Until 1975, probably the closest most Northeast riders got to a horse that could sit down and slide was Bonanza on television. But with the founding of the Northeast Reining Horse Association that year, western riding enthusiasts could pursue and promote a thrilling new discipline where to rein a horse was to guide him. Tracing its roots to the athletic skills of the working ranch horse of the American West,reining continues to remain a discipline truly "Made in America."
Through it all the Northeast Reining Horse Association (NERHA) -- an affiliate organization of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) now nearly 300 members strong -- has been dedicated to the promotion of the sport in the Northeast. Reining as a judged event is designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch type horse through a selection of patterns that include figure-eights, sliding stops and spins within the confines of a show arena. A great place to see Reining horses perform is at one of the eight NRHA-approved events the NERHA holdsannually in the Northeast, including Oneco and Westbrook, Connecticut;Northampton and Topsfield, Massachusetts; Swanzey, New Hampshire; and Skowhegan, Maine.
The accomplishments of NERHA members prove that not all the good reining horses and riders are west of the Mississippi. Many have achieved national prominence including Craig Sutter, a 2002 NRHA Reserve World Champion; Toby Tyler and Heather Servies, who have performed in the Freestyle Invitational at USET Olympic training headquarters; and Steve Simon, owner of the highest money-earning Quarter Horse stallion in NRHA history, Custom Pistol, and owner of the stallion Custom Crome, sire of #1 and #2 All Time NRHA Money Earning Mares, Custom Red Berry and Custom Mahogany. Other members have represented NERHA in Eastern Affiliate Championships, Youth Team Tournaments, and Eastern Regional Elections of the National Reining Horse Youth Association.
In addition to competitions, NERHA hosts seminars and clinics to help members become better reiners. It has offered NRHA Judges Applicant seminars, considered one of the most progressive and successful judging systems in equine sports, and has partnered with institutions like the Mount Holyoke College Equestrian Center to offer clinics with NRHA champions like Brent Wright, and Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. An annual NERHA awards banquet recognizes regional accomplishments of members and honors volunteers.
Good friends. Good horses. Great reining. Come see why the NERHA continues to succeed and cowboy up to the fastest growing horse sport in the world!