The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee and Board of Directors met via Zoom in early May to discuss and vote on 2024 Rule Changes and other topics relating to the future of reining.
Before diving into rule changes, NRHA Chief Financial Officer John Foy provided a financial overview of the current fiscal year’s nine months ending on March 31, 2023.
NRHA anticipates positive net income for the full fiscal year. NRHA’s balance sheet is strong, and cash flow continues to strengthen the Association. The NRHA has made significant investments within the industry over the last three years, highlighted by $1.165M in additional added money to the NRHA Futurity. The Association continues to focus on leveraging NRHA’s most valued assets to create incremental cash flow to be invested by the Association in our most valued assets while maintaining an adequate rainy-day fund.
Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner, also gave an update to the Board. As most exhibitors know, Oklahoma State Fair Park has begun constructing a new $126 million coliseum. NRHA and event staff are working closely with the State Fair Park to keep inconveniences to NRHA Derby exhibitors as limited as possible. You can learn more about the new coliseum and the project timeline to be completed in 2025 here.
Carpenter also shared that the NRHA Board and Executive Committee will participate in a strategic planning session in July. This will continue to build a plan to update the Association’s vision and goals for the future and consider the membership survey responses received earlier this year.
At the Winter Meeting in February, a committee was appointed to assist in the search for a commissioner to replace Carpenter when he retires at the end of this year. Jim Harlan, with MJM Global Search, has interviewed NRHA’s executive committee and senior staff to determine the qualities and qualifications needed. The committee will meet with candidates in the next few weeks with the intent to come back to the board with a recommendation.
The Board also discussed an additional change to fund NRHA’s medications program expansion. A $35 medications fee and a 5% retainage increase will be instated at the 2023 NRHA Futurity to reflect increased testing throughout the event.
Each year, NRHA Members and committees may submit rule-change proposals for addition to the following year’s official handbook. The NRHA Board of Directors discusses the proposals, sends them to NRHA Committees for feedback, reviews opinions shared by the membership, and casts votes after two readings of the proposals, typically at their mid-year meeting.
“The rule change meeting is always one of the most tedious, and it can be a hard meeting to go through because it only occurs every two years, so it builds up, but I thought the discussion we had was good,” said NRHA President Mark Blake. “The Board looked at the member and committee suggestions, and they did a good job of taking that into account when they made their decisions, and it went very well! We read the proposed changes at the Winter Meeting first. After that, it is up to Board members to do their research on what the impact of those rule changes would be. At this meeting, we spent four hours of intense talks, but, in total, this is a three-month process.”
The board considered and voted on the following proposals. To review a full list of rule changes, comments, and details, visit the members only section at reinersuite.nrha.com.
Approved/Approved as Amended
43-1-24: Amateur Derby Division for Category 2 & 6 – Approved as amended to follow current trial conditions.
42-1-24: Masters Non Pro – Approved
42-2-24: Legends Non Pro – Approved
44-1-24: Maturity Definition – Approved as amended
47-1-24: Updating the Definition of Category 8 – Approved as amended
51-1-24: Less Than 8 Horses Between Runs – Approved
53-1-24: General Show Conditions – Approved
54-1-24: Certified Show Secretary – Approved
54-2-24: Show Secretary Showing at Events – Approved
54-3-24: Official Videographer – Approved
54-4-24: Judges Monitor – Approved as amended
56-1-24: Judge’s Score Sheets – Approved
56-2-24: Option to Require Jog In – Approved
60-1-24: Prime Time Non Pro Added Money Approved
61-1-24: Requiring a Level 4 Open and Level 4 Non Pro Class for Aged Shows – Approved
95-1-24: 65 and Older Holding Saddle Horn in Category 2 & 6 – Approved
99-1-24: Modified Patterns – Approved
132-1-24: Adding Lope In Pattern 17 – Approved as amended
No Action Taken
20-1-24: Tail Alterations
33-1-24: Adding an Amateur Division
37-1-24 Definition of Immediate Family
45-1-24: Change “Ancillary” to “Traditional” in All Instances
50-1-24: Block Draws
66-1-24: Removing the Requirement of Ordering the Lawson Trophy
67-1-24: Ties in Classes With $2,000 Added, Category 2 & 6, and NAAC
173-1-24: Removing Youth Points from the Eligibility of Rookie Levels 1 & 2
TBD-1-24: Soundness Check Before Showing