The NRHA recently announced the rules for qualifying for the 2021 NAAC. • Photo by Waltenberry

Officials Announce Qualifying Rules for 2021 NAAC Show

Qualification rules for the 2021 Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) were recently announced by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based organization said its Board of Directors determined the rules for this year will be the same as last year, when they changed the rules to accommodate riders and local affiliates challenged by the pandemic. Officials say the only addition is that riders must be an affiliate member to show at an ARC.

Once again, anyone receiving a score higher than a zero at an ARC will be able to enter that class at the NAAC, which is held in conjunction with the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. There are no requirements to compete at an ARC other than the rider must be a member of an NRHA affiliate, which they are encouraged to join beforehand. The objective of the NRHA Board is to encourage people to attend the ARCs and support the affiliate program without limiting the number of horses that attend the Adequan® NAAC.

Last year, the NAAC paid out more than $107,000 to more than 900 entries from all across the country. The event nearly doubled in size from the previous year.

“Numbers at the 2020 Adequan® NAAC grew by almost 100% and the competition was tougher than ever. Although there were multiple factors that led to this, including doubling the added money, the Affiliate Committee believes that the eased qualification structure was pivotal. It not only allows more people to come to Oklahoma City, but it is also easier to understand the process if you are new to the sport,” NRHA Affiliate Committee Staff Liaison Sara Honegger said in a statement. “We want reiners to have a chance to enjoy competing at the Adequan® NAAC and don’t want circumstances out of their control to impact that.”

As in 2020, riders will be allowed to participate in multiple ARCs with one exception; if they win a class, they cannot compete on the same horse in the same class at another ARC.

“For example, a horse and rider that won the ARC Non-Pro class at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championships would not be allowed to compete in the ARC Non-Pro class at the Southwest Affiliate Regional Championships,” Honegger said. “We want to make sure that we continue to promote the affiliates and their membership, and the Affiliate Committee felt this was a good way to make sure those living in regions with more restrictions are still able to attend an ARC while also supporting an affiliate.”

For more information about NRHA membership or the NRHA Affiliate program, visit