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Smoky Mountain Reins Slide Into Murfreesboro


Article & photos by LaCresha Kolba

The Tennessee Reining Horse Association (TNRHA) offered its annual Smoky Mountain Reins show at the Miller Coliseum in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on September 30 – October 2, 2016.  This was the last show of the TNRHA season, with shows alternating between the Miller and the Stafford Expo Center in Harriman, Tenn. TNRHA has gained a reputation of offering quality shows and clinics that is brining the top riders from across the United States to compete here in Tennessee. This particular show attracted competitors from Arkansas, Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

With the effort and grace of a figure skater, reining horses slide and spin with great finesse and efficiency across the arena. “Hoots and hollers” came from supporters in the stands for those who eagerly galloped into the arena with great confidence. The athletic ability and power of these horses was captivating!

Ronnie Wayne, a retired horse trainer and currently an NRHA judge from South Carolina, talked about the show.  Ronnie said this show offered a wide variety of classes: youth, rookie, green, novice, open, and non-pro – a vast amount of classes which filled two arenas for three days. From someone who was a beginner, who would run as a Green Reiner 1, to the professionals and horse trainers in the Open and Non-Pro levels, all had appropriate level classes in which to compete.  Those competing in the beginner level classes had exposure to more experienced riders like Jose Vazquez from Illinois, who is a NRHA Million Dollar Rider.  

With Ronnie’s extensive experience, we asked Ronnie what was the best way to get started in the sport of reining. “Find a trainer, go to the or to website and use their links to find a trainer. Once you find a trainer, let that trainer find the horse. This breed has gotten very specialized, and it benefits the green rider to start with the right horse. Both the horse and the rider need to have a certain level of athletic ability. Most of all, the rider needs to trust himself. From there, take lessons from that trainer, and he will prepare you for competition and your own personal goals. Some people just want to show at the local level, while others have their eye on an opportunity to compete at our World Show or the big futurities.” No matter what your skill or interest level may be, the Tennessee Reining Horse Association is a place to get started. Ronnie left us with some words of advice for all those interested in reining, “Get out there, pay your dues, work hard through the stages, and be honest with the people who are trying to help you get better.”

Mark Turner and Spark of Juice were winners in the NRHA 1100 Open and the NRHA 1200 Intermediate divisions. Milo Kurucz and Wimpy’s Little Gal won the NRHA 1301 Limited Open and the NRHA 1350 Rookie Professional divisions. Terri June Granger was the top rider on Jeans N Reeboks in the Intermediate Non Pro and the Limited Non Pro. Keith Crawford won the Level 4 Non Pro Aged Event, the Level 3 Intermediate Non Pro Aged Event, and the Level 2 Limited Non Pro Aged Event with Lil Ruff Bugatti. Steven Marbry and Double Smart Walla were tops in the Level 4 Open Aged Event, the Level 3 Intermediate Open Aged Event, and the Level 2 Limited Open Aged Event. Tricia Tillman cleaned up with GT Shiney Geym in the Intermediate Open, Limited Open, and Rookie Professional divisions. Savannah Ostner topped the leaderboard in NRHA 1400 and 1500 Intermediate Non Pro divisions with A Bueno Chic. Martin Larcombe took first and second in the Novice Horse Open on Shines Superman and Smart Spook Shines, respectively. Jose Vazquez and Wind Her Up Juice took firsts in Novice Horse Level 2, Novice Horse Non Pro, and Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2.

In the NRHA 1100 Open, Sam Schaffhauser won top honors with Colored White Trash. In the NRHA 1200 Intermediate Open, the NRHA 1301 Limited Open, and the NRHA 1350 Rookie Professional, Tricia Tillman was the winner with GT Shiney Geym.

Find more information about TNRHA at: Full results of the show are posted on this website, and watch webcasts of the show at The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year (1966-2016). Find more information at:

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