Cowboy Conversations comes to Cowtown

Mark your calendars!  Wednesday, September 21, Cowboy Conversations brings two of the most knowledgeable and colorful cowboys/cattlemen to the stage at Billy Bob’s Texas.  Pete Bonds and Bob Loomis will share stories that will make you smile and maybe even squirm.  Event co-chairs Lori McCarty and Sally Brumbaugh promise a unique entertaining and educational evening that will raise funds for Friends of the Fort Worth Herd.

Pete Bonds, cattle rancher and former Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Assn president, owns and leases acreage in more than two dozen counties in Texas as well as in seven other states.  Bonds Ranches runs cattle from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.  Bonds has received the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman’s Award of Honor  and the W.A. “Bill” King Award for Excellence in Agriculture from the Fort Worth Farm and Ranch Club. He was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2017.

Bob Loomis is an icon in the equine industry, a universally recognized master in the world of precision riding and also a who’s who in the Texas Longhorn Breed.  The former president of the National Reining Horse Association, Bob has won six NRHA Open Futurity championships, more than any other trainer.  He was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 1992 and the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2012.

Bob lives on his Loomis Ranch at Marietta, Oklahoma, where he raises horses and Texas Longhorn cattle.  His Longhorns have swept Ultimate Awards.  He and his wife breed Texas Longhorns for conformation, horn length, color and disposition.

Emcee Tom Johnson Operates 87 Ranch and Johnson Cattle Marketing and will lead Pete Bonds and Bob Loomis through spirited Cowboy Conversations.

Friends of the Fort Worth Herd provides financial and volunteer support for the Fort Worth Herd Twice Daily Cattle Drive.  The Old West comes alive every day at 11:30 and 4 PM as real Texas drovers (cowhands) drive a herd of Texas Longhorns down East Exchange Avenue in the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District.  The Fort Worth Herd attracts thousands of visitors each day and is a major driver of tourism in Fort Worth and North Texas.

What:  Cowboy Conversations

When:  Wednesday, September 21 – 6 pm

Where:  Billy Bob’s Texas

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to make reservations, visit CowboyConversations.com

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.

Judges and Stewards Selected for 2022 NRHA Futurity

The 2022 National Reining Horse Association Futurity, set for November 24 through December 3, is the premier reining event in the world. Fans travel to Oklahoma City from around the globe to watch NRHA’s top trainers and riders make the big stage debut for elite 3-year-old reining horses.

The landmark event will pay $350,000 to the Level 4 Open Champion and $100,000 to the Level 4 Non Pro Champion, and will also determine the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships. Not surprisingly, being chosen to score the performances of the exhibitors as a judge is both an honor and a serious responsibility.

The individuals chosen to officiate at the NRHA Futurity this year blend veteran experience with freshman enthusiasm. For the Open Futurity in the Jim Norick Arena, the team includes Sandy Jirkovsky from Mississippi, Van Luse of Texas, Italian Manuela Maiocchi, Kim Myers of Pennsylvania, and Mark Turner from Indiana.

Evaluating performance for the Non Pro Futurity will be Buddy Fisher from Pennsylvania, Oklahoman Don Flohr, Margaret Fuchs of Ohio, Hiram Resende Silva Filho from Goias, Brazil, and Pat Wickenheiser from California.

Jan Dublin of Texas, Linda Hitt from Colorado, and New Yorker Kelly Hedges are the judges chosen for the NAAC classes in the Adequan® Arena.

Ed Cridge and Jeff Buckley, both from Texas, will serve as Equipment Judges in the Jim Norick Arena and the Adequan® Arena, respectively. Monitors for the event will be Eugenio Latorre of Spain and Doug Allen of Arizona.

The group includes four first time Futurity judges, including Maiocchi, Dublin, Hedges and Buckley.

The Futurity Show Steward team is headed by Ed Bricker. He will be joined by Lyle Jackson, Alessandro Dezzutto, Walt Larson and Marlin Holroyd.

“The Judges and Stewards committees take the task of Futurity Judge, Monitor and Steward selection very seriously. These are key positions that move the reining industry forward and set the standard for future competition. We are proud of this year’s lineup of officials and look forward to an exciting event,” said Patti Carter, NRHA Senior Director of Education & Officials.

Raise A Million Auctions Garner More than $190k for Reining Horse Foundation

When reiners gather, great things happen, and it happened in spades in Vegas.

The 2022 Raise A Million Auctions, held during The Run For A Million presented by Teton Ridge in Las Vegas, Nevada, brought in more than $190,000 through both the live and silent auctions. The proceeds benefit the reining community through the Reining Horse Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Reining Horse Association.

It was the second year for the Raise A Million Auctions to be held in conjunction with TRFAM, and although expectations were high, they were exceeded.

“It was an incredibly successful event, and between the two years that the Reining Horse Foundation has been invited to The Run For A Million, nearly a million dollars has been raised,” shared Tim Anderson, president of the Reining Horse Foundation. “On behalf of the RHF Board of Directors, I thank Taylor Sheridan and Amanda Brumley who have been incredibly supportive of the Foundation. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to pull something like this off.”

Anderson added that fundraisers – whether large like the Raise A Million Auctions or on a smaller scale – all contribute to the RHF’s mission. “Because of fundraising activities like this, we have been able to expand and increase our scholarship program as well as increase the amount of the grants we distribute through the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund,” he said. “The Foundation is not like a bank. We’re not trying to save this money; we are going to give it out to the people who need it and use it in ways that best support the Foundation’s mission.”

The Reining Horse Foundation received 37 lots for the Silent Auction from generous donors, including art, décor, tack, apparel, jewelry, autographed memorabilia, equine products, services, breedings, and unique experiences such as events and travel. The Silent Auction was held over several days and closed just prior to the Million Dollar Invitational competition. When the bids were tallied, the Silent Auction had brought in more than $42,000.

“In addition, NRHA member Diana Duffey pledged to match the donation made from Elite Equine for their equine spa services. Elite Equine donated 10 percent of their service proceeds to the RHF during The Run For A Million,” shared Reining Horse Foundation Executive Director Leslie Baker.

The generous spirit of the reining family continued to be on full display during the Live Auction, which was held just prior to the Million Dollar Competition Draw Party. There, seven incredible and unique items were auctioned off, raising $147,000.

There was a tie for the high-selling lots in the live auction. The first was a Supreme Breeding Package that was donated by Amber Gokey, Schmersal/ThorSport Inc., and NRHA Corporate Partner Toyon Ranch. The impressive lot included breedings to 2021 TRFAM Champion Gunna Stop, a breeding to 2019 TRFAM Co-Champion No Smoking Required, and an embryo from Icing Required. It was purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Santa Hill Ranch.

The other high seller was a NASCAR Truck Series Primary Partnership Package to Daytona International Speedway, which was donated by ThorSport and purchased by NRHA Corporate Partner Clark’s Pump-N-Shop.

“Thank you to the generous donors to both the live and silent auction and of course to the purchasers of those items. We are grateful for everything they have done,” Anderson said. “Thank you also to Leslie Baker for her efforts in making this a success, and also to the volunteers who were there day after day helping. We have a tremendous Board of Directors for the Foundation, and it’s a great group of people who truly have the reining community in mind.”

The mission of the Reining Horse Foundation is to care for and honor the reining community. Core programs include the Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund to benefit reiners enduring hardships such as major illness, accidents, and disasters; youth leadership development and scholarships for members of the National Reining Horse Youth Association; and perpetuation of the sport’s history through the NRHA Hall of Fame.

For information on the RHF, visit ReiningFoundation.com

Photos by Leslie Baker

An Open Letter to the NRHA Membership

In view of all the comments on social media regarding the recently approved updates to the NRHA Animal Welfare and Medications Policy, I felt that it is time for me, as NRHA President, to clear the air and give a factual account of how this decision came to be and why.

In May of 2021, the NRHA Executive Committee identified animal welfare and the need to update our Animal Welfare and Medications Policy as a top priority for the Association following an increased number of positive medications results at NRHA-owned events.

Over the past 14 months, there has been thoughtful conversation and deliberation coupled with diligent, thorough research and consultation, including with legal counsel and leading industry experts.

The executive committee worked alongside the NRHA Board of Directors and other advisory committees to develop several drafts of the updated policy which went to a roll call vote last week.

The current policy for penalties, which took almost six years of work until it was approved in 2015, was essentially a policy that contained rules but no consequences for those who knowingly broke those rules. The only penalties were letters and fines, most of which were entirely insignificant. Even worse, after a year, the probationary phase reset, so everyone’s slate was wiped clean.

Since then, there have been zero updates to the policy. Zero.

This was never the intention. There was always supposed to be a transition to increased penalties and testing to align with our industry peers.

Instead, we had exhibitors who repeatedly broke our rules because they could with no repercussions. If a horse tested positive, their name was never publicized, and they got to keep their title, purse money, and prizes. They essentially got away with a slap on the wrist, and no one would know.

Additionally, when you do not raise the medications testing fee for seven years despite rising inflation and a booming industry that has seen an explosion of entries and events, you cannot raise the funds needed to test properly. As our testing is funded today, the fees only provide enough funding to test about 15–20 events in North America annually. I think we’d all agree we’d like to do more.

The question now faced by our leadership was “how do we get these drugs eliminated from our industry for the welfare of our horses and for the integrity and fairness of our competitions?”

It was clear it was the right thing to do to try to come up with stricter guidelines. In the long run, that would be best for our industry.

It is also important to understand that the industry was totally split on this from the beginning—from the extreme of those who wanted no medications policy at all—to those who wanted zero tolerance.

I’m not trying to change minds here. Everyone has their own opinions and views. I am trying to get the membership to understand that this was not a simple decision and not a matter of a simple vote. Any change required a 67% supermajority approval.

Like the industry, the board was split between the people who wanted the policy and those that were against it.

We did not have the support to go to no allowance for Romifidine (Sedivet) at this time. It is as simple as that. We were faced with some unfortunate but very likely scenarios if we did not get the support we needed to enact some changes.

One being that no changes would be approved. Again.

If we did not get any changes approved, the Association would be taking significant steps backward, and we would be right back at square one.

Let me make this clear: the goal of the Association is to eventually get to an animal welfare and medications policy that has no allowance for sedatives or tranquilizers.

But, sometimes you have to take little steps to get to the big steps. Sometimes, those first steps are the hardest.

In order to get any changes approved, we had to compromise. That compromise came in the form of allowing a small dosage of Romifidine.

Personally, I own a lot of horses and currently have over 30 in training with eight different NRHA Professionals. I will not be signing permission for the use of the drug on any of my horses. The decision to use it will be between the exhibitor, owner, and veterinarian, all of whom are required to sign off on its use.

Going forward, the Animal Welfare and Medications Policy will be reviewed annually so we hopefully never find ourselves in such a dire situation again. We will also see a huge uptick in testing at our owned events, NAAC, and AA Events. We know this process will take time, but we know we are on the right path to an appropriate policy.

As you can clearly see, there are significant improvements made to the penalty portion of the policy when you compare the “old” policy to the “new” policy. I encourage every member to study this closely and educate themselves on the charts.

Current Penalty Chart:

New Penalty Chart:


I just cannot stress enough the importance of understanding that this decision was not easy, but we truly feel it is best for the industry to start holding people accountable for their actions.

Sincerely yours,

Rick Clark
NRHA President

Brazil’s Cordeiro Martins Conquers the NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup

Avaré, August 27—Brazil is not what you see, it’s what you feel they say. True to the saying, the sound and feel of Brazil made the NRHA/RHF/ANCR World Youth Reining Cup in Avaré, a competition that will remain in the hearts and memories of many. With riders representing 11 countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA), all cheered on by the enthused public, the top score was for Gabriel Cordeiro Martins of Brazil riding Evandro de Oliveira’s Doc San Whiz.

With a 212.5 to beat, scored by Italy’s Rebecca Folcia early in the draw and with one horse left to go, Cordeiro Martins was determined to claim the title on home turf. “As everyone else, my horse and I only had a couple of days to get to know each other. Though he’s not a very easy horse, in the short time had together we managed to build trust and confidence in each other,” he said. “In any case I really wanted to win for my country and am super happy.” The young rider, who took $3,000.00 USD for the win, has been showing and training his own reining horses for the past eight years; “All the trainers here in Brazil are always willing to help and give me advice, since I do everything myself. My dream? To one day meet Shawn Flarida and ride with him!”

Rebecca Folcia of Italy made her way to South America with her trainer Angelo Benedusi and both were thrilled with the experience. “Everyone was so kind and always available with both me and my trainer making this an amazing experience,” said Folcia who rode Francisco Moura’s Summertine Tag and took home $2,000.00 USD for Reserve honors. “My horse was really good and performed to the best for us. Being able to share these moments with riders from all over the world is memorable, we all got to know each other and share our passion and how we live it.  I would like to thank everyone that made this happen, in particular Joao Marcos and Chico Moura, and look forward to hopefully repeating this experience again.”

Third place honors, along with a $1,000.00 USD paycheck, were for Switzerland’s Nanina Staub who made her way over with Italian Professional Andrea Costa. “This was a very intense adventure and I got a really cool horse to show,” shared Staub who rode Flashy Rooster owned by Ana Cristina Chiattone Pinfildi. “He was so much fun to ride, even though we had a little bubble in the lead change. I am very thankful to Joao Marcos to have given us this opportunity and I enjoyed every moment here. It’s far away from home, everything is different, but everyone is so kind and helpful. I would repeat all this in a heartbeat!”

All the riders who took part in the inaugural World Cup confirmed the saying; “In Brazil it’s what you feel” and the feeling was fantastic they added.

“There was a lot of work behind this event and I have to thank the super team that put it together,” said NRHA, RHF and ANCR Board member Joao Marcos. “Once again it was wonderful. My goal, since I first came into this world over ten years ago, was to promote the youth worldwide and my motto has always been globalization. We should all carry on in this direction and this first World Cup has been another step forward in that direction. Italy will be host to the 2023 World Youth Reining Cup and we look forward to having close to 20 countries represented. A huge thank you to NRHA, ANCR, the riders, the owners that loaned their horses and to all that made it happen.”

To relive the highlights of the event held during the ANCR Futurity: https://youtu.be/vRgqzazfkko

To watch the runs: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ride2play/id1541311927

For more info: www.ancr.org.br

Photos by International Horse Press

Media Contact:
Simona Diale/International Horse Press
internationalhorsepress@gmail.com

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.