Committee meetings continue through Feb. 10 at the NRHA Convention. • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek

NRHA Convention Spurs Conversations for Change

The first round of committee meetings at this year’s National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Convention, formerly the NRHA Winter Meeting, kicked off Friday, Jan. 9. The convention, held at the the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City, continues through Saturday, Jan. 10, when it concludes with the NRHA Awards Banquet.

The Sale Selection and Aged Events committees started out the day with meaningful conversations about the NRHA Prospect Sale, NRHA Futurity and various rule change proposals.

Talk of the Prospect Sale included ideas to revamp the event, which has rapidly declined in recent years. A change to the sale commission structure, penalties for horses withdrawn after previewing and extra fees for stalls rented for non-show horses also not entered in the NRHA’s sales were among the solutions discussed.

Once the schedules for the NRHA’s major shows were approved, the Aged Events meeting focused primarily on reviewing the applicable rule change proposals. Topics discussed included clarification of Non-Pro eligibility, as well as suggested amendments regarding judging reviews and the legality of showing two-handed.

Following a short lunch break, the meetings reconvened with the Eligibility and Stewards committees. Heated discussions took place between those in attendance at the eligibility meeting, where the class structure and level limitations were once again under scrutiny.

“Everybody has a fix. Everybody has a plan,” said Eligibility Committee Chairman Casey Hinton. “This is, by far, the most challenging committee I’ve been on and it’s the most work.”

Conversations about holding the welfare of the reining horse in the highest regard were the theme of the Stewards meeting. Old business topics included conflict of interest and feedback from show secretaries. The new agenda items were dedicated, in large part, to education and consistency.

“[Stewards] give up their right to do nothing,” said Ann Salmon Anderman, vice chair of the Stewards Committee. “[We need] like-minded people and teachable skills to expand consistency.”

The day closed out with the Youth and Professionals meetings. While the Youth Committee discussed expanding and revamping the delegate program to include an incentive program for those fulfilling their responsibilities, the Professionals Committee batted around ideas for improving communication between trainers and customers.

In addition to discussion of rule change proposals, the committee also deliberated ways professionals can help grow affiliates and groom up-and-coming trainers for success.

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