APHA and NRHA Join Forces To Bring Reining Lessons to horseIQ Virtual Learning

The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) have furthered their partnership with the creation of a new reining education module on horseIQ, APHA’s popular virtual learning site. 

HorseIQ is an innovative online platform that provides a comprehensive range of courses designed to educate horse owners, exhibitors, enthusiasts, and judges. The platform offers discipline-specific judge education, exhibitor insight, and courses on topics such as horse health, training, and care. HorseIQ is a leading resource for horse owners of all levels.

“Our goal is to create a visual, interactive guidebook both for exhibitors and judges,” said Dave Dellin, APHA chief executive officer. “We are committed to providing educational opportunities that help the equine world, and this partnership is a huge step in the right direction.” 

This collaboration creates a unique opportunity for APHA and NRHA members to access educational content tailored specifically to reining. The partnership enhances the educational offerings of both organizations to provide clarity and knowledge about the NRHA Judges System so that riders know exactly what judges evaluate in the sport of reining.

“The NRHA Judges Committee strives to offer our judges and members the very best in innovative education,” said Patti Carter, NRHA senior director of education and officials. “We appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with APHA and horseIQ to take our educational opportunities to the next level.”

APHA and NRHA encourage members of their organizations, from green reiners to owners, professionals, and fans, to take advantage of this online learning opportunity to enhance their knowledge and skills, thereby helping improve their relationships with their horses.

For more information, visit horseIQ.com.

Reiner Magazine Wins General Excellence

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Reiner Magazine earned top honors at the 2023 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards. The presentations were held during the AHP Meet at the Mesa Conference in Tempe, Arizona, on July 24th. The awards program recognizes media in over 50 categories based on judges’ scoring of the submitted items.

Promoting excellence in equine media has been part of AHP’s mission for over 50 years, and the general excellence award is one that is especially coveted. The Reiner Magazine won this award in 2017 and is proud to have earned it yet again for the 2022 publishing year.

“Undoubtedly, I am proud of our team,” said NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter. “While they appreciate the awards, they work extremely hard to put a Reiner Magazine in the mailbox that appeals to you as an NRHA member.

“We appreciate our partnership with Morris Communications and the success that this partnership enjoys. Kelsey Pecsek works tirelessly to keep our content, statistics and data above and beyond anything this industry has seen, and it shows. I appreciate that Sara Honegger, who has so many other balls to juggle, puts so much useful effort into the Reiner Magazine as well as its staff liaison.”

The annual awards competition recognizes standards in journalistic integrity for informative and engaging content in various media categories. Showcasing excellence in equine media and providing guidance for improvement are the two key elements of this member program.

Submissions to the 2023 Equine Media Awards totaled 515 entries from 87 AHP members. Finalists represent 26 Media Industry members, 25 Media Professional members, and 10 Business members who have advanced to the top five in one or more of the 54 classes. Congratulations to the NRHA Reiner Magazine on the following awards:

Top NRHA Placing Entries

General Excellence Association Publication circulation under 15,000
Kelsey Pecsek Hruska, Editor
Holly Tarquino, Art Director
Sara Honegger, Staff Liaison
June 2022 and August 2022

Judge’s Comments: The pair of editions submitted for this publication are incredible. The editorial content is high-caliber and appeals to readers with diverse interests within the western world. Each story effectively stamps personality and individuality throughout the editions. Additionally, the design, high resolution and appropriately sized photos, nearly flawless usage of color theory, and perfect white space and design proportionality set this publication apart. Simply put, this publication sets the standard.

Association Equine Media Personality Profile Single Article
No. 19
Kelsey Pecsek Hruska, Editor
March 2022
Read the article here.

Judge’s Comments: This submission exudes infallibility. The author crafts a heartfelt, impactful story of the late Jack Brainard – his life, inspiration, and legacy. Every sentence contributes to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the precedent established by Brainard. This submission provides emotional appeal, has impactful contributory quotations from supplementary sources, and meshes all trains of thought, theory, and reflection into a beautifully constructed feature. This story encapsulated the epitome of high caliber writing.

Association Equine Media Service to the Consumer Single Article: 1st Place
Building the Band
Kristin Pitzer, Author
Kelsey Pecsek, Editor
February 2022
Read the article here.

Judge’s Comments: One mark of a good article is its appeal to someone outside the intended audience. I’m not into reining horses, and I’m not looking for broodmares, but I found myself reading this article because it was interesting. This article had multiple sources, adding credibility and simplicity to its explanation of breeding concepts.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for the information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.

American Horse Council Honors Four Champions of the Industry

The American Horse Council (AHC) will honor the equine industry’s brightest leaders at its annual meeting and national issues forum on June 5, 2023. The conference will be held in Denver, Colorado. Four champions of the industry will be awarded with the presentations of the Van Ness Award, the Hickey Award, the Rolapp Award, the AHC Champion Award and United Horse Coalition’s Unity Award.

The Van Ness Award is named in honor of the late Marjorie Van Ness of New Jersey, a long-time leader and friend to the horse industry. The award is presented to an individual that best emulates the dedication and commitment of Van Ness to the improvement of the horse industry at the state level.

The 2023 Van Ness Award winner is Chelsie Huseman, Ph.D., assistant professor and extension horse specialist in the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Dr. Huseman has served the school and equine industry in many capacities, and her talents have been utilized on the state, national and international level on all fronts, including academia and industry.

The Hickey Award is named in honor of past AHC President James J. Hickey Jr., who served AHC from 1993 to 2016. This award is presented to an individual who has been a great supporter of the horse industry and the AHC.

The 2023 Hickey Award winner is Jerry Black, DVM, whose contributions cover a host of organizations, including the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Cutting Horse Association, and California Veterinary Medical Association. He served as president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in 2021 and was AHC Board Chairman from 2016 – 2019.

The Rolapp Award is presented in honor of the late Rich Rolapp, who was President of the AHC from 1974 to 1993. This award is presented to a member of Congress who has been a great supporter of the horse industry.

The 2023 Rolapp Award winner is bittersweet because we are presenting the award posthumously to Representative Jackie Walorski, who died last year as the result of a traffic accident on August 3. As a member of Congress, Walorski was the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support. It was from that position, Representative Walorski threw lifelines from Congress to families, farms and small businesses. She promoted legislation to extend the Paycheck Protection Program safety net, advocated for tax relief and promoted improvements to quality of life in rural communities through better access for health care, broadband and education.

The AHC Champion Award is presented to the AHC member (individual or group/association) that has demonstrated extensive and exemplary advocacy for the industry and the AHC.

The 2023 AHC Champion Award winner is Gary Carpenter. Throughout his career, Carpenter served within multiple aspects of the equine industry, including 10 years as executive director of the AAEP, as well as executive positions with The Jockey Club, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the Arabian Horse Trust. Carpenter is past chair of the Horse Show Committee for the AHC and has previously served as a member of the council’s Government Affairs Advisory Committee and Animal Welfare Committee. It was recently announced that at the end of this year, Carpenter will be retiring from his tenure as Commissioner of the National Reining Horse Association.

New to the award lineup this year is the UHC Unity Award, which recognizes an individual (or organization) that has taken initiative to be involved in, and work towards, programs that promote responsible ownership and breeding, and/or programs that support horses at-risk or in transition and their owners.

The inaugural UHC Unity Award winner is Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Woodbine, Maryland. Days End Farm embodies the spirit of the unity that UHC seeks within the equine industry towards helping at-risk horses and their owners. Through their Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS), Days End Farm provides a perfect example of an owner assistance program that utilizes an all-hands approach within the industry to ensure that owners can find responsible options and assistance programs when in need.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for the information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.

NRHA Hires Billy Smith as Next Commissioner

Following the announcement of current NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter’s retirement at the end of the year, NRHA has hired Billy Smith as his replacement to lead the association.

“We are thrilled to bring Billy on to take over the reins in the wake of Gary’s retirement”, said NRHA President Mark Blake. “I want to thank Jim Harlan and his team at MJM Global Search, Inc. as well as the official search committee, for all their hard work. I believe we have found the best possible individual to take over and help continue to move the association forward.”

Smith, who is stepping down as the Executive Director of the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), boasts a well-rounded resume of education and decades-long industry experience, including tenured positions at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

During his time at APHA, the world’s second-largest breed association, Smith spearheaded several key initiatives, including the creation of the award-winning CHROME publication and overseeing a successful relocation of the headquarters to the Fort Worth Stockyards.

His extensive information and technology experience proved essential in the creation of the first-ever equine show judge, exhibitor, and trainer educational platform, HorseIQ.

Additionally, under his leadership, the American Paint Horse Association Junior Paint Horse Association World Championship Show was founded as an all-scholarship youth breed equine championship, achieving $1.5 million in funding.

The Chrome Cash Incentive, a program designed to directly impact Paint horses in western performance horse events, has garnished massive appeal under Smith’s direction. It was recently expanded to include even more traditional all-around events.

“NRHA is fortunate to have attracted a leader of the caliber of Billy Smith. I have known Billy for years, and he has always been an innovator, and I know he will bring that creativity, passion, and strategic thinking to NRHA. We have so many great opportunities at hand, and he is absolutely the right person to capitalize on them. I know I am leaving NRHA in capable hands. I look forward to seeing what he does for the association and industry,” said current Commissioner Carpenter.

Smith will begin work alongside Carpenter next month to ensure a smooth transition of power.

“Nothing is harder than leaving an organization you love unless it’s going to an organization you know you’ll grow to love. APHA has emerged as a leader in innovation, and I hope to carry that spirit to NRHA and honor the great work launched by Gary Carpenter,” said Billy Smith.

Taylor Sheridan Named NCEA 2023 Ring of Honor Recipient

Taylor Sheridan, writer and producer, of the Paramount Network’s hit series “Yellowstone,” “1883,” and many other movies and series, has been named the 2023 recipient of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s (NCEA) Ring of Honor.

Annually selected by the National Advisory Board for the NCEA, this award recognizes those individuals who have a major impact in sports or business, with a legacy of service, leadership and achievement.

Sheridan’s ability to mainstream equestrian sport into homes around the world has raised awareness and interest, to a new level, for the western sport and lifestyle.

The Ring of Honor event will be held May 18, 2023 at the River Ranch Stockyards in Fort Worth. For event information, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities visit here.

The NCEA is committed to expanding opportunities for young women to compete as student athletes in NCAA competition.

The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for the information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests, or questions.