- Created on Thursday, 19 April 2012
- Written by Press Release
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The 2012 Breeders Invitational will now run May 10-26 at its premier location in Tulsa, Okla. Held at the world-class Expo Square in the heart of the city, the competition is shaping up to be the biggest in the event’s history. Show officials report entries are already up 50 percent from its 2009 show, which had been its largest.
“We are really excited about our numbers this year,” BI Executive Director Bob O’Bannon said. “Not only do we have record entries, but this year’s purse will be the largest we’ve ever had.”
Traditionally, the BI headlines its industry-leading 4-Year-Old Derby. This year, the show will also feature a special 5-Year-Old division, appropriately dubbed the “Special 5.”
Due to cancellation of the 2011 event because of a highly contagious equine virus, last year’s 4-year-olds will have a shot at special prize money. The unique class will represent the largest purse ever offered specifically to 5-year-olds at any single event in the history of cutting.
Four-year-olds from last year, who were not able to compete because of the show being cancelled, will be eligible for the ‘Special 5’ division that sports the payout from what would have been the 2011 Derby purse, explained O’Bannon. “The “Special 5” class will even have its own finals. This is in addition to those horses’ eligibility in the regular Classic/Challenge [5/6-Year-Old) division,” he said. “This means that this year’s 5-year-olds have a shot at winning a tremendous and unprecedented amount of prize money.”
Over the past decade, the Breeders Invitational has been hailed as one of the most prestigious competitions sanctioned by the National Cutting Horse Association. It attracts top cutting horses and riders from across the country and Canada. Now, with a projected purse pushing a projected $2.5 million in prize money, this year’s BI could rank among history’s highest-paying cuttings.
“Historically, the NCHA Triple Crown events [NCHA Futurity, NCHA Super Stakes and NCHa Summer Spectacular] rank 1, 2 and 3, and the BI ranks 4th as the highest money event in the industry,” reported O’Bannon. “With this year’s numbers, we will make a good run at moving up in those standings.”
With the wonderful venue of Tulsa as its backdrop, and a very creative Board of Directors, the BI is setting itself apart in other ways, as well. A brand new gelding incentive has been created and is expected to produce added money exceeding $50,000. This prize money will be exclusive to the Non-Pro and Amateur classes.
“The BI Board wanted to offer a gelding incentive that rewarded those who raise and purchase the majority of the geldings in our industry, the non-professional riders,” said BI Board Chairman, Jeffrey Matthews. “We want this purse to be significant and long-running – it needs to be a permanent part of the Breeders Invitational.”
This year’s event will also showcase a brand new scoreboard worthy of a National Basketball Association event. Touted as having a price tag exceeding $400,000, the brand new scoreboard will hover at mid-arena above the judges’ stand and provide up-to-the-minute stats on scoring, and much more, O’Bannon said.
“This is a scoreboard like that seen at NBA games,” he said. “I can promise that it has all the bells and whistles. This is indicative of the kind of backing we get from the City of Tulsa. They purchased this in time for our 2012 event, and it is going to make a huge difference for exhibitors and spectators alike. We are very appreciative.”
In addition to the brand new scoreboard, this year’s show will feature live scoring.
“This is a big deal,” said O’Bannon, who created the software program to accommodate the new feature. “We have a software program that will allow [show announcer] Tom Holt’s keyed in scores to feed into our website, so scores will be posted in real time. This will eliminate everyone tracking the scores online to have to wait until they are manually posted by the office staff.”
While the competition commences May 10, the official Welcome Party will kick off this year’s event on Friday evening, May 11. A mid-week highlight will be the BI Kids Cutting on Thursday May 17, complete with a pizza party for all the little cutters.
Then, on the last weekend, the traditional BI Calcutta Party, Friday May 25, will take all bets on the Derby Open finals, scheduled Saturday, May 26.
The Breeders Invitational (BI) is a non-profit corporation formed by stallion owners to promote and enhance the cutting horse industry, by producing a major event that offers a very large purse and a top-notch venue. In its nine years of existence, the BI has paid out more than $11 million. It ranks as one of the major events in the cutting industry today.
For more information, including the show schedule and festivities contact the Breeder’s Invitational organization at (877) 781-2660 or visit www.breedersinvitational.com.