Results from the North American Affiliate Finals and NRHA Futurity
by Sally Sutherland
The end of the reining horse show calendar revolves around the North American Affiliate Finals and the NRHA Futurity Show at Oklahoma City the last week of November and first week of December. Each NRHA affiliate club gets to send 15 riders in each division to the regional championships held throughout the US, Canada and Mexico. From there the top 10 riders advance to the North American Affiliate Finals. It is an accomplishment just to get qualified to go to the finals. This year not only was the Washington Reining Horse Association well represented in the horses competing, but Darren Stancik of Stancik Quarter Horses, training out of Sky River Equestrian Center in Sultan, Washington was one of three judges presiding over the finals.
The Futurity and North American Affiliate Championships had several horses from the Pacific Northwest. In the Open division Matt McAuslan showed CC Bonita Special owned by Colleen Aufiero. Rsure Shot Of Whizkey ridden by Sean McBurney won the level 3 finals and Jordan McBurney was 10th in level 3 with Sparklin Whizkey, both owned by WRHA Platinum Sponsor Rhodes River Ranch. WRHA Silver Sponsor Hutchings Performance Horses brought ARC Kiss My Chic owned by Tony Grover and shown by Nicole Hutchings in the Open Futurity, Boomshernic Dun It owned and shown by Debbie McKinlay for the Non-Pro division of the Futurity and Smokinsmart Chocolate owned and shown by Sally Sutherland for the Non Pro Affiliate Finals. Smokinsmart Chocolate tied for Reserve Prime Time Champion and was 4th in the Intermediate rider division. WRHA Bronze Sponsor Precision Images was represented by the wonderful mother/son team of Sue and Nick Muir showed their mare Ms Jac Daniels. Sue showed in the Open division and Nick showed Non-Pro, Youth and vied for the Rookie of the Year award in the Affiliate Finals. Sue placed 11th in the Novice Horse level 1 and 14th in the level 2 while Nick was 5th in the level 1 Rookie, 6th in the level 2 and 22nd in the Youth 14 to 18. Lisa Fennel also made the trip with her horse Chocolate Lena Chex. She was 11th and 12th in the Novice Horse Non-pro levels 1 and 2.
A number of WRHA members bought new horses at the auctions and also privately during the show and it is going to be a lot of fun watching them when the new show season starts next April in Wenatchee. The club is planning a lot of new awards for next year and will have many classes aimed at getting beginning riders involved in the sport of reining so that they too may someday make the trip to Oklahoma City.
WRHA thanks Diamond sponsors Sky River Equestrian Center, co-sponsors Timberland Homes and Maria Danieli Real Estate; Platinum sponsors Rhodes River Ranch, Eric Carlson DDS, Red Pony Equine Insurance, Stancik Non Pros, Coastal Community Bank, Heritage Building Contractors, Kari Klingenberg Performance Horses and Non Pros; Gold sponsors Rocking E Feeds, Presco Telecommunications, Ag Supply Wenatchee/Equis Feed.