NRHyA Art & Photo Contest Returns in 2022

National Reining Horse Youth Association members most often show their skills horseback, but many have other special talents. A showcase for some of those is the annual NRHyA Art & Photo contest.

The contest will be sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for the third year in a row. This partnership allows the first-place piece in each category to be displayed at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum during the 2022 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel Insurance.

“This contest has grown so much in the last three years due to this incredible partnership,” said Sara Honegger, NRHA Director of Marketing who oversees the Youth and Affiliate programs. “It is so fun for the artists to get to take their families to see their work on a museum wall next to some of the most renowned Western artists.”

Last year there were nearly 50 entries in the contest and organizers expect more growth in 2022.

Already on board as judges for this year’s contest are NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter, Michael R. Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Other judges will be announced.

“I encourage all youth members, especially those who submit pieces for Varsity Reining Club, to participate,” said Honegger. “We encourage our youth to ask their friends to participate with them and give it a go!”

The categories for the competition will be Photography and Mixed Media. Due to low numbers of entries, the Graphic Design category was removed, but a new age division, 10 & Under, has been added due to rising interest.

2021 NRHyA Art & Photo Contest Winners:

Photography 14-18 – Faith Horner
Photography 13 & Under – Kynlee Cohlmia
Mixed Medium 14-18 – Alexandra Nicole Mueller
Mixed Medium 13 & Under – Cassandra Hacking
Graphic Design 14-18 – Raeanna Thayn
Graphic Design 13 & Under – Cassandra Hacking

The entry forms for the 2022 NRHyA Art & Photo Contest can be found here. Entries will be accepted until May 1.

For information on the NRHyA, visit the website at or follow on Facebook at or Instagram @NRHyA

New NRHyA Youth Affiliate Liaisons Announced

New NRHyA Youth Affiliate Liaisons Announced

At last year’s May meeting of the National Reining Horse Association Board of Directors, a proposal from the Youth Committee was approved that created a new, optional position for youth who want to pursue a leadership role in the National Reining Horse Youth Association. Called the Youth Affiliate Liaison, this new position was created for affiliates.

Beginning in 2022, an additional delegate position may be filled by each NRHA Affiliate. This allows a delegate for each specific affiliate instead of just two delegates per region.

The decision was made because the committee felt that the delegate voting during the NRHA Futurity and Adequan NAAC is essentially a popular vote for candidates attending the show. There are many youth members at local levels who are deserving of a leadership role who are unable to attend those meetings.

NRHA Director of Marketing and Youth and Affiliate Programs Sara Honegger explained, “We also see that there is sometimes a communication breakdown between delegates and local affiliates if the elected delegates live in different states or end up not showing throughout a season. The Youth Affiliate Liaison position has been created to bridge any potential voids that might occur.”

This role was also suggested for youth members who ran for an NRHyA Officer position the previous year and were not elected. Allowing them this opportunity is a great way to keep them engaged and reward them for their hard work.

Although not mandatory, affiliates that have a youth member who fits the description and would be extremely involved in delegate meetings/conversations are encouraged to have their Youth Coordinator name someone for this position.

Honegger announced the new Youth Affiliate Liaisons in early March. Serving for the 2022 show season will be:

Kayden Kellmer
Washington Reining Horse Association

Aubree Leyva
Arizona Reining Horse Association

Talia Bertrand Meadow
Central Canada Reining Horse Association

Isabella Hildebrandt
South Texas Reining Horse Association

Emma Zgrebnak
Central Ohio Reining Horse Association

Chase McInteer
Kansas Reining Horse Association

Emma Klug
Central Plains Reining Horse Association

Ava Welman
North Central Reining Horse Association

Raeanna Thayn
Southwest Reining Horse Association

Kynley Bell
Oklahoma Reining Horse Association

Becca Schaffhauser
Tennessee Reining Horse Association

Youth Affiliate Liaisons will also be eligible to run for NRHyA Officer positions once they have served for a year. This again will create more leadership opportunities for youth members who want to be involved.

Since 2001, young Reiners in the National Reining Horse Youth Association have benefited from their memberships through college scholarships, learning experiences from some of the top Reining trainers, life-long friendships and a whole lot of fun along the way. NRHyA fosters leadership qualities and provides young members with a roadmap for success to guide them along their future career paths. For information, visit

NRHA Announces Creation of Oceania Youth Council

The reining bug is catching on in the land down under, and that was evident during the 2021 National Reining Horse Association Oceania Affiliate Championships, which were held February 27–March 5 in Weribee, Victoria, Australia.

It was during that inaugural event that National Reining Horse Youth Association members formed the first-ever Oceania Youth Council with the goal of promoting the sport of reining and increasing the number of youth members in the Oceania Region.

“The Youth Council will educate members at their local shows about NRHyA programs and create stronger bonds throughout the year, not just at the state shows or Oceania Championships,” noted Sara Honegger, NRHA Director of Marketing and Youth and Affiliates Programs. “I’m very excited to watch the Council grow and spread their knowledge about reining.”

The first-ever NRHyA Oceania Youth Council was created during the 2021 Oceania Affiliate Championships. Pictured left to right are Jhi Watts, Minna Baxter, Tahlia Noonan, Hope Kelderman, Katia Sonsini—Photo by Sara Honegger

Elected to the Council were:

  • President: Tahlia Noonan; Lancefield, Victoria, Australia
  • Vice President: Minna Baxter; Newham, Victoria, Australia
  • Treasurer: Hope Kelderman; Glenburn, Victoria, Australia
  • Secretary: Katia Sonsini, Donvale, Victoria, Australia
  • Historian: Jhi Watts; Briagolong, Victoria, Australia

Honegger and Sam Oldfield, Director of International Affairs and Development, had traveled to Victoria for the Oceania Affiliate Championships and was able to spend time with the numerous NRHyA members. “From the moment we arrived at the Oceania Affiliate Championships, their desire to learn everything they could about NRHyA was apparent,” Honegger said. “They are incredibly passionate young men and women who want to make a difference in their region. We felt the creation of the Oceania Youth Council, much like the European Youth Council, would be a great next step.”

Read more about the Oceania Youth Council in the May issue of the NRHA Reiner to learn more about each member.

To keep up with the latest information, follow NRHyA on Facebook and Instagram. Additional information about the Oceania region can be found at

NRHyA Members Must Apply for Reining Horse Foundation Scholarships by March 1

Early in 2022, the National Reining Horse Association’s Reining Horse Foundation announced the expansion of its scholarship program, and the deadline to apply for one of the scholarships is quickly approaching.

The RHF Board of Directors approved increasing the number of RHF scholarships from eight to 10, while at the same time growing the annual funding support for these awards from $13,000 to $28,000. In addition, several scholarship amounts are rising, including the three top awards, which will increase from $2,500 to $5,000 each effective this year.

The scholarships will be structured as three at $5,000; three at $2,500; three at $1,500 and one at $1,000. Selection is based on financial need, academic record, involvement in the school and community, a special essay, and references.

The scholarships can be used for college, trade, or technical schools, but to be considered, all applications must be postmarked by March 1.

To apply for a scholarship, an applicant must be a current NRHA member and must have been a member for at least 24 months prior to applying. The applicant must also be a senior in high school. A student selected for an RHF Scholarship as a senior may then reapply for a second scholarship if she or he meets all other criteria.

“One of the benefits of maintaining NRHyA membership is eligibility for these scholarships. RHF donors are pleased to support youth reiners, whether you are attending a trade or technical school, junior college or a university program,” noted Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director.

The NRHyA now offers more than $60,000 in scholarships annually. In addition to the RHF Scholarships, members can earn NRHyA Affiliate Regional Scholarships and scholarships through the Varsity Reining Club and activities such as the annual CINCH NRHyA Speaking Contest. “Continuing education is incredibly valuable, but at the same time can be costly. I encourage all NRHyA members to pursue any scholarship opportunities available, especially these that are dedicated to youth in the reining industry,” noted Sara Honegger, NRHA Manager of Youth, Professional, and Affiliate Programs. 

The RHF Scholarship application can be found here.

More details about the numerous opportunities for NRHyA scholarships can be found here.

For details on contributing toward youth programs, contact Baker at (405) 946-7400, ext. 106 or email

2021 NRHyA Buy-A-Pro Auction is Open for Bidding

For immediate release — December 11, 2021 — Oklahoma City, OK — The National Reining Horse Youth Association recently kicked off one of the biggest fundraisers of the year, the 2022 Buy-A-Pro Auction. This year the auction runs through 9 a.m. CST on February 1 and offers buyers a chance to purchase a two-lesson package with their choice of nearly 60 NRHA Professionals.
The all-star lineup includes several The Run For A Million Champions, NRHA Million Dollar Riders, stars from The Last Cowboy, NRHA World Champions, NRHA Horsemen and Women of the year, expert non pro coaches, and other proven professionals.
A winning bid grants riders an exceptional opportunity to travel to their chosen professional’s facility and polish their riding skills, their horse’s training, or, in some cases, try reining for the first time on a horse provided by the professional. From beginners to accomplished riders, everyone can gain from acquiring one of these private training packages.
“Dave Moore was so awesome, and it was great to have the opportunity to take a couple lessons from him,” said 2021 Buy-A-Pro participant, Heather Maxwell. “My husband owns a home not too far from Dave’s barn in Florida and the two of them really hit it off. Charlie will be bringing his horse down to Dave for the winter so he can train year-round. All in all, I have to say winning your auction was truly fantastic for all of us!”
Each of the participating NRHA Professionals donates two training sessions per package, with 15% of the proceeds benefiting their designated NRHA affiliate. The remainder of the funds are allotted directly to NRHyA to provide scholarships and other opportunities for young reiners.
Historically, this fundraiser has generated significant funding to support NRHyA. With participating professionals located all over the country, there are options to best suit the needs of each buyer. Before bidding, be sure to check if your selected Professional offers the amenities you need, such as lesson horses, stalls, or RV hook-ups.
With the interest generated from The Last Cowboy and the Run for a Million, the members and Board of NRHyA hope new reining fans from across the country will take advantage of this unique opportunity to take a reiner for a spin while also benefitting a great cause.
To view the NRHA Professionals available and place your bids today, visit