The countdown to the world’s most eagerly awaited reining event has begun, and the fervor is tangible at the OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the best horses and riders in the world will vie for incredible prizes, impressive purses, and prestige at the National Reining Horse Association’s premier event, the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships.
The adrenaline-packed competition extends through Dec. 2 and boasts a staggering payout that exceeds $2 million, enticing participants from around the globe.
In the Adequan® Arena, top riders and horses of all ages from across North America will vie for coveted titles, aiming to secure a championship and make significant strides toward year-end honors. Simultaneously, talented 3-year-old reining horses will be tested on the arena floor of the iconic Jim Norick Coliseum as they navigate through the signature circles, spins, and sliding stops the event is known for.
Known simply as “The Futurity,” this event, evolving since its inception in 1966 in Columbus, Ohio, has transformed into a colossal showcase featuring more than 640 entries in the Futurity competition alone. The payout has seen significant expansion, with the Level 4 Champion guaranteed a substantial $350,000, the Reserve Champion securing $150,000, and the third-place winner taking home $100,000.
The journey to the Level 4 Open Championship involves three crucial steps. All Open entries compete in the first round, which runs Nov. 21–24. The top 75 (plus ties) advance to the L4 Open Semi-Finals sponsored by Not Ruf At All on Nov. 29. There, the top 30 (plus ties) move on to the clean-slate MS Diamonds TX L4 Open Futurity Finals on Dec. 2.
Also competing for big purses and prizes on Dec. 2 will be those riders in Open Levels 1, 2, and 3. The L3 Open Champion will receive $70,000, and the Reserve Champion will take home $50,000. The guaranteed payouts continue in Levels 2 and 1, with the L2 Champion pocketing $50,000 and the Reserve Champion claiming a cool $25,000. The L1 Open winner will win $13,000, and the L1 Reserve will receive $7,000.
Open riders in Levels 1, 2, and 3 who are in the top 75 of their levels (but not in the top 75 of Level 4) will compete in the Semi-Finals rounds held Nov. 27–28. The top 30 in each of those levels (plus ties) will earn a spot in the first section of the Open Finals on Dec. 2.
Non-professional riders will also win big, with the CINCH L4 Non Pro title being accompanied by a check for $75,000, the Reserve Champion securing $45,000, and the third-place winner taking $35,000! The L3 Non Pro division promises substantial payouts of $40,000, $25,000, and $15,000 for the top three, respectively. The CINCH Non Pro Finals will be held Friday, Dec. 1, beginning at 9 a.m. with Levels 1, 2, 3, Youth, and Prime Time, and the CINCH Non Pro L4 Finals beginning at 4 p.m.
In addition to the riveting competition, the Futurity offers an expansive trade show showcasing vendors from diverse sectors, including clothing, furniture, western tack, and décor. Despite spatial constraints, this year’s Trade Show is the largest in recent years. Free admission from November 22 to 24 will facilitate Christmas shopping and give a peak at the top-notch competition.
One of the best, largest, and most exciting shopping opportunities will be Nov. 30. That’s because the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales in the Sale Arena offers an excellent opportunity to see and purchase some of the best horses the industry has to offer from prospects to producers and everything in between. Find more information about the NRHA Markel Futurity Sales at NRHA.com/sales
Tickets for the 2023 NRHA Futurity & Adequan® NAACs are on sale now and can be purchased here.
For comprehensive event details, including draws and results, visit NRHAFuturity.com.