By Elizabeth Ennis
“Paints Do it Best” has been taken to an all new level in the reining pen in recent years. Thrilling stories of Paints doing great things at the FEI World Equestrian Games and topping reining horse sales, among other achievements, have made a statement to the performance horse world that Paints truly are “Marked for Greatness.” Amazing horses such as Spooks Gotta Whiz, Custom Made Gun and MsDreamy—along with the incomparable “Gunner”— are becoming household names, recognizable to enthusiasts beyond just the Paint and reining worlds. APHA is excited to continue an affiliate partnership with the National Reining Horse Association to encourage this growth and reward Paints in the fast-paced world of reining competition.
Director of Business Development Kurt Crawford reflects on the impact NRHA has had on the Paint Horse breed.
“The NRHA is a great organization in which our Paint Horses and APHA members thrive. Many of our top breeders in the Paint Horse world come from the NRHA, and some of our breed’s top sires also have a foothold in reining. We value our relationship with this top organization,” he said.
The APHA Reining Buckle Incentive Program is just one way APHA rewards Paints who are excelling in the reining pen. Top-placing registered Paints in select classes at shows earmarked by APHA have the chance to win gorgeous Gist Silversmiths buckles to commemorate their accomplishments. To be eligible for the program, exhibitors must be current APHA members and the horse must be APHA registered. Riders can sign up for the program the day before the event’s first go with an on-site APHA representative.
The NRHA was founded in 1966 to set the standard for the sport and promote the reining horse worldwide. Over the past two decades, the NRHA’s membership has grown past 15,000, including more than 1,400 youth members. The organization pays out in competition purses more than $13 million each year, with $150,000 going to the winner of the NRHA Open Futurity.
In 1988, reining became the first Western discipline recognized by the United States Equestrian Team; the international governing body for horse sports, the Federation Equestre International, recognized reining in 2000 and the sport debuted at the World Equestrian Games in 2002. In 2014, the NRHA unveiled the Adaptive Reining Program, now called Para-Reining, for para-equestrians. The NRHA is committed to spreading the sport of reining across all boundaries, whether they are geographical, mental or physical.
[Reprinting all of part of this story is permitted, so long as credit is given to the Paint Horse Journal and a link provide back to apha.com.]
The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded in 1962. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.