Reining Horse Foundation Expands Scholarship Program

For Immediate Release – July 9, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) is announcing an increase in its academic and need-based scholarship program for 2019. The nonprofit charitable arm of NRHA is presenting eight awards—up from seven—and increasing the three top awards from $2,000 to $2,500 each. The recipients are: Amber Edmonds of Pepperell, Massachusetts; David Gringeri of West Haven, Vermont; Cassandra Townsend of Andover, South Dakota; Natalie Gydesen of North Loup, Nebraska, Madyson Buchanan of Scottsdale, Arizona; Morgan Knerr of Plain City, Ohio; Liz Blaser of Duncan, Nebraska; and Megan D’Andrea of Fowler, Ohio.

Members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) submitted applications for the RHF scholarships. The recipients were chosen by an independent committee based upon their academic achievement, financial need, future goals and involvement in NRHyA and the reining horse industry. NRHyA members must first apply as high school seniors, and once selected, they are eligible to reapply.

“I have been associated with the Foundation’s scholarship program since its inception, and this is our first major expansion in these awards since 2010,” said RHF scholarship committee chairman Mike Hancock. “We know that college costs have increased dramatically, and we are working hard to make a greater impact for those who have spent their youth involved with reining.”

In addition to the expansion in the program, the $750 award earned by D’Andrea is being designated as the John McQuay Memorial Scholarship. This represents a change in this fund to support the academic- and need-based program.

Edmonds, Gringeri, and Townsend were each awarded $2,500 in RHF scholarship monies. Edmonds is in the Merrimack College Honors Program, majoring in elementary education and human development with a minor in business administration. She intends to become an elementary school principal. She received RHF scholarships in 2016 and 2018.

Gringeri attends the University of Vermont. In high school, he had dual enrollment at the Community College of Vermont. He is majoring in business/finance with the goal of a career in agribusiness. He has been named to the Dean’s List throughout his college career and is a member of student government. He received RHF scholarships in 2017 and 2018.

Townsend intends to major in human biology in the pre-medicine pathway at South Dakota State University with the goal of becoming a doctor. Farm-raised, she has been involved in 4-H and FFA and the South Dakota Quarter Horse Association. She has been active in her school and performed many hours of community service.

Gydesen and Buchanan each will receive $1,500 in scholarships. Gydesen plans to major in animal science. A high school honors student, she has been active in FFA and is a four-time 4-H State Horse Show champion and 7-time reserve champion with plans to ride on a collegiate equestrian team.

Buchanan plans to major in business/marketing with the goal of becoming a business owner. She has been captain of her Interscholastic Equestrian Association team and president of the Arizona Youth Reining Horse Association. She has served as a volunteer leader for the PACE Foundation, the national nonprofit patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life of persons with Pediatric Autoimmune Neurological Disorders through advocacy, education, and research.

Knerr is the recipient of the new $1,000 RHF scholarship. She attends the University of Findlay with plans to become a pediatric pharmacist. She held multiple positions as an NRHyA officer, including president in 2017, vice president in 2016 and secretary in 2015 and received RHF scholarships in 2017 and 2018.

Earning $750 scholarships each are Blaser and D’Andrea. Blaser is the current NRHyA president and was vice president in 2018 and treasurer in 2017. While in high school, she has been enrolled in dual credit courses at Central Community College and Nebraska Wesleyan University. She will attend Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., with the goal of becoming a physician and returning to a rural community to practice.

D’Andrea is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Youngstown State University. She was active in the NRHyA Varsity Reining Club and also is a three-time NRHyA Youth of the Year for her affiliate. She received RHF scholarships in 2016 and 2017.

For more information about the RHF Scholarship program, go to reiningfoundation.com or nrhya.com.  Watch the websites in early 2020 for updated application information.

Reining Horse Foundation Show-Entry Campaign Expands with Major Shows Coming on Board

The Florida Reining Horse Association hosted an exhibitor party at the Florida Reining Classic to raise awareness about the Reining Horse Foundation.

For Immediate Release – March 8, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – More affiliates and show managers for the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) are participating in a fundraising and awareness campaign to support the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves as the charitable arm of NRHA. Based upon small donations that add up to make a big difference, the campaign encourages show entrants to make a $10 donation when they enter select shows.

The show-entry campaign was piloted by the Arizona Reining Horse Association (AzRHA) in 2017 and then by the Florida Reining Horse Association (FRHA) in 2018. These two affiliates have contributed nearly $10,000 to RHF since piloted.

In 2019, FRHA launched the program at the Florida Reining Classic February 19-24 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Adding the entry donation in 2019 is the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), April 14-21, in Katy, Texas. Also committing is the Tulsa Reining Classic and South Central Affiliate Regional Championship, August 26-September 1, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Tulsa Reining Classic is managed by Global Reining Sport Group.

Helping with the fundraising auction is Ronnie Wayne.

The Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association (RMRHA) is offering the campaign at The Columbine Classic, May 15-19 in Pueblo, Colorado, and the RMRHA Summer Slide, July 28-August 4 in Denver, Colorado. Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA) is participating in the campaign during its SWRHA Futurity Show, October 22-27, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Also taking part is the Western Slope Reining Horse Association at its three shows this year and the NRHA Derby, managed by Pro Management.

Fundraising is expected to continue at the 2019 AzRHA shows, including the AzRHA Mother’s Day Slide, May 14-19; AzRHA Inside Slide, August 13-18; and AzRHA Best of the West/Southwest Affiliate Regional Championships; October 1-6. All shows will be held at WestWorld in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Oklahoma Reining Horse Association Ride & Slide I/II shows in Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 6-10, are offering a $5 donation option. Contributions will be matched by the organization. The Southeastern Reining Horse Association plans to offer a donation option, as well.

“We are thrilled to have these prominent shows represented through the show-entry campaign,” said Tim Anderson, RHF vice president “This represents significant new funding. Just as important is the opportunity to share information about the Reining Horse Foundation and its mission of caring for the reining community and honoring the sport’s legacy. It’s a feel-good story that reiners can be proud of.”

Catherine Crandon displays an auction item. Proceeds were added to the show-entry donation campaign supported by Florida Reining Classic exhibitors.

Exhibitors will find the option to donate or opt-out on their show-entry form, making it an easy way to demonstrate support for RHF. The most visible of the RHF core programs is the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund providing grants to reiners enduring hardships such as medical crises, accidents and natural disasters. Other core programs include youth scholarships and leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association and perpetuation of the NRHA Hall of Fame.

“The show-entry program is an exciting step forward for the Reining Horse Foundation,” said Leslie Baker, RHF executive director. “We know that reiners will help us innovate new ideas around this opportunity. For example, in Arizona, donors Tim and Kim Anderson provided a matching contribution that doubled the show-entry donations. The power of these $10 donations can do great things.”

To notify the Reining Horse Foundation that you have an affiliate or show management group willing to participate in the show-entry campaign, contact Leslie Baker at rhf@nrha.com, (405) 946-7400, ext. 106.

Reining Horse Foundation Announces 2019 Reining Boot Camps to Benefit Crisis Fund

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – March 6, 2019 – The Reining Horse Foundation (RHF), the philanthropic arm of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), announces its 2019 Reining Boot Camps. Hosted by various NRHA affiliates, these one-day clinics help rookies and Non Pro riders learn how to prepare for the show pen in a fun, low-stress environment. Proceeds from this series benefit RHF’s Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, which aids reiners enduring medical hardships, accidents, and disasters such as fires, floods, and tornadoes.

Reining Boot Camps rely on affiliate volunteers to secure a venue, conduct the clinic, and recruit NRHA Professionals to serve as volunteer clinicians. Additionally, some events incorporate NRHA judges who contribute their time to evaluate attendees as they perform the maneuvers of a basic reining pattern. While all proceeds bolster the Crisis Fund, affiliates can also earn cash back through the NRHA Affiliate Incentive Program and receive a bonus from RHF.

“Reining Boot Camps are important entry points for reiners, and they raise funds essential to the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund,” said Becky Jordan, RHF Board Secretary/Treasurer and chair of the Reining Boot Camp committee. “We are excited about these 2019 events.”

The Yankee Reining Horse Association will kick off the 2019 season with a clinic on March 31 in Gerry, New York. Other currently scheduled events include:

  • West Coast RHA Mother’s Day Special, May 12, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Western States Horse Expo, Murieta Equestrian Center, Rancho Murieta, California
  • West Coast RHA, May 18 at Booth Ranch in Sanger, California
  • Southwest RHA, May 25 at Cardinal Ranch in Aubrey, Texas

All clinics are open to both youth and adult riders. In addition to instruction time, the registration fee of $225 per adult or $125 per youth (18 and under) includes lunch. This year, a special half-day clinic will be held on May 12 in conjunction with the Western States Horse Expo. Registration for this unique event will cost $150 for adults and $75 for youth.

Additional dates and locations may be added. Similar clinics are anticipated in South America to help spread international awareness of RHF and its core mission to serve the reining community. A full schedule including details and registration information can be found at reiningfoundation.com/bootcamp. Affiliates interested in hosting a Reining Boot Camp should contact the RHF office at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106 or rhf@nrha.com.

Photos by Ed Glavis

Reining Horse Foundation Scholarship Deadline Fast Approaching

The deadline is near for high school seniors to apply for this year’s Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) scholarship; applications must be postmarked by March 1 for consideration!

RHF aims to give back to the reining community/family and invest in the next generation of reiners. RHF is committed to providing leadership and scholarship opportunities to enable youth to further excel in their future careers. RHF is offering $10,500 in academic and need-based scholarships for seven deserving NRHyA members. Determination for a scholarship is based on financial need, academic achievement, career plans, NRHA and NRHyA involvement, other activities, and references. If selected as a scholarship recipient, portions of your essay may be used in print and internet promotion.

In addition to high school seniors, previous recipients of the scholarship may apply.

NRHA Announces Affiliate Ambassadors in New Program Sponsored by Toyon Ranch

For Immediate Release – January 11, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) recognized volunteers from 14 regions around the world as special guests during the Sliders’ Night Out event hosted by the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) on November 28. This new program is made possible by NRHA Heritage Partner Toyon Ranch, owned by John & Nancy Tague of Pilot Point, Texas.

The volunteers were selected for the special recognition which includes complimentary reserved seating at the fundraising banquet, a certificate, and free admission for the NRHA Futurity. Those who attended Sliders’ Night Out also received a travel award.

The inaugural program resulted in the names of 40 volunteers submitted for recognition and a person or couple was selected for each of eight U.S. and six international regions. The selection committee was impressed with the quality of volunteers. In 2018, every person who was submitted will receive a certificate acknowledging appreciation for their contributions. Among the group are NRHA Pros, Non Pros, judges, secretaries, and stewards.

“Reining at the grassroots is made possible through members who volunteer at our NRHA affiliates,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “The volunteers who joined us at Sliders’ Night Out and the NRHA Futurity are representative of our diverse NRHA members. We expect they will enjoy this experience and then turn around and go back to their affiliates and get to work, carrying with them many positives happening through the Reining Horse Foundation and NRHA.”

Toyon Ranch has a commitment to present Sliders’ Night Out and the Affiliate Ambassador program for three years. The event is a fundraiser for the 501(c)3 nonprofit Reining Horse Foundation, whose mission is caring is caring for the reining community and honoring the sport’s legacy. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund; youth scholarship and leadership development; and perpetuation of the NRHA Hall of Fame.

For more information or to make a donation, visit reiningfoundation.com or call (405) 946-7400.

2018 NRHA Affiliate Ambassadors
Sponsored by Toyon Ranch

Northwest Region
Stephanie Porath
Great Western RHA

Southwest
Kim Niven
Arizona RHA

Mountain
Guy & Valerie Vernon
Eastern Plains RHA

North Central
John & Lacy Zimmerman
North Central RHA

South Central
JD Badertscher
West Texas RHA

East Central
Kris Hansen
Michigan RHA

Southeast
Terri Mainey
Southeastern RHA

Northeast
Shawn Reynolds
Eastern Pennsylvania RHA

Europe
Paulus Beurskens

Western Canada
Bonna Jean Bateman
Central Canada RHA

Eastern Canada
Bob Gleeton and Marilou Paradis
Quebec RHA

Mexico
Mariano Pedrero
ANCR Mexico

South America
Debora Frisch
ACR Argentina

Australia
Lynda Gray
Reining Australia

The NRHA Affiliate Ambassadors were guests at the Reining Horse Foundation Sliders’ Night Out philanthropy event. Some were also on hand for arena introductions during the NRHA Futurity including: (left to right)


Kim Niven
John Zimmerman
Lacy Zimmerman
Kris Hansen
Terri Mainey
Bonna Jean Bateman


Paulus Beurskens
Marilou Paradis
Bob Gleeton
Debora Frisch
Nancy Tague and John Tague, owners of NRHA Heritage Partner Toyon Ranch and sponsor of Affiliate Ambassador recognition
Mike Deer, NRHA Board President
Mike Hancock, NRHA Board Vice President