Debbie Crafton rode Dualin Alittle Time to the NRCHA Eastern Derby Non-Pro Championship. • Photo by Primo Morales.

National Reined Cow Horse Association Cancels Eastern Derby for 2023

The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) moves to cancel the Don Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby for 2023 due to the lack of available facilities to accommodate the event.

After a year of searching for a suitable facility that was located east of the Mississippi and met the requirements for an NRCHA premier event, which include being located in a safe area, having an adequate number of stalls, proper cattle holding facilities, and having proximity to suitable hotels and restaurants, the NRCHA made the difficult decision to cancel the Eastern Derby for 2023.

The Dom Conicelli Memorial Eastern Derby was first hosted by the NRCHA in 2020 after taking the event over from the East Coast Classic. The event was held at the Agricenter International ShowPlace Arena in Memphis, Tennessee, for three years before the event outgrew the facility.

Ricato Suave was in control from start to finish at the NRCHA Eastern Derby, earning his first premier event victory with trainer Clay Volmer. * Photo by Primo Morales.

Ricato Suave (Metallic Cat x Hip Hip Sue Rey x Dual Rey) and Clay Volmer found success in Tennessee, winning the Eastern Derby not once but twice, in 2021 and 2022.

“We understand the need for the NRCHA to have a presence with our East Coast membership and are focused on promoting the reined cow horse industry east of the Mississippi,” Emily Konkel, NRCHA executive director, said. “We are working internally to create new programs to achieve this goal and hope to have something in place with the support of our NRCHA Board of Directors and sponsors by 2025.”

The NRCHA will be evaluating options moving forward to determine the best way to grow and develop the reined cow horse industry in the East Coast region. For the latest news regarding NRCHA events and industry news, visit nrcha.com.

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