horse walking with rider
In 2017, breast cancer survivor Kirstin Kutchik performed an empowering freestyle performance to Melissa Etheridge’s “I Run For Life," during the NRHA Futurity show. This year's Freestyle Invitational will feature 12 riders. • Photo by Kristin Pitzer.

Lineup Announced For $20,000 NRHA Invitational Freestyle

Officials have announced the names of a dozen riders who will compete in the $20,000 National Reining Horse Association  (NRHA) Invitational Freestyle Reining competition at the NRHA Futurity show.

The performance, which will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 29), will feature choreographed, one-of-a-kind routines. Freestyle performances pair reining with music, costumes, props, and theatrics.  

This year’s lineup:

• Dan James – Midway, Kentucky

• Drake Johnson – Wray, Colorado

• Emily Emerson – Elbert, Colorado

• Jessicah Keller – Sumner, Texas

• Keith Ceddia – Centerburg, Ohio

• Kirstin Booth – Temecula, California

• Melanie Wilhelm – Nazareth, Texas

• Randall Dooley – Elbert, Colorado

• Reed Kyle – Pilot Point, Texas

• Sarah Locker – Brashear, Texas

• Shane Brown – Elbert, Colorado

• Shannon Rafacz – Citra, Florida

Tickets are available at or by calling the Oklahoma State Fair Box Office at (405) 948-6800.

“NRHA is thrilled to have the Invitational Freestyle Reining at the Futurity again this year. With the help of the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, we have established a fantastic lineup for this year’s competition,” said Shianne Megel, NRHA Senior Director of Events, said in a statement. “Everyone is invited to come out on Thursday night, and enjoy this exciting event at the Futurity.”

Reining Superstars Autograph Session

Also on the schedule for Nov. 29, is an autograph session featuring gold, silver, and bronze medalists from the recent FEI World Equestrian Games held in Tryon, North Carolina. Just like Olympic athletes representing their home countries. Fans are invited to stop by the east concourse of the Jim Norick prior to the 7 p.m. Freestyle Reining and get autographs.

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