NRHA Winter Meeting Recap

For Immediate Release – March 3, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) hosted its annual winter meeting in Denton, Texas, February 5–8, 2020. NRHA committees met to discuss plans for 2020 and beyond for the sport.

“The NRHA Board and the committees continue to produce good results for NRHA,” said NRHA President Mike Hancock. “Groundbreaking news about the added money for the 2020 NRHA Open and Non Pro Futurities along with the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships was announced by a new task force. In addition, the judges’ ranking system was presented. This is a result of many years of hard work by several people. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we all work together.”

Aged Events

The Aged Events Committee reviewed the 2021 rule change proposals and provided its official feedback for the NRHA Board. The committee discussed the 2019 NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby presented by Markel, including improvements the management team will implement in 2020, which include, but are not limited to, cleaning up traffic in the super barn, managing dogs on the grounds, freestyle performance selection, drags during the go rounds, and the addition of a third steward at each major event. The committee also reviewed the schedules for the 2020 events, allowing the events management team time to work with the Futurity schedule in terms of fluidity. The group covered the Novice Horse Derby conditions and payout structure, recommending the NRHA Board approve the addition of the Novice Horse Open Level (L) 3 and Non Pro L3 to the 2020 NRHA Derby. Also, they’ll allow Prime Time Open to include L4 riders at both the NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby. 


The Eligibility Committee met in conjunction with the Non Pro Committee. They discussed, in detail, amateur conditions and recommended their proposed changes to the Executive Committee. The committee also considered the Run for a Million, recommending the NRHA Board place the event in a category they deem appropriate once they receive the official conditions. Last year, the Run for a Million fell in the newly created Category 13.


Discussions in the Judges Committee meeting began with plans to develop educational videos about specific penalties that may occur and how they are assessed. These videos will be on the NRHA website and social media platforms. The group discussed the official monthly schedule of shows from which the Judges Committee would review videos in conjunction with the chair judges for each event. This review system is an educational tool for the live judges to evaluate themselves and their scores against those of the committee. 


The Professionals Committee focused much of its discussion on the importance of the 2020 Code of Ethics and how to streamline communication among the committee, NRHA Professionals, and the affiliates. The committee also shared that professionals who are reported to have violated the code of ethics will be brought to the attention of a subcommittee and the NRHA Executive Committee may approve that a violation letter be sent to them. This letter will then become part of their permanent file. The committee also made recommendations for the NRHA Board for which patterns to use at the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. 

Non Pro

The newly created amateur division and the 2020 Run for a Million were discussed during the Non Pro Committee meeting. The group emphasized ways to bring more people to the sport of reining, including opportunities for youth to compete on horses not owned by themselves or their family as a means to accomplish that goal. Programs like Interscholastic Equestrian Association, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, and the National Collegiate Equestrian Association were identified as potential areas for outreach. The committee also reviewed current non pro conditions and if they should be adapted to allow professional English trainers to show in the non pro, and if so, what levels might be appropriate. The committee discussed the NRHA Non Pro Futurity Consolation structure in regard to the needs of the horses and exhibitors competing at the event.


The Stewards Committee discussed developing Emergency Preparedness Guidelines to assist NRHA-approved events in avoiding equine disease outbreaks and responding in the event of a natural disaster. The group also discussed increasing information and education provided to NRHA members about the steward’s program, including the scope of the work and ways stewards can assist members. To help stewards expand skills and knowledge, all NRHA stewards will be encouraged to take online courses in emergency procedures, Safe Sport, etc. The group also explored a plan to increase opportunities for international steward certification. 


The Youth Committee focused its attention on NRHyA delegates. Primarily, the committee brainstormed ways to enhance the delegate experience and pique interest for more youth to get involved in the program. The committee also discussed ways to entice youth to enter USA Reining and FEI Young Riders classes. The new structure of these classes makes them affordable for show management and participants. The committee also looked into changing the election process for the NRHyA officers.


Along with the committee discussions, several other monumental changes were implemented during the 2020 winter meeting. A task force increased the purse for the NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) in the coming years. The group will also work to improve the format of the event itself. Get the details here.

NRHA will now require North American Affiliate Regional Championships (ARCs) to host the 10 & Under Short Stirrup class with awards provided by NRHA. More information on this topic will be available soon.

The NRHA Board moved forward with establishing an Oceana Council for the Oceana Region, which currently consists of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Japan.

A new rating system for judges will have a trial run in 2020, and in the coming months, a show standards committee will be formed. More details will be available at a later time.

The next Board of Directors meeting will be April 27­–28, 2020, at NRHA headquarters in Oklahoma City.

NRHA ReinerSuite™ Revolutionizes Member Experience

For Immediate Release – February 26, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to present ReinerSuite™: advanced, online member services. Developed with The Jockey Club Technology Services, this web-based software is the highly anticipated next step in innovation for the reining horse industry.

ReinerSuite puts members at the reins for accessing information and conducting business. They can access reports, apply for competition licenses, purchase memberships, and print new membership cards. These are just a few of the offerings, and ReinerSuite will continue to expand its capabilities in future phases of development.

“This elevates NRHA’s technology to the forefront of the Western disciplines,” said Mike Hancock, NRHA President. “Our board of directors has been visionary in its support to develop a system that will transform our recordkeeping and member services for years to come.”

ReinerSuite provides quick results coupled with accuracy and efficiency. NRHA members can access their official information from anywhere they have access to the internet: at the barn, in the saddle, on an airplane, and at the show office.

The online platform gives members 24/7 access to their records, allowing the opportunity to conduct many transactions outside traditional business hours.

“ReinerSuite combines about five different programs that we use in the office to conduct member business into a streamlined package that is easier for staff and members to use,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner.

This new program provides convenience, accuracy, and efficiency. To register initially, each member needs a personal email address and their NRHA Member ID and PIN. Once registered, members have immediate access to their NRHA information.

For more information about ReinerSuite and to get registered, visit

New Podcast From NRHA – In Our Tracks

For immediate release – Jan. 30, 2020 –Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to announce the launch of its new podcast, In Our Tracks. The new-media offering aims to honor the history of reining, discuss current events and trends, and look ahead at the opportunities this sport has in its future. In Our Tracks will present interviews with the legacy-makers, movers, and shakers from the reining industry as well as grassroots competitors and weekend warriors to offer insights from the full spectrum of the reining community.

In each monthly episode, listeners will meet NRHA Professionals, members of the NRHA Hall of Fame, those who serve on the NRHA Executive Committee and Board, plus hear about programs from NRHA staff.

“This is an exciting way to tell the stories of reining and its participants,” said Jennifer Paulson, host of In Our Tracks and editorial and marketing consultant for NRHA. “Hearing these horsemen and -women tell their stories in their own words celebrates the sport’s legacy in an entertaining, educational manner.”

The podcast has launched with the introductory episode as well as an interview with NRHA President Mike Hancock who discusses his history with horses of all kinds and what he sees in the future for NRHA and reining. Look for episodes to come with NRHA Hall-of-Famers Tim and Colleen McQuay, the 2019 NRHA Toyon Ranch Rookie of the Year, National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) Past President Elizabeth Blaser, and many more.

You can find In Our Tracks on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, TuneIn, and Pippa, as well as listen to it at

Your Reiner Is Coming Back In House

We’ve had an exciting 18 months with the NRHA Reiner experiencing many highs to celebrate and a few lows to learn from. We’re pleased to announce that the Reiner will come back in house for all production phases beginning with the March 2020 issue.

Bringing the magazine back to Oklahoma City allows us to offer member-friendly advertising deadlines, a larger trim size, and higher-quality paper for the product. This all helps the Reiner better serve the NRHA membership by telling the stories of the members and their horses, reporting on important industry activities, and helping members become the best horsemen and horsewomen they can be for their equine athletes.

For sales inquiries, please contact Bucky Harris at or Chris Maedche at To share feedback about the Reiner, email

Medications update on the use Cannabinoids (CBD)

With “Respect the horse. Respect the sport.” being a foundational piece of NRHA’s mission, the National Reining Horse Association tasks itself with monitoring trends in competition, as well as new products presented to owners and riders. From time to time, new products appear on the equine supplement market claiming to enhance a horse’s performance. Over the last several years, cannabinoids have gained increased attention and have become nearly mainstream.

In 2018 Congress passed the Agriculture Improvement Act, also known as the “Farm Bill.” The passage of this bill has created some potential confusion with respect to the use of “hemp” and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in competing horses. The bill defines “hemp” as both the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any derivatives of cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. With the enactment of this bill, “hemp” is no longer considered a controlled substance under federal law, but THC remains a Schedule I drug with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

NRHA Animal Welfare and Medications Rules prohibit cannabidiols (CBD) and their metabolites. While hemp does not contain more than 0.3% THC, it does contain CBD. CBD, both natural and synthetic forms, are likely to affect the performance of a horse due to its reported anxiolytic effects. This substance is no different than legitimate therapeutics that effect mentation and behavior in horses. Horses competing at NRHA events and under NRHA rules who test positive for natural cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoids, and other cannabimimetics will be considered in violation of the rules.

It is important to note that analytical methods are being implemented to detect CBD and similar cannabinoids. Caution is important when using these products as their composition widely varies and may not be representative of their label claims as there is no regulatory oversight from the FDA, nor guarantee of their safety in horses. It is always best to consult your veterinarian before administering any new substance to your horse.

If you have questions on NRHA Animal Welfare and Medications Rules regarding medications, dosages, withdrawal times, etc., please contact the hotline at 1-800-733-2472.