If early stall numbers and entries are any indication, the 2020 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity and the Adequan North American Affiliate Championship (NAAC) shows are going to be big.
Officials say stalls for the show, which starts next week, are at 1,660 — up 266 from last year — and entries have risen across the board. Futurity entries are up from last year, they say, but noted the numbers at the accompanying NAAC show are up 50 percent in most classes. Entries do not close until the day before the class, the numbers are expected to expand even more by show time.
The Futurity will feature its largest first-place payout ever, with $250,000 going to the winner of the Level 4 Open in 2020.
“Mask Up, Cowboy Up”
Futurity competition begins with the first section of the Open preliminaries on Nov. 26, and in recognition of rising numbers, the NRHA is emphasizing the necessity for attendees to comply with COVID-19 mandates and masking requirements.
“We expect great compliance from our NRHA members who are so passionate about this sport and our ability to hold this Futurity during this admittedly difficult time,” NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter said in a statement. “It’s pretty simple, you must wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain social distancing.”
Carpenter will soon be joined in urging exhibitors and attendees to “Mask Up, Cowboy Up” by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, whose video message will be played on the arena jumbotrons and on the live feed. Carpenter added that the NRHA Board and Executive Committee are united in their support of the mask mandate as they remain excited about going forward with this historic Futurity.
Association President Mike Hancock said the NRHA is committed to providing a safe environment for all who attend.
“We are asking industry leaders and top professionals to show their leadership by complying with the rules set in place,” he said. “A complete list of protocols can be found at nrhafuturity.com.”
Closed to Public
The NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships, although closed to the general public, is open to all horse enthusiasts, who may enter through the barn areas to attend performances, the Futurity Trade Show held during the entire show and the NRHA/Markel Futurity Sales, set for Thursday, Dec. 3.
The event will follow whatever health mandates are in place for Oklahoma City at the time of the show, currently including masks being required and restrictions pertaining to social distancing.