Did You Know: Millions of Milestones

One of NRHA’s main functions is documenting records for horses, riders, and owners who participate in the sport of reining. With that responsibility comes the honor of promoting the achievements of these remarkable horses, riders, and owners. It’s a fantastic opportunity to recognize these accomplishments as well as a means to show NRHA’s support for these stars and all of the NRHA members who help them achieve these milestones—the breeders who choose these sires and dams, the customers of the riders, and those who buy horses of all ages from the owners.

Ever wondered how NRHA recognizes these achievements? Here’s a quick outline. Note that the milestone must be official in NRHA’s internal system before the wheels can start turning for the celebratory elements.

First Million

Crossing the million-dollar mark for the first time generates buzz throughout the reining industry, and beyond. It’s a monumental accomplishment! A horse’s, rider’s, or owner’s first million-dollar milestone is celebrated with:

  • Congratulatory social media post.
  • Press release discussing the achievement, including quotes from those involved and major accomplishments to get there.
  • Three-page feature in the NRHA Reiner

Multimillions

Once a million-dollar milestone is achieved, NRHA continues to recognize and promote commensurate millions for horses, riders, and owners. Each million after the first is commemorated with:

  • Congratulatory social media post.
  • Press release noting the accomplishment along with other multimillion milestone achievers. (Usually, three to five milestones are recognized per release.)
  • Half-page recognition in the NRHA Reiner

NRHA has recognized more than 80 million-dollar milestones and many more multimillion accomplishments (find them all here) and is proud to share them with reiners and the entirety of the horse industry.

Whizkey N Diamonds Reaches Million Dollar Sire Status

For Immediate Release – November 1, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to welcome another outstanding equine athlete to the Million Dollar Sire club: Whizkey N Diamonds. Owned by Rhodes River Ranch, Whizkey N Diamonds is by the all-time leading sire of NRHA money earners, Topsail Whiz, and out of Princess In Diamonds, one of the top three highest-producing NRHA dams to date.

Bred by Cristin Schuetz, the 2006 buckskin stallion earned more than $216,335 in personal NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE) during his show career with NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. After the pair placed third in the Level (L) 4 Open at the 2009 NRHA Futurity, then-owner Clinton Anderson took the stallion out of the reining pen to star in his Downunder Horsemanship Trick Training Series. In 2011, Whizkey N Diamonds came back strong, winning the 2011 Wimpys Little Step Derby, finishing top five in the Level 4 Open Derby at the National Reining Breeders Classic, and taking home reserve L4 Open honors at the 2011 NRHA Derby, all with Flarida in the saddle.

Now, Whizkey N Diamonds stands at Oklahoma Equine Hospital in Goldsby, Oklahoma. His 312 competition-age offspring have followed in their sire’s footsteps at major events including the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, and the National Reining Breeders Classic. Their success allowed the stallion to achieve this elite status after just seven breeding seasons, with his first foal crop reaching competition age in 2016.

“I think it’s pretty impressive,” shared Sean McBurney, ranch manager for Rhodes River Ranch. “He only had 11 babies in his first foal crop. We’ve just tried to match him with the best mares.”

Whizkey N Diamonds’ top-performing offspring include:

  • Rsure Shot Of Whizkey (out of Gunners Sureshot, by Gunner): $80,504.34 LTE
  • Whizkey Chaser (out of Sparklin Chic, by Lena Spark): $66,908.47 LTE
  • Whizzen In The Wind (out of Very Smart Flo Jo, by Very Smart Remedy): $41,706.83 LTE
  • Sparklin Whizkey (out of Moms So Stylish, by Smart Little Lena): $40,302.77 LTE
  • Whizkey Rock N Roll (out of Snip O Chex, by Nu Chex To Cash): $36,726.98 LTE
  • Whizkeymakesmefrisky (out of One Smart Pepto, by One Time Pepto): $35,865.60 LTE
  • Waitin On A Diamond (out of This Chicsdundreamin, by Magnum Chic Dream): $33,804.26 LTE
  • Red Garter N Whizkey (out of Peppys Lightning Jac, Lil Ruf Peppy): $33,474.25 LTE
  • Diamonds In My Genes (out of Electric Genes, by Jacs Electric Spark): $32,159.01 LTE
  • Starlightsndiamonds (out of Starlights Sugarwhiz, by Little Bay Starlight): $29,804.92 LTE

In light of this accomplishment, McBurney and the Rhodes River Ranch team acknowledge not only the prowess of their stallion but also the dedication of all those who have trusted in his offspring and helped Whizkey N Diamonds reach this milestone.

“I need to thank Jean Rhodes for all her support and everyone at Oklahoma Equine for doing such a great job looking after him,” McBurney said. “I’d also like to credit my wife, Jordan, and everybody who rode his offspring and helped him get here. All the people who bred to him—that’s what made it happen.”

Congratulations to all of Whizkey N Diamonds’ connections on this achievement.

Our Loss: Conquistador Whiz

Silver Spurs Equine lost a legend with the passing of NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire Conquistador Whiz (Topsail Whiz x Sugarita Chex).

In 2011, Conquistador Whiz became the first-ever third-generation NRHA Million Dollar Sire, following the path of his sire, Topsail Whiz, and grandsire, Topsail Cody. Just four years later, the 1995 stallion added another accolade to his credentials when his progeny pushed him past two million in offspring earnings. To date, his 398 foals have collected more than $2,451,000 in combined NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE). Most notably, Conquistador Whiz sired 2005 NRHA Open Futurity champion KR Lil Conquistador, a 2002 gelding out of Smart Little Prize who earned more than $422,000 LTE during his career with NRHA Six Million Dollar rider Shawn Flarida and owners Jeff and Cheree Kirkbride.

Before retiring to the breeding shed, Conquistador Whiz earned just over $100,000 LTE in his own right with NRHA Professionals Duane Latimer and Tom McCutcheon in the saddle. With Latimer, he claimed victories in the 2000 National Reining Breeders Classic Level (L)4 Open Derby and the 2000 NRHA Derby L4 Open, among other titles. In 2002, he competed with McCutcheon at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, helping earn the team gold and netting the individual silver medal.

After being purchased by Silver Spurs Equine in 2008, Conquistador Whiz stood at sire at the ranch’s headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our condolences to Michael and Michelle Miola of Silver Spurs and all of Conquistador Whiz’s connections on the loss of this tremendous stallion.

Photos by John Brasseaux

Our Condolences: Pat Feuerstein

On October 18, 2019, the reining family lost a beloved member and longtime supporter of the industry, NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Pat Feuerstein. Pat first became involved with NRHA in 1972, competing as a non pro before she began assisting the East Coast Reiners Association with show administration and more. As an accomplished writer, Pat served as the feature editor of the NRHA Reiner at the magazine’s launch in 1980. She held that position until 1993 and continued to work closely with NRHA and contribute to the NRHA Reiner for many years. She also served as senior reining editor for NRHA Corporate Partner Quarter Horse News and was published in several other equine publications throughout her career. In 2004, Pat was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame as a tribute to her many contributions to the sport. Throughout her life, Pat remained dedicated to the reining industry, and her influence will live on in the hearts of all who knew her. Our deepest condolences to Pat’s husband of 54 years, Bob, and their two children, Jean and Paul.

Celebration of Life for Pat Feuerstein:
Sunday, November 17th, 1-4 pm
Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company
1701 SW 60th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474

Taylor Sheridan Recognized as NRHA Reiner of the Year

For Immediate Release – October 8, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Fame Committee developed a new award supported by the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) to recognize the NRHA Reiner of the Year. This new accolade allows NRHA to honor a person/entity who enacts a measurable, positive influence on the industry.

The inaugural recipient of the Reiner of the Year award is Taylor Sheridan. The NRHA Board of Directors voted to approve both this award and candidate for recognition.

Sheridan, a horse enthusiast since childhood who started reining after his Hollywood acting and directing career took off, elevated his commitment to reining by producing The Last Cowboy, a reality-based TV program on Paramount Network, which tied into August’s Run for a Million event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Last Cowboy put reining center stage by chronicling the journey of eight reining professionals as they prepared elite horses for the Million Dollar Invitational, the marquee event during the Run for a Million. Both the television series and the event in Las Vegas brought reiners together in a unique way and exposed a new audience to the sport of reining.

The Last Cowboy highlighted the many positive aspects of reining, from the family atmosphere to the care riders invest in their equine athletes to maintain their welfare, and brought some of NRHA’s largest events to the attention of an expanded audience.

The enduring positive energy, new relationships, and fresh perspective that Sheridan has brought to the sport of reining qualified him as the ideal recipient of this prestigious award.

“Taylor is a man of great vision and determination,” said NRHA President Mike Hancock. “His tenacity and persistence helped drive the production [of The Last Cowboy and the Run for a Million] faster and farther than anyone else could have. We’re so happy to announce that he’s our Reiner of the Year.”

Sheridan will be recognized alongside this year’s class of NRHA Hall of Fame inductees during the NRHA Futurity at Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch on December 4 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. On this special night, RHF will recognize new and previous NRHA Hall of Fame inductees as well as the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and celebrate the sport’s legacy and bright future. For details on how to host a Hall of Fame table or become a major event donor, contact RHF Executive Director Leslie Baker at lbaker@nrha.com or (405) 946-7400.