• Photo by Waltenberry.

Young Artists Shine in 2021 NRHyA Art & Photo Contest

Submissions to the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) 2021 Art & Photo Contest sponsored by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum doubled this year with many great pieces created by industry youth.

With more 50 entries total, this year’s competition was incredibly tough for the esteemed judges.

“I encourage everyone to take some time away from the heat of the Derby to see these works of art displayed in such a stunning museum,” NRHA Youth & Professionals Program Manager Sara Honegger said in a statement. “These young artists put so much work into their craft and I am excited how much this contest has grown in just one year, especially with the amount of younger NRHA participants. Congratulations to all!”

Click here to view photos of the winners at

The contest judges consisted of NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter; Michael R. Grauer, McCasland Chair of cowboy culture/curator of cowboy collections and western art at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; and Steve Miller, vice president, event marketing at NRHA Corporate Partner Montana Silversmiths.

2021 Winners

Photography 14-18
First Place: Faith Horner
Second Place: Jaiden Cohlmia
Third Place: Raeanna Thayn

Photography 13 & Under
First Place: Kynlee Cohlmia
Second Place: Gracelyn Hansmeyer
Third Place: Claire Holoubek

Mixed Medium 14-18
First Place: Alexandra Nicole Mueller
Second Place: Hannah Schuck
Third Place: Hannah Schuck

Mixed Medium 13 & Under
First Place: Cassandra Hacking
Second Place: Gracelyn Hansmeyer
Third Place: Cassandra Hacking

Graphic Design 14-18
First Place: Raeanna Thayn

Graphic Design 13 & Under
First Place: Cassandra Hacking

Honorable Mention
Victoria McClure

New Class 

Honorable Mention winner Victoria McClure’s art came in just shy of the top three finishes in the Mixed Medium 13 & Under class, and also inspired a new category for next year. 

Starting in 2022, the contest will have a 10 & Under class so younger budding artists can have a space to showcase their talents as well. The NRHA congratulations McClure on her great showing.

The NRHyA Art & Photo Contest is one of a number of ways young artists can showcase their work. Recently, the American Paint Horse Association also revealed their art contest winners.