Reining is a sport demanding exceptional skill, dedication, and passion. These are traits the top riders in the industry share and are true of the newest National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Professional who marked his name in the history books. After a great performance at the Southwest Reining Horse Association (SWRHA) Futurity last month, Jared Leclair surpassed an earnings milestone and was crowned an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.
“I knew going into the SWRHA Futurity that I was about $3,100 away from the milestone, and I only had one futurity horse to show to make it happen,” said Leclair. “I didn’t really have any pressure – I told myself I would get there when the time was right and that whenever it happened, it was meant to be. It was cool to do it at my affiliate in my backyard, with my customers and barn family there so they could all be part of it too.”
Leclair became an NRHA member in 1992 when he began competing in youth classes. He found success on his first trip in the show pen—riding Sugaretta Bar Band to a first-place finish in the 13 & Under at the NERHA/CRHA Reining. Eventually, that success led Leclair to non pro and eventually open competition. His first earnings were recorded in 1997, beginning the journey to this historic milestone.
“As a kid, it is always a dream to be an NRHA Million Dollar Rider, and I am thankful to be part of that elite group of riders, said Leclair. “I have had different goals in my life, to be on the cover of the reiner, which I was able to do, to be a million dollar rider. My next goal is to win the NRHA Futurity like everyone else –it’s what we wake up in the morning for. It is a tough business, it is a lifestyle, and you have to love it – and I love riding horses. I am fortunate to make a living doing what I love.”
After becoming an NRHA Professional, Leclair worked for Steve Simon at Quarter Mount Farm. From there, he went to McQuay Stables and worked with NRHA Hall of Famer Tim McQuay. This work led him to establish Leclair Performance Horses in Tioga, Texas, in 2007. He and his wife, Karla, have built a successful reining business—breeding, training and coaching. In 2019, Leclair was named the NRHA Non Pro Coach of the Year, and he currently serves on the NRHA Judges Committee.
Many horses and performances have helped usher Leclair to $1 million in earnings; however, one special horse stands out among the rest—Electric Code. ‘Cody’ is a 2005 stallion by Jacs Electric Spark and out of Hot Coded Candy. Bred by Janice Free, Cody has been owned by Leclair from the beginning. Initially, he was part owners with Daniel Dugan and then took full ownership in 2014.
Electric Code boasts over $204,000 in NRHA lifetime earnings (LTE). Nearly all those earnings came with Leclair at the reins. The duo’s best year in the show pen came in 2008. During the NRHA Futurity that year, they were crowned the Level 3 Open Champions and placed 3rd in the Level 4—adding more than $125,000 to their respective LTE. Since then, the duo has transitioned their success through Leclair’s breeding program. Last year, Cody added to his accolades as he became an NRHA Million Dollar Sire.
“I never thought I could have an NRHA Million Dollar Sire when I was growing up, but to do that last year and then become an NRHA Million Dollar Rider this year was really meaningful,” he said.
Heading into the SWRHA Futurity, Leclair was less than $5,000 away from hitting this historic milestone. He and Nicol Callaway’s Temptedtoshine (PS Mega Shine Chic x Misters Temptress) rode to a third-place finish in the Billingsly Ford Open Futurity. The Adh-Mor Ranch-bred gelding helped push Leclair over the million-dollar mark with a $9,000 paycheck.
“There are so many people to thank; my wife is a huge support of mine,” said Leclair. “I may be the one who accomplished it, but there is a huge team effort to get to that point.
“It isn’t just about me; it is about everyone who helped me get here, and that would probably require an additional page just to thank all of them! From horses I showed 18 years ago to owners, assistants, and all of the people on my team along the way – there is so much that goes into this. You see the success at the end of it, but it is a lot of work along the way. You have you wake up in the morning and want to work your butt off and go be somebody.”
Leclair’s top earning finishes during his career include:
- 2008 NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity 3rd Place aboard Electric Code (Jacs Electric Spark x Hot Coded Candy), owned by Jared Leclair and bred by Janice Free, earning $99,586
- 2006 NRBC Level 3 Open Champion aboard Dun It In Tinseltown (Hollywood Dun It x Miss Tinseltown), bred and owned by David Silva, Sr., earning $27,543
- 2008 NRHA Level 3 Open Futurity Champion aboard Electric Code (Jacs Electric Spark x Hot Coded Candy), owned by Jared Leclair and bred by Janice Free, earning $26,188
- 2008 SWRHA Level 4 Open Futurity Champion aboard Electric Code (Jacs Electric Spark x Hot Coded Candy), owned by Jared Leclair and bred by Janice Free, earning $19,494
- 2005 NRBC Level 3 Open Reserve Champion aboard Dun It In Tinseltown (Hollywood Dun It x Miss Tinseltown), bred and owned by David Silva, Sr., earning $15,644
NRHA congratulates Jared Leclair on this incredible achievement and applauds his contributions to the reining community. We look forward to witnessing his continued success and the positive influence he will have on the future of the sport as an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.
Founded in 1966, the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of the reining horse in a fun-filled, family atmosphere. NRHA’s mission is to promote the reining horse worldwide while celebrating and advancing the finest traditions of Western horsemanship. To learn more about NRHA, how to join, or to become a fan, visit nrha.com.
Sr. Director of Communications
National Reining Horse Association
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