Category 2 & 6 Eligibility Clarification

Each year in August, the NRHA Board of Directors approves eligibility for the following year. At the beginning of the year, rider lists are posted to inform members of who can compete in certain levels. Since the 2019 lists have been posted, members have expressed confusion and ambiguity with wording pertaining to Category 2 & 6 events. In response to this, the NRHA Executive Committee met to clarify the topic; removing the words “after factoring.” Revised eligibility lists will be posted on in the next few days.

NRHA Announces Affiliate Ambassadors in New Program Sponsored by Toyon Ranch

For Immediate Release – January 11, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) recognized volunteers from 14 regions around the world as special guests during the Sliders’ Night Out event hosted by the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) on November 28. This new program is made possible by NRHA Heritage Partner Toyon Ranch, owned by John & Nancy Tague of Pilot Point, Texas.

The volunteers were selected for the special recognition which includes complimentary reserved seating at the fundraising banquet, a certificate, and free admission for the NRHA Futurity. Those who attended Sliders’ Night Out also received a travel award.

The inaugural program resulted in the names of 40 volunteers submitted for recognition and a person or couple was selected for each of eight U.S. and six international regions. The selection committee was impressed with the quality of volunteers. In 2018, every person who was submitted will receive a certificate acknowledging appreciation for their contributions. Among the group are NRHA Pros, Non Pros, judges, secretaries, and stewards.

“Reining at the grassroots is made possible through members who volunteer at our NRHA affiliates,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “The volunteers who joined us at Sliders’ Night Out and the NRHA Futurity are representative of our diverse NRHA members. We expect they will enjoy this experience and then turn around and go back to their affiliates and get to work, carrying with them many positives happening through the Reining Horse Foundation and NRHA.”

Toyon Ranch has a commitment to present Sliders’ Night Out and the Affiliate Ambassador program for three years. The event is a fundraiser for the 501(c)3 nonprofit Reining Horse Foundation, whose mission is caring is caring for the reining community and honoring the sport’s legacy. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund; youth scholarship and leadership development; and perpetuation of the NRHA Hall of Fame.

For more information or to make a donation, visit or call (405) 946-7400.

2018 NRHA Affiliate Ambassadors
Sponsored by Toyon Ranch

Northwest Region
Stephanie Porath
Great Western RHA

Kim Niven
Arizona RHA

Guy & Valerie Vernon
Eastern Plains RHA

North Central
John & Lacy Zimmerman
North Central RHA

South Central
JD Badertscher
West Texas RHA

East Central
Kris Hansen
Michigan RHA

Terri Mainey
Southeastern RHA

Shawn Reynolds
Eastern Pennsylvania RHA

Paulus Beurskens

Western Canada
Bonna Jean Bateman
Central Canada RHA

Eastern Canada
Bob Gleeton and Marilou Paradis
Quebec RHA

Mariano Pedrero
ANCR Mexico

South America
Debora Frisch
ACR Argentina

Lynda Gray
Reining Australia

The NRHA Affiliate Ambassadors were guests at the Reining Horse Foundation Sliders’ Night Out philanthropy event. Some were also on hand for arena introductions during the NRHA Futurity including: (left to right)

Kim Niven
John Zimmerman
Lacy Zimmerman
Kris Hansen
Terri Mainey
Bonna Jean Bateman

Paulus Beurskens
Marilou Paradis
Bob Gleeton
Debora Frisch
Nancy Tague and John Tague, owners of NRHA Heritage Partner Toyon Ranch and sponsor of Affiliate Ambassador recognition
Mike Deer, NRHA Board President
Mike Hancock, NRHA Board Vice President

2019 Convention & Awards Schedule Available

This year’s NRHA Convention & Awards is scheduled for February 6-9 in Oklahoma City. The event includes a Show Secretary & Management Seminar, Annual General Membership Meeting, NRHA Professionals Development Sessions, NRHyA Leadership Development, and the NRHA Awards Banquet. Also for those members looking to be more involved in the discussion and decision-making process, the event includes committee and board meetings which are open to members.

A complete schedule is available online, as well as online registration. Make plans to attend today!

Cira Baeck Joins NRHA’s Million Dollar Rider List

For Immediate Release – December 20, 2018 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) welcomes NRHA Professional Cira Baeck as the second female, and first European female, to join the list of Million Dollar Riders. Baeck flew into the next level of her career with two top qualifying rides during the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) Futurity Level(L) 4 Open Finals this past weekend atop NF Shining Whiz and Sailorsacrofpride BB.

Under Baeck, NF Shining Whiz, owned by Kim Windey and David Perneel, clinched the title of the L4 Open Reserve Championship with a score of 227. She also rode Sailorsarcofpride BB, owned by Ruediger Diedenhofen, and exited the arena with her total earnings amounting to about $50,000 throughout the 2018 IRHA Futurity that ran from December 7-15 in Cremona, Italy.

The Belgian trainer and NRHA Judge won her first NRHA paycheck in 2002 and has actively competed in European and North American NRHA events ever since. Beginning as a youth competitor, Baeck has received multiple honors during the past decade and a half, including the following:

  • Three-time NRHA Open World Champion Top Ten: 2013 on Whizasunnysailor BB (3rd), 2015 on Whizasunnysailor BB (2nd), and 2017 on Gunners Snappy Chic (3rd)
  • Two-time NRHA Non Pro World Champion, plus six other Top Ten placings in the same division: 2007 on Don Quixote Escapes (1st), 2008 on Peek A Boom (1st), 2008 on Whizashiningwalla BB (3rd), 2010 on Gumpy Grumpy BB (3rd), 2009 on Whizashiningwalla BB (4th), 2007 on Little Gump (6th), 2009 on Gumpy Grumpy BB (6th), and 2005 on Little Gump (7th).
  • Three-time FEI World Equestrian Games medalist: 2010, 2014, and 2018 Team Silver Medalist for Belgium
  • 2013 IRHA Derby L4 Open Champion on Whizasunnysailor BB
  • 2014 NRHA European Derby L4 Open Champion on Colonels Shining Gun

Cira Baeck credits NRHA legend and Hall of Fame Inductee, Bill Horn, for her drive and passion for the sport as he continues to be her biggest inspiration. Other NRHA Professionals, such as Brent Loseke and Bernard Fonck, NRHA’s first European based Two Million Dollar Rider, also have been influential in Baeck’s career.

Photo by Andrea Bonaga