Non Pro Competition Commences in the Adequan® Arena

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is thrilled to announce the winners of the first slate of ancillary Non Pro classes at the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. The competition showcased the remarkable skills and dedication of our non pro riders, underscoring the longevity of reining.

Kent Ray Taylor emerged as the champion in the first slate of the Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, Limited Non Pro, and Prime Time Non Pro with a stellar performance on Xtra Wimpys Catalyst scoring an impressive 145.5.

“I can’t tell you how fortunate I am to own such a perfect horse,” said Taylor. “He is a black unicorn! He goes in and delivers, and I have the best time.”

Xtra Wimpys Catalyst is a 9-year-old stallion by Wimpys Little Step and out of Im Not Blonde. Bred by Milholland Training Inc., Taylor has owned the stallion since 2021, and together, the duo has earned many titles.

“He takes care of me while I sit up there and act like I know what I am doing when I don’t,” said Taylor with a laugh. “He delivers big scores, and he is the best horse in the world.”

Riding her 10-year-old gelding Mega Mag, Nancy Murfin-Moxley won the first slate of the Masters Non Pro, a class created for riders older than 60.

“He is such a special individual. I feel blessed and honored to own a horse like him,” said Murfin-Moxley. “He’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse. He’s just so honest every time I ride him. He’s happy; It’s an honor to get to ride such a special horse.” 

Mega Mag is by NRHA Hall of Famer Magnum Chic Dream, out of Big Gold Chex, and was bred by Garth Hystad.

“I can’t give him enough accolades for what he deserves,” said Murfin-Moxley of the gelding she dreamed of owning while watching NRHA Million Dollar Rider Casey Hinton show him throughout his derby years.

Sherman Lauder took home top honors the Legends class, created for riders over 70, with a 137.5 on Gunner Magic.

“Tickled me to death to win,” said Lauder. “I was really pleased with the run. Our trainer works really hard and my wife and everyone supports me. I am lucky enough to win once and awhile.”

After the gelding didn’t work out as an open derby horse, his wife, Cheryl, tried him. As a former Quarter Horse jockey, she thought he felt too lazy to her, Sherman felt fortunate to get a chance to show him.

“He is so special to us because we raised him, and he is a great horse to have around,” said Lauder. “The legends class is a really good deal for people my age and gives us an advantage to keep showing. My kids are old enough to show in the prime time now, so this is a true opportunity. I told Cheryl, ‘If you can’t beat them, you have to outlive them.’”

Lauder also won the platinum class at the Oklahoma Reining Horse Association Ride & Slide this year on the 13-year-old gelding by NRHA Hall of Famer Gunner and out of Jacs Shining Fancy.

Green Reiners Take the Show Pen

At the end of the first slate of the Classic Equine Green Reiner, there was a three-way tie for first place in the Level 1 and 2 with a 140.5. The three women taking top honors proved there is a place for everyone in the Classic Equine Green Reiner classes as ages spanned from 15-59.

On June 17, Harper Kiseljack will have officially been an NRHA member for one year. Although the 15-year-old recently joined, she has already earned more than $400 in youth, rookie and green reiner classes on her own Smart Taz Olena, an 8-year-old gelding by $7 Million Sire Smart Chic Olena out of Smart Pep Chickasha.

“I’ve had ‘Cheeto’ for almost two years now,” she said. “I showed him in the cow horse, but he wasn’t very cow-y so he did a lot better in the reining. We’ve only started reining this year and it’s just fun!”

Elle Russel rode Magnums Half Moon, a 4-year old gelding by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Barbies Half Moon. The 15-year-old said, “He’s an amazing horse, the best horse I’ve had!” 

Susan Fiely rode her own Cash Made Easy, an 8-year-old gelding by NRHA $2 Million Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of Easy Lil Lady.

“He is full of personality,” said Fiely. “He flaps his bottom lip when we run. It’s just a little thing he does that I find quite endearing because it keeps me relaxed.”

Join us tomorrow in the Adequan® Arena for the Intermediate Open, Limited Open and Rookie Professional.

First Competitors Set to Enter the Jim Norick Arena Tomorrow at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

The anticipation is palpable as the first day of competition at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby presented by Markel draws near. Tomorrow, the spotlight will shine on talented NRHA Professionals and their exceptional horses as they kick off the Open Derby.

Set against the backdrop of the OKC Fairgrounds, this year’s 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel promises to deliver thrilling performances and showcase the best in the sport. With competitors ranging from seasoned professionals to rising stars, the Derby is an opportunity to witness unparalleled horsemanship, precision, and artistry in reining.

Spectators can look forward to a week filled with high-energy performances, starting with the first run tomorrow and culminating in the highly anticipated Non Pro and Open finals on June 21 and 22, respectively.

In addition to competing for a spot in the Levels 1-4 Open finals, NRHA Professionals are also vying for top honors in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Novice Horse Open Derby, the Tamarack Ranch 4-year-old Open Stakes, Prime Time Open, and APHA Chrome Cash. The champions of these classes will be awarded on Sunday, June 16, after the conclusion of section three. 

The aforementioned 4-year-old Stakes features the highest added money open-aged event, which is not restricted by nomination, stallion, etc.

To recognize the popularity of the 4-year-old Stakes division and to support its longevity, the NRHA Board added an additional $100,000 beginning in 2023, bringing the total added money of the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes to $110,000.

The guaranteed payouts for Stakes champions are:

  • L4 Open – $100,000
  • L3 Open – $35,000
  • L2 Open – $20,000
  • L1 Open – $10,000
  • Prime Time Open – $5,000

Whether you’re a seasoned fan cheering on your favorites, or a newcomer to the electrifying world of reining, there’s something for everyone at the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience the thrill of reining competition firsthand! Mark your calendars and join us tomorrow as we begin the journey of crowning the next generation of reining champions.

For more information on the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, including a detailed schedule of events, ticket information and a link to the free live feed, please visit nrhaderby.com.

2024 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

Stay updated on at nrhaderby.com!

6.18.24: Record-Breaking Purses Turn Up the Heat

6.18.24: Rising Stars Shine at the 6666 NRHA Derby: Novice Horse and Para Reining Champions Crowned

6.17.24: A New Slate of Reiners Take Center Stage in the Adequan Arena

6.17.24: Leading Ladies of the Non Pro Derby

6.17.24: Saddle Up for Ride Guess—NRHA Fans to Test Their Skills and Win Big at the Level 4 Open Finals

6.16.24: Green and Rookie Reiners Take the Stage

6.16.24: Preliminary Open Competition Concludes at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

6.15.24: Consecutive Record-Breaking Purses at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

6.15.24: NRHA Professionals Take on the Adequan®

6.14.24: Reining Heats Up on Opening Day of Open Competition at the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

6.14.24: Non Pro Competition Commences in the Adequan® Arena

6.13.24: First Competitors Set to Enter the Jim Norick Arena Tomorrow at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

6.12.24: 2024 NRHyA Art & Photo Contest Winners

5.13.24: 2024 CINCH NRHyA Speaking Contest

4.26.24: Many Ways to Win at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

Many Ways to Win at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel is approaching fast, and there are more ways than ever to enter a class customized to you and your horse’s skill level and goals. 

In 2023, the event broke records with the highest payout in history—$1.57 million. Exhibitors will not want to miss the fun June 11-23 at the OKC Fairgrounds, as this year’s event offers the most added money to Levels (L) 3, 2, and 1 for both the Open and Non Pro compared to all other derbies!

The guaranteed payouts for champions are:

  • L4 Open – $100,000
  • L3 Open – $35,000
  • L2 Open – $20,000
  • L1 Open – $10,000
  • Prime Time Open – $5,000
  • L4 Non Pro – $50,000
  • L3 Non Pro – $20,000
  • L2 Non Pro – $15,000
  • L1 Non Pro – $5,000
  • Prime Time Non Pro – $5,000
  • Youth Non Pro – $2,000
  • Masters Non Pro – $2,000

Enter the Highest Added Money 4-year-old Stakes

NRHA proudly offers the 4-year-old Stakes featuring the highest added money open aged event, not restricted by nomination, stallion etc.

To recognize the popularity of the 4-year-old Stakes division and to support its longevity, the NRHA Board added an additional $100,000 beginning in 2023, bringing the total added money of the Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes to $110,000 and $50,000 in the Colston Paving Inc. Non Pro Stakes.

Novice Horse Opportunities

Rick Clark and his brother Brent are the naming sponsors of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Open and Non Pro Novice Horse divisions, which are open to horses who have won less than $10,000 as of May 1. The Open division boasts $15,000 in added money, while the Non Pro features $10,000.

$15,000-Added Amateur Division

Non Pros eligible for L1 or L2 who have earned less than $100,000 and meet the full criteria are eligible for the $15,000 Elementa Amateur Division. View the Amateur Derby eligibility criteria here.

8 & Up Maturity

There will be an Open 8 & Up Maturity with $10,000 added to the Level 4 and $5,000 added to the Level 2. In the Non Pro, there is $15,000 added split across L1-4.

Rookies Compete for Free

Did you know the Toyon Ranch Rookie Free-For-All is happening at the Derby? NRHA Corporate Partner Toyon Ranch is paying all Rookie entry and judges fees! We can’t wait to see you in OKC.

$20,000-added Freestyle Reining presented by Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Have you watched this exciting competition from the stands and wanted to join the fun? Those interested in competing can send inquiries to Cheryl Cody at cheryl@pro-management-inc.com and include a video of any past freestyle performances.

$3,500-Added Para Reining Championship

The Para-Reining Championship, sponsored by Dechra and NRHA Corporate Partner Hart Trailers, will be held on Thursday, June 20, at the Jim Norick Arena after the Invitational Freestyle. The championship will include classes for grades two, three, four, and five. Find more information and the entry form here.

High Point Buckle Awards

High-point titles are among the many honors bestowed at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel in June. The winners are crowned based on points awarded by their placings in two ancillary slates. Those with the highest point total receive a buckle crafted by show sponsor Montana Silversmiths to commemorate their success.

APHA Chrome Cash

Open and Non Pro competitors have an opportunity to enter the American Paint Horse Association’s Chrome Cash with $2,500 added to each division. The entry form can be found here.

6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel Entries & Reservations

2024 NRHA Derby entries are due in office by May 15, and Ancillary entries are due in office by June 1. Stall Reservation Forms are due in office by May 16. To submit entries and reservations, visit nrhaderby.com/forms.

Ancillary Champions Crowned on Final Day of 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel

The final day of competition at the 6666 National Reining Horse Association Derby presented by Markel saw full classes in both the Jim Norick Coliseum and Adequan® Arena. In addition to the class titles, high point Montana Silversmiths buckles were also presented to the high point exhibitors who competed in both slates of classes.

Non Pro (2) Champion, 8 & Up Non Pro Level 4, 3, and 2 Champion – Kyla Thurlow and Kachina Olena Tag

Kyla Thurlow and Kachina Olena Tag won the championship for the second slate of the ancillary Non Pro, as well as Levels 2, 3, and 4 of the 8 & Up Non Pro.

Kachina Olena Tag, otherwise known as “Facebook,” was bred by Samantha Smith. The 10-year-old gelding is sired by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Whiz N Tag Chex and out of Kachina Oak Olena. For their multiple wins on the final day of competition, the duo collected $7,105.

“I can always count on him, as long as I do my job,” Thurlow said of Facebook. “I usually tell him right before I walk in, ‘Take care of your mom,’ and he always does.”

Facebook doesn’t just excel in the reining pen- Thurlow also shows him in the Ranch Riding events. Their next stop is The Ranch Horse Triple Crown Challenge, held during the APHA World Show in Fort Worth, Texas, next week.

Thurlow thanked her parents, her biggest supporters, and the teams at Mark Rafacz Reining Horses and Bud Lyon Performance Horses.

Int. Non Pro (2) Champion, 8 & Up Non Pro Level 2 & 1 Champion – Courtney Battison & Xtra Little Balou

Courtney Battison and her 10-year-old stallion Xtra Little Balou won the championship in the second slate of the Intermediate Non Pro, as well as the Level 1 & Level 2 of the 8 & Up Non Pro. The successful day in the Jim Norick Arena earned the pair a check for $6,376.

“Balou,” as the stallion is known around the barn, was bred by Ixtul Quarter Horses. He is sired by NRHA Twelve Million Dollar Sire Wimpys Little Step and out of Lil Chic Balou.

“He’s a unicorn horse for sure; he’s every little girl’s dream horse. Palomino, long mane, super gentle stallion, and so quiet I can keep him at the house,” Battison shared. “I made the Level 4 finals every time I showed him when he was derby age, which was a highlight of our show career for sure.”

Next up for this pair is qualifying for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships, which will take place during the NRHA Futurity.

Battison made sure to thank her dad, as well as her trainer, NRHA Million Dollar Rider Trevor Dare. Most importantly, she thanked her horse.

Prime Time Non Pro (2) Co-Champion – Anne-Marie Burns & Me And Julio

Anne-Marie Burns and Me And Julio won the Prime Time Non Pro (2) with a tied score of 214. Julio, as the 2014 gelding is nicknamed, was bred by Turn About Farm and is leased to Burns by his owner, Kevin Colston.

The gelding is by NRHA Five Million Dollar Sire Gunners Special Nite and out of Darlins Not Painted.

“He came in, and he did exactly what I asked him to do. He’s just a kind horse,” Burns said. The Sunday morning performance earned them $1,689.

After taking the last two years off to recover from an injury before he returned to the show pen at the NRHA Derby, Julio was ready to perform. From here, the pair will be showing in Kentucky before returning to Oklahoma to try to qualify for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship.

Burns thanked the Colston family for the opportunity and the entire McQuay team for their support.

Prime Time Non Pro (2) Co-Champion – Jennifer Greenleaf & Smart Lois

Jennifer Greenleaf and Smart Lois had a solid run in the Jim Norick Arena on the final day of competition. The pair tied to win the ancillary Prime Time Non Pro (2) with a score of 214. The win, along with placing in numerous other divisions, brought the day’s take to $4,250.

Smart Lois, a 2007 stallion bred by Jim Babcock, is by NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire Smart Chic Olena and out of Lois Montana.

Non Pro & Prime Time High Point Champion – Morris Kulmer & NVR What A Lucky Joe

Morris Kulmer and NVR What A Lucky Joe finished the Derby as the ancillary Non Pro and Prime Time High Point Champions. Affectionately called Lucky Moe and Lucky Joe, the pair put together smooth runs all week to earn these titles.

NVR What A Lucky Joe, or Joey, is a 2014 gelding with lifetime earnings of $158,626. Bred by Gary Vickrey, Joey is by NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of What A Lucky Hit.

“A good horse puts together a good run, but a great horse does it consistently,” Kulmer said. “Joey has been consistent for me for almost two years and that’s what makes him a great horse.”

Kulmer thanked his wife for letting him ride Joey, and his trainer, Dan Huss, for his help.

Intermediate Non Pro High Point Champion – Kathleen Armenta & Off N Running

Kathleen Armenta and Off N Running, a 2015 gelding by NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire Walla Walla Whiz and out of Spook Off Sparks, won the Intermediate Non Pro High Point title. Off N Running was bred by Arcese Quarter Horses and has a lifetime earnings of $69,168. Armenta and the gelding were first in the Intermediate Non Pro (1), seventh in the Intermediate Non Pro (2), and ninth in the Level 3 Intermediate Non Pro 8+ to earn the title.

Youth 14 – 18 (2), Unrestricted Youth (2) Champion & High Point – Mary Riley Cachat & A Smalltown Trick

On Saturday evening, Mary Riley Cachat and A Smalltown Trick spun, circled, and slid their way to a 144 to finish second in the first ancillary slate of both the Youth 14-18 and Unrestricted Youth. On the final day of competition, the pair bested their score by a full point to not only win both classes in the second slate but also claim the High Point title for both divisions.

Bred by Mark Blackwell and owned by Mary Cachat, A Smalltown Trick is by Tricked Out Spook and out of A Smalltown Gal.

“This is my second year of owning him. I absolutely love him; he’s adorable. He has no brain cells, but we love him just as much, and i think that’s what makes him even more adorable,” she said with a laugh. “He’s just a solid, great horse who loves his job and does it willingly.”

Cachat also tied for second in the class on her other horse, Trashy Spookshow (Gunnatrashya x Spook Off Sparks).

She added that both of her horses are going to get a lot of love, cookies, and carrots before heading to the AQHA Youth World Show.

“I thank my trainer, Clemerson Barbahlo. It’s been an honor to work with him. I also thank my parents who have gotten me here,” she said.

Cachat, who had to move for college, extended a special thank you to her former trainers, Mike and Kristi Berg. “They’re back in California, and I’m sad I can’t continue riding with them. I would not be standing here without them.”

Youth 13 & Under (2) Champion – Kynley Ray Bell & Snap N Go

Kynley Bell and Snap N Go have had a busy week at the Derby. Not only did they compete in the Invitational Freestyle on Thursday, they also competed in both ancillary slates of the Youth 13 & Under.

While the pair’s score was good for a fourth-place finish in the first slate of the Youth 13 & Under, Bell was determined to improve. The duo stepped up their game on the event’s final day to best their first score and win the second slate.

An 11-year-old mare, Snap N Go is by Master Snapper and out of Miss Jerry Cat. She was bred by Green Valley Ranch and is now owned by Kynley’s father Spence Bell.

Youth 13 & Under High Point – Lily Forzani & Annies Custom Pistol

Consistency was key for Lily Forzani and Annies Custom Pistol, who finished tied for reserve in the second slate after finishing second in the first slate. Those two solid runs secured the High Point title for Youth 13 & Under.

Annies Custom Pistol, owned by Lily’s parents, Doug and Deborah Forzani, was bred by McQuay Stables. The 11-year-old gelding is by NRHA Thirteen Million Dollar Sire Gunner and out of KR Anniegityergun.

“He’s a sweetheart, but he’s a big goober,” Forzani said about the gelding.

Short Stirrup (2) Champion – Ellie Petroll & A Dandy Magnum

Ellie Petroll and A Dandy Magnum put together a solid run to mark a 140 and win the second slate of the ancillary Short Stirrup.

“I was very excited. At first, I didn’t think I was going to place this high, so this is really exciting for me,” Petroll shared. “I thank my dad, my mom, and my sister.”

A Dandy Magnum, a 15-year-old gelding bred by Viola Scott, is by NRHA Nine Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream and out of Rubitussin. He’s owned by Misty Brown.

Short Stirrup High Point – Olivia Faith Deary & Chicsdundreamin

On Saturday night, Oliva Faith Deary watched her father, NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Casey Deary, take the Open Level 4 Championship at the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.

On Sunday, the youngest Deary won some hardware of her own, with the High Point title for the Short Stirrup division.

Chicsdundreamin is a 16-year-old by NRHA Nine Million Dollar Sire Magnum Chic Dream out of Goody Goody Dun Drop. The gelding is owned by Deary’s grandmother, Nancy Stillwell.

“I feel amazing,” Deary said. “It feels really good to win right after my dad won last night.”

The youngest Deary thanked her parents, her grandparents, and her sisters.

Results, photos, videos, and more the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel can be found at NRHADerby.com.