Equita Lyon Western Horse Show, proud host of the NRHA European Derby since 2017, will also host a qualifier this year for The Run For A Million - Million Dollar Championship, the reining event with the highest prize purse in the world. An historic event, as Lyon will be the first and only qualifier held outside the USA making this a tremendous opportunity for European reining too. Already well-represented in the NRHA European Derby, Lyon will now give the discipline's elite a chance to rank among the world's best in August 2024, in Las Vegas, for The Run For A Million. Tickets for the NRHA Open European Derby and The Run For A Million qualifier are on sale now.

AUSTIN, Texas- Rodeo Corpus Christi and WCRA have recently announced the increased payout to over $600,000 in prize money for the 2024 WCRA Triple Crown of Rodeo Event. The May 7-11 lineup of events will also now include the CEAT Specialty Tires Division Youth Showcase Rodeo. Rodeo Corpus Christi coincides with the annual Buc Days Festival and the PBR Velocity Tour Finals at the American Bank Center on the picturesque Corpus Christi Bayfront.

Mobbing to a Million

September 23, 2023

When the dust settled at the Big Sky Reining Classic in Kalispell, Montana, HF Mobster became a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Million Dollar Sire.

By NRHA Hall of Famer Gunner and out of Dun Its Black Gold, the 2008 stallion was trained and shown solely by NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider Jordan Larson. Aside from his maiden trip into the show pen in Mexico, “Mobster” spent his three-year show career with Larson at the reins.

Last month, only three horses were known as NRHA $10 Million Sires. However, after a full summer of premier events within the reining community, two more elite stallions have etched their names in NRHA history again—Gunnatrashya and Magnum Chic Dream.

As the reining industry reaches new audiences and continually breaks records, it becomes even more important to acknowledge and celebrate those who helped pave the way for success. Since 1986, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) has been doing just that with the NRHA Hall of Fame and, more recently, the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. With the help of the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF), these individuals, their achievements, and their contributions to the industry are celebrated and remembered.

After the dust settled on a Saturday night at South Point Arena and Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Best Shine topped the leaderboard of The Run For A Million’s Million Dollar Competition. Not only did the mare add half a million dollars to her lifetime earnings (LTE), but she also helped National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Professional Jason Vanlandingham cross the NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider mark and made her mother, Best Stop, the newest NRHA Million Dollar Dam.

This time of year is peak show season for the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). With many Affiliate Regional Championships and exciting reining events held across the country, it is a great opportunity for riders to add to their lifetime earnings (LTE) and reach new goals for themselves. NRHA Professional Justin “Gunny” Mathison was one competitor looking to hit an association milestone and achieved it during the 100X Reining Classic and South Central Affiliate Regional Championship, where he became the newest NRHA Million Dollar Rider.

It’s no secret the name Fappani is synonymous with greatness within the reining community. As the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) all-time leading rider, Andrea Fappani continues to set the standard within the sport and shatter records. Recently, he stamped his name in the history books once again by becoming the first NRHA Eight Million Dollar Rider. In addition, he accomplished yet another rare feat by adding his name to the list of NRHA Million Dollar Owners.

When NRHA Professional Craig Schmersal pulled into Las Vegas for The Run For A Million (TRFAM), he was sitting at around $5,000 away from crossing his next NRHA milestone. When the dust settled, Schmersal had slid his way to more than three times that amount—earning the title of NRHA Five Million Dollar Rider.

In 1988, Schmersal won his first check and added $61.38 to his lifetime earnings. Since then, the NRHA Professional has built a successful reining business in Scottsdale, AZ, with his wife, Ginger, and children Chris, Nick, Brendyn, and Addisyn. Having won many of the sport’s major events, his riding experience has helped pave the way to this new milestone and maintain his status as the association’s third all-time leading rider.
No stranger to pressure, Schmersal piloted two horses to checks during TRFAM’s Open Shoot Out and surpassed the $5 million mark before the show’s final event even began. It was icing on the cake when he earned another $5,000 during the Million Dollar Competition aboard No Smoking Required (Gunner x Icing Required)—a mount the NRHA Professional has ridden to great success on his journey to this milestone.
No Smoking Required is a 2013 stallion owned by Schmersal/Thorsport Inc. and bred by Carluccio Orsi. Together, ‘Ice’ and Schmersal have earned more than $458,000 since becoming an NRHA Four Million Dollar Rider in 2018. Most notably, the pair scored an impressive 229.5 to win the inaugural 2019 TRFAM Invitational, although the $307,500 in earnings did not count toward Schmersal’s road to $5 million, making this milestone an even larger achievement.
A seasoned trainer, coach, and horse owner, Schmersal’s passion for reining and NRHA is apparent to all he meets as he continues to impact non pros, youth, and the industry as a whole.

Schmersal’s top earning performances on his way to $5 million include:
    •    2021 TRFAM Million Dollar Competition 4th Place aboard No Smoking Required, owned by Schmersal/Thorsport Inc. and bred by Carluccio Orsi, earning $65,000
    •    2019 NRHA L4 Open Derby 4th Place aboard No Smoking Required, owned by Schmersal/Thorsport Inc. and bred by Carluccio Orsi, earning $40,545
    •    2019 NRHA L4 Open Futurity 8th Place aboard Starjac Vintage, owned by Teton Ridge and bred by Petra Zeitler, earning $29,791
    •    2019 NRHA L4 Open Futurity 11th Place aboard Pale Whiz, owned by Thorsport Inc. and bred by Hickory Creek Ranch LLC, earning $20,316

By NRHA Press Release

Page 5 of 127