(first published in the November 2021 Equiery)
On October 2, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) announced that it would no longer collaborate with the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) after a series of failed negotiations. The FEI announced in 2020 that it had terminated the original agreement with NRHA but then approved a new “Memorandum of Understanding” in June 2021.
NRHA said that the NRHA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Task Force members were “comfortable with that agreement, which would have created a framework for a limited group of international championships.” On September 15 of this year, however, FEI sent a draft agreement that was not satisfactory to NRHA. “We are unsure of what led up to this development, and why NRHA was not consulted,” NRHA President Rick Clark stated. “At this time, the Executive Committee, with the support of the NRHA Board of Directors, has made the decision to not move forward with a new agreement with FEI.”
NRHA Commissioner Gary Carpenter added, “NRHA has worked diligently over the past two years to collaboratively negotiate a new agreement and made it a top priority for the association…. We remained fully committed to working closely with the FEI and were excited for what the future held. Unfortunately, a lack of direct and clear communication from FEI has been one of the biggest hurdles.”