RHF Announces 2020 Scholarship Recipients

The Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) is awarding $13,000 in academic and need-based scholarships to eight students in 2020. The recipients are: Cassandra Townsend of Andover, South Dakota; David Gringeri of West Haven, Vermont; Megan D’Andrea of Fowler, Ohio; Liz Blaser of Duncan, Nebraska; Morgan Ritz of Comstock, Nebraska; Morgan Knerr of Plain City, Ohio; Kelly Harper of Inverness, Florida, and Natalie Gydesen of North Loup, Nebraska.

Applications are reviewed by an independent committee with scoring based upon financial need, academic achievement, an essay, involvement in the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA)  and community, and personal references. NRHyA members first apply as high school seniors, and if selected, are eligible to reapply.

Applicants in 2020 penned their essay about this topic: NRHyA members are having visible success in the show arena across many levels of competition. What does success look like for you—inside and outside of the reining arena? Their responses were creative and inspiring.

“I remember the first time I loped, my first blue ribbon, and my first reining pattern,” wrote Gringeri. “At those moments spirits were high, but I recognized that it was hours in the saddle and late nights at the barn that I was celebrating.”

Harper, a first-time scholarship recipient, wrote, “I have received an unwarranted amount of support from those around me, and soon it will be my turn to do the same for the next generation of young reiners.”

Townsend, Gringeri and D’Andrea will each receive $2,500 scholarships. Townsend is majoring in human biology in the pre-medicine pathway at South Dakota State University with the goal of becoming a physician’s assistant. Gringeri attends the University of Vermont majoring in business/finance preparing for a career in agribusiness. D’Andrea is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing at Kent State University with plans to become an emergency room nurse.

Blaser and Ritz each are being awarded $1,500 scholarships. Blaser, the 2019 NRHyA President, is attending Wayne State College majoring in pre-professional/medicine with the goal of becoming an emergency medicine physician. Ritz is the 2020 NRHyA President and will attend South Dakota State University majoring in nutrition/dietetics. Both Blaser and Ritz held multiple NRHyA national officer positions.

Knerr is the recipient of a $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.

Earning $750 scholarships are Harper and Gydesen. Harper will attend Oklahoma State University to major in agribusiness/pre-law. Gydesen is majoring in animal science at South Dakota State University with the goal of becoming a veterinarian. Her scholarship is designated as the John McQuay Memorial Scholarship.

For more information about the RHF Scholarship program, or for application information, go to reiningfoundation.com or nrhya.com.  Scholarship information will be updated and open for applicants in early 2021. The RHF scholarship program is made possible by donations—primarily from individuals. To make a difference as a donor, contact RHF executive director Leslie Baker at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106 or rhf@nrha.com.

 

Reining Horse Foundation Show-entry Campaign Underway for 2020

For Immediate Release – May 22, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – An exhibitor-based fundraising campaign to benefit the Reining Horse Foundation is underway for 2020 after generating $25,000 in support for the nonprofit in 2019. 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 first 2020 reining offering this convenient donation opportunity is the Arizona Reining Horse Association Mother’s Day Slide, May 24-31, in Scottsdale, Arizona. AzRHA piloted the show-entry campaign in 2017. Tentatively, these additional shows also are expected to participate this year: NRHA Derby, North Carolina Classic, National Reining Breeders Classic, Tulsa Reining Classic, Southwest Futurity, Low Roller Reining Classic, and NRHA Futurity. It’s anticipated additional show managers and NRHA affiliates also may participate.

RHF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves as the charitable arm of NRHA. In addition to the financial support offered through the campaign, it has helped increase awareness.

“There is power in $10, and every donor helps,” said Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director, “We are so appreciative to have these shows offer this campaign. It provides visibility and funds that are significant in fulfilling our mission of caring for and honoring our reining community.”

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

Affiliates and show managers willing to offer the entry-donation campaign are encouraged to notify RHF by contacting Leslie Baker at rhf@nrha.com, (405) 946-7400, ext. 106. Online giving—including monthly donations—also can be made conveniently at reiningfoundation.com/donate.

Sliders’ Night Out Presented by Toyon Ranch Rides Again

For Immediate Release – October 1, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – One of the biggest nights on the social and charitable calendar of reiners is set for December 4, 2019, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Sliders’ Night Out, presented by Toyon Ranch, will celebrate the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Fame while benefiting the nonprofit Reining Horse Foundation (RHF).

On tap are the inductions of Roberto Cuoghi, Claudio Risso, and the mare Snip O Gun into the NRHA Hall of Fame and recognition of David Silva with the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2018, Sliders’ Night Out became the single largest annual fundraiser for RHF, which serves as the charitable arm of the NRHA. Nearly $50,000 was generated to support the Foundation mission of caring for and honoring our reining community. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, youth scholarships and leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association, and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame.

Fundraising is again a key goal. Donations of every level are important. They come from individuals, corporations, ranches, training barns, foundations, and groups of reiners joining forces to support the event. To date, Platinum Donors include Tim and Kim Anderson, Booth Ranches, Ian and Kristen Cantacuzene, Rick Clark, and Elementa. Gold Donors are Jack & Viola Scott. Silver Donors include Arcese Quarter Horses, Mark and Julie Blake, Blazer Farms & Cattle Company, Cardinal Ranch, Roberto Cuoghi, Foals R Us Repro Center & Stallion Station by Lotti, Markel/Frank & Susan Costantini, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Santa Hill Ranch.

These top-level donors plus other Hall of Fame Table Hosts make it possible for all NRHA Hall of Fame inductees to attend the event as honored guests. Hall of Fame members attending in 2018 received new medallions, elevating the prestige and visibility of their awards. All Hall of Fame members are invited to be a part of the program again this year.

Another high point of the evening is recognition of NRHA Affiliate Ambassadors, volunteers selected from around the world to be honored for their work at the grassroots of reining. This program is also sponsored by Toyon Ranch of Pilot Point, Texas, an NRHA official corporate partner. Toyon Ranch owners John and Nancy Tague make it possible for these honored volunteers to attend Sliders’ Night Out and receive a travel incentive as well as passes to the NRHA Futurity.

Advance reservations are encouraged to ensure a chance to be in attendance at Sliders’ Night Out and enjoy the steak dinner and celebration. The benefit is held in conjunction with the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship Show.

To make reservations, contact Leslie Baker, RHF, (405) 946-7400, ext. 106 or email rhf@nrha.com.

Photos by Bar H Photography

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.