With incredible performances at this year’s 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel and The Run For A Million (TRFAM), Jason Vanlandingham added his name to the prestigious list of NRHA Three Million Dollar Riders a mere three years after passing the $2 million mark.
Vanlandingham garnered his first earnings at the 2000 NRHA Derby with a $41 paycheck. From there, he worked his way up to become one of NRHA’s top professionals and has ridden many exemplary reining horses to notoriety along the way, including Vaughn Zimmerman’s Not Ruf At All. Together, the duo won the NRHA Futurity, the NRHA Derby, and the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC).
Heading into TRFAM’s Million Dollar Competition, Vanlandingham was less than $10,000 away from $3 million in earnings, so a good performance was all he would need to reach his next NRHA milestone. A merely good performance, however, was not in the cards for the NRHA Professional. Instead, as the penultimate rider in the competition, he piloted Robert Santagata’s Best Shine (Shine Chic Shine x Best Stop) to an incredible 231 score and half a million dollars in earnings.
In addition to his earnings at this year’s TRFAM, Vanlandingham’s top performances since crossing his last NRHA milestone include:
- 2021 Level 4 Open NRBC Champion aboard A Vintage Smoke earning $62,500
- 2021 Level 4 Open Invitational Champion aboard Excessive Rufness earning $100,000
- 2021 TRFAM Million Dollar Competition 3rd Place aboard A Vintage Smoke earning $80,000
- 2022 TRFAM Million Dollar Competition 6th Place aboard Best Shine earning $50,000
- 2023 Level 4 Open NRHA Derby Reserve Champion aboard Gunnabebigtime earning $49,710
Vanlandingham has skyrocketed across the $3 million mark and is nearly halfway to his next milestone. After reaching $1 million in 15 years, $2 million in five years, and $3 million in three years, there is little doubt his name will again grace the NRHA history books with his continued dedication to the sport.