Why You Should Join Time To Ride

Hint: Increased Success for Your Lesson Program

Washington, DC – Time To Ride®, a FREE program created by the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance, can help build your lesson program by setting you apart from other instructors in your area.

Equine facilities and instructors must meet specific staff and physical property requirements to be designated as Time To Ride Program Facilities. Similar to receiving the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, achieving Time To Ride Program Facility status verifies that your facility and instructors meet a stringent set of requirements for safety and professionalism.

Time To Ride Program Facilities receive access to specially created marketing materials and support to help them succeed in gaining new lesson riders. These materials highlight the qualifications that Time To Ride Program Facilities must meet, and how that makes them different from other lesson barns. The Time To Ride marketing toolkit includes logos, press releases, letters, flyers, social media posts and more to help participating instructors promote their lesson programs to kids and their parents in their local area.

One TTR participant said, “We are absolutely in love with the Time To Ride program and have had huge success here at our facility.”  Another participant stated, “We used our Time To Ride Program Facility status to reach an entire school district and become part of their physical education program.”

If you want to build your lesson program and set yourself apart from other instructors in your area, then Time To Ride is for you. Check out the requirements and apply here: https://timetoride.org/requirements/

For more information visit TimeToRide.org, email ttr@horsecouncil.org, or call 202-891-7971.

About Time To Ride

Time To Ride is managed and funded by the American Horse Council Marketing Alliance. The Marketing Alliance was founded to encourage and support the growth of the U.S. horse industry. Current members of the Marketing Alliance include: Active Interest Media/Equine Network, American Horse Council, Purina, Spalding Laboratories and Zoetis. Additional support is provided by the American Paint Horse Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, Troxel Helmets and Weaver Leather. Educational support is provided by Certified Horsemanship Association, United States Equestrian Federation and United States Pony Clubs.

For more information contact Molly O’Brien, Time To Ride Program Manager: ttr@horsecouncil.org; 202-891-7971.

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

NRHA’s ReinerSuite Celebrates First Anniversary

For Immediate Release – March 11, 2021 – Although a one-year anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of paper, paper is just what the National Reining Horse Association’s phenomenally successful ReinerSuite has helped to reduce. That is because the online membership tool has already significantly lessened the need for printed forms and applications in its very first year of existence.

NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter was the driving force behind the creation of ReinerSuite, a program released in late February 2020. The web-based software was developed in concert with The Jockey Club Technology Services. TJCTS, a sister company to The Jockey Club, is a worldwide leader in the equine industry as far as technology and responsible for the custom system that powers Thoroughbred horse racing.

Looking back on last year’s successful rollout of ReinerSuite, Carpenter said. “We are proud of where we are today. In the next three to five years, we will look back and be amazed at the progress it has allowed us to make. We have a data-rich environment and there is so much information floating around that can be used more effectively for the good of our industry.”

ReinerSuite remains a work in progress as it continues with improvements and additions. Such was the case with the Eligibility Checker, which came four months after the release. “New features will be added as the NRHA staff and members use it and know what we need. Next will be offerings in the show program, but the whole process is continuous,” he added.

There will be new milestones to come, but a glitch-free rollout and a year of successful usage is something to celebrate!  Former NRHA President Mike Hancock said, “I believe this is one of the most significant projects in the history of the NRHA. It allows us to be more accurate, faster, and opens the door for more information at our fingertips.”

According to Angie Honeywell, NRHA Senior Manager of ReinerSuite and Futurity Sale, the association’s membership has overwhelmingly embraced the new technology. “Currently more than 73 percent of our members are using it,” Honeywell shared. “We continue to receive positive feedback about the convenience of being able to do tasks online, like renewing memberships, checking eligibility, and more.”

“ReinerSuite is loaded with features to help our members. They can use the Eligibility Checker, make nominations, access member reports and the calendar, and their membership card is available digitally,” she said. “All this is available to members 24/7. Memberships are effective immediately upon purchase, and competition licenses and transfers completed in ReinerSuite allow for a much quicker turnaround time, typically only a few days.”

The long-awaited technology has not only been a success for members but for show management and offices, as well. Kathy Gould, show secretary for the three largest NRHA-approved events, said, “During a show, people can use their phone to transfer a horse or update their memberships and get an immediate email confirmation, and using it saves them money as well. In the show office, we rely on it for eligibility verification.”

NRHA Professional Shannon Rafacz is an ardent fan of the program, and noted, “First and foremost, having everything online is super-efficient for me. Between the online memberships and the ability to do competition licenses ourselves, it has been a very helpful and simple process. Three or four clicks and it’s all done.”

Rafacz added that, although the program can seem imposing at first, help is only a phone call away. “Change is hard for anyone, for sure. But if we as members take time to learn how it works, it’s actually very simple. My advice is to just ask questions if you have them because the people at the NRHA have been great to help,” she said.

Honeywell added that one still under-utilized feature of ReinerSuite is the completion of competition license applications and license transfers. As user-friendly as the system is, additional learning materials like video tutorials, are being added so that members can benefit even more from what ReinerSuite has to offer.

To register for a ReinerSuite account, visit reinersuite.nrha.com. Questions can be submitted via email to memberships@NRHA.com.

Reining Horse Foundation Turns 20

Two Decades of Helping Reiners

Reiners helping reiners is a story that never gets old, and the Reining Horse Foundation, which turns 20 in 2021, has been helping that happen for two decades.

It’s often a real eye-opener to find how much help is available. When Bud Roebuck, an NRHA Professional, had his Florida training facility destroyed by a tornado he did not even think of reaching out until a friend urged him to do so. He said, “I guess I thought that the Foundation help was mostly for people who had injuries or illnesses.”

But the RHF has a broader focus and its Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund helped Bud and his family survive the setback. “Like most people in the horse world, it was hard to admit we needed help, but the funds really took the pressure off while we rebuilt and got our business going again.” These days, Roebuck, like many others who have received assistance, is committed to giving back to the Foundation.

That same giving spirit from people around the globe is allowing the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association to kick off its milestone year announcing increases in grants available through its cornerstone program, the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund. NRHA members impacted by medical, accident and disaster hardships will find that the Foundation grant maximums are now 20 percent greater and that is on top of previous increases made in 2016 and 2017. Go here for complete details on grant tiers and criteria.

“Increasing these grants is an ideal way to commemorate two decades of support for the reining community. The Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund has been helping reiners since shortly after it was established in 2001,” said RHF President Tim Anderson. “In recent years our Board of Directors has been dedicated to substantially increasing the amount of financial support we can provide to NRHA members in crisis. Thankfully, donors from around the world are stepping up to make these larger grants possible.”

Other welcome news for this anniversary year is that the Foundation plans to host its largest annual fundraiser, Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch. The event, which takes place annually during the NRHA Futurity, was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it is expected to come back bigger than ever in 2021 to celebrate the RHF’s 20th-anniversary theme.

“We hope that continued strong donor support will allow us to make additional announcements around our core programs in 2021,” said Rick Clark, NRHA president and member of the RHF Board of Directors. Clark also chairs the Foundation’s Development Committee and is enthusiastic about future projects.  “We have some ambitious goals to expand the scholarship programs for members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association and establish an endowment that will support this organization’s work for decades to come.”

The Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund exists to help reiners and in 2021, has increased most grant maximums by 20 percent. That increase is in addition to the substantial increases made in 2016 and 2017.

The RHF Crisis Fund criteria separates grant applications into a four-tier system depending on the type of hardship. With this increase, Tier 1 medical and Tier 2 accident grants will increase to a maximum of $3,600 each, and Tier 3 disaster grants will increase to a maximum of $6,000.

NRHA members in need of assistance can get a Crisis Fund application and see details here or contact Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director, at lbaker@nrha.com or (405) 946-7400.

Follow RHF on NRHA’s social media channels, including weekly #FoundationFriday posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.  For details on how you can help support the Crisis Fund or any of the RHF programs, contact any RHF Board member or Leslie Baker, RHF Executive Director, at lbaker@nrha.com or (405) 946-7400.

2021 Affiliate Regional Championships and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships Qualification Criteria Announced

For Immediate Release – February 20, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – In 2020, the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) held during the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity paid out an incredible $107,000 to more than 900 entries from all across the country. The fantastic prizes, large purses, and prestige of being a NAAC Champion helped the event grow, and it nearly doubled in size from the previous year.

The NRHA Board of Directors has announced the qualification criteria for the 2021 Adequan® NAAC. The rules for the current year are the same as in 2020 when the pandemic forced changes to accommodate both the riders and the local affiliates and Affiliate Regional Championships (ARC). The only addition is that riders must be an affiliate member to show at an ARC.

Once again, anyone receiving a score higher than a zero at an ARC will be able to enter that class at the NAAC in Oklahoma City. There are no requirements to compete at an ARC other than the rider must be a member of an NRHA affiliate, which they are encouraged to join beforehand. The objective of the NRHA Board is to encourage people to attend the ARCs and support the affiliate program without limiting the number of horses that attend the Adequan® NAAC.

“Numbers at the 2020 Adequan® NAAC grew by almost 100% and the competition was tougher than ever. Although there were multiple factors that led to this, including doubling the added money, the Affiliate Committee believes that the eased qualification structure was pivotal. It not only allows more people to come to Oklahoma City, but it is also easier to understand the process if you are new to the sport,” noted NRHA Affiliate Committee Staff Liaison Sara Honegger. “We want reiners to have a chance to enjoy competing at the Adequan® NAAC and don’t want circumstances out of their control to impact that.”

As in 2020, riders will be allowed to participate in multiple ARCs with one exception; if they win a class, they cannot compete on the same horse in the same class at another ARC.

“For example, a horse and rider that won the ARC Non Pro class at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championships would not be allowed to compete in the ARC Non Pro class at the Southwest Affiliate Regional Championships,” Honegger explained. “We want to make sure that we continue to promote the affiliates and their membership, and the Affiliate Committee felt this was a good way to make sure those living in regions with more restrictions are still able to attend an ARC while also supporting an affiliate.”

Honegger added, “We are extremely grateful to all the sponsors and participants who made the 2020 Adequan® NAAC such a success and hope to continue that trend into 2021.”

For more information about NRHA membership or the NRHA Affiliate program, visit nrha.com/affiliate.

Longtime NRHA Partner Horse of the West Presents NRHA Futurity Coverage

For Immediate Release – Feb. 11, 2021 – Oklahoma City, Okla. – Horse of the West will present highlights from the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity on Monday, February 15 and 22, at 9:30 p.m., CST on RFD-TV. The first show will focus on the CINCH Non Pro Futurity Championship, where Mandy McCutcheon won her record 10th Non Pro Championship on Shining At Nite (Gunners Special Nite x A Shining Sidekick).

On March 1 and 8, enthusiasts can relive all the action of the MS Diamonds TX Open Futurity, including NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Andrea Fappani’s winning ride on All Bettss Are Off (Gunner x Wimpys Little Chic).

While the names and faces of the winners change regularly, Jenifer Reynolds and Chris Cook have been a constant presence over the past two decades. Co-owners of Sandbur Productions, which produces Horse of the West, they’ve captured the excitement and pageantry of the event for 19 years.

“At our first event in 2002, Chris was rolling as Shawn Flarida won on Wimpys Little Step with an incredible score of 233 – astonishing even to Shawn,” Reynolds recalled. “His reaction was the first major reining moment we recorded. We knew it was a big deal but didn’t realize how big at the time.”

She added, “We have covered the NRHA Futurity and Derby every year since then. We love the horses as well as the people and have particularly enjoyed watching the kids grow up. Cade McCutcheon was a toddler when we first met him, playing with NRHA Hall of Fame Stallion Hollywood Dun It. We’ve covered Caden & Lauren Hanson, Taylor and Jacob Zimmeran, Madison Rafacz, and others since they were in Short Stirrup classes. It’s been rewarding to see them grow into such earnest and polished performers.“

Both Chris and Jenifer have become fans of reining, first for the excitement of the sports and the incredible horsemanship, and then for the people and the horses themselves. They have become close with many of the participants.

“Being with our friends in the reining industry as they achieve their lifelong goals is always a thrill, but we’ve also shared a lot of pain and disappointment with them,” Reynolds shared. “It’s a bond that makes our work feel very personal, and that’s one thing we really like about it. When you work with people you care about, it makes you care more about your work.”

Horse of the West began in 2007 as Inside Reining, a 13-episode TV show for NRHA. With NRHA’s support, Reynolds and Cook elected to change the name to Horse of the West to underscore their ongoing efforts to draw a more diverse equine audience. The show now includes reining, cow horse, and barrel racing, and the show’s ratings have gone from 1.5 million yearly to more than 5 million in 2020 (Nielsen 18+AA). “We have achieved our goal of building a bigger promotional tent for the horse industry,” Reynolds shared.
The upcoming 2021 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) will mark 20 years of Sandbur Productions’ cameras capturing the event’s action.

“We’ll do what we always do – cover it as it happens. Since Chris and I both have a background in news coverage, we don’t try to choreograph anything ahead of time,” Reynolds said. “We just roll as the event unfolds and let each episode tell its own story. Being there to witness the action in real time and trying to capture its essence for our audience is what we do and what we love. We feel privileged to have been able to do it for two decades, but we’re still trying to figure out how we got this old.”

Watch Horse of the West on RFD-TV (DirecTV 345 and Dish Network 231) Mondays at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Join Horse of the West crew Emmy Award Winning host Jenifer Reynolds and her husband, Emmy Award Winning Videographer Chris Cook as they cover reining action from events around the country and spanning the globe such as the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and Adequan® NAAC and many more. For more information, visit HorseoftheWest.tv.