The Reining Horse Foundation’s Raise A Million Live Auction returns to The Run For A Million in 2023. Attendees will have the opportunity to take home coveted and unique auction offerings. Over the past two years, the results have been impressive, sparking memorable energy at the TRFAM and providing philanthropic support for the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF), the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association.
Attendees will find the Raise A Million Auction in a new location this year as part of the Live Festival stage at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The public is invited to attend the auction on Friday, August 18, at 1:00 p.m. before the Million Dollar Invitation Draw. The live auction is expected to offer approximately six lots, and the assortment is impressive. Items include:
The Run For A Million Show Headstall: donated by Bob’s Custom Saddles
Original Work of Art: created and donated by Duke Beardsley
Italy Wine & Horses Travel Adventure for Six: with considerations by Spooks Gotta Spark
Reining Power. Women Power. History by the Millions: Signed memorabilia featuring the women competing in the 2023 TRFAM Million Dollar Competition. Plus, a 100X Custom Hat certificate from Shorty’s Caboy Hattery! Donations by Cira Baeck, Mandy McCutcheon, Gina-Maria Schumacher, and Shorty’s
The American Performance Horseman Exclusive VIP Offering & Premium Seating: for 2024
Run For the Roses, 2024 Kentucky Derby Experience: donated by Tim Anderson and Rick Clark
“The Run For A Million provides an unmatched gathering of performance horses enthusiasts and an unequaled venue for this type of support,” said Tim Anderson, RHF president. “We appreciate Taylor Sheridan, Brumley Management, and TRFAM for this opportunity to change lives through core programs like the RHF Crisis Fund and our youth leadership development and scholarship programs.”
“The mission of the RHF is to care for and honor the reining community,” said Executive Director Leslie Baker, CFRE. “The work of this foundation is continuing in big ways thanks to the generosity of donors and many givers. We are proud that the Raise A Million Auction attracts generous support.” Limited proxy bidding is available by contacting Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director, at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106, or email@example.com, no later than 5:00 p.m. CST, Thursday, August 17.
A casual evening of art, music, and connection resulted in a significant donation to the Reining Horse Foundation. Held July 22 at Ranchos Los Vaqueros, a private reining training barn in Pilot Point, Texas. The event featured the paintings and sculptures of Tammy Tappan. Proceeds from the sales, combined with donations, have generated $27,590 to date for the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association.
The event was produced by Dwayne Hildreth with Key of D Productions and hosted by Debbie and Gary Conway with support from additional RHF Board members and volunteers. The energy was described as electric, the food delicious, and the music by Zachary Lee entertaining.
Owners, trainers, and equine lovers from diverse backgrounds attended in support of the cause. Additional sales of art through August 16 will benefit RHF. For information on available works, contact Debbie Conway at firstname.lastname@example.org or the RHF office at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106. The artist will make a presentation of the proceeds to the RHF at a later date.
“This pop-up type event was rewarding in so many ways,” says Debbie Conway, a member of the RHF Board of Directors. “We really thank everyone who played a part. And, if anyone wants to match any portion of the donations with a financial gift to RHF, there is still time to multiply the impact of this event.”
Based in Tryon, North Carolina, and Scottsdale, Arizona, Tappan specializes in contemporary equestrian artwork. She offers works by commission and through gallery and private sales.
For more than two decades, members of the equine community have been doing good things through the Reining Horse Foundation. With its mission of caring for and honoring the reining community, the RHF has supporters from around the world. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund helping reiners enduring major hardships; youth scholarship and leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame. For more information or to give, visit reiningfoundation.com.
The Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) doubled the total amount of RHF Scholarship dollars awarded, added two additional scholarships, and raised the three top awards to $5,000 in 2022. The total was increased again in 2023, which raised four award amounts from previous levels. This growth in the program has been made possible by increased donor support for the RHF and its core programs, which include scholarships and youth leadership development.
The RHF scholarships are part of a larger program that awards over $60,000 annually combined with the Affiliate Regional Championship, CINCH Speaking Contest, and Varsity Reining Club scholarships.
The following levels organize the RHF scholarships: three recipients of $5,000, three recipients of $2,500, three recipients of $2,000, and one recipient of $1,500. Selection is based on financial need, academic record, involvement in the school and community, a special essay, and references. In total, $30,000 in RHF Scholarships are being given to 10 deserving students in 2023.
To apply, students must be members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) for at least 24 months and be a senior in high school planning to pursue an undergraduate degree in a two- or four-year institution, trade, or technical school. A previous recipient of an RHF scholarship may reapply for a second scholarship if she or he meets all other criteria.
“These young people are impressive, not only for what they have accomplished through reining but for how they are involved in their schools, communities, and families,” said Terri Mainey, chairperson of the RHF Scholarship Committee. “It’s a great pleasure for the Reining Horse Foundation and its supporters to encourage them in their education.”
The scholarship program is open to NRHyA members from around the world. This year, the ten recipients represent nine different states. They are entering diverse programs of study.
The RHF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the charitable arm of NRHA. It supports NRHyA, including youth leadership development woven throughout youth programming. Donors are invited to support NRHyA in numerous ways, including individual donations, memorials/honorariums, and fundraisers. To learn more, visit reiningfoundation.com.
Get to know more about each of these talented recipients.
$5,000 Scholarship Recipients
Kalena Reynolds of Cave Creek, Arizona, competes in the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA), Texas Quarter Horse Youth Association, Arizona Reining Horse Association, and the Oklahoma Reining Horse Association. She has served as a National Reining Horse Youth Association delegate and a Texas Quarter Horse Association reporter and is an AQHYA Reining Reserve World Champion. This is her second year receiving an RHF scholarship.
Reynolds is currently attending Baylor University, pursuing a degree in journalism. She is an Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Baylor University Equestrian Team member.
Lillian Bains calls Gautier, Mississippi, home, where she has been a member of the Mississippi Quarter Horse Association, NRHyA Varsity Reining Club, 4-H, and National Honor Society. Bains also took part in Key Club and yearbook during high school.
She attends classes at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in a dual credit program and is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering.
When Hayden Kolb of Allegany, New York, had time open from being a snowboard instructor, she was an active member of 4-H, Youth Equestrian Development Association, AQHYA, American Ranch Horse Association, National Honor Society, cross country, and band. Kolb’s accomplishments while in school included IEA National Champion, 4-H regional qualifier, and 4-H Western/English High-Point Champion.
“It is a great honor to be chosen as a recipient of the RHF scholarship. It means so much to me that someone believes in me and is willing to invest in my future. I would like to thank my family and my trainers for all they have done to get me to where I am now,” Kolb says. “This recognition of my hard work and dedication throughout my years in high school means the world to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Kolb’s plan after high school involves pursuing equestrian studies and marketing and having a career involving horse breeding and training.
$2,500 Scholarship Recipients
Bridger Saxton, an avid horse trainer from Idaho Falls, Idaho, has the honor of obtaining this scholarship for a consecutive year. He competes and is involved in the American Stock Horse Association (ASHA) and the Idaho Reining Horse Association. He has had many accomplishments, including IDRHA Limited Non-Pro Champion, three-time ASHA Youth Champion, and many other equine awards.
“Receiving the Reining Horse Foundation’s scholarship has allowed me to continue my college career knowing that, when I graduate, I will be debt free. Having a debt-free experience has made it possible for me to concentrate on classes and showing my horses,” shares Saxton.
Saxton is pursuing a degree in business marketing while working toward his career goal of being an NRHA Professional.
Samantha Rumpel from Athens, Georgia, competes in the AQHA, Tennessee Reining Horse Association, Heart of Dixie Reining Horse Association, and Interscholastic Equestrian Association. A few of her top accolades include an Honor Roll award, Varsity Athletic award, 2017 IEA Championship Team, and TNRHA Top Youth award.
Rumpel plans to pursue a degree in business.
Madison Wigen from Joseph, Oregon, is an active member of FFA, National Honor Society, basketball, volleyball, track and field, and Varsity Reining Club. A few of Wigen’s accolades include earning an FFA State Degree, serving as senior class vice president and basketball captain, and receiving a scholar athlete award in volleyball. She has held NRHyA national offices and is serving as the 2023 NRHyA vice president,
Wigen plans to pursue a degree in psychology and have a career as a substance abuse counselor.
“Being awarded this scholarship from the Reining Horse Foundation is very special to me because it means that I have the support of the reining industry behind me as I pursue my future and continue my education. I am so grateful for the Reining Horse Foundation and their support of the NRHyA,” Wigen shares. “This scholarship helps my family to have less worry when it comes to tuition costs and other expenses when I leave to begin working toward my degree. I cannot thank the RHF enough for their support and for their generosity.”
$2,000 Scholarship Recipients
Adrianna Runzo of North Canton, Ohio, is busy when it comes to equine and school activities such as 4-H, Northern Ohio Horse Youth Association, AQHyA, Ultimate Frisbee Club, cross country, track and field, Model United Nations, and National Honor Society. Her accomplishments include Northern Ohio Quarter Horse Youth Association director, NRHyA East Central Regional delegate, and various NRHyA officer positions, including serving as the 2023 NRHyA President. Runzo’s plans include pursuing a degree in physical therapy.
“Winning a scholarship from the Reining Horse Foundation means the world to me,” Runzo said. “This scholarship will not only help me pursue my dream of working as a physical therapist in the equine industry but will help support my family as my twin brother and I enter a new stage in our lives as well. I cannot thank the Reining Horse Foundation enough for what they do for our reining community!”
Katie Buckley of Anna, Texas, is a current student at Texas A&M Commerce and is on the Stock Horse and Horse Judging teams. While in high school, she was active in Student Council, AQHA, Texas Quarter Horse Youth Association, FFA, and track and cross country. Her accomplishments included FFA officer, FFA horse judging state qualifier, Arabian Horse Association four-time National Champion, and AQHA World Qualifier.
“Receiving this scholarship from the RHF for the second year in a row means the world to me,” she said. “RHF is such an amazing organization for giving back to our youth, branching out to go to college, and starting the next steps in our lives!”
She is currently pursuing a degree in physical therapy.
Ariel Wieferich of Shepherd, Michigan, is an eager volunteer for NRHyA and the Michigan Reining Horse Association, where she has been a lifetime member. Wieferich has shown her impact in the reining community as a scholarship recipient for two consecutive years. She attends the University of Michigan, pursuing an aerospace and astronautical engineering degree.
She spent her time in high school with the MASA rocket building team, book club, science club leader, and basketball.
$1,500 John McQuay Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Located in Sidney, Ohio, Jenna Batton was an active member of FFA, Student Council, National Honor Society, basketball, volleyball, and cheerleading. Accomplishments of Batton’s include being an FFA officer, class president, earning an FFA State Degree, and being captain of her basketball team. She worked as a volunteer with local fundraisers.
“I am very grateful to be receiving this award because it will help me achieve my goals! I am also very thankful for the Reining Horse Foundation’s support as they continue to invest in the future of our industry’s youth!” Batton said. “I will put this scholarship money toward college tuition this fall while I attend Miami University!”
Jenna plans to pursue a degree in public relations.
About Reining Horse Foundation: We Care For and Honor Our Reining Community
For more than two decades, members of the equine community have been doing good things through the Reining Horse Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association. With its mission of caring for and honoring the reining community, the RHF has supporters from around the world. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund helping reiners enduring major hardships; youth scholarship and leadership development through the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame. For more information or to give, visit reiningfoundation.com.
During the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Winter Meeting, the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) Board of Directors met and approved significant expansion to two of its flagship programs: the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund and the RHF Scholarship program. Increased donor support in recent years has made it feasible for more dollars to be returned to the reining community, which is the heart of the RHF mission. In November 2022, the Board announced up to $250,000 in additional funding support for core programs with proposals to be brought forward from RHF standing committees. These program increases are the result. Additional plans are still being developed.
The Crisis Fund is designed to financially assist reiners enduring major hardships such as illness, injury, and disasters. At the recommendation of the Crisis Fund Review Committee, the Board approved new levels of financial support for Crisis Fund grants, which are available to NRHA members with at least 24 consecutive months of membership prior to applying.
Medical and injury accident applications will be considered for up to $7,500 in grant support, which is more than double the previous maximum of $3,600. Disaster applications will now be considered for up to $12,500 in aid, which also is more than double the former maximum of $6,000. The Board continues to reserve a special support category for the most extreme cases of hardship and can add additional funding to those most serious cases.
The Crisis Fund has awarded more than $275,000 in Crisis Fund grants since the inception of the program in 2002, standing in the gap for reining families around the world. On average, 75 percent of the grants go to NRHA Professionals, who, as self-employed workers, can face loss of income during a severe crisis. Beginning in 2020, NRHA Professionals began voluntarily providing Crisis Fund contributions when purchasing or renewing their NRHA memberships.
RHF funding comes from a broad cross-section of the equine community, including individuals, businesses, and foundations. NRHA affiliates, shows, and reiners of all ages hold creative and successful fundraisers to boost RHF programs in the areas of greatest need.
“This is a major increase to RHF programs thanks to the long-held dreams and work of this organization and its committed donors,” said RHF President Tim Anderson. “I am personally passionate about the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund and how it changes lives for people going through some of the worst times imaginable. I also believe that youth hold the keys to the future of reining. I am extremely proud of RHF for being able to positively impact more lives worldwide.”
RHF Scholarships are offered to high school seniors who demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, and involvement. A major expansion doubled the funding amounts in 2022; this increase will immediately raise the lower-level award amounts.
“I’ve been involved with RHF Scholarships since their inception,” said NRHA vice president and longtime RHF Board member Mike Hancock. “Being able to offer more and larger scholarships is very special. We know that education is important to the success of our young reiners in adulthood. These scholarships make the path easier for deserving young people.”
In 2023, 10 scholarships are available, including five $5,000 and three $2,500 awards. At the recommendation of the RHF Scholarship Committee, three previous $1,500 awards are increasing to $2,000 each, and the previous $1,000 John McQuay Memorial Scholarship will increase to $1,500.
In addition, a new set of scholarships will become available in 2024 for NRHyA members who are pursuing post-high school education. They include five $1,500 scholarships. The application criteria and timeline for those will be established and announced later.
When reiners gather, great things happen, and it happened in spades in Vegas.
The 2022 Raise A Million Auctions, held during The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge in Las Vegas, Nevada, brought in more than $190,000 through both the live and silent auctions. The proceeds benefit the reining community through the Reining Horse Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association.
It was the second year for the Raise A Million Auctions to be held in conjunction with TRFAM, and although expectations were high, they were exceeded.
“It was an incredibly successful event, and between the two years that the Reining Horse Foundation has been invited to The Run For A Million, nearly a million dollars has been raised,” shared Tim Anderson, president of the Reining Horse Foundation. “On behalf of the RHF Board of Directors, I thank Taylor Sheridan and Amanda Brumley who have been incredibly supportive of the Foundation. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to pull something like this off.”
Anderson added that fundraisers – whether large like the Raise A Million Auctions or on a smaller scale – all contribute to the RHF’s mission. “Because of fundraising activities like this, we have been able to expand and increase our scholarship program as well as increase the amount of the grants we distribute through the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund,” he said. “The Foundation is not like a bank. We’re not trying to save this money; we are going to give it out to the people who need it and use it in ways that best support the Foundation’s mission.”
The Reining Horse Foundation received 37 lots for the Silent Auction from generous donors, including art, décor, tack, apparel, jewelry, autographed memorabilia, equine products, services, breedings, and unique experiences such as events and travel. The Silent Auction was held over several days and closed just prior to the Million Dollar Invitational competition. When the bids were tallied, the Silent Auction had brought in more than $42,000.
“In addition, NRHA member Diana Duffey pledged to match the donation made from Elite Equine for their equine spa services. Elite Equine donated 10 percent of their service proceeds to the RHF during The Run For A Million,” shared Reining Horse Foundation Executive Director Leslie Baker.
The generous spirit of the reining family continued to be on full display during the Live Auction, which was held just prior to the Million Dollar Competition Draw Party. There, seven incredible and unique items were auctioned off, raising $147,000.
There was a tie for the high-selling lots in the live auction. The first was a Supreme Breeding Package that was donated by Amber Gokey, Schmersal/ThorSport Inc., and NRHA Corporate Partner Toyon Ranch. The impressive lot included breedings to 2021 TRFAM Champion Gunna Stop, a breeding to 2019 TRFAM Co-Champion No Smoking Required, and an embryo from Icing Required. It was purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Santa Hill Ranch.
The other high seller was a NASCAR Truck Series Primary Partnership Package to Daytona International Speedway, which was donated by ThorSport and purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Clark’s Pump-N-Shop.
“Thank you to the generous donors to both the live and silent auction and of course to the purchasers of those items. We are grateful for everything they have done,” Anderson said. “Thank you also to Leslie Baker for her efforts in making this a success, and also to the volunteers who were there day after day helping. We have a tremendous Board of Directors for the Foundation, and it’s a great group of people who truly have the reining community in mind.”
The mission of the Reining Horse Foundation is to care for and honor the reining community. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund to benefit reiners enduring hardships such as major illness, accidents, and disasters; youth leadership development and scholarships for members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame.