The first National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Affiliate Summit, presented by NRHA Corporate Partner Montana Silversmiths, concluded on March 16 after two days of networking and learning. Held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at Boyd Gaming’s newest property, Aliante Hotel Casino and Spa, the 2019 NRHA Affiliate Summit brought NRHA Affiliates together to discuss plans for the continued success of the Affiliate Regional Championships (ARC) in 2019 and beyond.
The Summit kicked off with a welcome reception on Thursday, March 14. Representatives from eight of the 11 North American Affiliate Regions met on Friday and Saturday to discuss the current structure of the Affiliate Regional Championships (ARC) and determine an approach to restructuring the existing program in the Adequan® North American Affiliate Program Conditions.
Affiliate attendees included:
George King, Great Western Reining Horse Association, Northwest Region
Leigh Latham, Great Western Reining Horse Association, Northwest Region
Guy Vernon, Eastern Plains Reining Horse Association, Mountain Region
Val Vernon, Eastern Plains Reining Horse Association, Mountain Region
Kathy MacKenzie, Reining Alberta, Western Canada
Janice Hepburn, Reining Alberta, Western Canada
Mike Power, Quebec Reining Horse Association, Eastern Canada
Ben Drushal, Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association, East Central Region
Beth Henderson, Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association, East Central Region
Kelli Brummett, Chair of the Affiliate Committee, West Coast Reining Horse Association, Northwest Region
Heather Powell, Vice Chair of the Affiliate Committee, Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association, Northeast Region
Shannon Rafacz, Florida Reining Horse Association, Southeast Region
Mark Rafacz, Florida Reining Horse Association, Southeast Region
Rosie Irish, Oregon Reining Horse Association, Northwest Region
Brett Walters, NRHA Board of Directors member, Indiana Reining Horse Association, East Central Region
Marilyn Scheffers, California Reining Horse Association, Southwest Region
Rae Stambuck, California Reining Horse Association, Southwest Region
Also in attendance were NRHA President Mike Hancock, several NRHA staff members, and Montana Silversmiths representatives: Steve Miller, Lou Riley, Callie Adams, and Usiel Vargas.
Furthermore, the core group identified the positives of the current program and evaluated its shortcomings . Of the established difficulties, the top four issues were selected by the group as the main focus for this year. The selected action topics were:
- Make the ARC special; increase host ownership of the ARC
- Captivate the road to the ARC; educate on the process
- Protect the ARC dates
- Evaluate the designation process
Members voiced opinions of which topic they felt required improvement so summit attendees could identify a goal and form an action plan to achieve the solution. The Affiliates who attended responded positively, deeming the inaugural event a success.
“Thank you to the NRHA staff and board members for supporting this seminar, not only in your time and efforts but also with NRHA financial support and by encouraging Montana Silversmiths to help sponsor such an event,” George King said. “Not only did it exceed my expectations, but there’s something about getting a group of people together who are passionate about the NRHA, ARC, and their local affiliates—it’s inspiring! Way to go! If nothing else, every attendee now has a fact to take to the Affiliates in their region and entice them to help financially offset the ARC deficit, and take advantage of the Affiliate Incentive Program reimbursement for doing so. Thanks once again for everyone attending and sharing the passion they have for this sport.”
“It was great to find out that all of our ARCs are in the same boat,” Brett Walters said. “Great points.”
“Thank you to everyone! Absolutely enjoyed the workshop and everyone involved. Great way to ‘kickstart’ our show season,” Janice Hepburn said. “I came back to Alberta with so much positivity and a new outlook. Thank you NRHA and Montana Silversmiths for your continued sponsorship.”
A list of 2019 Affiliate Regional Championships can be found on the NRHA website.