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The NRHA has called off its world title races this year as a result of the many show cancellations, and likely future cancellations, due to COVID-19. Last year, Chicks Smokingun and Morey Fisk earned the Open World Championship. • Photo by Bonaga Communication.

NRHA Suspends 2020 World Title Race

There will be no National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) World champions this year.

In a unanimous decision, the NRHA Board of Directors has suspended the 2020 NRHA World Title race.

Historically, NRHA World Titles are awarded in Open, Non-Pro, and Youth divisions. The titles are a global competition, and many international horses and riders have earned championships over the years. 

However, in an announcement Tuesday, June 9, the NRHA said COVID-19 has led to cancellation of many events, and will lead to more, in both in the U.S. and around the world. The NRHA Board agreed that suspending the NRHA World Title Race was the only fair and equitable thing to do for the entire membership, worldwide.

“The NRHA World Champion titles have played an important part of NRHA,” NRHA President Mike Hancock said in a statement. “The titles have been won by exceptional people and horses demonstrating dedication, persistence, and talent. We wanted to be fair and uphold the integrity of the title. The uncertainty that exists today makes this the right thing to do.”

Previously, the NRHA had joined the NCHA in temporarily suspending year-end championship standings during the pandemic.

This decision comes just as NRHA is about to kick off the first major event of 2020: the NRHA Derby Presented by Markel, which runs June 13–21 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In spite of the pandemic, entries to this year’s Derby surpassed the number of competitors who entered the event in 2019, the NRHA said.

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