NRHA Suggestions for Safe Competitions

As competition resumes, keeping members, show staff, and competitors as safe as possible at National Reining Horse Association–approved events is an important priority.

The NRHA strongly recommends show producers abide by all guidelines in place by local, state, and federal entities when resuming competition. These differ from state to state and country to country and the show management team should understand and abide by all of the recommendations and requirements in place. They should also abide by any additional guidelines set by facilities where shows are held.

The NRHA has created the following list of suggestions for show producers to follow and exhibitors to expect to see in place. This list is subject to change as the situation continues to evolve and local, state, and federal guidelines are updated.

Pre-Show Preparation

  • Prepare all show staff and volunteers for new guidelines well in advance of the competition and communicate these policies to exhibitors ahead of the event.
  • When possible, hire local show officials to minimize travel.
  • Complete entries digitally and in advance and offer digital payment.
  • Produce polite, informative signage outlining new expectations.
  • Determine if the event discourages public attendance and promote that message as needed.
  • Encourage NRHA Professionals to bring only necessary personnel to minimize crowding and contact in barn areas, warm-up arenas, and surrounding the show pen.

Show Office & Staffing Procedures

  • All staff and volunteers should take their temperature before reporting to work and are encouraged to wear masks while working.
  • Staff and volunteers should practice physical distancing as much as possible; including, but not limited to: carpooling, meals, hotel rooms, workspaces, etc.
  • Plexiglass or glass barriers in the show office should be used if possible.
  • Show office appointments should be encouraged when possible to reduce the number of people in the office. Additional measures such as only allowing one person in the office per show staff member are also recommended.
  • Members are strongly encouraged to have completed all paperwork in advance prior to entering the show office. Forms should be available for pickup outside the office.
  • Provide staff, volunteers, and officials with disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, masks, etc.
  • Provide an ‘in’ door and an ‘out’ door, if possible, in the show office.
  • Avoid sharing pens, computers, or any other supplies
  • Use digital communication for draws, scratches, announcements, etc. 

On the Grounds

  • Provide hand-washing/sanitization stations in barns and competition areas.
  • Allow the use of face masks.
  • Promote social distancing in all areas surrounding the show and post those restrictions in a visible place
  • Use your best judgment in determining how many horses/riders can be in any area—including warm-up pens, barn alleys, wash racks, and make-up areas and post that information in an easily-seen location.
  • Discourage/prohibit gathering in any one area and promote safe social distancing.
  • If possible, provide stalling separation, with maximum space between each group of stalls, along with sanitizing all stalls prior to and after use.
  • Ensure that available food services develop ways to eliminate lines and streamline services.
  • Clean and sanitize temporary and permanent restrooms often, and ensure that they’re stocked with wipes and hand sanitizer.
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched items such as gates, door handles, railings, etc. throughout the day.
  • If possible, encourage drivers to provide adequate spacing between vehicles and trailers in designated parking areas.

For Judges and Scribes

  • Provide masks and strongly encourage that all judges and scribes wear them during the show.
  • Ask judges to provide their own pens.
  • Check each judge’s and scribe’s temperature before leaving the hotel for the show every morning.
  • Arrange judges’ and other officials’ areas to comply with social distancing requirements.
  • Provide rubber gloves to equipment judges for any unusual circumstance where they may need to touch something.
  • Disinfect chairs, radios, pencils, etc. every evening and morning. 

At the Show

  • Provide viewing and dining areas in line with state and local regulations.
  • Post and follow draw orders so exhibitors know when each horse will compete and to minimize traffic at the in gate.
  • Email, text, or post online draws, results, and judge’s scoresheets whenever possible.
  • Facilitate frequent communications from announcers to ensure that exhibitors are aware of and follow procedures and any new protocol.
  • Create a method of giving ribbons/trophies/awards to minimize hand-to-hand contact.
  • For win photos, allow only the rider plus one other person—owner, assistant, etc.—to gather in the photos.

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Resources

It’s okay to ask for help. You’re not alone. Here are some resources that may be helpful to you, colleagues, family, and friends. 

U.S. and Canada

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7 hotline
1-888-628-9454 (Spanish)
1-800-799-4889 (TTY)

Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional need across the United States 24/7

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
1-800-662-HELP (4357) 24/7 hotline
1-800-487-4889 (TTY)

Provides free and confidential treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental health and/or substance abuse disorders

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline

Assist individuals and families who have questions about mental health disorders, treatment, and support services

Canada Suicide Prevention Service (CSPS)
1-833-456-4566 or Text 45645
Available 24/7 in French and English

Canada Drug Rehab Addiction Services Directory


Lifeline Australia – 13 11 14 – Crisis Support and Suicide Prevention

Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.


The helpline telephone number here in Brazil is 188. They also have email and a website:

CVV – Centro de Valorização da Vida:
Telephone: 188


Telefono Amico Italia
02 2327 2327 – From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional need across

Italy – available ONLINE 24/7

Narcotici Anonimi – Italia
Telephone numbers listed by region on website.

Provides free and confidential treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing substance abuse disorders

Progetto Itaca
Numero Verde gratuito: 800-274-274

Provides free and confidential treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental health


South Africa

GBV Command Centre 0800 428 428 or *120*7867#
Suicide Helpline 0800 567 567


The above is a partial listing of mental health resources. NRHA and RHF are not providing medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for medical, mental health and addiction services and seek emergency treatment if needed.

NRHA Board Supports Approved Events Resuming on May 1

For Immediate Release – April 28, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Board of Directors supports resuming NRHA-approved events beginning on May 1, 2020, as long as show producers and exhibitors adhere to local and state regulations surrounding COVID-19 and take measures to assure the safety of all involved.

NRHA understands that not all areas of the world have lifted restrictions to allow for approved events to take place. With this in mind, the NRHA Board decided that earnings will not count toward world championship titles until further notice.

“Our members are ready to show and, where possible, we think it’s important to get back to what they love,” said NRHA President Mike Hancock. “Show management needs to be prepared to address any and all local conditions or requirements, and the exhibitors must be willing to accept those guidelines.”

NRHA continues to monitor changing conditions and recommendations from local, state, and federal entities. Show management must take all necessary precautions to protect their teams, facilities’ personnel, and exhibitors if they do host an NRHA event.

If a state or local government suspends public activities, it is the responsibility of the organizing party to cancel or postpone the NRHA-approved event accordingly. The health and safety of the reining community is the top priority for NRHA.

To assure the safety of those involved in an event, NRHA recommends the following at minimum for show staff and exhibitors:

  • Provide handwashing and sanitation stations in barns and competition areas
  • Allow the use of face masks for all production team members and exhibitors
  • Promote social distancing in all areas surrounding the show
  • If possible, provide stalling separation and sanitize all stalls before and after use
  • Ensure that food service eliminates lines and streamlines service
  • Clean and sanitize all areas frequently
  • Minimize traffic in the show office
  • Minimize hand-to-hand contact (examples include giving out awards, sharing pens in the show office, using radios for the judges, etc.)

It is everyone’s responsibility to take safety precautions for preventing the spread of any disease. NRHA is excited to get back to the show pen but expects all affiliates and show producers to put the health and safety of their teams and the exhibitors at the forefront of every decision.

For more information about coronavirus recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), visit

Reiners Care

The Reining Horse Foundation is here to help NRHA Professionals, members, and corporate partners by disseminating valuable information to help your business during this crisis.

Coming together during a crisis is what keeps us together on the other side, when we’re back to more traditional life and business. All the information involved in the CARES Act might overwhelm you to the point that you don’t bother taking advantage of it for your business. We’re here to help, because Reiners Care.

We’re sharing links to valuable information that can help you keep your business moving forward. But the responsibility lies in your hands to put it in action.

Here are a few first steps to initiate.

  1. Contact your banker. The first stop should be their website. Though that branch might not be able to help you directly, your bank should be able to point you in the right direction to get started with an SBA-approved bank that can help. Your financial planner or attorney also may be good resources.
  2. Make an appointment. This isn’t a time to make a drop-in visit. Respect social distancing guidelines and save time by scheduling a meeting with a qualified financial expert who can offer you the advice you need.
  3. Gather necessary paperwork. The resources we provide will help outline what you need to bring with you.
  4. Don’t get overwhelmed. Remember when you first started your business? That was probably exceptionally overwhelming, but you made it this far. Fight to keep what you’ve worked for, and advocate for yourself and your business.


This list of resources is a small sampling of those available. Explore additional resources available that may be specific to your geographic area and business operation. (Section 3, item 2 addresses self-employed and contractor laborers.)

Reiners Should Apply

The U.S. Government has pledged $349 billion in forgivable loans to help people like you—NRHA Professionals, small-business owners, and more. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is available to small businesses, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and others. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020, but don’t treat it like stall reservations or entry fees—apply as soon as you can, because the PPP is first come, first served, and when the money is gone, it’s gone.

How Much May I Receive?

  • 2.5x your average monthly payroll costs, up to $10 million.
  • Calculate your average monthly payroll using calendar year 2019. For example, if your average monthly payroll for 2019 was $5,000, multiply $5,000 by 2.5, which is $12,500 in PPP relief. For sole proprietors or independent contractors, payroll costs are net earnings from self-employment (limited to $100,000).
  • You may not include compensation to any one individual in excess of $100,000 or any compensation to an employee whose principal residence is outside the United States.

How Does It Work?

The PPP is structured as a forgivable loan. Generally, if you:

(1) use at least 75% of the loan amount for payroll and the remainder for rent, utilities, or mortgage interest within eight weeks after getting the loan; and

(2) don’t decrease your full-time staff or your wages by more than 25% for any employee that made less than $100,000, or if do, you restore your employment and salary levels by June 30, 2020, then your entire loan will be forgiven (i.e., you don’t have to repay it).

Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.

Any amounts you don’t use for those purposes within eight weeks become a two-year loan at a 1% interest rate.

What Counts as Payroll?

  • Payroll costs include gross wages (limited to $100,000/employee), employer cost of group health plans (including insurance premiums), and employer cost of retirement plan benefits.
  • For sole proprietors or independent contractors, payroll costs are net earnings from self-employment (limited to $100,000).

Is It Hard to Apply for PPP?

Not at all. Several of your reiner friends have already done it.

  • Apply at an SBA-approved bank. It’s best to contact your lender to confirm that the entity is an SBA lender and begin with their online application process. Be careful of scams. This program is only available through SBA-approved banks.
  • The forms are pretty simple. Generally, the bank will ask you to provide the PPP borrower form (found at, a few bank-specific forms, and evidence of payroll.
  • The application process for businesses opened April 3; independent contractors can apply beginning April 10.

The CARES Act also includes Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other programs, including payroll-tax deferral. Your situation will determine which you qualify for and what may be best. Consult your advisers or go to

When your business remains viable during the COVID-19 response, the reining industry remains stronger and poised for recovery when public safety is no longer in crisis. You are caring for your business and the reining community, because #ReinersCare.

The above is a summary of the CARES Act and the PPP. NRHA and RHF are not providing legal, accounting or financial advice. Please consult your professional advisors for a full understanding of your eligibility and the benefits and requirements of the Cares Act and the PPP.