The inaugural Wild Card Reining Challenge, featuring the futurity for unshown 4-year-old reining horses, wrapped up on Sunday. With a full slate of NRHA classes, educational seminars, and National Arabian Reining Horse Association prefuturity, the event left participants and spectators excited for next year's show.
Here's a Q&A with event producer Amanda Brumley. Were her expectations met? Will the show be back next year? Find out below.
Horse&Rider: What one word would you use to describe the first Wild Card Reining Challenge?
Amanda Brumley: Beginning. It's hard to describe it in one word, but this was the beginning of changing the thought process in regard to young reining horses. The turnout wasn't huge; but I didn't expect it to be. The payouts were impressive for all of the classes, regardless. I think a lot of people will be disappointed that they missed out on the first year of this show. We made a big statement this year, and the show will be even bigger next year. In three years, it'll really take off.
H&R: What's the plan for next year?
AB: To continue with what we offered this year in terms of the classes and seminars, and to add to them. Next year I plan to add a 4-year-old stakes class for horses that were shown as 3-year-olds. It'll run concurrent with the Wild Card futurity, but those horses won't be under the same restrictions of not having been shown as 3-year-olds. And the Wild Card horses can cross-enter into that class, too. It's really hard for 4-year-olds to compete against 5- and 6-year-olds in the derbies. This will give them another place to show and be competitive.
H&R: What are your thoughts on the seminars you presented during the show?
AB: The seminars were fantastic. We had a better turnout than expected and had to get more chairs for everyone who attended. They had such a great response, that we'll be selling those videos of the seminars in the future. We plan to keep that educational component in place. The way the seminars were scheduled, because there weren't any conflicts with classes in the arena, people could attend without worry of missing something. Each of the presenters touched on important subjects and offered eye-opening information.
H&R: Any thoughts for next year's event?
AB: We'll keep it over Memorial Day weekend, because the venue has dates I can grow into as the show gets bigger. I think it'll turn into an event where emerging trainers have a chance to get the spotlight with horses that'll last into their later years because the horses were allowed to mature and be ready to compete at the right time.