Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - National Reining Horse Association Executive Director Dan Wall has announced that the newly-created Collegiate Reining National Championships will be held during the NRHA Derby, May 15-18, 2002.
"The NRHA has supported the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association as a sponsor, and we're proud to host this very important event at our Derby," stated Wall.
Through Wall's efforts, along with Ollie Griffith of Ohio State University and Larry Sanchez of Oklahoma State University, the event was finalized in late October.
"We think it is great for our sport to be able to have our National Championships during such a prestigious event," stated Sanchez, who is the OSU Women's Equestrian Head Coach.
With the recognition by the National Collegiate Athletic Association as a varsity sport, Women's Equestrian has become more and more visible, according to Sanchez. "We're still educating the horse world and the NCAA about our sport, and having a presence at such a visible event is a great step toward doing that."
The competition will be an NRHA event sponsored, in part, by the American Quarter Horse Association.
Twelve individuals will participate in the competition, including the top four riders from the Intercollegiate National Championship Show's NRHA-sponsored Morrison Bronze class. The next four qualifiers will be members of college equestrian teams who earn their slots based on NRHA earnings and points acquired in breed shows, and the final four will be chosen through a selection procedure from NCAA schools.
The format for the event will be that used by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association reining competition, where riders compete on horses furnished by the show, with no chance to ride them prior to the competition.
According to Wall, NRHA member volunteers will provide horses for the event.