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KEY Oklahoma City

NRHA Derby Offers Western Riding Action

Cowboys and horses on the prairie may be in short supply on the great plains of Oklahoma. But cowboys and horses working together, displaying phenomenal teamwork in patterns of lightning speed, sliding stops, and spins as fast as an Oklahoma twister can be found at the State Fair Park Arena, May 17-23 at the NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Derby.

Besides the action and competition that comes with the sport of Reining, the NRHA Derby holds entertainment, education, a horse sale and shopping in old west fashion. There’s no better place to enjoy the atmosphere of the western lifestyle than at the NRHA Derby.

The NRHA, the governing body of the sport of Reining, is headquartered at Oklahoma State Fair Park where two of the association’s biggest events are held annually – the NRHA Derby and the NRHA Futurity & Championship Show, which begins each year on Thanksgiving day.

The 2004 NRHA Derby
For most, May is a time for finishing out the school year and planning summer vacations. To a reining exhibitor, early May is a time for final preparations and training for the Derby where each of the more than 500 exhibitors pack their tack, suitcases and haul their horses to OKC in hopes that the Derby will be payday. The Derby boasts of a total purse of more than $500,000.

If you’re looking for entertainment, check out the Freestyle Demonstration held Saturday evening. A real crowd-pleaser, Freestyle is a reining routine choreographed to music with horse and rider in costume.

To watch the best Non Pros in the reining industry compete on their 4-, 5- and 6-year-old horses at one of the most prestigious events of the year, take in the Non Pro Derby Finals Saturday evening.

For an on-the-edge-of-your-seat experience, don’t miss the NRHA Open Derby Finals Saturday evening. NRHA’s most talented and respected professional riders go head to head in the event’s premier and most highly anticipated competition. The Open Champion will earn a guaranteed $50,000 paycheck!

Special Activities
For the first time ever, the NRHA Derby will host the Bayer/USEF Open Reining Championship Final with a purse of $75,000. Competitors will also be adding to their earnings to qualify for the World Reining Masters Finals at the NRHA Futurity & Championship Show. NRHA will offer free admission all day Sunday for any and all who want to watch reining action on an international level. NRHA’s newest Million Dollar Rider, Duane Latimer of Ardmore, Oklahoma, will be honored during a special ceremony Friday evening as well. NRHA’s newest Million Dollar Sire, Reminic, owned by the Reminic Partnership, will also be honored on Saturday evening preceding the Open Derby Finals. And the United States best collegiate reining competitors will come together to compete in the NRHA Collegiate Reining Champion- ship at 11 a.m. on Friday. Also, highlighting the Derby is reining’s best young riders competing for top honors in the USEF Young Rider Reining Medal Class on Sunday morning. NRHA Youth will be competing on Saturday morning.

In The Market for a Reiner?
Looking for a reining horse? The NRHA Derby is host to the Derby Spotlight Sale, Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m. This sale features outstanding individuals representing the premier bloodlines of the reining horse industry.

Shopping Western Style
The NRHA Derby also features shopping at its best, including Western décor, clothing, jewelry, artwork, tack, trailers and everything for horsemen, western enthusiasts and horse lovers alike. There is something for everyone at the Derby Trade Show.

Unable To Attend?
If you are unable to attend, you can kick off your boots and saddle up for two hours of highlights from the Derby’s Friday evening performance, as well as lots of other interesting information about the NRHA, its competitors and the sport of Reining. The show will broadcast May 21 at 6:30 p.m. and will air on Cox Communications local cable channel 7.

If you would like to learn more about the sport of Reining, the NRHA and its member benefits, go to or contact the NRHA office at 405-946-7400.


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