Rider designations are due this week for the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity.
The deadline to designate is now due Friday, Oct. 1, which is the same day as the last payment. The NRHA announced this was a change made by the NRHA Board of Directors in an effort to streamline the entering process.
In the past, the rider designations were due on Nov. 1. Horses that were undesignated at that time were put at the front of the draw. This often caused hardship for an owner and rider who might have simply miscommunicated on who was sending in the designation form.
Having the rider designation deadline set earlier gives time for undesignated horses to be verified and needed corrections made so that a mistake doesn’t automatically cause a horse to be put at the front of the draw.
For most people showing in the Non-Pro and Open futurities, there is little question as to who will show a horse so it’s one less deadline to keep up with. NRHA Professionals needing extra time to decide whether they or an assistant trainer will show a particular horse, can simply designate a rider by Oct. 1 and then change as necessary with no penalties until noon two days before the first day of the Futurity.
Officials say the key is to get the designations in by Oct. 1, then there is no charge for any rider changes that are completed before the final deadline.
The NRHA says when a rider change is submitted after the draw is complete and it stays within the same division (Open or Non-Pro), there is no fee.
There is a difference when a rider change is submitted after the draw is complete and the rider is switching from the Open to the Non Pro or vice versa. In that case, the draw number will become a negative draw and a $250 fee will be due at the time of the rider and division change.
No rider changes will be accepted after noon two days prior to the first go.