Southeastern Reining Horse Association Main Event to Benefit Reining Horse Foundation

The Southeastern Reining Horse Association’s Main Event, slated for May 27–29 at the Senator Bob Martin Agri Center in Williamston, North Carolina, will be extra special in 2022. That’s because the show has elected to designate four derby classes as Reining Horse Foundation events.

“SERHA has been blessed with many members who have been supported by the Reining Horse Foundation, either by way of the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund or by youth scholarships,” noted Terri Mainey, SERHA Secretary. “In our gratitude for the RHF’s assistance, we hope to bring a light to the RHF’s mission with our members and those in our communities.”

To work toward that goal, SERHA will donate $5 for each individual rider entry in the Open and Non Pro Derbies to the RHF. Classes included are the Reining Horse Foundation Open and Non Pro Derbies in Levels 4 and 2, and the Reining Horse Foundation Open and Non Pro 8 & Up Derbies in Levels 4 and 2. Championship buckles, sponsored by Steven Marbry Performance Horses, will be presented, and the Level 4 Open and Non Pro Champions will win tables designed and made by Phillip and Michelle Waugh.

As a challenge to attract more entries, Terri and her husband, John Mainey, have pledged to match the donation made to the RHF.

“We applaud the Southeastern Reining Horse Association for this fundraising effort,” said Leslie Baker, executive director of the RHF. “Their leadership will help introduce the RHF to a broader audience, and the derbies are sure to be a fun addition to the Main Event show. We cannot overstate our appreciation for everyone involved in creating ways to give back to the reining community.”

There will be several new additions to the 2022 event, including:

  • Six Smokin Bones will be cooking for the Annual SERHA meeting. Six Smokin Bones will also provide dinner following the Derby on Saturday. Paying homage to Mike Hancock’s Carolina Classic tradition, there will be “Breakfast for Supper.”
  • The Youth and Para-reining entries are sponsored, and all youth will receive ribbons and prizes.
  • The Youth will enjoy a free meal on Saturday evening.
  • Langdon Farms will sponsor an ice cream social by Sisters II.
  • Championship buckles, sponsored by George and Carol Bell and the SERHA Board, will be awarded in the Green Reiner 1 and 2.
  • Trophies will be presented in the Rookie 1, 2, and Prime Time.
  • The event includes a raffle, with SERHA Youth in charge of raffle ticket sales.

“The reining community is coming together to make this a tremendous show. There are many exhibitors on the East Coast who are not familiar with the RHF, and we hope that by presenting a quality show with the Reining Horse Foundation as the named benefactor, these exhibitors will learn how our industry works together in helping reiners in need through the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, providing scholarships for continuing education, and perpetuating the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame,” Mainey said.

Mainey added there are several sponsors of the Main Event Reining Horse Foundation Derbies, including Tim Anderson and Kim Niven, Rick Clark and Clark’s Pump N Shop, Mirjam and Andrea Stillo, Mike Hancock and Family, Jillane and Wesley Brown of Browe Construction, Lucinda Human of Star H Equine, George and Carol Bell Performance Horses, Platinum Performance, Matt Murphy and Bar M Performance Horses and Parker Minchin.

For more information about the SERHA Main Event, visit

Our Condolences – Dick Pieper

On May 15, 2022, National Reining Horse Association Hall of Famer Dick Pieper passed away at the age of 82.

Dick Pieper & Texas Kicker

Dick was born on his family’s farm in Southern Ohio, where they raised cattle, sheep, and horses – both draft and saddle horses – that were used on a daily basis. Upon high school graduation, Dick attended Ohio State University and served a tour of duty in the United States Navy.

While life kept him busy, he still spent every spare moment riding and training horses. Early on, he turned to reining horses and held NRHA member number 113.

In 1977, he won the NRHA Futurity on Spanish Mountain, then returned two years later, in 1979, to take Co-Reserve Championship honors on Cee Blair Masota.

Between 1976 and 1995, Dick rode 23 NRHA Futurity finalists and was a top twenty money earner for many years following. In 1985, he showed Miss Cee Blair to the title of NRHA World Champion Open Horse, setting a record for money earned in one year that was not broken until 1994 when her son, Cee Blair Sailer, also trained by Dick, established an even higher record. In 1991, Dick showed Texas Kicker to American Quarter Horse Association World Champion Junior Reining Horse setting another record score of 228 in the finals.

Dick held judges cards for the NRHA, AQHA, National Cutting Horse Association, and the National Reined Cow Horse Association.

During his career spanning four decades, Dick won or placed in every major reining event on the North American Continent and several in Europe. His last recorded NRHA event was in 1996, and he held NRHA lifetime earnings exceeding $225,000.

Dick served the industry in a variety of ways, including a tenure as NRHA President. He was at the helm of the organization when the association adopted its judging system, as well as when it moved its marquis event, the NRHA Futurity, moved to Oklahoma City in 1986.

When Dick purchased cutting stallion Playgun in 1993, his attention shifted to NCHA, and he earned more than $350,000 in the sport. Playgun, an $8 million sire, and AQHA Reining World Champion Texas Kicker both made their home at the Pieper Ranch in Marietta, Okla.

Dick was a master horseman and well-respected in the industry. He shared his wisdom, insights, and techniques through books, videos, and with anyone who wanted to learn. Cheryl Cody, who co-wrote The Language of Horsemanship with Dick, said, “His love of horses, the horse industry and people defined him. Sharing his knowledge was as natural as breathing, and he was a master storyteller who never failed to see each new day as an opportunity for adventure.”

Services for Richard “Dick” Pieper:

Wednesday, May 18
5-6 p.m. – Visitation at Smith Funeral Home in Crowell, Texas.
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. – Fellowship and meal following at the Circle Bar Lodge.

Thursday, May 19
8 a.m. – Breakfast before services at 8 a.m. at the Cookhouse, across the road from the Lodge.
10 a.m. – Graveside service at Circle Bar Cemetery

For any questions, please contact Eugenie at 940-655-8065

TRFAM Draws Cowboys to Las Vegas During Inaugural $25,000 Cowboy Invitational Presented by XIT Ranch

The Run For A Million (TRFAM) may be reining’s richest event, but after the success of last year’s $150,000 Cow Horse Challenge, held during TRFAM, it’s clear fans want to see even more of the Western way of life. This year, TRFAM will host the $25,000 Cowboy Invitational, allowing cowboys from some of the country’s most historic ranches to show off their horsemanship skills.

Eleven ranches have been invited to each send a cowboy to compete in the Cowboy Invitational. Some of the ranches chosen are American Quarter Horse Association Best Remuda Award winners, meaning they not only have significant livestock operations, but also prominent horse breeding programs. Many of the ranches are also involved in National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) competition.

“Last year was a great test to see how the cow horse would complement The Run For A Million event, and I think it proved to be a real fan favorite,” said Anna Morrison, Executive Director of the NRCHA. “To add on the Cowboy Invitational, which highlights how connected cow horse is to training traditions that are so important for ranch work and ranch life, is incredibly meaningful.”

The Cowboy Invitational will follow the NRCHA’s cowboy class format, designed for working ranch cowboys that are wanting to venture into the competitive arena. Competitors will complete a reining and cow work run, then return to the arena for a modified steer stopping run.

Thanks to inaugural sponsor XIT Ranch, these competitors will have a chance at $25,000 in prize money. With its long history rooted in ranching and the Western lifestyle, XIT Ranch’s owner Drew Knowles stepped up to sponsor what he thought was a good fit for their operation.

“When I was looking at [the cowboy invitational] this year, I noticed there wasn’t any money allocated for the cowboys, so I called up Taylor [Sheridan, producer] and said, ‘We’d love to give the cowboys something to compete for,’” Knowles said. “For us, with the preservation of the American cowboy and the traditions and horsemanship, it’s really a natural extension of what we believe in and what we’re all about.”

Founded in 1885 in the Texas Panhandle, the XIT Ranch at its peak spanned over three million acres and was once considered the largest cattle ranch in the world. Knowles, who is the third-great-grandson of one of its original owners, operates the current XIT Ranch out of La Veta, Colorado. The ranch is involved in the NRCHA as owners, breeders and sponsors.

“For The Run For A Million to have reining and cow horse, and now the Cowboy Invitational, it just speaks volumes to the resurgence in the Western way of life and the global interest of Western sports,” Knowles added. “I think that in this day and age, there’s a rekindling of the romantic idea of the Western way of life. To add in the heritage ranches, which are the epitome of the Western way of life, is just the perfect way for The Run For A Million to further develop as an event.”

The 11 invited ranches are:

6666 Ranch (Guthrie, TX)

Bogle Ltd. (Dexter, NM)

King Ranch (Kingsville, TX)

Pitchfork Land & Cattle Company (Guthrie, TX)

R.A. Brown Ranch (Throckmorton, TX)

San Lucas Ranch (Santa Ynez, CA)

Singleton Ranches (Lamy, NM)

Stuart Ranch (Caddo, OK)

Tongue River Ranch (Dumont, TX)

Waggoner Ranch (Vernon, TX)

Wagonhound Land & Livestock (Douglas, WY)

The 2022 TRFAM will be held Aug. 17-20 at the South Point Arena in Las Vegas. Prior to the competition, the Cowboy Invitational ranches will be invited to participate in a cowboy clinic at the 6666 Ranch in June to help their cowboys get ready for the big stage in Las Vegas.

To find TRFAM’s schedule or purchase tickets, go to To learn more about the reined cow horse sport, visit the NRCHA’s website. For more information about XIT Ranch, visit their website.

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.

Reiners Rope Returns to Benefit the Reining Horse Foundation During the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

Arguably one of the funnest benefit events hosted at a horse show, Reiners Rope is returning to the 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel. Slated for Wednesday, June 22, Reiners Rope is an action-packed benefit for the Reining Horse Foundation’s Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund. Organized by NRHA Professionals Billy Williams and Patrick Flaherty with help from Marshall Kyle, Robert Barshofsky, Jeremy Olsen, and a host of other volunteers including other NRHA Professionals providing awards, the fundraiser has been popular with the large audience gathered for the Platinum Performance Welcome Party.

What began as an evening of fun for a few reining enthusiasts in 2019, quickly grew to become a favorite fundraiser chock-full of comradery, friendly competition, and lots of laughs. The event is open for all to watch as horseless ropers pit their skills against others in this one-of-a-kind dummy roping, and all to benefit the RHF’s Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund that provides grants to NRHA members enduring major hardships, such as illness, accidents and disasters.

In its inaugural year, announcer Jason Jackson and NRHA Professional Matt Armenta emerged as Reiners Rope champions. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a hiatus for the event in 2020, but the next year, when it raised nearly $2,000 for the RHF, two former strangers came together to win the event: Shane Walters and Jett Miser.

Walters, who owns Diamond Dub Quarter Horses along with his wife, Kalicia, said, “One of the great things about Reiners Rope for us was that we got to meet a lot of people that we didn’t know, so it helped grow our network. It’s a great thing to be able to help others in need.”

Miser said, “It was tons of fun. I would recommend [Reiners Rope] to anyone who can swing a rope.”

The 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel will be held in Oklahoma City at State Fair Park June 15 – 26. The best 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old reining horses and riders will be laying it all on the line for a chance at some major prize money.

Formally established as a recognized nonprofit organization in 2001, the Reining Horse Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the National Reining Horse Association. A renewed focus is driving efforts to expand fundraising so that the Foundation can do more to support the reining community. Donations of all sizes are relevant when it comes to helping reiners in need through the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, providing educational scholarships and youth leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association, and perpetuating the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame. For information visit the website at

2022 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel adds to its Lineup of Youth Activities

There is never a dull moment for youth at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel. In addition to showing their horses, NRHyA members can look forward to fun times with friends at the CINCH Youth Speaking Contest, the CINCH Youth Gathering, and recently, a Regional Food Bank volunteer opportunity and NRHyA Dance has been added to the lineup.

Any NRHyA or NRHA members are welcome to join the NRHyA Officer team at the Oklahoma City Regional Food Bank on June 21 at 9 a.m. Please send an email to by June 14 if interested in assisting with the Food For Kids Backpack Program or assembling boxes full of food for seniors living on fixed incomes.

“The NRHyA Dance was a huge hit at the 2021 Futurity, so having one at the Derby was an easy decision,” Director of Youth Programs Sara Honegger said.

There are tons of fun activities scheduled in the Platinum Zone on Wednesday, June 22 during the Derby. First thing in the morning, it will be the venue for the Youth Speaking Contest, which contestants must enter by June 1. Then, at 5:30 p.m., the Platinum Performance Welcome Party featuring the Non Pro Finals Draw will commence. At its close, Reiners Rope will begin its Reining Horse Foundation benefit dummy roping. After the champions have been crowned, the NRHyA Dance will begin at approximately 8 p.m.

Just like at the Futurity, the dance will again be presented by “DJ Sammy Olds,” also known as NRHA Sr. Director of International Affairs & Development Samantha Oldfield, and attendees can expect to jive to their favorite hits and learn some new jams.

“Our youth officer team and NRHyA delegates have worked hard to come up with new, fun ideas for youth activities for this event, along with keeping their favorites,” Honegger shared, “I encourage parents and youth members to follow NRHyA on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest activities, times, and locations.”

Since 2001, young reiners in the National Reining Horse Youth Association have benefited from their memberships through college scholarships, learning experiences from some of the top Reining trainers, life-long friendships, and a whole lot of fun along the way. NRHyA fosters leadership qualities and provides young members with a roadmap for success to guide them along their future career paths. For information, visit