Las Vegas will host ‘reining’ competition in which riders compete for $1 million

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It will be reining men in Las Vegas later this summer as a dozen professional riders take their horses by the reins at the South Point resort to compete in a little-known sport that’s boasting a million-dollar purse.

The “Run for a Million,” billed as reining’s biggest-ever event, will take place Aug. 15-17 at South Point’s Arena & Equestrian Center.

So what, exactly, is reining? Here’s a definition from the National Reining Horse Assn.: a “judged event designed to show the athletic ability of a ranch-type horse within the confines of a show arena.... Contestants are required to run a pre-selected, approved pattern.” That pattern includes putting horses through paces, including circles, rollbacks, sliding stops and 360-degree spins done in place.


Cowboys find such skills useful on the ranch, but the techniques also have been embraced by amateur and professional riders who participate in the sport.

The Aug. 15 and 16 events are free. General admission tickets for the Aug. 17 finals cost $25, which includes a country music concert featuring Lainey Wilson plus Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

You also can learn more by watching “The Last Cowboy,” an unscripted series premiering July 11 on Country Music Television and Paramount Network. The show’s final episode, to be aired Aug. 29, will be filmed during the “Run for a Million” challenge at South Point.

The 240,000-square-foot Arena & Equestrian Center, complete with 1,200 climate-controlled stalls, a feed store and a vet clinic, is Vegas’ preeminent venue for horse shows and rodeo activities.

Events later this year include:

Sept. 18-21: Andalusian World Cup Horse Show
Oct. 22-26: Indian National Finals Rodeo
Nov. 2 and 3: Professional Bull Riders Velocity Finals
Dec. 7-15: Ariat World Series of Team Roping