National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) members may have had to stay home for the past few months due to COVID-19, but as the draw nears for the NRHA Derby presented by Markel, it’s clear they’re ready to rein.
March through May brought a drought to the reining industry, with almost all events canceled or postponed. Now, as states ease and lift restrictions, opportunities to compete are growing, and the numbers for the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel have significantly increased from 2019.
“As of June 3, entries for the Open Derby are up by nearly 20%, and the Non Pro is also up substantially,” noted Cheryl Cody of the NRHA Derby management team. “We are excited to have a horse show, and it’s clear that our owners and exhibitors want that, too.”
The Open division increased from 206 horses in 2019 to 242 in 2020, while the Non Pro Derby saw a jump from 214 to 245. Entries in the ancillary classes seem to be on track to exceed 2019 numbers as well.
“We are expecting this to be a very large show,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “Besides being up in entries, we are also substantially up in stall reservations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be some changes, but everyone is on board and ready to do what it takes to have a great event. Let’s Derby!”
The Open and Non Pro Draws will be posted on June 5 at nrhaderby.com.