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Blues, Beads, Beignets, and Bourbon Street - NRHA Convention a Huge Success in The Big Easy!

National Reining Horse Association

The 2005 NRHA Convention, held from February 9-12 in New Orleans, Louisiana, proved to be NRHA’s most successful convention to date with more attendees than ever. Headquartered at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, convention participants found themselves in the heart of an exciting city with much to offer. NRHA members, many of whom brought their entire families, enjoyed the sights and attractions while they participated in a gathering designed to educate, inform, and recognize the achievements of their fellow reiners.

Conventioneers got an early start on Wednesday, February 9th with the golf tournament held at the East Over Country Club and a Show Management Seminar given by Debbie Drinko, NRHA’s Sr. Director of Membership Services. Reiners enjoyed a Pre-Purchase Exam Seminar and Panel Discussion with Dr. Joe Carter, Dr. J. Lane Easter, and Dr. Ed Squires who went on to give a highly informative Breeding/Embryo Transfer Lecture and Discussion.

Reining enthusiasts let their opinions and voices be heard at the International Committee and United States Equestrian Federation meetings; Judges, Non Pro and Professional Forums; the Affiliate Congress; the Reining Horse Sports Foundation (RHSF) Meeting; and of course, the Open Board and General Membership Meeting. A well-attended Owners Committee meeting on Saturday afternoon laid the groundwork for the newly established group. This exciting new committee will focus on an extremely important aspect of the reining horse industry: the owners who are an integral key to the success of NRHA and our events.

Highlights of the 2005 Convention included the Creole Queen Paddlewheeler Reception, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, a leisurely trip down the Mississippi that provided reiners with an opportunity for fun and fellowship while enjoying the most excellent cuisine New Orleans has to offer. The Hall of Fame Cocktail Reception preceded the Casino Party and Live Auction, which proved to be a lively, fun evening that financially benefited the RHSF.

The Annual Awards Banquet closed the Convention on Saturday evening. Various awards, such as the Quarter Horse News Breeders Award, AQHA Leading NRHA Sire and Dam awards and AQHA Big Five Alliance Bonus Program awards were presented, as were the APHA Paint Preferred and APHA Gelding Plus awards. NRHA corporate and affiliate partners were recognized and received jackets in appreciation for their support. According to Director of Marketing and Communication, Lisa Garza, 90% of our Corporate and Affiliate Partners were represented! NRHA’s Tops 20 Professionals, who earned almost $2,700,000 in 2004, received personalized jackets for their achievements and the winners of the 2004 Mission Possible: NRHA Affiliate Membership Challenge were recognized. Rosanne Sternberg, who made numerous trips to the podium, received the inaugural NRHA Open Futurity Champion Owners Buckle.

NRHA’s 2004 Platinum Certificate earners were acknowledged, as were the NRHA Youth Incentive Award winners. The 2004 divisional World and Reserve World Champions received their buckles and trophies, and each top ten divisional rider had their moment in the spotlight. World Champions also earned custom saddles courtesy of Cowboy Central. Tracy Lynch was taken totally by surprise as she was named NRHA Volunteer of the Year for her work with Rookie Day, which benefits the RHSF Crisis Fund, and reiners were grinning from ear to ear as Clint Haverty was inducted as the newest member of the prestigious NRHA Hall of Fame. Clint, a professional horse trainer from Krum, Texas, epitomizes the talent, dedication, service, and generosity of spirit inherent to all NRHA Hall of Fame members.

The Annual Awards Banquet was the perfect opportunity to recognize the achievements of NRHA members – and the perfect conclusion to the 2005 NRHA Convention, which was definitely a big hit in the Big Easy!

The National Reining Horse Association is the governing body of the sport of Reining. NRHA is responsible for promoting the sport and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. With corporate support from Rocky Mountain Clothing Company, Cowboy Central, Horse & Rider magazine, Markel Insurance, Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau, Quarter Horse News, Kiser Arena Specialists, Houston Embryo Transfer Center, Classic Equine, Bloomer Trailer Mfg., Cowboy Tack, John Vance Auto Group, LaQuinta Inns and LaQuinta Inn & Suites, The Rider's Edge, and Purina Mills LLC (the official United States feed sponsor of the NRHA), the NRHA continues to educate its members and the public about Reining. For information on the NRHA or the sport of Reining visit or call 405-946-7400.