As the leaves begin to turn and the air gets crisp, the equine world gears up for one of the most anticipated events of the year: the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity. For more than 50 years, the NRHA Futurity has been a showcase for the world’s best reining horses and riders, drawing competitors and spectators from around the globe.
The NRHA Futurity takes place annually in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, at the State Fair Park. The event spans over two weeks, with qualifying rounds leading up to the finals, which are held in the Jim Norick Arena. The Futurity is open to 3-year-old horses that have never before competed in a NRHA-sanctioned event. It includes multiple divisions, including Non-Pro, Open, and Youth.
At the NRHA Futurity, spectators are treated to breathtaking displays of athleticism and precision as horse and rider teams compete in the sport of reining. Reining is a discipline that showcases the athleticism and responsiveness of the horse, as riders guide their mounts through a series of intricate patterns, spins, and slides.
In addition to the exciting competition, the NRHA Futurity also features a trade show, where attendees can peruse the latest in western fashion, equipment, and horse care products. There are also educational opportunities, including clinics and seminars on topics ranging from training techniques to horse care.
The NRHA Futurity is steeped in history and tradition, dating back to its inception in 1966. The event was created as a way to showcase the talents of the world’s best reining horses, and it has grown in size and prestige over the years. The Futurity has become a proving ground for young horses, with many going on to successful careers in the show ring and as breeding stallions.
The NRHA Futurity has also been the site of many memorable moments in reining history. In 1980, the event saw the first-ever perfect score in reining, when Bob Loomis rode a stallion named Topsail Whiz to a score of 100. In 2002, Shawn Flarida became the first rider to win the Futurity, the National Reining Breeders Classic, and the NRHA Derby all in the same year. And in 2010, Craig Schmersal became the first rider to win the Futurity on a mare.
The NRHA Futurity is not just a competition; it’s an experience. The atmosphere at the event is electric, with spectators cheering on their favorite riders and horses. The Futurity draws people from all walks of life, from seasoned reining enthusiasts to first-time attendees who are simply curious about the sport.
But the NRHA Futurity is more than just a fun event. It’s also an important economic driver for the equine industry, bringing in millions of dollars in revenue to the city of Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. The event supports local businesses and provides a boost to the hospitality and tourism industries.
Overall, the NRHA Futurity is a celebration of the western way of life and a testament to the bond between horse and rider. It’s an event that embodies the spirit of the American West and the values of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Whether you’re a seasoned reining enthusiast or a curious newcomer, the NRHA Futurity is an event you won’t want to miss.