Just days from move-in, the 55th National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships looks to be a record-breaker – and not just with its historic, first-ever quarter of a million dollar payment to the Open Futurity Champion!
Stall numbers now exceed 1,660, up from last year’s 1,394. Similarly, entries for the show have risen across the board. Along with increased futurity entries, the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships and horse show classes promise record days as well, with 50% growth in most classes. Since entries do not close until the day before the class, the numbers are expected to expand even more by show time.
Competition begins with the first section of the Open Preliminaries on Nov. 26, and in recognition of rising numbers, the NRHA is emphasizing the necessity for attendees to comply with COVID-19 mandates and masking requirements. NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter noted, “We expect great compliance from our NRHA members who are so passionate about this sport and our ability to hold this Futurity during this admittedly difficult time. It’s pretty simple, you must wear a mask, wash your hands and maintain social distancing.”
He will soon be joined in urging exhibitors and attendees to “Mask Up, Cowboy Up” by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, whose video message will be played on the arena jumbotrons and on the live feed. Carpenter added that the NRHA Board and Executive Committee are united in their support of the mask mandate as they remain excited about going forward with this historic Futurity.
Association President Mike Hancock echoed Carpenter’s sentiments. “We are committed to providing a safe environment for all who attend. We are asking industry leaders and top professionals to show their leadership by complying with the rules set in place. A complete list of protocols can be found at nrhafuturity.com.”
The NRHA Futurity and Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships, although closed to the general public, is open to all horse enthusiasts, who may enter through the barn areas to attend performances, the Futurity Trade Show held during the entire show and the NRHA/Markel Futurity Sales, set for Thursday, Dec. 3. The event will follow whatever health mandates are in place for Oklahoma City at the time of the show, currently including masks being required and restrictions pertaining to social distancing.
The National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the sport of reining through a core mission: “Respect the Horse. Respect the Sport.” Founded in 1966, NRHA now has nearly 15,000 members and sets the standards for reining worldwide. Reining is an international sport and continues to grow year after year by offering opportunities for horse enthusiasts of all ages.