Get ready to watch the live internet feed of the All American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity Open Finals on October 2. The free webcast will feature the National Reining Horse Association’s premier team of Steve Ross and Rocky Dare, who will call the action and provide insights drawn from their long tenure within the reining industry.
Steve Ross has become a strong voice for the NRHA, doing live interviews and explaining the intricacies of reining. An NRHA Judge who also worked NCAA sports and other broadcast gigs, he recently partnered with The Cowboy Channel’s Jeff Medders on multiple broadcasts of the NRHA Derby presented by Markel and the National Reining Breeders Classic.
NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee and Million Dollar Rider Rocky Dare purchased his lifetime NRHA membership while he was still a struggling neophyte horse trainer because he knew he wanted to ride reiners for a long time. Purchasing the membership, which represented more than two weeks of his salary at the time, was a prophetic move because he’s now been involved in reining in five different decades!
You can view the action and hear the commentary from these elite experts by clicking here or you can click on the link on the NRHA website to take you directly to the webcast, which is provided by the Congress through Bryan Morgan’s National Sports Broadcasting. A great feature of Morgan’s technology is that you can rewind up to four hours, as long as the event is still streaming.
The NRHA and its event management team have tapped Steve and Rocky to help add production value to the sport’s major events, and plans are in motion to grow this important facet going forward. NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody said, “Reining is an important sport, and we are poised to begin showcasing the industry and the people in it in a new light. With all the momentum in the industry now, we’ll be stepping up to a new ‘Game Day’ level at the 2021 NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships, set for November 25 – December 4.”
The National Reining Horse Association has a history steeped with great and dedicated horsemen and women. In 1986, the NRHA created its Hall of Fame to recognize these individuals, their achievements, and their contributions to the industry.
Following the August presentation of the NRHA’s Hall of Fame Committee’s recommended nominees, the Board of Directors and past Hall of Fame inductees voted to approve Jose Vazquez and Doug Carpenter for induction into the NRHA Hall of Fame.
Also announced was the selection of Charles Vaughan as the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for 2021.
“It would be hard to find many NRHA members who would not recognize the contributions of Jose Vazquez and Doug Carpenter, even though they earned their spot in NRHA’s Hall of Fame by different avenues,” noted Past NRHA President and Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Mike Hancock. “While a lot of our newer members might not be as familiar with Charles Vaughan, if you look back over the years, he has continuously supported the industry in a variety of ways. I look forward to honoring all three of these individuals in December.”
On Wednesday, December 1, these honorees, as well as 2020 NRHA Hall of Fame inductees the late Sally Brown and the late Jerry Kimmel, and 2020 NRHA Dale Wilkinson Award recipient Mike Carrier, will be recognized and celebrated during Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch. The formal induction ceremonies were not held in 2020.
“Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch is a must-attend event on the social calendar for our reining community. There is such excitement at being able to finally recognize all of these honorees,” said Leslie Baker, Executive Director of the RHF. “We also will celebrate 20 years of the Reining Horse Foundation. It will be a special night to reflect on reining history and look to the future!”
Jose Vazquez – NRHA Hall of Fame 2021
Known for his boisterous personality and go-for-broke showmanship, Jose Vazquez began his reining career almost three decades ago. In that time, he has achieved what few in the association have, reaching Million Dollar status as a rider, owner, and breeder.
Dottie Smith, president of the Midwest Reining Horse Association, has watched his progress in the show pen. “Jose has been a member of our affiliate since the 1990s and earned his first major paycheck in Gordyville in 1999. He brings his seemingly tireless enthusiasm for reining – and life – to each of our events. Luckily for us, his zest for the world of reining is infectious,” she said.
NRHA Hall of Fame couple Barb and Dick Waltenberry, who have documented great – and small – moments in reining for decades, recalled how in the beginning of his career, Vazquez would buy a video of every one of his runs. “He did that to study and learn. He’d give us a bunch of cash, and tell us that when it ran out to let him know and he’d give us more,” the couple wrote. “His pride in his daughter, Mariana, was unrivaled. Like many parents, he is delighted when she outscores him.”
Vazquez’s enthusiasm for learning about the sport helped him first become an NRHA Million Dollar Rider in 2015, and his lifetime earnings in the show ring have just passed $1.5 million.
His biggest win to date came in 2009 at the National Reining Breeders Classic, when he rode Wound By Juice to win the Level 4 Championship, worth $37,783. He returned to the NRBC winner’s circle in 2018 on Like Shiner for an additional $30,000 in earnings.
In 2003 he won the Non Pro Level 4 Reserve Championship at the NRHA Futurity, winning $24,664 on Sugar Like Juice, and took third, and $18,457, in 2019 on Xtra Winding Step. Rounding out his top five wins was his 2012 NRHA Derby Non Pro Level 4 Championship on Moonshine Juice, where he won $15,604.
A common thread among Vazquez’s winningest horses? They’re typically ones he bred and raised, and many are sired by his standout stallion, NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Smart Like Juice. Under Smart Like Juice’s name, Vazquez’s equine business Smart Like Juice LLC recently became the newest NRHA Two Million Dollar Owner.
Hancock noted, “Jose got into reining later in life, bought a super horse in Smart Like Juice, and it’s rare you don’t see him winning, whether it’s breeding or showing. One of the attributes we look at for the Hall of Fame is character. Now, we have plenty of characters in the Hall of Fame, but Jose, with his family values and involvement in the industry, is the epitome of great character.”
NRHA Past President Bill Bradley echoed those sentiments before his passing in 2018, commending Vazquez’s excitement about both reining and the NRHA. “Jose’s substantial accomplishments as a showman, owner, and a breeder are easily found within the record books of NRHA. I want to address the intrinsic. I have never witnessed an NRHA member who is more passionate and enthusiastic about the sport. He is constantly observing, analyzing, studying, and discussing the sport of reining both domestically and internationally,” Bradley shared. “Jose has also invested a tremendous amount of money into our affiliate programs via donations and sponsorships of shows.”
When the Asociacion Mexicana de Reining A.C. NRHA Affiliate hosted the club’s inaugural reining event in Mexico in 2003, Vazquez traveled from Illinois to attend. “Since then, he has always helped this sport grow. We are proud to support Jose’s nomination to the NRHA Hall of Fame,” shared Carlos Hernandez, president of the Asociacion Mexicana de Reining A.C. NRHA Affiliate.
Whether it’s in the show pen, through breeding great horses, or supporting his fellow reiners, there is no doubt that Jose Vazquez will continue to be a part of the reining industry for years to come.
Doug Carpenter – NRHA Hall of Fame 2021
The equine industry mourned the loss of Doug Carpenter when he passed shortly before the 2020 NRHA Futurity. Friends and acquaintances remember the man as a mentor, a representative for the discipline, and the quintessential horseman.
“Doug made incredible contributions to NRHA in numerous ways. He served on the NRHA Board of Directors and Executive Committee for several years. While contributing as a Gold level donor to the Reining Horse Foundation, Doug created revenue and recognition for the Foundation through the Celebrity Slide with the Professional Bull Riders and the ‘Make a Wish’ Foundation in Oklahoma City,” recalled friend, NRHA Hall of Fame member, and former NRHA President Frank Costantini. “He was instrumental in the push for global recognition of our sport, including reining’s acceptance as the first Western discipline recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale.”
Tales of Carpenter’s love for horses abound. He was born in the late 1950s in Rhode Island, and always loved horses. When he was just 13 years old, he hitchhiked to Columbus, Ohio, to attend the All American Quarter Horse Congress. He knew he was hooked.
Eight years later Carpenter took a job with trainer Tommy Manion, and that fall, showing at the Congress for the first time, he rode 2-year-old Good Lookin Babe to a reserve title.
According to GoHorseShow.com, “A few years later, having grown frustrated with showing, Carpenter decided to trade horses for NASCAR and move to North Carolina. Thinking the 1981 AQHA World Championship Show would be his last, he didn’t even bother to change out of his work shirt when he showed Karen Sullivan’s 3-year-old mare, Miss Docs Melody, in the first go of junior western pleasure. He placed first in the prelims and came back in front of a crowd of more than 6,000 people to win his first AQHA world championship. Needless to say, Carpenter ended up staying with horses.”
Carpenter continued to show successfully in the National Snaffle Bit Association, earning more than $70,000 in Lifetime Earnings. He moved to the western performance horse world in the early 1990s, representing and selling standout individuals such as 1992 NRHA Futurity Champion Boomernic, 1999 National Reining Cow Horse Association Futurity Champion Smart Zanolena, 2003 NRCHA Futurity Champion Chics Magic Potion, and 2007 World’s Greatest Horseman Champion Light N Fine. He also bought or sold other top performers including Jac Be Quick, Roosters Wrangler, Hes Dun his Time, and Bueno Chexinic.
In 2018, Carpenter began providing support to the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales, which flourished under his long-time relationships throughout the horse industry and vision for achieving big goals.
“His knowledge, guidance, and leg work to promote the NRHA Sales resulted in an improved sale and stronger market for yearlings, broodmares, and show horses,” noted Melanie Smith, one of the many who nominated Doug to the NRHA Hall of Fame.
Smith also recalled Carpenter’s little-known contributions to the sport. “Doug liked to work behind the scenes. The contributions he made to this association and its members may never truly be seen. He was a mentor to so many people in the industry, and a true ambassador for the sport.”
Carpenter was also one of the visionaries behind the NRHA Futurity Challenge, the goal of which is to substantially increase the purse at the NRHA’s most prestigious event. In 2020, the group managed to double the added money for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships, guarantee $60,000 to the Level 4 Non Pro Futurity Champion, and awarded a historic quarter-million dollars to the 2020 Level 4 Open Futurity Champion. Thanks to the momentum he helped create, the 2021 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Champion will win an unprecedented $350,000.
Hancock also noted Carpenter’s penchant for privacy. “I met Doug probably 40 years ago, and he was very quiet and private about many areas of his life. The one thing that always impressed me about him, though, was that you never heard a conversation about Doug that had a negative note about him.”
Carpenter, the quintessential horseman with an eye for greatness, continues to impact the industry through the many horses he bought and sold, and with his legacy of working tirelessly to promote reining, and reiners.
Charles Vaughan – NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award 2021
In the mid-1980s, a landmark case in Indiana resulted in laws that, to this day, prevent discrimination in the workplace against people with AIDS. A young man, Ryan White, had contracted the disease after receiving an injection to treat his hemophilia. White’s school determined he could not attend due to his AIDS status. The conflict grew, eventually culminating in a grueling nine-month trial. Thanks to the dedication of his lawyer, Charles Vaughan, White eventually regained his rights to attend school, and the enactment of the Ryan White act helped lessen discrimination against AIDS victims across the country.
Vaughan, of Lafayette, Indiana, has a life outside the courtroom and can be found at reining events across the country. “If you look back over the years, Charles has owned great horses, supported horse trainers, and has contributed greatly to the industry over the years,” Hancock shared. “He’s also been successful in the show pen. I believe he’s one of the oldest – if not the oldest – to win a bronze trophy, which he did so at the age of 90.”
An advocate for doing what’s right, Vaughan was instrumental in the move of the NHRA Futurity from its home in Ohio to Oklahoma City.
Dedicating himself to be the best at everything he did helped Vaughan create an impressive group of horses. His broodmare Ms Hollywood Showtime, whose lifetime earnings exceed $350,000, produced the NRHA Hall of Fame mare Miss Tinseltown. He also bred Ima Best Buddy, winner of the 1999 All American Quarter Horse Congress Open Reining Futurity and Wimpys Show Stopper, earner of more than $60,000. He also bred and raised Tinseltown Lil Step, who went on to produce both Smart Tinseltown and Smart Lil Step.
“To say that he was instrumental in creating a dynasty and bettering the bloodlines of the reining horse is undoubtedly an understatement. To this day Charlie still actively competes and shows the horses he loves so dearly in the sport that he has given so much of himself to,” noted NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. “The impact Charlie has had on the reining industry since the sport’s inception is almost immeasurable. He is a man of distinguished character, generous spirit, and unbridled enthusiasm both within the horse industry and throughout his personal and business life.”
Flarida added, “Charlie was one of my very first clients when I started my business. He took a big chance on believing in me, and we quickly became lifelong friends. I have learned so much from him. His enthusiasm and zeal for life, love, and horses has been incredible, and to this day serves as inspiration for me.
Vazquez, Carpenter, Vaughan, Brown, Kimmel and Carrier will be honored at Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch on December 1 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City during the NRHA Futurity. For details on how to become a Hall of Fame table host or major event donor, contact RHF Executive Director Leslie Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (405) 946-7400, ext. 106.
Anderman and Fuchs Elected Incoming Regional Directors
The elections for the 2022-2023 South Central and East Central Regional Directors concluded on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. The votes were counted and the winners named. Ann Salmon Anderman will represent the South Central Region and Margaret Fuchs, the East Central Region.
Margaret Fuchs, from Canfield, Ohio, has had a lifelong passion for reiners having become hooked on the sport while she attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. There, she was taught by NRHA Professional and Judge Larry Kasten who was one of her professors. Her love for the event never waned, and she has enjoyed great success both in and out of the show pen.
She has served on the NRHA Judges Committee and various Affiliate Boards. She is currently an NRHA Professional, an AQHA and NRHA Judge and head of human resources at SCF Bedding, Inc, and the incoming East Central Regional Director. With her new position, she looks forward to implementing programs to encourage greater participation at the affiliate level and trying to improve communications.
“I was really excited to get the call to hear that I had won the position of East Central Regional Director. I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone that took the time to vote for me. I am looking forward to the opportunity of being a part of the Board of Directors of NRHA,” Fuchs said. “[With my position,] I hope to create an informational round robin within our region where owners, trainers, exhibitors, breeders and sponsors can communicate their questions, concerns or suggestions to me so that they can be then relayed effectively to the rest of the board. Ultimately, the growth of our great sport of reining is the goal for all of us, and I’m really glad that I get to be part of it at this level.”
With over 15 years of experience as a horse trainer, Ann Salmon Anderman is heavily involved in serving the reining industry. The Pilot Point, Texas resident is a lifetime NRHA member who currently serves on the NRHA Board of Directors as well as the Judges, Nominating/Governance, and Stewards Committees. Additionally, she has served as a past chair of the NRHA Judges Policy Review Task Force and Judges Work Environment Task Force.
“I have had the honor of serving on the NRHA Board for the past few years, and I look forward to continuing to serve the reining industry,” Anderman commented.
She is also a member of the NRHA Judges Teaching Panel, which includes the preparation and evaluation of judges’ teaching and testing materials. She also served on the Southwest Reining Horse Association
(SWRHA) Board of Directors for over eight years and was the president of the NRHA Affiliate for three years.
With a focus on grass-roots members, Anderman was among the first to advocate for Green and Ride & Slide riders adding year-end buckles to ensure that all levels of competitors have a place to show and be recognized for their accomplishments. She firmly believes that it takes all levels of competitors to create a healthy NRHA environment.
Anderman has traveled around the world as a judge and clinician and has officiated two NRHA European Futurities. As a matter of fact, she was chosen as an NRHA Volunteer of the Year for her dedication and service to NRHA.
The new Regional Directors will serve two-year terms commencing on January 1, 2022. For more information, visit NRHA.com/elections.
NRHA is saddened to learn of the passing of Peter Phinny on August 13, 2021. We send condolences to his family and friends. With a love of horses sparked in childhood, nothing pleased Peter more than to be with his own, especially Mr Melody Jac, Brennas Kid and Bootlegger—three of several reining horses that inspired him to write “Training the Reined Horse.” This book, published in 1977, represents a combination of his two passions—writing and western horses. See the web page for service details and his full obituary. The family has designated the Reining Horse Foundation for gifts in Peter’s memory.