The 2019 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity might be getting a date shift that could move the finals to the same weekend as the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity, which is tentatively planned for Nov. 21-Dec. 14, 2019. NRHA board members discussed several topics related to NRHA-owned events during their May 2018 meeting, and among those topics was the opportunity to change the dates for the NRHA Futurity & Adequan® North American Affiliate Championship Show starting in 2019, as well as to shift the NRHA Derby up one week in the calendar.
The Barrel Futurities of America recently announced plans to move their December event, which has followed the NRHA Futurity since the 1980s, to the Lazy E Arena starting in 2019. This date cancellation opened up a very rare and time-sensitive opportunity to expand the dates for the NRHA Futurity.
Presented with an unusual offering, the board talked at length about many scenarios including pros and cons to the option. In the end, they came up with a potential date change for the event.
“Doors like this don’t open very often, so we took a good, hard look at how this could help us further solidify the event for the future,” said NRHA President Mike Deer. “What could we do to help exhibitors, owners and fans have a better experience? What possibilities could we explore that we can’t today because we just don’t have enough days or hours in those days? Let’s take this opportunity and see what we can make of it for the sport and the horse.”
“Since moving the Futurity to Oklahoma City, the schedule, number of entries, number of horses and other needs have grown,” agreed NRHA Vice President Mike Hancock. “We’ve not had the opportunity to expand the schedule based upon the fact that we were sandwiched in between two events. This opportunity allows us to have a clean canvas to develop the schedule that suits our expanded needs better than ever. Our aged events committee will now take this opportunity to fill in the blanks on what the schedule would look like.”
The date change can help the NRHA address the following needs and maximize the event:
- More time for general move-in
- More time to settle in horses after travel
- More time to familiarize horses with the facility prior to showing
- Starting the show later (i.e. several days later, not on Thanksgiving)
- More down time between go-rounds
- More flexibility to adjust the schedule to avoid over-booked, long days
- Options to avoid class cross-over in the schedule
- More alternatives for fun, social parties and events that are a part of the NRHA Futurity experience
- More time for facility clean up before it is released to the NRHA
The NRHA Aged Events Committee will consider these concerns and create a recommended schedule for the board to review at an upcoming meeting. The available 2019 dates, which include move-in days, are:
- Previous Available Dates (Including move-in days): Tues. Nov. 26 – Sat. Dec. 7
- New Available Dates (Including move-in days): Fri. Nov. 29 – Sat. Dec. 14
In a similar situation, the week prior to the NRHA Derby became available starting in 2019. The board agreed to shift since it will separate the show further from the July 4 holiday. In addition, July is historically the hottest month in Oklahoma, so a move earlier in the year may help in that regard. The shift also allows an extra day to be used as needed for the best schedule possible. The 2019 show dates will be (move-in included): June 13 – 23.