The 2020 NRHA European Derby has been moved to next year. Last year, the Level 4 Open Champions were Gunners Specialolena and Ann Fonck. • Photo by Tom Hautmann

NRHA European Derby Move to Next Year, Will Include 9-Year-Olds

The 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) European Derby, which was canceled due to COVID-19, had been moved to next spring. That edition of the NRHA European Derby will be open to horses ages 6-9.

This is the second time officials rescheduled this year’s show due to the global pandemic.

First, it was moved from its original dates in May, 2020, to Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2020. Now, it has been moved again to May 13-26, 2021. The NRHA’s European Board said the latest change was made to enable horses to compete in four derbies during their careers. 

Officials say it also was intended to create a plan in the best interest of European members, riders, owners, breeders, nominators, and fans.  

“I have always believed in the NRHA European Futurity and Derby and have been a keen supporter of both events since their inception,” said NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee and NRHA European Council president Roberto Cuoghi. “In 2009, my good friend [NRHA Hall of Fame Inductee] Eleuterio Arcese took it upon himself to provide financial support for the first three editions of the Euro Futurity. In 2011, as I was serving on the NRHA BoD, I did the same for the Euro Derby.”

The show schedule changes include:

* The 2020 NRHA European Derby will be held in Wels, Austria May 13–16, 2021. It will be open to NRHA nominated horses that are 6 to 9 years old in 2021.

 * The 2021 NRHA European Derby will be held in Lyon, France in conjunction with Longines Equita Lyon Oct. 27–31, 2021. This event will be open to NRHA nominated horses that are 5 to 8 years old in 2021. 

Last year, Gunners Specialolena and Ann Fonck won the NRHA European Derby Level 4 Open Championship.