The always-innovative National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) has done it again! Not only will the 20th NRBC cross the $20 million payout mark, it will break new ground in another area. The 2017 NRBC Classic will take 30 entries to the Intermediate Non-Pro, Limited Non-Pro and Level 1 Non-Pro Finals, creating a total of 30 more finalist spots for the show set for April 16-23.
The change came following an NRBC board meeting on July 13. NRBC Secretary-Treasurer Cheryl Cody noted that making the change was a unanimous decision by the NRBC board of directors.
“The NRBC has long been an event that brought more people to the finals and paid deeper, both in money and prizes,” she said. “Now, not only will there be 30 Level 4 Non-Pro finalists, but there will also be 30 in these other three Non-Pro divisions, which previously each took 20 to the finals.”
“As competitive as horses and riders are today in the Non-Pro divisions, we thought it was an appropriate time to expand our finals,” said NRBC President Tom McCutcheon, who brought the idea to the board.
NRBC Vice President Colleen McQuay added, “As Tom has pointed out, many industry professionals are aware of the growing numbers of non-pros and their greater investment in and commitment to the aged events. We on the NRBC board felt that this is one way to respond to them.”
In an industry where becoming an NRBC finalist is such an important credit to a horse’s record and a career laurel for a non-pro, the NRBC board feels that this is the right direction for derby-age horses. Of course, besides the achievement, all NRBC finalists receive paychecks and awards.
With the changes, some adjustments will be made in the already full schedule. For example, the finals will begin a little earlier on Friday. McQuay noted, “We think most people will view that as a small price to pay for the opportunity to qualify for an important finals.”
For additional information on the NRBC, visit the web site or call 580-759-3939.