NRHA Globalizes Youth Involvement

NRHA Youth Council Expands to Europe

For Immediate Release – March 11, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) and the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) recognize the importance of growth in the reining industry. That expansion is fueled largely by the next generation of reiners—our youth riders. To support young reiners around the globe, NRHA has expanded the youth program globally by launching an inaugural Youth Council in Europe.

Since 2001, the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) has facilitated the development of our sport’s future leaders. NRHyA members enjoy opportunities to benefit from college scholarships, youth awards and incentives, and guidance from top NRHA Professionals while making lifelong friendships and having fun along the way. Youth programs expand beyond arena-based competition; youths can enhance their futures through a variety of opportunities with NRHyA.

Many of today’s top reining trainers and non pros have participated in youth competition or benefited from NRHyA leadership and scholarship opportunities, citing those offerings as major influences in their development as riders and students.

NRHyA’s five core programs, which were designed specifically to develop and enhance the sport of reining, expanded worldwide in 2005. This explosion of growth continues with the 2019 European Youth Council. Incorporating an international Youth Council allows NRHyA to mold the program to represent the needs of young reiners on every continent.

“I’m absolutely delighted that in two short years we’ve built an active European youth scene with top-10 awards and now the first ever European Youth Council,” said Francesca Sternberg, chair of the European Youth Committee. “I’m so excited to see what this vibrant, enthusiastic, multinational group brings to NRHA, and I’m sure the future of reining is in great hands. I’d also like to thank the RHF for their support and generosity with the top-10 awards, helping to recognize our youths worldwide.”

The European Youth Council is made up of dedicated NRHA members who tirelessly work for the betterment of NRHyA opportunities in Europe and elsewhere. Current members of this group are Francesca Sternberg (Chair)(United Kingdom), Gisela Haas (Netherlands), Agnes Csolle (Hungary), Jane Muir (United Kingdom), Borys Pardus (Poland), and Manon Giraud (France).

The individuals who will serve on the 2019 NRHA European Youth Council include:

President: George Sternberg Allen (United Kingdom)
Vice President: Nimroid Vannietvelt (Belgium)
Treasurer: Lisa Werdaner (Italy)
Secretary: Pia Boonstoppel (Netherlands)
Historian: Nanina Staub (Switzerland)
Additional Historian: Erin Wielsma (Netherlands)

As these budding leaders begin their new pursuit, digital communication has served as a launchpad for their progress. In April, the Council will host its first face-to-face meeting at the 2019 NRHA European Futurity in Cremona, Italy. At this event, NRHA will also facilitate a youth meeting, as well as a possible youth party and fundraising. For more information on NRHyA, visit