Thanks to National Reining Horse Association Corporate Partner Tamarack Ranch, 4-year-old reining horses will have the chance at even more money at the 2021 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. That’s because the Oregon-based ranch is the sponsor of the new $40,000-added Open Stakes!
The Tamarack Ranch Open Stakes is open to 4-year-old horses. The Stakes will run concurrently with the NRHA Derby go-rounds, and while cross-entry into the NRHA Derby is allowed, it is not mandatory.
“Suzy Simar and Tamarack Ranch have supported NRHA for several years through corporate partnership and before that, event sponsorship. This year, 4-year-old horses have the opportunity to compete for big money,” noted Sammi Miller, NRHA Senior Director of Corporate Relations and Communications. “Thank you to Gabe Hutchins of Tamarack Ranch for sponsoring the new division. Tamarack Ranch is forward-thinking and committed to raising the bar at events. When they saw a need in our industry, they worked to find a solution. As with so many of our corporate partners, that kind of initiative and dedication has helped NRHA thrive over the years.”
Hutchins, head trainer for Tamarack Ranch, shared the thought behind the Stakes. “We just saw a big need for more promotion of our 4-year-olds, especially since the derbies have been changed to include 7-year-olds. That’s a big change in horsepower over that age range,” he shared. “We thought we could give 4-year-old horses the opportunity to show one more year for good money while not having to compete against the older, more finished horses.”
Hutchins and Simar spent time discussing the idea with other owners and trainers before presenting it to NRHA. “We believe in the welfare and longevity of the horse and giving those 4-year-old horses another year to finish and get ready will help them in the long run,” he said.
He added that the feedback from fellow trainers has been overwhelmingly positive. “I have spoken with a few just in the last week who told me they hadn’t planned to bring a 4-year-old to the Derby but would now.” He added, “We are committed to sponsoring the Open Stakes for the next three years, and hope it takes off and is accepted like we feel it will be.”
Tamarack Ranch, located in Joseph, Oregon, focuses on raising, selling, and showing elite reining horses. “We are just now coming into year five, and it takes a while to get into full swing. Now our breeding program is going, and we have quality horses, from yearlings to show horses, to sell and we have a good show string, too,” Hutchins shared. “It feels phenomenal to start seeing horses we have raised go compete and do well.”
For questions or to schedule a visit, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (260) 249-0158 or (260) 416-1377. Be sure to visit the website at www.tamarackranchreiner.com.