Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is an organization dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse. It serves as the standard setting body for the sport of Reining worldwide.


This organization is incorporated under the laws of the State of Oklahoma and shall be known as the National Reining Horse Association, and shall at all times be operated as a not for profit association in accordance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma and the United States of America.

To promote and encourage development of and public interest in agriculture and ranching through the promotion of public Reining Horse Shows; the development of suitable and proper standards of performance and judging intended to govern all Reining Horse Contests sponsored and approved by the National Reining Horse Association; to encourage the development and breeding of better Reining Horses; and to develop and disseminate informational material deemed desirable to provide contestants and spectators a better understanding of a proper performance of the Reining Horse in the show arena.

Reining is a judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse within the confines of a show arena. In NRHA competition, contestants are required to run one of ten approved patterns, included in the NRHA Handbook.

Each pattern includes small slow circles, large fast circles, flying lead changes, roll backs over the hocks, 360 degree spins done in place, and exciting sliding stops that are the hallmark of the reining horse.

The NRHA Judging System is recognized as the leading format for judging an equine event that combines technical and stylistic elements coupled with consideration of "degree of difficulty". Many segments of the equine judging discipline have openly embraced the NRHA Judging System.

In the last few years, NRHA has prospered as one of the most popular equine sport associations in the world. The NRHA Executive Board has joined forces with other equine associations to accomplish common goals and to move the sport of Reining into the international arena. Gaining acceptance as the first Western Discipline of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) marked an important page in the history of Reining, the western horse, and the NRHA.

Over the years since NRHA’s inception, many individuals have contributed to its growth. Some are human and some are equine. All have been exceptional! Exceptional in their individual accomplishments and exceptional in their contribution to the sport of Reining.

In recognition of these individuals, NRHA instituted the NRHA Hall of Fame as a continuing acknowledgement of the contribution of these exceptional contributors. The Hall of Fame can be visited in person at the NRHA headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Come slide with us!

In 1993, Hollywood Jac 86, a leading NRHA Sire for many years, was the first sire to accumulate over $1,000,000 in offspring earnings. In 1995, Bill Horn, one of the sports founding members and leading riders, became the first person to win over $1,0000,000 in NRHA competition. These were astounding milestones for the sport of reining and prompted the association to institute a program that will continue to recognize individuals that achieve this level of accomplishment. Since then, a small number of others have joined this elite group – the NRHA’s Million Dollar Earners.

Contributed By: National Reining Horse Association