During the Fédération Equestre Internationale General Assembly, which began on November 14 and concluded November 17, reining was removed as an FEI discipline. According to former National Reining Horse Association President Mike Hancock, it was not an unexpected move.
Hancock chaired NRHA’s FEI Task Force that was created in 2019 and has been involved with reining internationally in one capacity or another since the 1990s.
“We’ve had many conversations with FEI, including face-to-face meetings in 2018 and 2020. Both entities recognize the value of and interest in reining and reining horses worldwide. However, we were never able to blend the two organizations and their business models,” Hancock explained.
He added, “Also with the difficulties during the 2018 World Equestrian Games as well as the ensuing announcement that there would be no multi-discipline WEG going forward, you might say the bloom came off reining as an international event for the reining community. For NRHA, there was less attraction, but we continued with an International Competition Task Force created in 2020, and just days before the General Assembly we had conversations and tried to reach a working agreement with FEI officials. Unfortunately, this was not possible.”
Current NRHA President Rick Clark was quick to thank Hancock and the International Competition Task Force and noted that he would repurpose it to address the possibility of future NRHA competitions in an international format.
He said, “The NRHA still has an interest in International and Continental championships and will research resources that might allow them to take place. We are glad to hear that FEI and a good number of National Federations are supportive of us proceeding in that direction. The International Competition Taskforce created in 2020 will address this to determine if it is feasible.”
NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter added, “All of us who have been involved thank the friends we have made at FEI for the years of support in jointly promoting the sport of reining.”
Along with Hancock, the NRHA International Competition Task Force is comprised of Rick Clark, Rosanne Sternberg, Adam Heaton, Mark Blake, Andre DeBellefeuille and Paulus Beurskens.
The National Reining Horse Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing the sport of reining through a core mission: “Respect the Horse. Respect the Sport.” Founded in 1966, NRHA now has nearly 15,000 members and sets the standards for reining worldwide. Reining is an international sport and continues to grow year after year by offering opportunities for horse enthusiasts of all ages.