Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - National Reining Horse Association membership numbers continue to soar and the association reports a 6% growth rate for 2001.
According to Susie Trimmer, NRHA Membership Department Administrator, the growth is not isolated, with membership increases reported from all geographic regions of the United States, as well as foreign countries.
"We do see a good amount of international growth," she commented, but added, "The increase at the grass roots level has been substantial as well."
Trimmer pointed to the benefits for NRHA membership as a factor for the soaring numbers. "For a $40 annual fee, members receive our monthly publication, NRHA Reiner. They also become eligible to participate in our approved shows."
She explained that the NRHA provides competition opportunities for every competitive skill level from Rookie to Professional and members can earn year-end awards on both a local affiliate level and nationally. "There's a place for everyone and the different divisions really level the playing field."
Another benefit of NRHA membership is access to the "Members Only" area of the National Reining Horse Association web site, www.nrha.com. "Our members get $10 worth of earnings and records research per month," added Trimmer.
But the electronic aid will never take the place of talking to a real person, Trimmer adds. "The NRHA membership department is there to help our members. One of the most common areas for questions is in Non Pro eligibility and we're glad to help people understand the Non Pro rules."
Licensing of competition horses is another area of interest to NRHA members. "Competing horses must be licensed by the NRHA to compete in NRHA approved events. Horses of all breeds are accepted and horses do not have to be registered with a breed association to be licensed. A $20 fee makes horses eligible to show in any approved NRHA show. The horse's owners must be members, as well."
One change in the competition license venue is that the NRHA no longer accepts NRHA names, Trimmer explains. "Registered horses will be licensed using their breed registry name only."