Story by By Mary Frances Flanders.
The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby hosted North America’s top collegiate riders in the NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship. The championship consisted of 12 riders: four from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), four from the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) and four selected by NRHA.
One entry rose above the rest to earn the championship title: Mckenzie Lantz and Non Stop Nimble, donated to the competition by owner Pamela Gordnier and thanks to Hoyts Training (Jennifer Hoyt), marked a 145.5 for the win. Lantz is a senior majoring in sports management at the University of Georgia. A native of Fremont, Mich., Lantz represented NRHA in the Championship. She also won last year’s Championship for the University of Georgia.
Three talented riders tied for second place, scoring a 145: Ashley Winters (University of Findlay) riding Custom Made Pistol owned by Marlene Scott, Austin Griffith (Ohio State University) riding Brooksinics Sis owned by Torpey Performance Horses, and Lauren Tieche (University of Georgia) riding Sneakin A Peek owned by BJ Ribero.
This year, the riders selected from the pool of collegiate NRHA members were Elissa Bening (Ohio State University), Lauren Tieche (University of Georgia), Jenna Blumer (Oklahoma State University), McKenzie Lantz (University of Georgia).
The NCEA sent its top four reiners from the 2012-2013 season to the championship: Raivenne Scott (South Dakota State University), Taylor Brown (Fresno State), Stephanie Rucci (Auburn University) and Brynn Larson (New Mexico State University).
IHSA was represented by riders who placed in top four places in Open Reining at the IHSA Finals: Julia Roberts (West Texas A&M University), Austin Griffith (Ohio State University), Leah DiGioia (State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill) and Ashley Winters (University of Findlay).
NRHA and the National Reining Horse Youth Association (NRHyA) would like to thank the following horse owners who donated their horses for the NRHA Collegiate Reining Championship:
– Pamela Gordinier – Non Stop Nimble