Explore Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Other Forms of Assistance

We Care For and Honor Our Reining Community

We know these are trying times. Everyone connected with equine enterprises is impacted by the global pandemic in some way. The Reining Horse Foundation, in cooperation with NRHA, encourages you to be proactive in accessing programs meant to keep your business viable.

On March 27, the U.S. Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act, teeing up approximately $2 trillion in emergency aid to American taxpayers, small businesses, and nonprofits and charities. Because most equine enterprises characterize themselves as small businesses and include many nonprofits, such as state associations and equine rescue operations, the package addresses many challenges facing the horse industry. The following are highlights.

Small Business and Nonprofits

The act bolsters the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program, establishing a maximum loan amount to $10 million through December 31, 2020. The act defines eligibility for loans as a small business or 501(c)(3) nonprofit with not more than 500 employees “or the applicable size standard for the industry as provided by SBA.” The act further extends eligibility to sole proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals. This should provide assistance to trainers, farriers, and veterinarians, among other solo practitioners.

The act also expands the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program currently available to small businesses to include “any individual operating as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor during the covered period” from January 31, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Luckily for many breed-specific associations and state groups, for example, the act extends the program to private nonprofits. The American Horse Council (AHC) COVID-19 Resources web page includes links related to the EIDL program and will post updated information as details unfold.

Tax and Payroll Flexibility

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance—The act extends unemployment benefits to the self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others who are unable to work as a direct result of the pandemic. Self-employed professionals such as trainers and other independent contractors impacted by economic disruptions, including event cancellations, caused by “social distancing” should find this provision helpful.

Individual “Recovery Rebates”—Individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 are eligible for a $1,200 cash rebate from the IRS. The amount rises to $2,400 for married couples.

Charitable Contribution Flexibility—The provision encourages Americans to contribute to churches and charitable organizations in 2020 by permitting them to deduct up to $300 of cash contributions, whether they itemize their deductions or not. This provision should blunt the impact of equine charities, including rescue operations. The Reining Horse Foundation is a qualifying 501(c)3 charity.

Charitable Contribution Increases—The act increases the limitations on deductions for charitable contributions by individuals who itemize, as well as corporations. Technical details will follow.

Employer Payroll Tax Flexibility—The act allows employers and self-employed individuals to defer payment of the Social Security tax until 2021 and beyond. Employers generally pay a 6.2% Social Security tax on employee wages. While the scope of this provision is not yet clear, it could extend to equine equipment makers and other manufacturers and merchants that comprise the complex supply chain for the horse industry.

Additionally, programs may be available for international members from their governments and community organizations. Stay tuned to all NRHA channels for the latest developments.

This CARES Act program summary is shared courtesy of the American Paint Horse Association

NTRA to Air Teleconference on Federal Stimulus Programs

On April 1 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association will hold a teleconference with in-depth analysis of key tax and business provisions impacting businesses and individuals involved in the horse racing and breeding industry. The teleconference is open to media, representatives of equine businesses, their employees, and other individuals in the equine industry impacted by the pandemic.



Reining Horse Foundation
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Reining to Resume After April 30

In an effort to keep all members safe and healthy, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) will continue to strongly encourage producers of NRHA-approved events to cancel or postpone their horse shows until April 30, 2020. This aligns with President Trump’s announcement yesterday, March 29, 2020, to extend federal social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

To ease pressures on NRHA members, the association announced yesterday that the 2020 NRHA World Champion title races won’t include earnings from March 14 to April 30, 2020, due to shows being postponed or canceled.

Furthermore, qualification for 2020 Affiliate Regional Championships (ARCs) will be waived. Affiliates won’t be required to offer three qualifying shows nor provide designations and membership rosters. When a horse-and-rider pair qualifies for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) show at an ARC, that pair may not enter the class they qualified in at another ARC.

To keep up with this everchanging situation, please follow NRHA on Facebook and regularly check nrha.com.

NRHA Looks Forward to Returning to the Show Pen

For Immediate Release – March 28, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Just two short weeks ago, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) made swift decisions regarding COVID-19, including instructing the office team to work remotely for at least two weeks and issuing a statement strongly encouraging event producers to postpone or cancel all NRHA-approved events through March 30, 2020. NRHA officials carefully considered both of these decisions and understand their far-reaching implications on the industry as a whole. Following is an update on those situations as well as decisions made this week by the NRHA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

The NRHA team will continue to work remotely for at least two additional weeks, keeping in line with mandates in place by the State of Oklahoma and maintaining the safety of NRHA employees, their families, and the Oklahoma City community at large. The remote situation is made easier thanks to the new ReinerSuite™ system, which allows members to conduct many types of business transactions online, 24/7. NRHA team members are ready and willing to help you with all of your needs during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday. Please find their contact information at nrha.com/staff. Initiating contact with emailed documentation will allow tracking of requests to ensure that all needs are met.

Just like our members, NRHA is excited for approved events to resume, subject to local, state, and federal government restrictions. The two NRHA-owned events in Europe have new dates: The NRHA European Futurity will commence November 20–28 in Cremona, Italy, and the NRHA European Derby will take place October 28–November 1 in Lyon, France. In addition, the NRHA Derby presented by Markel is on target for its established dates, June 13–21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Find a regularly updated list of canceled and postponed events at bit.ly/COVIDEventsUpdate.

NRHA’s Executive Committee and Board met this week to evaluate the situation and made the following decisions to ease pressure on members and even the playing field for the entire international membership.

  • The 2019 awards banquet, which was to be held during the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, unfortunately, is canceled. While many people look forward to this event, it is more prudent to reduce the uncertainty and handle it differently this year. Awards will be mailed to all recipients, and winners will be recognized during the 2020 NRHA Futurity. Coverage of all the award recipients can be found in the March and April issues of the NRHA Reiner as well as online at reiner.nrha.com.
  • The 2020 NRHA World Champion title races won’t include earnings from March 14 to April 30, 2020, due to shows being postponed or canceled. NRHA-approved events may occur during this time, but the earnings won’t count toward the titles.
  • Qualification for 2020 Affiliate Regional Championships (ARCs) will be waived. Affiliates won’t be required to offer three qualifying shows nor provide designations and membership rosters. When a horse-and-rider pair qualifies for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship show at an ARC, that pair may not enter the class they qualified in at another ARC.

“One of our main focuses is the NRHA Derby presented by Markel,” stated NRHA President Mike Hancock. “We’re excited for that event to happen in June. As we’re all becoming increasingly aware, there are many unknowns and things can change, but the NRHA Board and office team are exploring all avenues to keep this event on track. Rest assured that all entries will be refunded if the Derby must be canceled or postponed.”

NRHA’s Executive Committee, Board, and office team aim to make the best decisions for the organization as a whole, and especially for the members. These are uncharted waters, which require smart decision-making for the best of the sport and our horses. To share feedback, email memberships@nrha.com. To keep up with this everchanging situation, please follow NRHA on Facebook and regularly check nrha.com.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the NRHA European Executive Board met to discuss qualification for the NRHA European Affiliate Championship, to be held this summer (6-11 July) in Regstrup, Denmark. The European Executive Board recommended altering the qualification system to make the event open to all European competitors. With so many shows canceling or postponing, the board felt many members would not have the ability to qualify and wanted to give them this opportunity. The European Council voted in favor of this idea. They agreed making this change would be the best solution for the members and in the best interest of event entries.

For the 2020 NRHA European Affiliate Championship, there will be no qualification restriction upon entry. All European members are welcome to enter the event.

For information on the 2020 NRHA European Affiliate Championship please visit nrha-eac2019-20.com or email NRHA European Affiliate Championship Media Contact, Simona Diale/International Horse Press, at

A Message From The Equine Disease Communication Center

I hope this email finds everyone safe and healthy during this difficult period. As always, clear communication is critical during periods of uncertainty.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for many horse owners. To have a central source for accurate information, the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) published a Coronavirus resource page on its website http://equinediseasecc.org/coronavirus-resources featuring items to help horse owners keep their horses healthy during this pandemic.

While information about the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing, the EDCC is receiving questions and concerns from owners about the safety of their horses. In order to help mitigate and protect horses from the spread of disease, the EDCC Coronavirus resource page will be updated as necessary to reflect the current information.

Additionally, the EDCC’s Coronavirus page features fact sheets to help owners explain the differences between equine coronavirus (ECoV) and COVID-19 as well as needed tools to stay up to date on the latest information. Users will be able to download and print off fact sheets and educational materials that can be posted in barns and facilities.

As always, we thank you for the continued support of the EDCC and our efforts. EDCC is fully operational during these trying times and is here to support you. Let us know if we can be of help in the days ahead.

With best wishes,

Nathaniel A. White II
Director, Equine Disease Communication Center


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.

2020 NRHA European Derby to Be Held During Equita Lyon 2020, France

For Immediate Release — Oklahoma City, 03.23.20 — The unfolding coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has significantly affected National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) approved and owned shows across the globe. The NRHA European Derby, scheduled to be held during the Western Horse Show in Wels, Austria, on May 21-24, has been postponed due to the cancellation of the Austrian show.

In an effort to best accommodate horses, riders, breeders, and owners, the NRHA European Executive Board reviewed potential dates and venues. After careful consideration, the decision was made to host the Euro Derby on October 28 through November 1 during Equita Lyon 2020, the renowned international equestrian trade fair show — organized by GL events Equestrian Sports — held in Lyon, France.

For updates and further information nrhaeuropeanderby.com

NRHA European Derby Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press