NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dell Hendricks was named the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) Professional Horseman of the Year for 2015. With the highest number of nominations NRHA has ever had, Shane Brown, chair of the professionals committee, was elated. “It’s amazing the gratitude these professionals show when receiving these awards,” Brown said.
Hendricks was in good company with NRHA Professional Sam Smith earning the NRHA Non-Pro Coach of the Year, plus NRHA Professional Kim Diercks as the Horsewoman of the Year, Devin Warren as Youth Coach of the Year and NRHA Professional Mathieu Buton as Up-and-Coming Trainer of the Year.
Hendricks, a resident of Tioga, Texas, and active member of the Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA), has been an NRHA member since 1991 and throughout his reining career has earned more than $1.6 million in NRHA lifetime earnings.
More important than his winnings has been his dedication to his clients and their success. His ability to communicate with riders of all ages, having clients ranging from 12 to 78, touts his success as a coach. Not only has he been a mentor to an abundance of non-pros over the years, he has served on the executive board, he is a past president of the NRHA and he has taught clinics across the world at the request of the NRHA.
Hendricks has been an NRHA Professional since 2003 and has had great success in the show pen, having been an NRHA Futurity Champion, NRHA Futurity Reserve Champion, five-time National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Derby Open Champion, AQHA Congress Futurity Open Champion and World Equestrian Games Team USA gold medalist. These accomplishments are just a portion of his major event winnings. Hendricks’ dedication not only to the reining industry but also his clients is evident as he sets up his clientele to be in the winner’s circle.
NRHA Non-Pro Coach of the Year
Smith, of Marietta, Oklahoma, has been said to “live and breathe the sport of reining.” It is this lifelong dedication to promoting the NRHA and the preparation of horses for the sport that has enabled him to be successful, not only as a rider but also as a coach. With more than 30 years of experience as a trainer, Smith has proven his talent in the show pen, boasting NRHA lifetime earnings in excess of $570,000.
More importantly, Smith has coached countless Youth, Open and Non-Pro circuit champions and year-end winners and “demonstrates great patience with all of his riders” and “truly wants them to succeed.” In addition to Smith’s superior coaching skills, he has served on several professional committees and is an NRHA Judge. He is active in the SWRHA, as well.
With Smith’s work ethic that is “second to none” and a focus that “never falters,” he, along with his clients, will continue to be successful in the show pen.
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