reining-horse
The Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award honors those who have made a significant impact to the sport of reining. • Photo by Waltenberry.

Dale Wilkinson Award Nominations Due

The deadline is coming up for the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Named for the man known as the “father of modern-day reining,” the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award is a prestigious accolade that honors recipients for their impact on reining.

Dale Wilkinson stood out among his peers as his technique and willingness to teach transformed the sport of reining into the model of collection and finesse that we know today. Wilkinson was one of the founding members of the NRHA and the first Hall of Fame inductee.

During his lifetime, Wilkinson was an educator, promoter, and mentor to all reiners. He set an example of how riders should conduct themselves, train and exhibit a horse. Due to his unmatched lifetime of accomplishment in reining, the NRHA Hall of Fame Committee created the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award, supported by the Reining Horse Foundation.

Each year, the NRHA Board of Directors and past Hall of Fame inductees vote to approve a worthy candidate for recognition. Unique among its counterparts, the criteria for the award is not centered around NRHA membership, competition/earning records or even status as a breeder or owner. It is solely based on the person’s positive impact on the sport of reining.

In keeping with the culture that Wilkinson helped to form, the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award nominee must have an inherent passion for the industry. They must have contributed to or changed the course of reining in a positive way irrespective of personal gain. Additionally, the recipient will have demonstrated the ability and desire to attract new people to the sport.

“To be nominated for and receive the Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award is one of NRHA’s highest honors,” says NRHA Executive Assistant & Governance Coordinator Liz Kelsey, who also serves as the staff liaison to the NRHA Hall of Fame Committee. “When you look at who else has received the award, you will see some of reining’s most notable contributors.”

Any NRHA member can submit a nomination, which is due on June 1. All nominations should be sent to Liz Kelsey at [email protected]

This year’s recipient will be formally recognized during Sliders’ Night Out presented by Toyon Ranch held on December 1 during the NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships in Oklahoma City.

Click here for the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award nomination form.