A Vintage Smoke won the NRHA Derby with Jason Vanlandingham, part of his reining Triple Crown victory. • Photo by Kelsey Pecsek Hruska.

Judges Chosen for this Year’s NRHA Derby

The 6666 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby is coming up fast, and officials say they’ve determined the roster of judges who will mark the big event.

 Chosen for the Jim Norick Coliseum classes are Chele McGauly, Kim Myers, Ann Anderman, Kelly Sapp and Terry Thompson, with Ed Cridge serving as equipment judge. In the Adequan® Arena, Brenda Brown, John Tuckey and Pete Kyle will officiate. The Judges Monitors will be Nick Baar and Bob Kail.

“I am proud of the roster of outstanding NRHA judges selected for this year’s NRHA Derby. These judges will arrive in Oklahoma City prepared, focused, and will score each run with the utmost professionalism,” NRHA Sr. Director of Education & Officials Patti Carter said in a statement.

Carter herself has judged the NRHA Derby in the past.

“The NRHA Derby is one of the pinnacle events of the industry. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to officiate the Derby, and a privilege to have the best seat in the house for this great reining,” she said.

The NRHA says its selection process for judges at each major NRHA event begins several months before the first horse ever enters the pen.  

Here’s how they are chosen for the NRHA Futurity and NRHA Derby:

Each eligible judge is contacted for their availability for the event.

All available judges are compiled into a list and sent to each member of the Judges Committee.

Judges Committee members make selections from the list to fill the allotted slots for the event.

These names are compiled into a shortlist and discussed on a conference call with all members of the Judges Committee. Nominations are allowed to be made on this conference call.

The committee members, except for the chair, then rank their choices and each ranking equates to a certain number of points. The points are compiled and submitted to the committee chair.

The committee chair reviews and makes recommendations based on the outcome of the vote and the needs of NRHA.

The ranked list with the Judges Committee Chair recommendations is submitted for final selection.

Officials say the process is set in place to ensure that the Derby will be a well-judged competition with the quality and professionalism of the selected judges.