Entries Soar for the 2020 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) members may have had to stay home for the past few months due to COVID-19, but as the draw nears for the NRHA Derby presented by Markel, it’s clear they’re ready to rein.

March through May brought a drought to the reining industry, with almost all events canceled or postponed. Now, as states ease and lift restrictions, opportunities to compete are growing, and the numbers for the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel have significantly increased from 2019.

“As of June 3, entries for the Open Derby are up by nearly 20%, and the Non Pro is also up substantially,” noted Cheryl Cody of the NRHA Derby management team. “We are excited to have a horse show, and it’s clear that our owners and exhibitors want that, too.”

The Open division increased from 206 horses in 2019 to 242 in 2020, while the Non Pro Derby saw a jump from 214 to 245. Entries in the ancillary classes seem to be on track to exceed 2019 numbers as well.

“We are expecting this to be a very large show,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “Besides being up in entries, we are also substantially up in stall reservations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be some changes, but everyone is on board and ready to do what it takes to have a great event. Let’s Derby!”

The Open and Non Pro Draws will be posted on June 5 at nrhaderby.com.

Entries Strong for First Major Event of the Year

For Immediate Release – May 22, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Following the initial deadline for entries, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Presented by Markel reports entries are on track for a strong event. The preliminary numbers for 2020 are already at 96% of the 2019 Derby. This count does not include any late entries, which must be received in office by 10:00 am, CDT, on June 3, for the draw to be posted on June 5.

“This enthusiastic response shows the excitement reiners have to return to a major event,” said NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter. “We are thrilled to be able to welcome back our reining family to Oklahoma City.”

Exhibitors, owners, and vendors should expect this year’s event to look and feel different than those in the past due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidelines and requirements from Oklahoma State Fair Park and the city of Oklahoma City are pending, but exhibitors should expect them to be published next week so all can be prepared to comply.

In light of the situation, the NRHA team plans to provide robust digital coverage before and during the event, including the live stream, which will be available at NRHADerby.com. Look for further details for those who’ll take in all the action from home by following NRHA on Facebook and on NRHA.com. You won’t want to miss a single run from the non pro finals on June 19 or the open finals on June 20, in addition to coverage of the entire NRHA Derby Presented by Markel.

Get Ready to Derby!

For Immediate Release – May 15, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee and Board are pleased to announce that the 2020 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel looks to be on track to take place in Oklahoma City at State Fair Park June 13–21.

It’s the good news reiners have been looking for after the long hiatus from the show pen.

The green light to proceed follows the announcement on May 14, 2020, of Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt’s proclamation regarding the city’s COVID-19 regulations. With this announcement, the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel entry deadline has been extended to May 20, the same deadline date for the stabling reservations. Ancillary entries are still due on June 1.

“What a great opportunity to get back to what we love,” said NRHA President Mike Hancock. “The NRHA team has been working hard getting ready for this event. It may be somewhat different with new guidelines and restrictions, but I think all of us are ready to get out and go horse-show. I hope to see many of you there!”

Due to the effects of the pandemic, this year’s NRHA Derby Presented by Markel will have a different look and feel than those in the past. Expect a modified horse show with strict protocols to keep everyone healthy and safe. Those guidelines will incorporate the state and city ordinances, along with the processes put in place by the Oklahoma State Fair and best practices being developed by NRHA, which will be shared prior to the event.

In the event of a reduction in entries, the added-money portion of the purse will be adjusted. Depending on entries, the added money in the purse could vary from the projected $225,000 added down to no less than $125,000 added, in the case of a 25% decrease in entries. The nomination funds in the purse remain unchanged. Anyone who’s entered as of May 15 may withdraw based upon the condition change. Currently, it’s expected that entry numbers will support the larger purse as the 2020 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel will be the first major event of 2020 and one of the first opportunities to show.

Follow NRHA on Facebook and visit NRHA.com for up-to-date details.