At the recent National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Board of Directors meeting, the 2011 Hall of Fame nominations were approved, featuring the largest class of inductees to date. The eight inductees include a mix of historic people and horses and some of today’s most well-known names. Those people who will be formally inducted at the 2011 Awards Banquet include Shawn Flarida, Bob Kiser, Mandy McCutcheon, and Ronnie Sharpe. Horses include three stallions Boomernic, Shining Spark and Wimpys Little Step, and one mare, Collena Chic Olena.
Shawn Flarida, Springville, Ohio, is NRHA’s only Four Million Dollar Rider, the winner of nine All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Open Championships, six NRHA Futurity Open Championships, multiple NRHA Derby Championships, World and Reserve World Championships, National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) Championships, multiple World Equestrian Games Gold Medalist, team and individual, and the list goes on. However, the Hall of Fame induction is based on much more than earnings in the show pen. Flarida donates his time to NRHA and RHSF as well as other worthwhile causes. He is a true ambassador for the sport, with his engaging smile, good humor, and friendliness toward newcomer and old friend alike. He stays involved in the sport by participating on committees and in the implementation of new rules and standards as well. Flarida has followed in the footsteps of some of Reining’s most notable legends when it comes to mentoring new trainers and professionals. He is generous with his time and knowledge, from which many have benefited.
Bob Kiser, Gainesville, Texas, has definitely changed the geography of Reining. There can be no doubt that the face of Reining would be greatly different without Kiser and his dedication to achieving the best possible atmosphere, particularly the ground, that reiners and reining horses compete on around the world. Not only is his touch evident at major reining events around the world, but at the majority of the top ranches and training facilities as well. He is in demand for consultation when new arenas are being built or old facilities need to be upgraded. Kiser is a man of high standards and fairness, and riders know that their best interest is at the root of his dedication to making the ground the absolute best it can be. He is an innovator, inventor, and scientist, all toward the goal of making the footing better for Reining.
Mandy McCutcheon, Aubrey, Texas, is NRHA’s Highest Money Earning Non Pro and the Association’s only female and non pro Million Dollar Rider. An over-achiever in the show pen by any stretch of the imagination, she first won the NRHA Non Pro Futurity in 1993. She is a champion multiple times at the NRHA Futurity, NRHA Derby, NRBC, All American Quarter Horse Congress Non Pro Futurity, USET Reining Championships, plus many regional aged events. Her dominance in the show pen is the thing that dreams are made of but that’s not all there is to McCutcheon. She lends her time to help raise funds for the RHSF and NRHA when needed and donates her time to serve on committees, most prominently the Youth Committee. As part of one of Reining’s first families, the McQuays, and married into another, the McCutcheons, she works to pay back to the sport that has played such a prominent role in her life.
Ronnie Sharpe, Hamilton, Texas, is a name familiar to those that have been with the sport since and before its birth in Ohio in the mid ‘60s. And anyone who attended the 2010 NRHA Futurity should have noted that Sharpe was one of the judges. Not only was he a judge at the very first NRHA Futurity but has repeated as an official many times at NRHA’s most prominent events. He has judged around the world representing the association and sport as a fair, in-demand, and knowledgeable judge. Sharpe has also mentored other judges, donated time to promote the NRHA and participated in the formation of the rules for judging and the current NRHA judges program — the most admired and copied system in the performance horse industry.