David Silva wins Wilkinson Award
David Silva, Sr. • QHN File Photo.

David Silva Sr. to receive Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Hall of Fame Committee announced late last month that David Silva Sr. would be the recipient of the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Silva will be recognized with this year’s class of NRHA Hall of Fame inductees at Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch on Dec. 4 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City during the NRHA Futurity. 

Silva and his wife, Bonnie, have supported the NRHA for more than 30 years as exhibitors, breeder, sponsors and owners. Silva’s loyalty to the sport has encompassed all levels of reining, from the grassroots to elite competition. Silva has been a major donor to the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA), as well as the Reining Horse Foundation. He has also sponsored a variety of shows throughout the Northeast Region.

Together, the Silvas have served as leaders for both the Connecticut Reining Horse Association and the Eastern Pennsylvania Reining Horse Association, hosting meetings at their home, donating equipment, funding programs and dedicating time to running the shows.

The award is named after the legendary reining horse trainer Dale Wilkinson, better known as the “father of reining.” Wilkinson was the first inductee into the NRHA Hall of Fame. He was a multiple NRHA Futurity champion and one of the founding members of NRHA. Wilkinson was an educator, promoter and mentor to all reiners — professional and non pro — exemplifying how riders should conduct themselves and train and exhibit their horses. 

The NRHA Hall of Fame Committee founded the award, supported by the Reining Horse Foundation, in 2007. Each year, the NRHA Board of Directors and past Hall of Fame inductees vote to approve a candidate for recognition.

During his years in the industry, Silva has cultivated and provided support for several well-known and respected reining trainers, including Tim McQuay, Randy Cutbirth, Luke Gagnon, Sam Schaffhauser, Roger Brazeau, Borak Gibori, Lars Mortenson, Barbara Williams, Debbie Brown, Melanie Petroll and Brad Giesbrecht.

In 2012, Silva was the sixth person to join the NRHA $1 million owners list.

Some of his more notable horses include Equi-Stat Elite $2 Million Sire Hollywoodstinseltown and NRHA Hall of Famer Miss Tinseltown. Silva has bred, raised and shown several other top reining horses, including Gunners Tinseltown, Footworks Finest, Hollywood Downtown, Shiney Workboots, Great Footwork and Reminic N Dunit.

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