NRHA Newsest Three Million Dollar Rider: Craig Schmersal

By Christa Morris.

The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) sends congratulations to its newest NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider - Craig Schmersal. Schmersal qualified two horses for the NRHA Derby Open Finals, King Of The Coast and What A Wave, to reach the next level in his career.

On King Of The Coast, owned by Hickory Creek Ranch, Schmersal placed fourth in the level (L) 4 open division, and riding Karl and Terri Roberts's What A Wave he tied for fifth. In all, he won nearly $40,000 to join the short list of riders who have earned in excess of three million dollars in official NRHA earnings, Shawn Flarida, Andrea Fappani and Tim McQuay.

Schmersal, an NRHA Professional and Judge, has competed in NRHA events since 1988. The Overbrook, Oklahoma resident has moved through the NRHA ranks over the years starting with his first show as a youth in Pennsylvania. He quickly became a name in the industry and a perennial major event finalist, along with the help of his wife Ginger. Today their ranch, Schmersal Reining Horses, now supports the continued growth of Reining as an NRHA Corporate Partner.

Some of Schmersal's major NRHA achievements include:

* 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold medalist and 2005 FEI World Reining Masters CRI-A Open Champion Tidal Wave Jack (owned by on B S Syndicate)

* 2004 NRHA Derby Open Champion on Commanders Nic (owned by Craig and Ginger Schmersal)

* 2008 CRI-A Open USEF National Champion riding Mr Dual Rey (owned by Holly Casey)

* 2010 Seminole Hard Rock Derby Open Champion on Whizs Katrina (owned by San Juan Ranch)

* 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist, as well as 2010 National Reining Breeders Classic Open Champion on Mister Montana Nic (owned by Boom Shernic Syndicate)

* 2011 FEI World Reining Finals and Ariat Tulsa Reining Classic CRIO-A Champion on Miss Lil Addy Tude (owned by KC Performance Horses, LLC)

* 2011 NRHA Cowtown Classic Pre-Futurity Champion on Wranglin Chics (owned by David & Lyn Bishop)

Founded in 1966, NRHA is an organization dedicated to promoting the reining horse, encouraging all levels of reining competition and providing worthwhile purses. NRHA takes pride in offering revolutionary programs and top-notch events for its members while providing a fun-filled, family-oriented atmosphere. More information on its shows and programs, like Entry Level Reining, can be found at

Photo by NRHA/Harris.