Thanks to wins aboard horses such as Spooksgotgunsintown (pictured at the Buckeye Reining Classic), Dean Brown is the newest NRHA Million Dollar Rider. • Photo by Jeff Kirkbride.

Dean Brown New NRHA Million Dollar Rider

New York reining horse trainer Dean Brown recently became the newest National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Rider.

Brown, who trains out of Santa Hill Ranch in Campbell, New York, has dedicated his career to the sport of reining. He got his start with horses at a young age when he worked alongside his father training horses on the family’s ranch in Ontario, Canada. Since then, Brown has remained an active NRHA member for more than 25 years, training horses, coaching riders, and competing in major events across the country.

He passed the millionaire mark thanks to his All American Congress Futurity Level 4 Open Reserve Championship aboard SHR Sweet Joe, a son of Lil Joe Cash owned by Robert Santagata. Brown and the stallion also took the Congress Level 3 Open win.

Brown credits his parents, Brian and Elaine Brown; his family; his wife, Laura; as well as Robert and Arlene Santagata, who are the owners of Santa Hill Ranch; and the many equine athletes he’s had the privilege to ride.

“A lot of my early horses came to me through my parents. I’m thankful for my wife, Laura, and my family’s support, too,” Brown said in a statement issued by the NRHA. “Robert and Arlene have given me the opportunity to ride and train some very nice horses. They let me do my job.”

Brown’s Notable Wins

  • 1998 All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Co-Championship on Dolls Skeeter
  • 2003 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) fifth in Level 4 Open and Level 3 Open Championship on Tinsel Nic
  • 2007 NRHA Derby fifth in Level 4 Open on Boomtown Rocker
  • 2011 NRHA Futurity 10th in Level 4 Open and fourth in Level 3 Open on Conquer The Spin
  • 2015 NRBC ninth in Level 4 Open on The Kids Gotta Gun
  • 2017 Congress third in Level 4 Open and Level 3 Open Champion on Dunit With A Blond

With just over a million in NRHA lifetime earnings to date, Brown has no plans of slowing down—he’s already shooting for the next milestone. 

“We have some really cool horses here at Santa Hill,” Brown said. “I’ll just keep on working for that two million dollars.”

For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News