The 2012 Mercuria/NCHA World Finals will take place in late fall at the same time as the NCHA Futurity, cutting’s highest-profiled and top-paying limited-age event.
Junior Youth and Senior Youth finalists will not compete at the event. They will, instead, square off in a separate Youth World Finals during July in Fort Worth.
National Cutting Horse Association 2011/12 President Keith Deaville said he’s “very excited” about many weekend cutters now getting the chance to compete in Fort Worth.
“The most gratifying thing about this is that the weekend cutters are getting a piece of the pie,” Deaville said. He’s referring to money the NCHA has received in recent years from the State of Texas and the City of Fort Worth to promote keeping its events there.
The move to Fort Worth should suit the World Finals well, Deaville said. He’s almost certain the first year will be “very successful.” The true test will be if most top 15 contestants return to compete year after year, he added.
The 10-class event will feature the following entry fees and payouts:
Open - $3,000 entry, $100,000 added money
Non-Pro - $3,000 entry, $100,000 added
$10,000 Novice - $1,200 entry, $10,000 added
$35,000 Non Pro - $900 entry, $10,000 added
$15,000 Amateur - $900 entry, $5,000 added
$3,000 Novice - $1,200 entry, $10,000 added
$50,000 Amateur - $1,200 entry, $10,000 added
$15,000 Novice Non Pro - $1,2000 entry, $10,000 added
$2,000 Limit Rider - $900 entry, $5,000 added
The expanded NCHA World Finals event will take place in the W.R. Watt Arena, within easy walking distance of Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, the site of the NCHA Futurity.
Open and Non-Pro finalists will keep competing in four rounds of competition, as they’ve done since late 2009, while also earning a fifth check based on composite scores.
Finalists in the eight new divisions will compete in two rounds and draw a third check based on their composite scores. The event will mark the first time since February 2008 (Amarillo, Texas, for horses and riders qualifying in 2007) that the NCHA has hosted a World Finals in all 12 any-age divisions.
In 2009, the NCHA moved year-end Open and Non-Pro World Finals to Fort Worth, conducting them at the same time as the NCHA Futurity for the first time. Other division titles were determined in 2009, 2010 and 2011 simply by money earned though the year.
All money earned at the new 2012 event will add on to whatever each finalist has earned previously. World Finals earnings could play major roles in year-end standings.
One major change in the new event is it will only invite horses or riders that actually rank within the top 15 in their divisions to compete in Fort Worth. At past World Finals, next-highest horses and riders not ranked within the top 15 were invited when other horses and riders occupying those slots opted not to attend.