For Immediate Release – March 28, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Just two short weeks ago, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) made swift decisions regarding COVID-19, including instructing the office team to work remotely for at least two weeks and issuing a statement strongly encouraging event producers to postpone or cancel all NRHA-approved events through March 30, 2020. NRHA officials carefully considered both of these decisions and understand their far-reaching implications on the industry as a whole. Following is an update on those situations as well as decisions made this week by the NRHA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
The NRHA team will continue to work remotely for at least two additional weeks, keeping in line with mandates in place by the State of Oklahoma and maintaining the safety of NRHA employees, their families, and the Oklahoma City community at large. The remote situation is made easier thanks to the new ReinerSuite™ system, which allows members to conduct many types of business transactions online, 24/7. NRHA team members are ready and willing to help you with all of your needs during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CT, Monday through Friday. Please find their contact information at nrha.com/staff. Initiating contact with emailed documentation will allow tracking of requests to ensure that all needs are met.
Just like our members, NRHA is excited for approved events to resume, subject to local, state, and federal government restrictions. The two NRHA-owned events in Europe have new dates: The NRHA European Futurity will commence November 20–28 in Cremona, Italy, and the NRHA European Derby will take place October 28–November 1 in Lyon, France. In addition, the NRHA Derby presented by Markel is on target for its established dates, June 13–21, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Find a regularly updated list of canceled and postponed events at bit.ly/COVIDEventsUpdate.
NRHA’s Executive Committee and Board met this week to evaluate the situation and made the following decisions to ease pressure on members and even the playing field for the entire international membership.
- The 2019 awards banquet, which was to be held during the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, unfortunately, is canceled. While many people look forward to this event, it is more prudent to reduce the uncertainty and handle it differently this year. Awards will be mailed to all recipients, and winners will be recognized during the 2020 NRHA Futurity. Coverage of all the award recipients can be found in the March and April issues of the NRHA Reiner as well as online at reiner.nrha.com.
- The 2020 NRHA World Champion title races won’t include earnings from March 14 to April 30, 2020, due to shows being postponed or canceled. NRHA-approved events may occur during this time, but the earnings won’t count toward the titles.
- Qualification for 2020 Affiliate Regional Championships (ARCs) will be waived. Affiliates won’t be required to offer three qualifying shows nor provide designations and membership rosters. When a horse-and-rider pair qualifies for the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship show at an ARC, that pair may not enter the class they qualified in at another ARC.
“One of our main focuses is the NRHA Derby presented by Markel,” stated NRHA President Mike Hancock. “We’re excited for that event to happen in June. As we’re all becoming increasingly aware, there are many unknowns and things can change, but the NRHA Board and office team are exploring all avenues to keep this event on track. Rest assured that all entries will be refunded if the Derby must be canceled or postponed.”
NRHA’s Executive Committee, Board, and office team aim to make the best decisions for the organization as a whole, and especially for the members. These are uncharted waters, which require smart decision-making for the best of the sport and our horses. To share feedback, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To keep up with this everchanging situation, please follow NRHA on Facebook and regularly check nrha.com.
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the NRHA European Executive Board met to discuss qualification for the NRHA European Affiliate Championship, to be held this summer (6-11 July) in Regstrup, Denmark. The European Executive Board recommended altering the qualification system to make the event open to all European competitors. With so many shows canceling or postponing, the board felt many members would not have the ability to qualify and wanted to give them this opportunity. The European Council voted in favor of this idea. They agreed making this change would be the best solution for the members and in the best interest of event entries.
For the 2020 NRHA European Affiliate Championship, there will be no qualification restriction upon entry. All European members are welcome to enter the event.
For information on the 2020 NRHA European Affiliate Championship please visit nrha-eac2019-20.com or email NRHA European Affiliate Championship Media Contact, Simona Diale/International Horse Press, at