2018 European Affiliate Championships Update

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – July 26, 2017 – In 2017, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Council made the decision to move the qualification timeline for the 2018 European Affiliate Championships to a calendar year.

The qualification timeline now runs January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. When asked about the new qualification period, Samantha Oldfield had this to say: “Riders who have shown since January of 2017 may have already contributed to their qualification for the 2018 European Championships, which will be held during one of Europe’s most prestigious events, the 2018 European Futurity.”

After much discussion, the Council opted for this decision as it works better with the new location of the European Affiliate Championships, which will now be held in conjunction with the 2018 European Futurity in Cremona, Italy. The European Council is excited to merge the two worlds together of aged events and ancillary riders. They hope that the camaraderie, support and sportsmanship from both sides will create a successful and fun environment for all who are attend.

This event and the conditions that go along with it were given much consideration, and even now as the Council meets they are discussing ways to make the event inviting, obtainable, and one of the most successful in Europe. Through several Council meetings the conditions were finalized, and the standings for each European Affiliate have been updated to reflect the current status of riders. Please review the new conditions and the current standings by visiting nrha.com/affiliate and going to the International section.

For questions in regard to the standings, conditions, or the current location of the European Affiliate Championships, please contact Samantha Oldfield at soldfield@nrha.com or Lauren Rufo at lrufo@nrha.com. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Youth at NRHA Derby

Youth at NRHA Derby

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – July 21, 2017 – Members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) from around the country participated in events held just for them during the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby.

The events kicked off with the youth daily activities. Youth members met each day to create a craft, play bingo, make new friends, and even compete in a scavenger hunt.

NRHyA members put their speaking skills to the test on Wednesday, June 28, as competitors came to talk their way to the top in the NRHyA Cinch Speaking Contest. Competitors had the choice of entering three different categories including A. General, Prepared Public Speaking, and a Community Service Presentation. Categories are divided in to two different age groups. The placings were:

A: General – 13 & Under

  1. Bailey Hatfield
  2. Reed Harris

A: General – 14 to 18

  1. Reagan Stephens
  2. Grace Wilson
  3. Amber Edmonds

Prepared Public Speaking – 13 & Under:

  1. Reed Harris
  2. Bailey Hatfield

Prepared Public Speaking – 14 to 18:

  1. Reagan Stephens
  2. Amber Edmonds

Community Service Presentation – 13 & Under:

  1. Reed Harris

Community Service Presentation – 14 to 18:

  1. Reagan Stephens

All week-long exhibitors and fans could stop by and vote for their favorite entries in the NRHyA Art & Photo Contest. Much like the speaking contest, youth members could enter in three different categories which are divided in to two different age groups. The results are as follows:

Photography 13 & Under Champion: ‘Horseshoe’ by Reis Navaro

13 & Under Artwork Champion: ‘Western Horse’ by Campbell McLeod

14 – 18 Artwork Champion: ‘Wild Hearts’ by Toni Lynn Cline

Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit association dedicated to promoting and encouraging the development of and public interest in the sport of reining. The focus is on developing and maintaining suitable standards of performance and judging and in providing a fun filled, family-oriented atmosphere. 

Media Contact:
Hayley Eberle
Manager of Marketing & Outreach
National Reining Horse Association
(405) 946-7400 x 103


National #MeetAHorse Day and Pledge to Kick-Off on July 22nd

Combined, the two Time to Ride events will introduce even more new people to horses than ever before.  

July 20, 2017, Georgetown, Texas – Time to Ride’s second annual Pledge to Take a Friend Riding sweepstakes will launch on National Meet a Horse Day, Saturday, July 22nd! Each initiative encourages the horse community to introduce new people to horses, and expose them to the benefits associated with horse-related activities. The best part of both of these events? The chance to win big!

National Meet a Horse Day offers beginner-friendly events held by participating Time to Ride Challenge hosts – stables, clubs, and other horse professionals – across the United States. These hosts work diligently all summer long to host events at which new people can meet horses, learn more about getting involved, and sign up for horse activities. Their efforts throughout the summer are a part of their effort to win their share of $100,000 in cash and prizes in the Time to Ride Challenge.

While the Challenge is geared toward horse professionals, the Pledge to Take a Friend Riding sweepstakes invites amateur owners, riders, and equestrians of all backgrounds across the country to join the Time to Ride movement by introducing  friends and family, who aren’t currently involved with horses, to the benefits of horse activities. The winner of the sweepstakes will receive a Horse Crazy Trip for two to Lexington, Kentucky, including participation for one in a clinic with Dan James from Double Dan Horsemanship. To enter, simply pledge to take a friend riding.* The sweepstakes runs through September 16, 2017.

National Meet a Horse Day will celebrate and welcome new horse enthusiasts and the creation of more horse-human relationships. Horse professionals nationwide have created beginner friendly events with aspirations to introduce their local community to the benefits of interacting with horses. The fourth Saturday in July delivers the perks associated with the height of summer- great weather, more free time for new activities, and the approaching return to school, making this an opportune time to meet horses and attend a National Meet a Horse Day event.

“The decision to kick-off both the Pledge and National Meet a Horse Day on July 22nd came from our goal to include both Challenge hosts and the general public in the effort to increase participation in the equine community,” says Christie Schulte, Marketing Manager. “It only makes sense to unite all of us toward the same purpose. We wanted to reward our hosts, who are doing a fantastic job in the Challenge, as well as the average equestrian looking to share their passion with their loved ones. It’s a win-win for everyone!”

Equestrian celebrities including Al Dunning are also taking the Pledge: “Introducing new people to riding means more people will enjoy our horses, our sport, and make for a healthy future of the horse industry,” says Dunning.  Dan James voiced his support: “I love sharing horsemanship with new riders and helping them view the sport as something everyone can take part in and enjoy!”

Since 2014, the Challenge alone has introduced 100,000 new people to the benefits of horses. These newcomers are becoming the next generation of riders, owners, members, clients, and participants in the horse industry. The Challenge runs through September 30th, and registration is free and open throughout. To learn more about the Pledge, visit www.timetoride.com/pledge. Please visit the website or contact info@timetoride.com for questions.

*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., age 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. ET on September 16, 2017. For full official rules and to enter, visit www.timetoride.com/pledge.  Sponsored by American Horse Council dba Time to Ride, 1616 H Street NW, 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20006.

The American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance

Time to Ride is an initiative of the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, formed to connect people with horses. It is designed to encourage horse-interested consumers to enjoy the benefits of horse activities. The AHC Marketing Alliance is made up of the following organizations: American Association of Equine Practitioners, Active Interest Media, American Quarter Horse Association, Farnam, Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim, Morris Media Network Equine Group, Purina Animal Nutrition LLC, Platinum Performance, The Right Horse Initiative, US Equestrian, and Zoetis. Program Partners are Absorbine, American Paint Horse Association, ASPCA, Equibrand, National Reining Horse Association, Lumina Media, America’s Mustang Campaign, and Colorado State University Equine Sciences Program.

About the American Horse Council

The American Horse Council is a non-profit organization that includes all segments of the horse industry. While its primary mission is to represent the industry before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies in Washington, DC, it also undertakes national initiatives for the horse industry. Time to Ride, the AHC’s Marketing Alliance to connect horses and people, is such an effort. The American Horse Council hopes that Time to Ride will encourage people and businesses to participate in the industry, enjoy our horses, and support our equine activities and events. The AHC believes a healthy horse industry contributes to the health of Americans and America in many ways.

Contact: Christie Schulte, christie@timetoride.com or 512-591-7811


The National Reining Horse Association is not responsible for information contained in this press release. Please contact the author or submitting organization for further information, requests or questions.


Meet the Candidates – 2017 NRHA Elections

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Executive Committee and Board of Directors are responsible for managing the business of the Association and for representing the best interests of its members and the Association as a whole. Each year, NRHA opens nominations and hosts elections for these important leadership positions.

Members are encouraged to carefully consider the slate of candidates prior to voting in October. A current listing is provided below; however, write-in candidates can be submitted through August 2. A final listing will be emailed to eligible voters and posted in the Members Only section of nrha.com.

For details on the write-in process or questions about the elections, please visit the Members Only section or contact Christa Morris-Stone (cmorris@nrha.com or 405-946-7400).


(TWO SEATS) To begin staggered terms as described in the NRHA Bylaws, the Board has approved that the candidate receiving the largest number of votes will have a two-year term. The candidate receiving the second largest number of votes will have a one-year term. Terms begin January 1, 2018. The following members were nominated by the NRHA Nominating / Governance Committee:

  • Shane Brown
  • George King
  • Brian Welman
  • Joe Wolfe


(ONE PER REGION) Directors will serve two-year terms begin January 1, 2018. The following members were nominated by NRHA Affiliates to represent their regions:

  • East Central – Brett Walters
  • North Central – Larry Handley
  • Northeast – Kelly Hedges and Heather Powell
  • Northwest – Jeanine Kern
  • South Central – Ann Salmon Anderman


Shane Brown • Elbert, Colo.

SHANE image1 cropped“As a member of many NRHA committees and positions, currently and in the past, I am excited to be considered for an NRHA Executive Committee position. I look forward to becoming even more involved in programs that help to grow NRHA from the grass roots level at the Affiliates to my ongoing dedication to the Professional and non pro members at the trainer/ breeder/owner level. I am an active, dedicated NRHA non pro coach so it is important to me to continue the upward track that NRHA has established, taking all members into consideration. I would be honored to be a participant and pledge to be an active, productive member of the NRHA Executive Committee to help NRHA meet its goals for 2018.” ~READ MORE~

George King • Idaho Falls, Idaho

George King 2017 cropped“At the young age of 59, I have been a member of the NRHA for almost 30 years. I remember those early years when we gathered together at an outdoor arena in Montana for Dick Pieper clinics. In those days, a reining show only lasted one day. You would drive to the show in the morning and go home that evening (sometimes quite late). I’ve seen amazing growth in the NRHA and the reining horse industry; what an incredible journey it has been. You can see the results of our prosperity in that we now have 24 NRHA Million Dollar Riders, two of which are non pros; we have 36 NRHA Million Dollar Sires and several that have turned over nine million dollars. ~READ MORE~

Brian Welman • Hastings, Minn.brianwelman

“I have been an NRHA member for over 30 years and have been an NRHA Judge since 1990.  I attended the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, and then I went on to work for a few of the NRHA Hall of Fame inducted trainers until I started my own training business Brian Welman Training Center in Minnesota. I have been an active board member of the North Central Reining Horse Association (NCRHA) from the beginning and I have been a president of the NCRHA.  I have served on the NRHA Board of Directors in 2008 and 2011 through 2015, NRHA Judges Committee, Eligibility Committee and the NRHA Executive Committee since 2016. I am actively involved with all aspects of the reining horse industry.” ~READ MORE~

Joe Wolfe • Catlettsburg, Ky.

Joe Wolfe 2011 cropped“I have been married to my wife Emmy for 46 years. We have two grown daughters and four grandchildren. We live in Catlettsburg, Kentucky where we have been involved with horses and, at times, cattle. I attended Morehead State University where I earned my bachelors and masters degrees in math. I worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield in Kentucky for 26 years in sales and sales management.  I retired in December of 1999 and started my own small independent insurance agency in January of 2000 with my current partner George Arnold. My wife and I became involved with reining in the mid 1980s and became members of Ohio Valley Reining Horse Association (OVRHA) and NRHA at that time. Both of us continue to…” ~READ MORE~



East Central • Brett Walters • Bourbon, Ind.

Brett Walters IMG_8300 cropped“As a current member of the NRHA Board, I would like to continue my involvement in order to help lead the NRHA in a direction that improves the association for the competitors and all of those involved. I believe that with my past experience and continued committee and board experiences I am qualified for this position. I am an active member of my local affiliates which allows me to get member feedback to bring to the board and make the best decisions for our membership. Being on the board allows me to help my local affiliates at a national level by making sure their needs and concerns are known to my fellow board members and to make sure new rules and regulations are suited for their needs.” ~READ MORE~

North Central • Larry Handley • Ankeny, Iowa

Larry Handley 2012 croppedLarry Handley, a practicing trial lawyer with over 39 years of experience, is from Ankeny, Iowa representing the North Central Region of NRHA. Larry serves on the NRHA Bylaw Committee, in addition to a special task force at the request and appointment of the NRHA President and Board. Larry has been an NRHA and North Central Reining Horse Association (NCRHA) member since 1990. During the past 27 years, he has competed at regional and national events as a non pro participant. He primarily focuses on futurity and derby horses and enjoys working with young horses everyday. He also has served as the NCRHA Sire & Dam Coordinator for several years. He currently assists the NCRHA Board regarding legal matters. He volunteers for other non-profit organizations in a… ~READ MORE~

Northeast • Kelly Hedges • Perrysburg, N.Y.

Kelly Hedges Web cropped“I am 61-years-old and have been a professional in the equine industry for over 40 years. My wife Kim and I own and operate Hedges Reining Horses in western New York. I also own and operate Hedges Custom Carpentry which specializes in custom cabinetry and custom home interiors for over 30 years. I am currently the vice president of the Yankee Reining Horse Association (YRHA), and I am on the horse show committee, as well as the Bylaws Committee. I have been a judge for over 30 years. I hold cards with the National Snaffle Bit Association, Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) and NRHA. I have judged all the ApHC’s major events in The States, as well as the Aphc’s European Championship show three times. ~READ MORE~

Northeast • Heather Powell • Chalfont, Penn.

Powell Heather HJP-2 cropped“In 1989, we bought a horse that we thought did tricks. A few weeks later we saw Richie Fisher giving a reining demonstration at Belmont Park Horse Fair and the “penny dropped.” I was introduced to trainer J.C. Daudelin from Quebec and started to learn about reining, ably assisted by our mare “April.” It has been a passion for me and the horses and people have kept me actively involved in the sport as an exhibitor (when the trainers let me have my horses back!), owner, breeder, judge, show secretary and steward since my first show at Willowbrook also in 1989. I have served as a director for Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association (EPRHA) for eight years. The past two years as NRHA Northeast Director have…” ~READ MORE~

Northwest • Jeanine Kern • Monroe, Wash.

Jeanine Kern croppedJeanine Kern is currently an NRHA Board Member representing the Northwest Region, and has been an NRHA Non Pro for over ten years. Residing in Monroe, Wash. with her husband Dan, Jeanine considers Washington Reining Horse Association (WaRHA) as her home affiliate. Jeanine has served in various volunteer capacities with WaRHA, including newsletter editor, Reiner correspondent, communications chair, board member, and is a past president of WaRHA. A lifetime member of the Washington State University (WSU) Alumni Association, Jeanine holds a bachelors degree in business administration with a minor in economics from WSU. Professionally Jeanine has been a freelance recruiter a great deal of her career, founding executive search firm EBS Northwest. Jeanine’s professional expertise is in identifying, sourcing… ~READ MORE~

South Central • Ann Salmon Anderman • Pilot Point, Tex.

Ann Salmon 2017 Web croppedAnn Salmon Anderman has been an NRHA Judge for 20 years, an NRHA Professional since 2004 and an NRHA Steward since 2011. She and her husband Monte Anderman are involved with teaching riders and horses of all levels, hosting clinics, and sharing their love of reining. They are currently based out of Cardinal Reining Horses in Aubrey, Texas. Ann is a current NRHA Regional Director and an active member and contributor on the NRHA Judges and Stewards Committees, as well as the past chair of the NRHA Judges Policy Review Task Force. Ann is a member of the NRHA Judges Teaching Panel which includes preparation and evaluation of judges teaching and testing materials. Ann has served multiple terms on the Southwest Reining Horse Association… ~READ MORE~


Read this story and watch a video on 2017 NRHA Elections or visit the NRHA Elections page!

Collegiate Reining Championship

For Immediate Release – Oklahoma City, Okla. – July  2, 2017 – The 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby hosted the Collegiate Reining Championship on June 30. However the title of champion didn’t come easy, as it took a runoff to decide the winner for this year.

Hannah Mitchell won the championship with a score of 222.5 with The Boominator donated to the competition by James Hotz.

Mitchell took the victory after a run off with Julia Spreng, who ended up Reserve Champion scoring 220.5 with HR Dun By Whiz owned by Randy and Sharon Reecer. Both competitors tied after their first runs scoring 217.5.

Mitchell is a freshman at Oklahoma State University and is a native of Cuba, Missouri. Spreng is a sophomore at University of Georgia majoring in Business. A native of Port Orange, Florida qualified to compete at the Collegiate Reining Championship through NRHA.

The Collegiate Reining Championship consists of 12 riders – four from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), four from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA), and four that are selected by the NRHA. This year, the riders selected from the pool of collegiate NRHA members were: Holly Lansidel (Southern Methodist University), Jaci Marley (Texas A&M), Julia Spreng (University of Georgia), and Kyndal Harper (University of Georgia).

The NCEA sent its top four reiners from the 2016-2017 season to the championship: Caroline Gute (University of South Carolina), Claudia Spreng (University of Georgia), Hannah Mitchell (Oklahoma State), and Taylor Brown (Fresno State).

Representing the IHSA were riders who placed in top four places in Open Reining at the IHSA Finals this year. Riders representing the IHSA were: Kristen Wesoja (Cazenovia College), Lauren King (Middle Tennessee State University), Mark Mowbray, and Michelle McDowell (Grand Valley State University).

NRHA and the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) would like to thank the following horse owners who donated their horses for the NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship:

James Hotz
Randy and Sharon Reecer
Angela Myer
George and Carol Bell
Patrick Schwarz
Jennifer & Maurice Robinson
Brett Walters
Daniela Picciotti
Chris Hawkins
Day Creek Ranch LLC

Photo credit: Jana Thomason