2020 Northeast ARC Moves to New Jersey

For Immediate Release – August 22, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Affiliate Committee recently made the recommendation that the Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association (EPRHA) host the Northeast Affiliate Regional Championship (ARC). The decision was finalized after the Central New York Reining Horse Association (CNYRHA) couldn’t host the ARC due to state COVID-19 restrictions. The November 5-8 event will now take place in Logan Township, New Jersey.

The Northeast ARC is the final qualifying show for the 2020 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) held only two weeks after the conclusion of the ARC. This presented a challenge for meeting the November 6 NAAC entry deadline. NAAC entries for the Northeast region were extended to November 12 to accommodate this later show date.

“The Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association is pleased to host the Northeast Affiliate Regional Championship and give everyone in our region a place to show to stay on track with their year,” said EPRHA president Don Burgy. “We want to welcome everyone with open arms to the New Jersey Dream Park.”

At the July 2 Board of Directors meeting the qualification standards for the 2020 NAAC were altered to accommodate for the disrupted show season. Read more about those changes here.

NRHA Reinstates 2020 World Championships

In a year of unprecedented challenges and seemingly endless unknowns, associations have struggled with difficult choices. Key among them has been making decisions that are best for the most members. The National Reining Horse Association, like other equine organizations, has waded through difficult waters, very aware of the reality that what benefits one member can negatively impact another.

The recent move of the NRHA Board of Directors to reinstate the NRHA World Championship races and titles for 2020 is a perfect example. In June, the championships were suspended because of how the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced the amount of shows, but feedback from members resulted in reconsideration of the issue.

NRHA President Mike Hancock noted, “At an impromptu meeting held at the NRHA Derby, people spoke of the months and months of preparation and planning that were part of hauling for a title. They stressed how important those World Championship races were to members, noting it was the title and not just the awards – that in view of the NRHA’s budget constraints, they would pay for their own awards if the titles were just reinstated. The board took a lot of time with the issue – considering several alternatives – from continental championships for North America and Europe among other ideas. But the central theme of what the board tried to accomplish, in my opinion, was helping us return to some form of normalcy even though it was still not the same for everyone. This decision does allow a large portion of our membership to reach goals they had set out many, many months in the past. Likewise, the members of the board do realize that there are people who are negatively impacted by this. There are just no simple answers.”

He explained that the issue will be reconsidered for 2021 and all options will be examined. For 2020, exhibitors must win money in seven NRHA approved shows to be eligible for titles.

An acknowledged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the drastic reduction in revenue to the NRHA from shows around the world. A barebones budget enacted by the Board and Finance Committee resulted in staff and travel cuts and in some cases, member service streamlining. With that reality, the funding is simply not available for a full round of World Championship awards.  At this point, some of the year-end awards have been sponsored by members wanting to assist and the board is hopeful that others will join suit in support of the program.

For NRHA Professional Jared Leclair, the process has been enlightening. “When I had an assistant trainer finish Reserve in the world for the Rookie Professional, I realized how important such a title can be for a young trainer. This was the first year I tried to go for a title, myself. I started out the year and didn’t completely understand how big a deal it was until the program was canceled.”

He continued, “People told me how important these standings and titles are to them and their careers and businesses. I had a dog in the fight for sure but I learned that there is a silent majority out there who base their business on this program and there are a lot of non pros for whom this is the ultimate goal.”

He complimented the process of addressing the issue – and the dedication of the NRHA Board. “This is a group of people who are volunteering their time to better the association. I saw them listen to all perspectives from the membership and try to come up with the best decision they could make in a difficult year.”

As far as the reduction in awards, Leclair noted. “Everyone who runs a business understands budget cuts. With this pandemic, we have all had to adjust our business models. We just need to keep people playing – keep goals for them. Sure, we’d like to get a truckload of awards, but the title is the thing. We can understand as a group we want to keep this program going, keep the NRHA strong, and keep the industry alive for everyone.”

He urged others in the industry to step forward to help with sponsoring awards. Individuals and companies wishing to sponsor different classes should contact NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations Sammi Miller at smiller@nrha.com.

Since the world title race has been reinstated, all NRHA event approvals received January 1 through August 1 will be considered Top Ten Events, which count for year-end standings. For these events to count toward the standings, the approval must be complete with all information required. This gives show management and affiliates the opportunity for August and September events not yet submitted to be considered as Top Ten Events.

NRHA European Futurity On Track for November

For Immediate Release – July 10, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – As reining events around the world start to organize again, the Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA) is looking forward to the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Futurity in Cremona, Italy, November 20–28.

Although IRHA is excited for a successful event, what started off as one image for the event at the beginning of the year, quickly changed due to COVID-19. At the beginning of March, European Futurity sponsor ELEMENTA announced that, with the intent to make an injection of confidence and support for the industry, they would contribute significant added money to the 2020 NRHA European Futurity purse. Following this announcement, the world went into quarantine as the global pandemic took over, forcing businesses to close, events to be canceled or postponed, and the overall worldwide economy to take a large hit–the reining industry being one of many sporting groups that felt the impact. After careful evaluation of every opportunity, ELEMENTA will not support the 2020 European Futurity as they originally announced, remodeling their corporate sponsorship for this year.

However, with the end of the lockdown hopefully on the horizon and new reining events starting back up (with specific limitations to keep everyone safe and healthy), the Italian show season is preparing to resume with regional championship competition. In addition, IRHA is proud to announce the added money for the 2020 NRHA European Futurity will be €230,000 and looks forward to seeing everyone in November at the Cremona Fair Grounds.

Press Release by Italian Reining Horse Association (IRHA).

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.

2020 Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship Moves to Jacksonville

Due to a host of uncertainties impacting the event, the Heart of Dixie Reining Horse Association cancelled the Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship Show originally scheduled for August 19–23 in Perry, Georgia. Fortunately, reiners came together to find a solution and a new home for the event.

According to HDRHA Board Member Kyndall Peeples, there were discussions with the Florida Reining Horse Association about the future of the event and the FRHA Board offered to run the Affiliate Regional Championships at its show in Jacksonville, Florida. Peeples noted, “This is the best option for our region and its membership. We know FRHA will highlight the ARC with pride and give it the recognition it deserves.”

The National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors gave its approval to the location change during its July 2 meeting. The 2020 Southeast Affiliate Regional Championship will now be hosted by the FRHA October 29 – November 1, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center provides exhibitors with a large indoor coliseum and a large outdoor covered arena with additional outdoor riding areas. There are 470 permanent stalls at the facility as well as five local hotels (within 5 miles) and 80 camper hookups on site.

It’s a popular and familiar facility for reiners as the Florida Reining Classic, an NRHA Top 20 event, is held there each February. Besides the onsite accommodations, there are several restaurants nearby and an international airport within a 25-minute drive.

The FRHA has committed to hosting the ARC classes and providing the roughly $4,000 in added money that was planned by HDRHA. The ARC classes will run with the second slate of NRHA classes throughout the four-day show.

FRHA Secretary Shannon Rafacz noted, “We are fully staffed and ready to handle this event as we understand its importance to our Southeast membership. We will work hard to make this a true regional championship, putting emphasis on the ARC classes and providing championship awards for each division, including the short stirrup.”

She continued, “We are prepared to award down to 10th place for each ARC. This particular show was already slated to host a derby, futurity, and 7-Up. The FRHA was not able to hold its March or May shows so the club opted to pool the monies and put together a larger show, pushing our projected total added money over $57,000 for this event.”

New Rules For 2020 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships Qualifications

When the National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors met on July 2, a key discussion involved the qualification route for affiliate reiners hoping to compete in the 2020 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) at the NRHA Futurity November 26–December 5.

With the looming possibility of COVID-19 restrictions impacting future shows, along with the number of events having already been cancelled, the Board approved the Affiliate Committee’s proposal that anyone receiving a score higher than a zero at an Affiliate Regional Championship be eligible to enter that class at the NAAC. It was felt that this solution would encourage people to attend the ARCs and support the affiliate program without limiting the number of horses that will attend the NAAC.

The Board also removed the existing stipulation that if someone competes in a class at an ARC, they are unable to compete at another ARC. So, for 2020, riders will be allowed to participate in multiple regional championships with one exception. If they win a class, they cannot compete on the same horse in the same class in another ARC (for example, a horse and rider that won the Non Pro ARC class at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championships would not be allowed to compete in the Non Pro ARC class at the Southwest Affiliate Regional Championships).

“We feel that this is a positive solution that protects all the different components of the affiliate program,” said NRHA Affiliate Committee Chairman Kelly Brummett. “We’re still supporting the ARCs by requiring that people attend one to qualify. The clubs and affiliates that commit the work and effort every year are an essential and very appreciated part of this program, and we want to do all we can to help their events.”

Another benefit for exhibitors is, since qualification from the ARC is not limited to the top 10, people will not be bumped out of qualifying in their own ARC by people coming from other regions to compete.

Affiliate Committee Staff Liaison Sara Honneger is excited about the possibilities created by these measures. She said, “If you have ever thought you wanted to be a part of the NRHA’s Affiliate program, this is the year to see what it’s all about. 2020 has been a difficult year for so many, but maybe these new rules will give NRHA members a chance to try this program that we are so passionate about. We hope to see everyone at the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships at the NRHA Futurity.”