The Preeminent Showcase for Reining Horses Adopts New Names

The National Reining Horse Association Markel Futurity Sales represent the elite of the western performance horse industry. Lucrative for consignors and a gold mine of potential for buyers, the event is a must-attend during the NRHA Futurity each year.

The 2021 NRHA Markel Futurity Sales are set for Thursday, December 2. As in the past, the sales will offer an outstanding group of two-year-old reining prospects, yearlings, stallions, broodmares, and show horses from leading breeders, owners, and trainers.

The deadline to consign is August 31, and this year’s selection process has been streamlined with the elimination of photography and video requirements for yearlings,* and modified 2-year-old preview opportunities.**

All sales are managed by the NRHA staff with support and direction from the NRHA Sales Task Force. Rick Clark, John Tague, Rosanne Sternberg, Frank Costantini, Tim Anderson, Rick Ford and Jake Dahl serve on this task force along with NRHA Senior Manager of ReinerSuite and Futurity Sales Angie Honeywell.  

The quality and integrity of the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales is reflected in the records of exemplary graduates of previous sales and those horses have won millions in NRHA earnings since the first 2-year-olds were sold in 1993. To represent the elevated quality of horses sold in each sale, the Sale Task Force has renamed three of the four sales. The Select Yearling Sale will now be the Elite Yearling Sale, the Select Breeders Sale has been renamed the Preferred Breeders Sale, and the Marketplace Sale will now be known as the Premier Sale.

It’s more than semantics, as contemporary reining horses and prospects truly represent the culmination of years of development for the breeding industry. “The Sale Task Force felt these names were a better representation of the high-quality horses we have. Sale graduates from each sale have been incredibly successful in the show pen and breeding barn, and they wanted every aspect of the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales to reflect that,” noted Honeywell.

To read more about the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales, including more exciting changes for 2021, click here. For consignment information, visit

*Video and photograph requirements will not be compulsory as part of the yearling consignment application procedure. Please note that videos, photographs, and radiographs will still be required prior to the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales for marketing materials and to be available for buyers. New guidelines will now govern yearling placement. Foals of dams with $25,000 or more in progeny and/or lifetime earnings will be placed in the Elite Yearling Sale, while those not meeting that threshold will sell in the Premier Sale.

**Two-year-old preview opportunities have expanded into two-hour sessions in Arena 6. To provide ample time for consignors to present their horses in a controlled environment, these sessions will be held on November 30 and December 1 at the conclusion of each day’s Futurity Semi-Finals.

NRHA Markel Futurity Sale Grads Shine in Derby Competition

Over the past few weeks, graduates of the National Reining Horse Association Markel Futurity Sales have excelled in the show pen. At the 2021 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel and the 2020 NRHA European Derby, these top horses have scored high, won titles, and earned a lot of cash.

Futurity Sale Graduate Whizin Off With Guns won the Level 2 Co-Championship and Level 1 Championship at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.

In Oklahoma City, there were 12 Open and six Non Pro sale alums qualified for the finals of the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, and several others who cashed in while competing in the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes, the Colston Paving Non Pro Stakes, and the GlycoGuard Novice Horse Derbies.

The high-earning Open sale graduate of the Derby was Whizin Off With Guns, ridden by Franky Vazquez, who won more than $30,350 for owner Bethanie Penning. In the preliminary round Whizin Off With Guns, by Tinker With Guns out of Whizin Off Sparks, marked a solid 217 to qualify for the finals of Levels 3, 2, and 1. There, the talented gelding tied for the Championship of Level 2, took sole honors in Level 1, and finished sixth in Level 3.

Whizin Off With Guns walked through the NRHA Markel Futurity Sale ring in the 2017 Select Yearling Sale (now Elite Yearling Sale). Consigned by Sterling Ranch and purchased by Koby Kempel, the colt commanded a price of $30,000.

The Non Pro high money earner was Roseswhiz, who with Raeanna Thayn added $26,342 to her lifetime earnings. The duo qualified for the finals of Levels 4, 3, 2, and Youth, and also won money in the Colston Paving Non Pro Stakes. Roseswhiz, by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Spooks Gotta Whiz out of Rose Electric Step, was consigned to the 2018 Marketplace Sale (now Premier Sale) by the Houde & Tremblay Partnership, and purchased by Robbin Thayn.

All totaled, NRHA Markel Futurity Sale graduates won more than $121,000 at the Four Sixes NRHA Derby.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, sale graduates competed in Austria at the 2020 NRHA European Derby, which had been postponed due to the pandemic.

There were several NRHA Markel Futurity Sale Graduates who qualified for the finals – and finished in top spots – of the Colonels Shining Gun Open Derby.

With Alessandro Roasio at the reins, Il Be Automatic – a 2017 Futurity Prospect Sale graduate – tied for reserve honors in the Level 1, and was a Level 2 finalist. The 6-year-old gelding, by NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream out of Hickadora, was bred by David Pratt, and then consigned by Bobby Avila, Jr., and purchased by Quarter Dream SRL. He is now owned by Norbert Juhasz.

Tying for third in the Level 3 and winning third in the Level 2 was Hey Joe, ridden by Nimroid Vannietuelt for Steve Vannietuelt and Gine De Pauw. Hey Joe was consigned to the 2014 Select Yearling Sale by Wagman Ranch, Inc, and purchased by 4V Livestock LLC. By NRHA Six Million Dollar Sire Smart Spook out of Best Stop, the 8-year-old stallion now has lifetime earnings exceeding $123,000.

Also qualifying for various levels were Spooks Gotta Deal (2016 Marketplace Sale, consigned by Cinder Lakes Ranch), Walla Whiz Dun It (2016 Marketplace Sale, consigned by Heritage Farms), Wrapped In Tinsel (2016 Select Yearling Sale, consigned by Kyle Ranch), and Bugs At Nite (2016 Marketplace Sale, consigned by Gary Putman).

Wimpy Margarita carried Francesca Ferrarol to the Championships of the Smart Spook Non Pro Level 4 and Level 3, while Lil Jo Rush, ridden by Gina Schumacher, tied for Reserve in the Level 4.

By NRHA 12 Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Custom Margarita, Wimpy Margarita sold in the 2015 Futurity Prospect Sale. The 8-year-old mare was consigned by Judy Box and purchased by Sergio Elia.

Lil Joe Rush passed through the ring during the 2016 Select Yearling Sale. Consigned by ProFit Equine (Agent), the 6-year-old sold for $24,500 to Jonathan Gauthier. The colt is by NRHA Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash out of Rush N Cat.

The 2021 NRHA Markel Futurity Sales will be held Thursday, December 2, and the consignment deadline is August 31.

To read more about the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales, including more exciting changes for 2021, click here. For consignment information, visit

NRHA Owner Casey Hinton Crosses Million Dollar Milestone

NRHA Million Dollar Owner Casey Hinton.

With a career that has spanned disciplines, decades, states and roles, it’s fitting that Casey Hinton of Whitesboro, Texas, has achieved a career milestone that few have. The National Reining Horse Association Professional, who has also had an impressive career in the show pen, became a Million Dollar Owner in April.

Just a few thousand dollars away from that milestone, the success of Hinton’s horses at the National Reining Breeders Classic clinched the achievement.

“I think this is a major accomplishment in your career, but when I started out, this wasn’t my goal. You start out with a love of horses and training, owning, and showing them,” Hinton explained. “To reach a milestone that few have accomplished is very exciting.”

Growing up in Ohio, Hinton began showing horses in 4H. The All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, provided plenty of inspiration to the budding trainer. “It is such a big influence on every part of the horse industry. It gets you thinking that the horse business is something to be a part of,” he said.

While at Findlay College, Hinton was able to work with Dale Wilkinson. “He was the grandfather of reining, so with that exposure in college, the NRHA Futurity and the Congress both being held in Ohio, I wanted to direct myself towards a more advanced level of training,” Hinton recalled. “I saw what the successful horsemen were doing and wanted to emulate that.”

Hinton later worked for professional horse trainer Doug Lilly, and when Lilly made the move to Arizona, Hinton followed as his assistant. Soon after he began working for renowned horseman Al Dunning. “At that time, the horse training world hadn’t reached the point of specialization yet, so we trained cutters, cow horses, reiners, western riding horses, and more, because the all-around titles were the thing to win,” he explained.

Hinton soon went into business for himself, taking numerous youth and adult riders to all-around titles. His barn, however, began to evolve, transitioning from having a few reining horses to a specialized reining facility.

It was when Hinton and his wife Kathy moved to Texas that his business and career really flourished. The couple created Cedar Ridge Stallion Station, and began to diversify, not only with a training and competition division, but also breeding and selling. “We have been entrepreneurs and invested in ourselves by buying or raising our own prospects. We’ve had success with that, and are fortunate it has worked out,” he said. Cedar Ridge Stallion Station is home to NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream, NRHA Triple Crown winner Not Ruf At All, and two-time AQHA World Champion and earner of $188,000 In Like Flinn.

Hinton has owned several standout athletes, including Smarty Starlight, Lil Magnum Jessie, Black Hails Gold, Guaranteed A Magnum, and Mega Mag. It was on Lil Magnum Jessie, by NRHA $7 Million Sire Magnum Chic Dream, that Hinton won the 2009 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Reserve Championship. Hinton won the NRHA Level 3 Open Futurity Championship in 2013 on Black Hails Gold (by Shine Like Hail), and in 2017 on Mega Mag (by Magnum Chic Dream).

While Hinton initially competed on Guaranteed A Magnum (by Magnum With A Dream), he passed the reins to his assistant Jimmy van der Hoeven, who piloted the gelding to back-to-back NRHA Derby Championships in 2018 and 2019 (owned by Chad and Molly Cherry).

Hinton was adamant that his success as both an owner and showman is due to help from people surrounding him. “You can’t accomplish something like that without a team. We have had many great assistants help us over the years, and we have been a real team. I don’t think this is an individual honor for me by any means,” he said. Hinton shared that Kathy, who has owned NRHA earners of more than $720,000, has been the driving force behind the couple’s success.

The current team at Casey Hinton Reining Horses includes Casey and Kathy, along with NRHA Professional Jimmy van der Hoeven, Abby Kampman, Mateo Argentero and Rodrigo Nieves.

While achieving Million Dollar Owner status is a huge accomplishment, Hinton is not resting on his laurels and is less than $115,000 away from becoming an NRHA Million Dollar Rider. “We still have some more goals, and we hope we have the endurance to reach them. The fact that we can do what we love, which is raising, training, and showing reining horses makes us fortunate. It’s fulfilling, so we hope to continue for a long time,” he said. 

Tenda Equine Products Sponsor Drag Awards at 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

There are numerous opportunities to win prizes at the 6666® National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel, slated for June 19th-27th in Oklahoma City. The prize pool is set to expand in 2021 as contestants with the highest scoring run of each drag during the Open and Non Pro Preliminaries will win prizes from Tenda Equine Products.

The Tenda drag awards are given at the conclusion of each set and each drag award winner can go to the Super Barn paddock stand and pick up a Tenda bucket containing Tenda Giddy Up Shampoo, Tenda Pods, Tenda Sheen, Tenda Original Poultice or Tenda Hoof oil all generously sponsored by Tenda Equine & Pet Care Products and ThorSport Farm.

“We are glad to have this special benefit for our riders, thanks to Tenda,” said NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody. “It’s special and fun for our exhibitors to be able to walk out of the arena and get a gift for topping the set.”

NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications Sammi Miller echoed that sentiment. “Tenda Equine Products are a great addition to NRHA’s Derby award program,” she said. “Thank you to Tenda and ThorWorks Industries for coming on board to sponsor the high point leader of each section inside the Jim Norick Arena!”

Tenda Equine and Pet Care Products has been serving the performance horse industry for over 45 years with a primary goal of developing and manufacturing safe and effective products to promote and improve the overall health, soundness, performance, and overall well-being of equine athletes. For more information, visit the website at

Skyrocketing Entries Necessitate Schedule Changes for 6666® NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The 2021 6666® NRHA Derby presented by Markel will be the largest in history in terms of Derby entries. That’s great news; however, with 303 Non Pro and 265 Open entries in the draw, the event will present some logistical challenges.

The increased numbers were a last-minute turn-around that it is thought to be the result of the myriad of new incentives for riders that came from soaring sponsor support.  The Four Sixes Ranch’s guaranteed championship payments in all levels are a factor, as are the opportunities presented by the Story Book Stables Amateur Derby, the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes, the Colston Paving Inc. Non Pro Stakes, and the GlycoGuard Novice Horse Non Pro and Open Derbies.

It seems that, for many exhibitors, the decision to enter was made at the eleventh hour. NRHA Events Manager Cheryl Cody explained, “The week before draw, we were substantially down in entries. They were so much lower than expected that I had taken my concerns to NRHA management. We were nearly 50 horses off the 2019 numbers, and even more from the 2020 totals. The deadline to be in the draw was Tuesday, June 1, the day after Memorial Day. From Friday evening, May 28, until midnight on June 1, we received more than 200 late Derby entries, as well as a staggering number of horse show entries!”

In checking the NRHA’s historic records, this volume of last-minute entries is unprecedented. Cody continued, “That increase, along with the anticipated accompanying ancillary entries, will make for long days for exhibitors. We have already taken steps to add a day to the show beginning in 2022. Unfortunately for this year, we will have to manage as best we can, because people have already made travel and vacation arrangements.”

NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter is looking forward to the historic event. “We are thrilled to have incredible sponsors whose support has brought us to this level. The funds they have brought in have been spread across so many divisions, benefiting all our exhibitors,” he said. “The explosive growth in our entry numbers this year have far outpaced the available dates. We have adjusted where we could this year, and plan to add another day to the schedule in 2022. We ask everyone for their patience and flexibility this year as we navigate through a record-setting, extraordinary event.”

The 2021 schedule has been modified with changes in start times and in locations for some classes as well as an amended entry deadline and schedule for the AQHA Open Class. Be sure to check the schedule and entry forms online at for complete details.