16-year-old Florida native Madison Rafacz claimed the first The Run For A Million (TRFAM) Youth Reining Championship on August 19 at the South Point Arena and Equestrian Center. Madison Rafacz and Stop Like Voodoo (Shiners Voodoo Dr x Got My Own Dream x Magnum Chic Dream) scored a 145.5 to take the lead.
This year’s event expansion at The Run For A Million has given National Reining Horse Association youth competitors an exceptional opportunity to showcase their horsemanship. For the first time, 11 contestants qualified for the youth reining championship.
Growing up in a horse-training family, Rafacz has grown up in the horse industry. From the beginning, she was born into horse showing and was in the short stirrup classes at the age of five. Reflecting on her youth career, she has had an exceptional journey with numerous world championships. At the 2023 American Quarter Horse Youth World Show, Rafacz was named a Ranch Trail World Champion. She also set a world record of 244 for the highest score ever recorded in the Ranch Trail. Rafacz has continued her winning streak at TRFAM.
Despite all her recent success, Rafacz stressed her joy over the ride, feeling incredibly fortunate to be the first-ever youth reining champion at TRFAM. With high hopes the youth reining will continue to grow at TRFAM, Rafacz encourages her competitors to enjoy the journey and always have fun.
Rafacz attributes her success to her family, both barn and blood.
“I’d like to thank my Dad [Mark Rafacz] for always preparing my horses, my mom [Shannon Rafacz] for always being my cheerleader, and Tom and Mandy McCutcheon for all the help leading up to this show,” Rafacz said.
TRFAM Youth Reining Reserve Champion was California native Mary Riley Cachat. Cachat rode A Smalltown Trick (Tricked Out Spook x A Smalltown Gal x Hollywoodstinseltown) to a close 145 score.