Updates from the 2023 NRHA August Board Meeting

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) held its annual August Board Meeting virtually on August 23. The efficient meeting reviewed event conditions and other committee initiatives, and the Board also heard updates from multiple departments.

NRHA Chief Financial Officer John Foy gave an extremely positive, in-depth financial overview of the association. Not only is NRHA in its strongest financial position to date and boasting stable membership numbers, but the industry is also experiencing the highest purses in history. Additionally, reining is experiencing more media coverage than ever, adding to the good positioning. An official budget for the fiscal year was unanimously approved.

Following the Board meeting, the Judges Committee presented a review of the 2023 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. Each judge made 840 decisions during the Open Finals, 2,079 decisions during the Open go-round, 768 decisions during the non pro finals, and 2,051 decisions during the non pro go-round. Their dedication throughout the event showed impressive consistency and a wide use of the judging scale.

The following items were also discussed:

2024 NRHA Elections

Following the deadline for NRHA elections, three North American regions had only one candidate nominated. The board unanimously accepted the following candidates by acclamation for the 2024-2025 term: East Central, Margaret Fuchs; North Central, Mike Davis; and Northeast, Ed ‘Hoot’ Bricker. The remaining seats are up for election September 1-15, 2023; Director-at-Large: Paulus Beurskens and Sebastian Petroll; Northwest: Nicole Renick and Kylie Warn; South Central: Andrea Stillo and Brooke Wharton. Voting information is located at nrha.com/elections. Members will be emailed a link to the voting portal along with their information to log in to vote.

NRHA Dues and Fees Policy

In 2022, the Board approved a multi-year plan to proactively ensure member fees kept up with NRHA’s expenses of providing services to those members. Roughly, the plan set a path for small incremental increases in membership and competition license fees in 2023, 2025, and 2027. Additional fees were approved, including raising the medications fee at European events in an effort to address increased costs, as this fee has been the same for over a decade.

North American “AA” events and North American Affiliate Regional Championships will also see a medications fee increase to $35 to support increased testing and the overall program. Statistics from the past five years can be found online at nrha.com/welfare.

Additionally, there was support to enhance the fees and fines related to show approvals and results as NRHA nears the release of show approval and show results programs within ReinerSuite to improve the efficiency with which results will be available to riders, breeders, and owners, creating a more accurate picture of standings.

Eligibility Policy

The NRHA Worldwide Eligibility Policy for show year 1/1/2024–12/31/2024 was unanimously approved. The policy features Category 7 being counted toward Categories 1 & 5 eligibility and the addition of amateur eligibility as previously approved for 2024 implementation. The 2024 NRHA Mexican, Oceania, and Israeli Restricted Eligibility policies were also approved, which are all tracked and managed by each affiliate, not by ReinerSuite. Additionally, the 2024 NRHA Restricted European Eligibility Policy was approved. View all of the policies at nrha.com/eligibility.

2024 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel and NRHA North American Futurity Conditions

The Board approved conditions for both events, including fee schedules. The events will be held June 11–June 23, 2024, and November 26–December 7, 2024, respectively.

2024 Nomination Conditions

In February, the Board announced the official addition of a 4-year-old component to the North American nomination program to begin with 2023 foals. NRHA is proud to provide new and significant additional investment in the industry by committing $100,000 in added money for the next three years to elevate the 4-Year-Old Derby, grow the entire event, and add further value to horses. Approximately $285,000 in total added money based on a 3-year average of nominated weanlings will be provided to the purse once the 2023 foal crop is of derby age.

This is an exciting and unique opportunity for this specific group of horses as they progress in their show career from futurities to derbies. The support of this program will also draw more participation in the NRHA Derby, creating supplementary event success.

The existing North American weanling fee increase of $100 has been incorporated to supplement this program, which you can read more about here.