Celebrating Unprecedented Success at the 6666 NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is thrilled to announce another record-breaking year in the 45th edition of the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. This year’s event, held June 11-23 in Oklahoma City, set new records in both participation and prize money, solidifying its status as a premier competition in the reining horse community.

Record-Breaking Purses and Participation

The 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel saw an unprecedented level of competition, with record-breaking entries and purse. The total prize money awarded exceeded $1.67 million, thanks to the consistent, increasing success of the NRHA Nomination Program, generous sponsor support and the dedication of participants. As an additional bonus, exhibitors were paid out at record-breaking speed! Checks were available in the show office the next day, including the Level 4 Non Pro finalists’. The open finalists’ checks were sent out only three days later, with only a handful of champions’ checks held pending medications testing results.

Highlighting Excellence and Dedication

For 45 years, the NRHA Derby has been a celebration of skill, dedication, and the incredible partnership between horse and rider. This year was no exception, as riders from across the world showcased their talents and the culmination of countless hours of training and preparation. The exceptional horsepower was a testament to the dedication of breeders, nominators, and owners who continue to propel the industry forward. The heightened purses rewarded excellence and highlighted the sport’s growth and popularity.

Growth in Fans

This year there were many ways to be part of the action at the OKC Fairgrounds without being physically present. The free live feed at nrhaderby.com hosted 20,545 viewers for the non pro finals and 31,984 viewers for the open finals.

The Level 4 Non Pro and Open Finals were also streamed on the Cowboy Channel with 952 total hours streamed. Additional television coverage was featured on local Oklahoma City news stations, highlighting the horse and rider bonds featured in reining and the excitement of the Derby itself.

Ride Guess, powered by Spooks Gotta Whiz, was a new edition to the show that brought in participants from across the globe. This interactive game placed reining fans in the judge’s seat at the Level 4 Open Finals—allowing them to guess the scores of each horse and rider pair and receive points for the correct answers. Produced by NRHA Corporate Partner Teton Ridge, Ride Guess is a product of Inside Rodeo sweepstakes games, which has taken the Western industry by storm. On a peak night at premier Western events, this game sees 100-300 players. At the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, over 500 players worldwide participated.

Ceremonial Honors

The event also featured the NRHA Buckle Ceremony on June 15. Champions and top performers were recognized for their exceptional achievements throughout the 2023 season. The World and Reserve World Champions were presented with custom-crafted buckles by NRHA event sponsor Montana Silversmiths, a testament to their hard-earned victories. The Top 20 Professionals, Non Pros, and Owners were also honored, reflecting the depth of talent and commitment within the NRHA community. This year, the NRHA Professionals of the Year were also recognized on stage and received custom Abby Cosenza spurs.

Looking Ahead

As we celebrate the success of this year’s Derby, NRHA looks forward to continuing to elevate the sport of reining. We remain committed to providing premier events, enhancing prize opportunities, and supporting our members in their pursuit of excellence. The record-breaking achievements of the 2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel are a testament to the bright future of reining, and we are excited to build on this momentum in the years to come. Join us at the The World’s Richest Reining—the 2024 NRHA Futurity—the last Futurity to be held in the historic Jim Norick Arena, November 26–December 7.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

We extend our deepest gratitude to our title sponsors, 6666 Ranch and Markel Insurance, and all our NRHA corporate partners, event sponsors, and buckle sponsors, whose support has been instrumental in making this year’s Derby an unparalleled success. Their commitment to the sport and the NRHA community is invaluable.