Youth Riders Showcase Talent at the NRHA Derby

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is thrilled to announce the outstanding performances by youth riders at this year’s 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel, held at the prestigious OKC Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. This year’s event saw an impressive display of talent, dedication, and sportsmanship from the young competitors, underscoring the bright future of reining.

Ignacio Maximo Diano and MMB Pale Princess (Pale Face Dunnit x Paparazzi Princess) scored a 145 to top the 14-18 youth class and the youth unrestricted.

“This is my first show horse ever and I just started my show career with her. She has been consistent every single show, so I feel like there is nothing better,” said Diano.

Diano said his dad, NRHA Professional Gabriel Diano, chose his show string, as did the other trainers at the barn. Then, he fell in love with the Margarita Buey Arietti bred, Alpha Quarter Horse LLC owned-mare who is now five years old.

“There is a little mare, bald-faced and running around, and I thought, ‘That one is pretty. Let me start riding!’ It scared me when I saw 82 entries. It has been a while since we won, so it was nice to finally be back to where I was at the beginning of the year.”

Gracie Weeks topped the 13 & Under division on Its A Cash Only Deal after scoring a 138. The 7-year-old mare is by NRHA $2 Million Sire Lil Joe Cash and out of Who Whiz Doll.

“I think she is special because she is my first mare,” said Weeks. “Also, she is named ‘Lola’ because of the Barry Manilow song because she is a showgirl like the lyrics. She was kind of a unicorn when we found her. She is such a good mare for me.

“She is super sweet, but she is kind of like me a little bit—I am kind of stingy about being affectionate sometimes,” she said. “She can sometimes be really affectionate, and sometimes she isn’t. It is kind of funny to see me in her. She is very easy peasy.”

Lola was bred by Stoney Russel and owned by Ginger Weeks.

Leading the Youth 10 & Under Short Stirrup were Dylan Baker and Rambowhizz (Spooks Gotta Whiz x Rose Electric Step). The pair scored a huge 145 to take the lead.

“It feels great. I am super grateful for ‘Rambo,’” said Baker, who started competing a year ago. “He is kind and he is patient when I am learning new things, and he is always just great for me. We want to just keep trying to do our best in the short stirrup and keep on winning!”

The 7-year-old gelding was bred by Houde & Tremblay Partnership and is owned by Anita Horn.

As the 6666 NRHA Derby presented by Markel enters the last day of competition, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to all youth competitors for their exceptional performances and dedication. We also express our gratitude to the trainers, families and sponsors who make it possible for them to be at the OKC Fairgrounds. Watch the live feed of the youth in their final slate today at