The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) has added its first premier event east of the Mississippi River.
Officials say the show will be called the Dom Conicelli Memorial NRCHA Eastern Derby, presented by MARS™ Equestrian. The event was formerly known as the East Coast Reined Cow Horse Classic.
NRCHA Communications Manager Allison Walker said the decision to create a premier event on the East Coast was voted on in December by the NRCHA board of directors. The NRCHA Eastern Derby’s first edition will be held this summer in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
NRCHA President Corey Cushing said the association is excited to add the show as one of its major events, and he hopes it continues to grow.
“We definitely just want to keep the whole reined cow horse industry growing, and this is a way for people — where it’s tough for them to come to the West Coast, Vegas, Paso Robles, so on and so forth — [this is] something a little bit closer for them,” he said.
Officials are still finalizing details, such as the added money, schedule and prize list, but say the tentative show dates are July 15-19 at the Tennessee Miller Coliseum. The event’s class lineup is expected to mimic that of the Classic, with a futurity, derby, horse show classes and a spectacular.
Additional information about the inaugural NRCHA Eastern Derby will be released in the coming months, Walker said.
The new show’s namesake — Dom Conicelli — was well known for his support of the reined cow horse sport, especially on the East Coast. The late Collegeville, Pennsylvania, resident, who died in October 2018, was one of the founders of the Atlantic Reined Cow Horse Association. Just prior to his death, he was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Merit.
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