The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) hosts the Adequan® North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC) each year during the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. The championships are for NRHA members and horses who have qualified through their respective Regional Affiliate Finals. Each final sends its eight highest placing riders, plus ties, to the Adequan® NAAC to compete for North American bragging rights.
Qualifiers from around the Nation also gather in Oklahoma City to vie for the prestigious NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year Championship. On Monday, November 28th, in a field of 56 qualified riders, Amy Rushing rode West Coast Magnum (Magnum Chic Dream x West Coast Sandy) to a 215, thrilling the crowd and taking home the championship. For Rushing, the win was especially sweet considering that this is the first year she has been showing in reining competitions and on a leased horse.
“This year I leased this horse from Karen Elliott and I started showing him with the goal of earning the Rookie of the Year championship, but I didn’t know if it was possible. I showed in Washington State, and we were able to qualify for the Idaho Show, where our regional finals were held, and we tied to win our class,” said Rushing who qualified at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championship. “I’ve had a lot of great help from my husband, Ryan, who is an NRHA Professional, and he has been with me every step of the way. Without him, I don’t think I could have done it! We came here, I tried to think through each and every maneuver, and he answered when I called on him. He was a good boy.”
Amy started riding hunter jumpers at an early age and turned to reiners when she met her husband. “I actually have an old ranch mare who got me back in the show pen in the ranch riding classes two years ago. I’ve been waiting for a long time for the right horse to show here and finally the opportunity came up with West Coast Magnum. His owner, Karen (Elliott), this year, sadly, was unable to show due to hip problems and decided to take the year off, but she didn’t want her horse to sit around and not do anything. I am thankful to her for having given me this opportunity.”
Tying for reserve honors with a 214.5 were Johanna Lee Anstensen riding Slj Custom Style (Custom Legend x SLJ Stainless Style) and Daniela Picciotti riding Fancy Stepin Freckle (RC Fancy Step x Stopping Freckles).
The NAAC Rookie of the Year is sponsored by Silver Spurs Equine Equine, LLC, of Scottsdale, AZ, owned by Michelle and Michael Miola. The husband and wife team have been the main sponsors for many years. “We’ve been sponsors for years, and the reason is because we want to promote the sport, and who better to promote it than our non pros, the backbone of the NRHA! We want to support and help them and do whatever we can for them,” said Michael Miola. “Our non pro riders bring so much excitement to the sport and all around them there is so much support, as can be seen here!”
Kylie Robinson and Wimpys Tonnob are NAAC Rookie Level 2 Champions
With an impressive 218.5, Kylie Robinson rode her Wimpys Tonnob (Wimpys Little Step x Powder Playgirl) to the NAAC Rookie Level 2 Championship. The 10-year-old gelding has an impressive show record and boasts $128,772.89 in NRHA earnings.
“I only got my horse in June and my goal was to get here,” said the 14-year-old who qualified at the Northwest Affiliate Regional Championship. “I also would have liked a derby horse, but when we went to try some horses at Ruben Vandorp’s, he mentioned that this was the perfect youth horse. He was the first horse I tried, and he set the pace. He’s 10 years old but is just so solid and here we are!”
Claiming reserve honors were the NAAC Silver Spurs Equine Rookie of the Year Champions, Amy Rushing and West Coast Magnum.