are still in the business, making a living at whatever level,” Shedlauskus shared. “That’s one of his greatest contributions to the industry.”

Dwight Sanders – Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award

Behind every great horse is a great farrier, and Dwight Sanders of Kenley, North Carolina, fits the bill. In his teenage years, he roped and rode bulls but seldom had anyone to shoe his horses. At 17 years old, he began shoeing his own horses, and soon other ropers were asking him to take care of theirs.

That was the start of a career that would span more than six decades.

He shod horses in many disciplines, ranging from saddlebreds to western pleasure and everything in between. He continued roping, but in the late 1970s, he was introduced to reining horses and Kay and Alan Potts. He’d had a rope horse in training with Butch Gardill, who made the transition to training reining horses. That inspired Dwight to learn about the event and how, through farrier work, he could maximize the abilities and strengths of reining horses.

At the time, there was no reining shoe that was being mass produced, so Sanders would have to take straight bar stock, turn it, and punch every shoe. He experimented with different-sized materials to learn how they would affect the horses.

Other blacksmiths heard about his endeavors and were soon calling for advice. He began to work longer hours – shoeing horses during the day, then making shoes to ship to other farriers.

He was invited to work with Anvil Brand Shoe Company to develop the equipment needed to mass produce a reining horseshoe and continued that work with Canada-based Equine Forging.

Over the years, Sanders traveled across the country and around the world as a clinician, teaching his skills and techniques to anyone interested.

At the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, Sanders shod for both the United States and Canadian teams. “He told people he’d been paid to see the world,” noted his wife, Bonnie. “I have seen him work miracles on horses. He knew what it took for a horse to do his job and that a minor change could make a big difference.”

Sanders has been the official farrier at many of reining’s largest and most prestigious events, including the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, All American Quarter Horse Congress, the Carolina Classic, the Tradition, the Firecracker, the Florida Classic, and more.

While he’s known for his work with great horses and riders, he didn’t discriminate. “He would take care of a lot of kids and 4H riders over the years,” Bonnie recalled. “He also shod for the Ringling Brothers Circus.”

Sanders never suffered from the back problems that tend to plague farriers. Before he retired in June 2021 just shy of his 79th birthday, he’d always told Bonnie he figured he’d die under a horse. “I told him, ‘If you do, I hope it’s a good one,’” she recalled with a laugh.

Now 80, Sanders remains active and is involved in long-range competitive shooting. His competitive nature and experience have led him to help form a new club.

Mike Hancock, one of Sanders’ former clients, shared his thoughts on this year’s Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. “Dwight contributed so much behind the scenes and was a legend throughout the formative years of the NRHA. He still is today,” Hancock shared. “I’m proud that Dwight will get the recognition for what he accomplished himself and for the sport of reining.”

Recognition Ceremony

The Warrens, Chapman, Spooks Gotta Whiz, and Sanders will be honored at Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch on November 30 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City during the NRHA Futurity. The public is invited to attend the banquet and awards ceremony. The event celebrates the sport’s history and also benefits the Reining Horse Foundation, the charitable arm of the NRHA. For details on how to become a Hall of Fame table host, an event donor, or to reserve individual seats, contact RHF Executive Director Leslie Baker at or (405) 946-7400, ext. 106.

Globe Life Field Becomes New Home for The American Rodeo

Teton Ridge’s 2023 The American Rodeo Celebrates 10th Anniversary March 8-11 with marquee events, star-studded music and Western culture celebrations

ARLINGTON, Texas (August 30, 2022) Today, Teton Ridge, a wholly American-owned brand and media company devoted to elevating the iconic American western way of life and western sports, is proud to announce that The American Rodeo will make Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas its new home on March 8-11, 2023.

At Globe Life Field, rodeo fans and athletes will be immersed in arena-wide action and can enjoy a multitude of entertainment offerings. Events will include The American Contender Tournament Finals, Contender Tournament Wild Card, The American Performance Horseman, star-studded music, a western festival experience and more. For competitors, Globe Life Field provides them with an unprecedented platform to showcase 8 rodeo disciplines, including bareback, saddle bronc, barrel racing, breakaway roping, tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling and bull riding. The American Rodeo will debut a competitive exhibition – The American Performance Horseman – on Friday, March 10, 2023, at Globe Life Field to execute an additional three western equine sport disciplines: reining, cow horse and cutting.

“This move to Globe Life Field is focused on providing fans and athletes a genuinely immersive, never-been-done western sports and culture celebration at one, world-class location,” said Joe Loverro, President of Teton Ridge Sports. “Since acquiring The American Rodeo last year, our ambition at Teton Ridge has been to elevate western sports to a national stage and build out this iconic event to live up to its namesake as The Crown Jewel of Rodeo. We are thrilled to work with our incredible partners at the City of Arlington, the Arlington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Globe Life Field as we celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary.”

The American Rodeo is a true open competition format bringing together top professional rodeo champions and every day, hardworking cowboys and cowgirls from across the country. With more opportunities to win money throughout the series, top competitors will make it to three Regional Finals events in February 2023 in Heber, Utah; Tulsa, Okla. and Lexington, KY. The top qualifiers from each region will make it to The American Rodeo, a high-stakes showdown with a $1 million bonus that will crown the finest talent the western sports world has to offer.

Globe Life Field, a world-class multipurpose sports and entertainment venue, was built as a public-private partnership between the City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers, who made the venue their home stadium in 2020. Measuring at 1.8 million square feet with a 5.5-acre retractable roof, Globe Life Field hosts numerous large-scale national and regional sports and entertainment events throughout the year. It has the distinctive capabilities to allow for The Crown Jewel of Rodeo™ to have a single, landmark destination over a days-long celebration of Western sports and culture.

“Globe Life Field was designed to host major groundbreaking events, and The American Rodeo encompasses exactly that. Not only does Teton Ridge produce world-class events showcasing the western lifestyle, they are also dedicated to bringing another level of entertainment to the rodeo,” said Sean Decker, President of REV Entertainment. “Our goal is to fill the calendar with thrilling events that bring new fans to Globe Life Field, and this event will not only bring rodeo enthusiasts to the area but also entertainment seekers as well. I am eager to see this facility transformed into a rodeo arena once again and am honored to host the Teton Ridge team in bringing this event to Globe Life Field in 2023.’

“Rodeo fans who’ll be visiting Arlington from across the nation to cheer on professional cowboys and cowgirls in this high-stakes showdown are in for a truly fantastic experience at our world-class Globe Life Field. We are delighted that Teton Ridge has chosen to keep The American Rodeo in the city of Arlington, The American Dream City,” said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.

Ticketing information, headlining musical talent and on-sale will be announced in fall of 2022. For more information on The American Rodeo, visit


The American Rodeo Media Contact:

Mandi McCary /  / 702-277-7107

Globe Life Field/REV Entertainment Media Contact:

Madison SanFilippo /  / 817-533-1838

About The American Rodeo:
Hailed as The Crown Jewel of Rodeo™, The American Rodeo is an unrivaled celebration of the pioneering spirit of the American West. The national sporting event offers fans a unique choice – to cheer on Western sports’ finest, champion athletes, or root for the underdog “Contenders” chasing a $1 million bonus – through every rodeo, roping and riding effort. For the first time ever, a new competitive exhibition called The American Performance Horseman brings together the Western equine sports disciplines of reining, reined cow and cutting for a $1 million prize. All combined with star-studded music, a Western festival and more. Acquired by Teton Ridge in 2021, The American Rodeo is an annual Western sports and entertainment celebration that matches professional rodeo’s top athletes against the world’s most aspirational cowboys and cowgirls, who have put up their own money to bet on themselves in this high stake’s showdown. For more information on The American Rodeo, please visit or @TheAmerican.TR on Instagram @TheAmericanTR on Facebook and Twitter.

About Teton Ridge:
Teton Ridge is a multi-platform, wholly American-owned brand and media company devoted to the iconic American Western way of life and Western sports. Teton Ridge’s Sports division was created with the singular focus of elevating classic Western sports and America’s Western culture on the world stage, while broadening audiences around the globe as well as at home. In 2021, Teton Ridge acquired The American, the iconic event of the rodeo circuit, to continue to expand the audiences for rodeo sports and make it the world’s premier Western culture event. For more information about Teton Ridge, please visit or @tetonridge on Instagram @tetonridgeusa on Facebook.

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.