By Christina Brezack – In 2006, National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Professional Rocky Dare was inducted into NRHA’s Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport of Reining. Today, he receives the honor of unofficially becoming NRHA’s 17th Million Dollar Rider thanks in part to a great finish at the Clayton Woosley Hall of Fame Show in Lexington, Ky. Dare unofficially won over $9,600 riding Painted Pony Whiz (owned by Rocky Dare), Double Sweet Wimpy (owned by Vince Fevola), Hang Ten Jen (owned by High Hopes Farm of W Grove LLC ) and Magnum Be Tuff (owned by High Hopes Farm of W Grove LLC).
The Salem, N.J., native has competed in NRHA events since 1977 earning several honors. He has been a finalist numerous times in NRHA’s Futurity and Derby throughout the years. He has achieved multiple wins in NRHA freestyle classes, in which he is recognized for creating interest and innovation. Dare is an eight time NRHA World Champion and six time Reserve World Champion as well as four time NRHA Superstakes Champion or Reserve Champion. His accolades include:
* 1980 – NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion on Itsa Greyhound (owned by Jack and Laird Dare)
* 1983 – Open World Champion on Docs Tabasco (owned by C.T. Fuller)
* 1984 – NRHA Futurity Open Co-Reserve Champion on Havegunwilltravel (owned by Bob Stinner), NRHA Derby Open Champion on Ima Royal Shamrock (owned by Debbie Clough), NRHA Derby Open Co-Reserve Champion on Paps Glo (owned by Joyce Stinner) and NRHA Open World Champion on Paps Glo
* 1985 – NRHA Novice Horse Open World Champion on Morikas Winder (owned by Bob Stinner)
* 1986 – NRHA Novice Horse Open Reserve World Champion on Docs Star Glo (owned by Jack Buchanan)
* 1987 – NRHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion on RWD Start (owned by Don and Barbara Marinucci)
* 1988 – NRHA Derby Open Champion and NRHA Open World Champion on RWD Start (owned by Don and Barb Marinucci), and NRHA Derby Open Reserve Champion on Reinin Step (owned by Frank and Aubrey Disesso)
* 1993 – NRHA Open World Champion on Sun Dappled (owned by John and Linda Pape), NRHA Novice Horse Open World Champion on Lark Bar Money (owned by Irvin Ware) and NRHA Novice Horse Open Reserve World Champion on Money Ina Bank (owned by Linda MacDonald and Vince Killmer, Jr.)
* 1995 – NRHA Open Reserve World Champion on Lucky Little Lena (owned by Southland Partners) and NRHA Novice Horse Open World Champion on Corchas Boy (owned by Juniper Hill Farm) * 1996 – NRHA Open Reserve World Champion on Mr Gold Pine Jac (owned by Kim Sloan)
* 1998 – NRHA Novice Horse Open Reserve World Champion on Anniegityergun (GS Anniegityergun) (owned by Kim Sloan)
* 1999 – NRHA Novice Horse Open Reserve World Champion on Res Smart Chic (owned by James Blumer)
* 2006 – Carolina Classic Derby Level 3 Open Champion on Doubleknotyourreekboks (owned by Larry Thew)
* 2010 – All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Level 3 Open Reserve Champion & Level 4 Open Finalist on Squeaky Clean Genes (owned by Susan and Bruce Kuryloski)
* 2012 – NRHA Derby Level 4 and Level 3 Open Finalist
Other reiners who have surpassed the Million Dollar NRHA Lifetime Earnings mark include Bill Horn (1995), Tim McQuay (1997), Shawn Flarida (2003), Duane Latimer (2003), Todd Bergen (2004), Dell Hendricks (2005), Craig Schmersal (2005), Andrea Fappani (2006), Tom McCutcheon (2006), Mandy McCutcheon (2007), Brent Wright (2008), Craig Johnson (2008), Randy Paul (2008), Todd Sommers (2010), Rudi Kronsteiner (2011) and Jordan Larson (2011).
Incorporated in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association is the standard setting body for the sport of Reining. NRHA, with their International Headquarters in Oklahoma City, is responsible for promoting the sport of Reining and working to ensure the highest standards of competition. To learn more about the NRHA, its programs and family of corporate partners, visit www.nrha.com.
Headshot by Bucky Harris. Photo of Rocky Dare and Magnum Be Tuff at 2012 NRHA Derby by Waltenberry.