John Swales of Millarville, Alberta, Canada is the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s (NRCHA) newest $1 Million rider. To make the milestone a little more sweet, Swales is the first Canadian $1 million rider.
Swales crossed the million dollar mark at the Alberta Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity, Derby, & Cow Horse Show at the end of August. Going into the event, Swales was just over $10,000 from the milestone. After earning top placings in both the Open Bridle, Futurity, and Derby events, Swales brought his lifetime earnings to $1,009,932.79.
“A couple of years ago, I realized that earning a million dollars in the reined cow horse was a possibility. At the beginning of this year, I knew that it was in reach and so I thought it would be a cool thing to accomplish,” Swales said. “I actually didn’t realize I had won as much as I did to this point in the year until my sister [Veronica Swales] told me.”
Growing up in the horse and cattle industry, Swales has been immersed in the industry since a young age. After working for Les Timmons, Swales was first exposed to the reined cow horse. In the late 1990s, he began training professionally and has become no stranger to the winner’s circle. Earning titles both throughout Canada and the USA, Swales is a nine-time Calgary Stampede Open Bridle Champion, and an NRCHA Open and Intermediate Open Snaffle Bit Futurity® finalist, and a 2-time World’s Greatest Horseman Champion.
“I couldn’t do this without the support of my family, and I have been fortunate to have some really good horses throughout my career,” Swales said. “Everyone in this industry is so supportive, whether it is helping at a show or offering advice.”
The NRCHA will induct Swales, along with Ken Wold and Luke Jones, into the NRCHA Million Dollar Club at the 2023 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity® Open Finals on Saturday, October 21, at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas.