The Northwest Reined Cow Horse Association began as a grass-roots organization in 1997 and has grown to one of the nation’s most active National Reined Cow Horse Association affiliate clubs.
The growing sport of reined cow horse can be likened to a “triathlon” for horse and rider, where skill, endurance and a little bit of luck are combined to create a thrilling event. Horses and riders are tested in reining maneuvers, as well as herd work (similar to cutting) and fence work. The sport offers classes for every level of rider from beginner to professional, and attracts riders from other disciplines who want to try something new with their equine partners. NRCHA-approved classes are open to all breeds of horses and levels of riders.
NWRCHA hosts a series of horse shows at premier horse facilities throughout Oregon and Washington, with our largest show attracting some of the biggest names in the sport and hundreds of entries. Additionally, clinics are held throughout the year keeping our members active and involved year round.
History of Reined Cow Horse
The history of the National Reined Cow Horse Association extends back hundreds of years. Ancestors of today’s reined cow horse came to America with Spanish conquistadors. When Spanish missionaries moved to California in the 1700s, the vaqueros (cowboys) came with them. For almost 150 years, the California reined cow horses, partners of the vaqueros, reigned supreme. These finely-trained horses worked the herds of cattle driven from Mexico and performed the day-to-day chores on the vast cattle ranches. The California vaquero – among the finest horsemen of all time – developed the equipment, the riding styles and the training techniques that produced some of the
The NRCHA works to preserve the tradition of the Spanish vaquero. The traditional training program included numerous phases, spanning several years before a horse was considered “finished” and capable of performing the standard maneuvers required on ranches, roundups and cattle drives. These days, the vaquero training techniques are put to the test at NRCHA-approved events, either hosted by the association’s family of affiliates or at NRCHA premier events, which offer hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grab every year.