6666 Ranch Becomes Naming Sponsor of NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

Important Title Sponsorship Raises Payouts in All Divisions!

The 2021 NRHA Derby welcomes a naming sponsor in 2021 as it becomes the 6666 Derby presented by Markel. The sponsorship brings an incredible new payout framework for both the Open and Non Pro Derby, thanks to 6666 Ranch and Taylor Sheridan.

Sheridan explained, “The 6666 Ranch and Bosque Ranch have joined Paramount TV’s Yellowstone to support the NRHA Derby.” Created to reward NRHA Derby Champions of every level – from Open to Non Pro – this sponsorship helps create excitement and rewards reiners of all levels. 

It raises the Open L4 Derby championship from paying $60,000 to paying $75,000 – while in many levels the money awarded to the champion more than doubles! These substantial increases extend to all the Non Pro divisions, including a guaranteed $30,000 to the L4 Champion.  

A quick look at these new benchmarks compared to 2020’s payments:

 Division2020  Derby Champion
6666 Derby Champions
Guaranteed Payment
Open L4 Champion$60,000$75,000
Open L3 Champion$23,477$35,000
Open L2 Champion$9,596$20,000
Open L1 Champion$4,263$10,000
Open Prime Time Champion$2,205$5,000
Non Pro L4 Champion$18,800$30,000
Non Pro L3 Champion$14,351$20,000
Non Pro L2 Champion$8,690$15,000
Non Pro L1$3,220$5,000
Non Pro Prime Time Champion$2,602$5,000
Youth Champion$1,318$2,000
Non Pro Masters Champion$1,122$2,000

Sammi Miller, NRHA Sr. Director of Corporate Relations & Communications, noted, “We are thrilled to welcome Four Sixes Ranch as the naming sponsor of the NRHA Derby. This iconic ranch is a treasured part of our western heritage and we are honored to be associated with it, as well as with Bosque Ranch and Paramount TV’s Yellowstone, thanks to Taylor.”

Sheridan summarized, “Expanding both awareness and participation in equine events such as the NRHA Derby is vital not only to the sport of reining but all equine sports, just as it is vital to the preservation of the quarter horse and paint horse. The horse is a cowboy’s most precious tool and closest friend, and the cowboy is an irreplaceable gear in the engine of American agriculture. Events such as the NRHA Derby not only preserve the rich heritage of the horse, they preserve the heritage of the rider as well.”

Clearly, Sheridan is committed to the success of the 6666 NRHA Derby and his commitment to give back mirrors the dedication shown by long-time NRHA sponsor Markel Insurance. Miller added, “We thank Markel Insurance, which remains the presenting sponsor of the NRHA Derby. It is because of Frank Costantini and Markel Insurance’s commitment to the reining industry, and this event in particular, that the Derby has grown so much.”

Along with its rich history from its beginning in 1870, legendary American quarter horses and superior Angus cattle are hallmarks of the Four Sixes Ranch. The ranch not only offers state-of-the-art reproductive services and a full range of equine veterinary services but stands to the public some of the most well-respected AQHA stallions in the industry. Its exceptional broodmare band produces elite race, ranch, and performance horses.

Bosque Ranch, owned by Sheridan, is the premier livestock provider in the film and television industry, providing horses for the cast of ‘Yellowstone’ as well as films such as ‘Hell or High Water’, ‘Wind River’, and Warner Brother’s ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’, along with the upcoming ‘Twelve Mighty Orphans’. It has also produced performance horses such as Walla Walla Starbuck: 2019 AQHA Senior Reining Reserve Champion, 2021 Run for a Million Non Pro qualifier; Setting Off To Town: 2020 NRHA L4 Open Futurity finalist, 2021 NRBC L4 Open finalist, 2021 Run for a Million Open Finalist;  and Kreyzy Horse, a six-year-old stallion with $97,000 in earnings.

Yellowstone is the highest-rated cable drama since its premiere in 2018. It returns to Paramount Network for its fourth season in 2021 as the chronicle of the Dutton Ranch continues.

For information on the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel visit the website at NRHADerby.com.

Catch Up with NRHA Markel Futurity Sale Graduate Spooks Gotta Spark

Spooks Gotta Spark (Photo by Cam Essick)

(Spooks Gotta Whiz x Dolittle Lena)

Sale: 2015 Futurity Prospect

Consigner: Garth W. Brown, Gainesville, Texas

Purchaser: Gus and Gaynia Revenberg, Oldcastle, Ontario

Even the most magical place on earth couldn’t keep Gaynia Revenberg away from the 2015 NRHA Markel Futurity sales—especially with a prospect like Spooks Gotta Spark available. In previous years, Revenberg spent hours scanning the list of consigned horses, watching preview videos, and discussing prospects. But in 2015, all she wanted was to enjoy a vacation at Disney World with her husband, Gus.

“I was sitting on the balcony at Disney when Shawn Flarida called me and said, ‘There’s a horse here you have to buy,’” Revenberg recalled. “My husband said, ‘Book the flight.’ So, we went to the sale, and Shawn was absolutely correct.”

Since then, Spooks Gotta Spark has held a special place in Revenberg’s heart. “I decided to bring him home so I could ride him myself,” she shared. “I really like this horse, so I asked [NRHA Professional Loris Epis] here in Ontario to show him.”

But as the inaugural Run for a Million in Las Vegas approached, Revenberg knew she couldn’t keep her all-star in Canada much longer. Although she received three inquiries about using her horse in the Million Dollar Invitational, Flarida’s lucrative history with the buckskin stallion made the NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider the obvious choice for Revenberg.

“He didn’t have much time to get him ready, but he did an amazing job,” she said of Flarida’s performance in the Million Dollar Invitational. Spooks Gotta Spark marked a 228, which landed Flarida and the stallion a fourth-place finish and a $65,000 payout.

In February 2020, Bill and Patty Fingland of Rogersville, Mo. purchased the flashy buckskin. With them, he placed in the Top 10 at the 2020 NRHA Open Derby presented by Markel and went on to place 13th in the Level 4 NRBC Open Classic.

It was at the NRBC that Spooks Gotta Spark caught the eye of Kevin Truax and the two bonded instantly. Not long after the team returned from the show, Truax was celebrating the purchase of the most talented reining horse he feels that he has ever owned. “We brought him to our barn the week we bought him. Derek, my daughter, Kiersten, and I each got on him for a bit. He was just so incredible to ride.” Truax said.

As Truax rushed to arrange for Spooks Gotta Sparks’s quickly approaching debut in the breeding barn, Heitland rode the stallion to a Level 2 AQHA Senior Reining World Reserve Co-Championship, and at the 2020 Adequan® NAACs, the talented reiner earned Heitland the NAAC Limited Open title.

Lorenzo Lotti at Foals R Us, in Whitesboro, Texas, made quick accommodations for Spooks Gotta Spark to stand there, and Cam Essick took care of advertisements.

With Spooks Gotta Spark’s future as a sire in the works, Flarida opened up another opportunity for the pair to compete for a million dollars. “Once the next Run For A Million was announced, Shawn worked out a training schedule with Lorenzo. We took Spooks Gotta Spark to Ohio in February and bred with him up there while he was getting in shape.” Truax shared. “In Arizona, we felt good about the qualifier until we found out we were draw number one. I knew it would be tough, so figured we would likely be on the bubble and be nervous all day. After Shawn went, we felt great about qualifying, then realized we may actually win it after abo 70 horses went. To get the high score with all that firepower was unbelievable. Being able to stand in the win picture with all the big names around us was a true dream come true.”

Perhaps Truax’s connection to Spooks Gotta Spark runs even deeper. He said, “My father died last June, so I do feel this has been guided in some way by him.  We have been reining for 40 years, but never at this level. We hope to have one more ride in August to really see what he can do. My goal is to have lots of his babies on the ground for others to enjoy.” 

For breeding information about Spooks Gotta Spark, go to foals-r-us.com/spooks-gotta-spark/.

Platinum Performance® to Sponsor Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw at NRHA Derby Presented by Markel

The Platinum Performance Non Pro Draw Party returns to the NRHA Derby presented by Markel on Wednesday, June 23. (NRHA Staff photo)

National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner Platinum Performance® has supported the reining industry over 20 years. That support continues in 2021, with a much-anticipated, in-person Welcome Party and Non Pro Draw Party to be held during the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel.

The slow return to normalcy has everyone abuzz with excitement and this event is another step in the right direction. Attendees will enjoy a delicious catered meal, drinks, and all of the nail-biting enthusiasm of the Non Pro Finals Draw and after missing a year due to Covid, the popular Reiners Rope dummy roping will be also held. The Party will be held at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, June 23.

“As long-time partners of NRHA, we are excited to sponsor the Platinum Performance® Welcome Party featuring the Non Pro Finals Draw as well as the Platinum Performance® Virtual Open Draw Party at the 2021 NRHA Derby,” said Lauren Thompson, Equine Marketing Manager. “We look forward to maintaining our commitment to provide superior nutrition and unmatched personal service to the valued NRHA membership.”

The support of Platinum Performance® extends well beyond the Party. The company will also provide the exhibitor bags given to every NRHA Derby competitor. In addition, Platinum Performance® will sponsor a Virtual Open Draw Party Friday, June 25 at 10 a.m. The decision was made to keep the Platinum Performance® Open Draw Party virtual so that trainers could be available to their non pro finalists.

The 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel takes place at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City June 19-27. For more information about this premier event, visit NRHADerby.com

Platinum Performance® believes in the power of nutrition and supplementation and remains committed to providing formulas that produce superior results in the horse. For 25 years, Platinum has continued to research the role of nutrition with regards to wellness and performance and is committed to providing equine veterinarians, horse owners and trainers the nutritional tools they need to benefit from cutting edge equine nutrition. Horse health is the Platinum Performance® mission, and we look forward to helping you find your Platinum. Learn more at PlatinumPerformance.com.

NRHA Futurity Rider Designation Deadline Changed to October 1

2021 NRHA Futurity Rider Designations will be due October 1, the same day as the last payment. This was a change made by the NRHA Board of Directors in an effort to streamline the entering process. In the past, the Rider Designation’s due date of November 1 and subsequent policy that undesignated horses were put at the front of the draw at that time often caused a hardship for an owner and rider who might have simply miscommunicated on who was sending in the designation form.

For most people showing in the Non Pro and Open Futurities, there is no question as to who will show a horse so it’s one less deadline to keep up with. And NRHA Professionals needing extra time to decide whether they or an assistant trainer will show a particular horse, can simply designate a rider by October 1 and then change as necessary with no penalties up to noon two days prior to the first go.  

NRHA Show Secretary Kathy Gould explained, “At the NRHA Events Office we always try to catch what might be an entry oversight when we see an undesignated horse, but it has often been impossible to make contact with the owner of every undesignated entry in the short window as the draw deadline approaches. We want to make sure everyone gets the benefit of being included in the futurity draw if that is their intention!”

She continued, “Having the Rider Designations come to us by October 1 will give us time to verify that undesignated horses are not actually intended to go forward and to find any that were undesignated due to some error. The key is to get the designations in by October 1, then there is no charge for any rider changes that are completed before November 1. However, there is a $50 late fee that will apply if a designation is not received by the October 1 deadline.”

More information and Rider Designation forms as well as Rider Change forms can be found at NRHAFuturity.com/forms.

Inaugural NRHA Oceania Regional Championships Set for June 2021

It’s an exciting time for reining down under. That’s because the National Reining Horse Association affiliate organizations that make up the Oceania Region Council have come together to create the inaugural Oceania Regional Championships. The 2021 Championships, slated for June 28 – July 4, will be hosted by the New South Wales Reining Horse Association at its annual State Show at K Ranch in Sydney, Australia.

While the concept of regional organizations hosting major NRHA championships is not new in other parts of the world, it is a first for this region. Rob Lawson, Chairman of the Oceania Council said, “It is an exciting time as it allows us to try new and imaginative ideas to grow our industry through our clubs!”

Lawson, who operates Lawson’s Performance Horses in Bungonia, New South Wales continued, “The offers of support from the other clubs have been heartening, with the overwhelming sentiment that it is ‘our’ Regional Championships. It is these clubs working together that will make this work!”

The clubs involved in the Regional Championships are the NSWRHA, Orana Reining Horse Association, Victoria Reining Horse Association, Goulburn Valley Reining Horse Association, South Australian Reining Horse Association, Collie Western Riding Club, Calliope Sliders Reining Horse Association and Southern Cross Reining Horse Association.

NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter said, “Observing the energy and vitality of our reining friends in Australia is incredibly rewarding. We can’t fully comprehend the trials they have been through to get to this point. The pandemic, wildfires, and the challenges that change brings – they have overcome them all and are poised to bring a new day to our sport.”

K Ranch’s owner, Mick Kearney has had a significant impact on the NSWRHA as K Ranch has been its home base for the last 6 years and a close partnership has evolved over that time.

More information about the 2021 Oceania Regional Championships can be found here.