On Wednesday, November 29, the Reining Horse Foundation (RHF) hosted the inaugural Sliders’ Night Out, a benefit for the nonprofit arm of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).
The event featured food, fun, and dancing—in addition to the high-energy introduction of the 2017 NRHA Futurity Cinch Non Pro and Open Futurity finalists — as well as recognition of Vaughn Zimmerman, 2018 NRHA Hall of Fame inductee; and Lyle Lovett, Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
Platinum Performance was a primary supporter of the memorable evening and invited every NRHA member at the Futurity to attend the event. In addition, Sliders’ Night Out was made possible through the support of generous sponsors, VIP table underwriters, and NRHA members who donated via a text-to-give campaign. All money raised at the event benefits the RHF and its core programs.
The highlight of the night was the official NRHA Hall of Fame induction of Vaughn Zimmerman. A lifetime member since 1994, NRHA Million Dollar Owner Vaughn Zimmerman of Rogersville, Missouri, held a position on the initial board of RHF and is an RHF Gold Donor. He served several years as an NRHA Board member and was a member of numerous NRHA Committees. An NRHA Corporate Partner and National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Gold Sponsor, Zimmerman has provided sponsorships at many regional and major events such as the Tulsa Reining Classic and the High Roller Reining Classic.
In addition to owning top-caliber performance horses, Zimmerman consistently brings highly sought-after consignments to the NRHA Markel Insurance Futurity Sales. In 2011, he consigned the top seller, Commanders Lil Step, who sold for $200,000. The next year, he consigned Not Ruf At All. However, he made what can certainly be deemed now as a very wise decision and chose to keep the colt, who went on to win the 2013 NRHA Futurity, 2014 NRHA Derby, and 2016 NRBC.
Zimmerman is also involved in other areas of the horse industry but his passion is the reining horse. He has paved the way for his grandchildren – Taylor and Jacob Zimmerman – to continue the Zimmerman reining legacy. Both are very active in aged events, and they also share the same passion Vaughn has for reining.
During Sliders’ Night Out, NRHA also honored the 2018 recipient of the NRHA Dale Wilkinson Lifetime Achievement Award, Lyle Lovett of Spring, Texas. The renowned singer, songwriter, actor, and entertainer is an active NRHA competitor who has raised thousands of dollars for the RHF and has donated his services to promote NRHA, the sport of reining, and National Reining Breeders Classic events. He has also taken part and recruited other celebrities for the RHF Celebrity Slide held in the past during past NRHA Futurities. Lovett has an award named in his honor for his service and time dedicated to the NRHA and RHF: the Lyle Lovett Distinguished Service Award.
Lovett has earned four Grammy Awards including Best Country Album and Best Male Country Vocal Performance. He recorded his own brand of music, a unique mix of blues, R&B, jazz, gospel, and country, since 1980 with more than a dozen albums to date. His highest entry, was a number 10 chart hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country song chart, “Cowboy Man,” but Lovett’s talents don’t end there. This accomplished entertainer is also a well-respected songwriter and has a lengthy list of acting credits. He now joins the ranks of those who have significantly impacted the sport of reining.
During the NRHA Futurity, the world’s best reining horses and competitors come to Oklahoma City to compete for an estimated total purse and cash prizes of more than $2 million. For more information on schedules, tickets, hotel accommodations, sponsors, and more visit nrhafuturity.com.
To discover the sport of reining, how to join an affiliate, or where to find an NRHA Professional near you, visit nrha.com.