In months-long stretch mostly full of not-so-good news, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) had a piece of great news to share on Thursday morning.
Entries for the NRHA Derby Open division are up almost 20% and the Non-Pro is up “substantially,” said Cheryl Cody, a member of the event management team.
The Open division increased from 206 horses in 2019 to 242 in 2020, while the Non-Pro Derby witnessed a jump from 214 to 245. Entries in the ancillary classes seem to be on track to exceed 2019 numbers as well, show officials said.
“We are excited to have a horse show, and it’s clear that our owners and exhibitors want that, too,” Cody said in a news release.
The NRHA Derby is set for June 13-21 at the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City.
The entry deadline was Wednesday morning. The final numbers are all the more pleasing after show officials reported a slow start initially.
Show schedules in all the Western disciplines were brought to an abrupt halt, of course, by the COVID-19 shutdowns, beginning in March. States have gradually begun to lift restrictions and reopen their societies.
“We are expecting this to be a very large show,” said Gary Carpenter, NRHA Commissioner. “Besides being up in entries, we are also substantially up in stall reservations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be some changes, but everyone is on board and ready to do what it takes to have a great event.
The Open and Non-Pro draws will be posted Friday.
The show website is nrhaderby.com.