Entries are up significantly for the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian, which starts Saturday, July 10, near Memphis, Tennessee.
Officials say entries are up 33 percent from last year’s show, which made its debut in 2020 as an NRCHA premier event.
With two sets of horse show classes, a 4- and 5-year-old Open Derby with $50,000 added to the purse and the Spectacular three-event classes, the Eastern Derby will run July 10-17. In addition to producing the event, the NRCHA is focusing on the non-pro experience at this premier show.
Twice during the show Open NRCHA competitors will answer questions and share their perspective during sessions called “Tips From The Top,” which will be held during the Open Bridle rein work and the Open Derby cow work. The goal is to allow Youth and Non-Pro competitors to better understand how an Open rider thinks through their pattern in the reining and handles cow work.
“Having an NRCHA premier event in the Eastern U.S., where a higher percentage of our members are non-professionals, gives us the perfect opportunity to cater to this important part of our membership,” said Anna Morrison, NRCHA executive director. “Non-Pros come to our events with a different set of expectations and questions than our professionals do, and we’re excited to focus on making this a fun and educational event for them.”
Officials say that although the reined cow horse association began in California in 1949, today enthusiastic members compete from coast to coast, making the Eastern Derby successful and close for the growing number of East Coast competitors
The Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby, presented by MARS Equestrian™, is in Cordova, Tennessee, and honors Dom Conicelli, a well-known NRCHA member who helped found the Atlantic Reined Cow Horse Association and was an enthusiastic supporter of the sport of reined cow horse. Prior to his death in 2018, Conicelli was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Merit for his longstanding support of the industry.
In 2021, MARS Equestrian lends support as the presenting sponsor of the show. The equestrian arm of Mars, Incorporated links brands, such as Pedigree, Nutro, Greenies and Mars candy, to reined cow horse.
“We could not be more grateful to MARS Equestrian for their partnership and support of NRCHA and the Eastern Derby,” Morrison said. “Partners who share our passion for animals and horse sport make all the difference in being able to offer a high-quality event for our exhibitors.”
For more information on these events and reined cow horse and the Eastern Derby show page with results and a webcast, visit www.nrcha.com.