Legendary Cutting Rider/Owner/Breeder Spencer Harden Dies

SpencerHarden3Spencer HardenMemorial services for Specer Harden, 83, Millsap, Texas, an NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member and successful cutting horse owner and breeder who passed away March 28, took place Monday, April 1, at  at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Weatherford, Texas. The three-time National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Non-Pro Futurity Champion rider who won the 1989 NCHA Futurity Open title with homebred gelding July Jazz died Thursday, March 28.

Harden, a former Florida dairyman, remains one of just two people so far who has earned NCHA Futurity Open and NCHA Futurity Non-Pro titles as a cutting horse rider. The first person to win NCHA Futurity Open and Non-Pro titles was Dr. Allen Hamilton, Big Spring, Texas. Hamilton won the first NCHA Futurity Non-Pro title in 1969, riding Chickasha Bingo. Hamilton also won history’s fourth NCHA Futurity Open title in 1965 riding Chickasha Dan.

Harden, a career earner of slightly less than $1.5 million as a cutting horse rider, according to Equi-Stat records, won NCHA Futurity Non-Pro titles in 1972, 1975 and 1982 with 1969 mare Pecos Billie (Cutter Bill x Lady Snyder x Scooter S), 1972 mare Wee Darlin (Wee Folk x Rey’s Dixie x Rey) and 1979 mare Jazabell Quixote (Doc Quixote x Bill’s Jazabell x Cutter Bill). He earned the 1989 NCHA Futurity Open title by recording a final-round 221.5 with July Jazz (Sons Doc x Jazabell Quixote x Doc Quixote), a Harden Ranch-bred gelding who went on to earn $302,523.

While winning the 1989 NCHA Futurity Open title riding July Jazz, Harden also guided the same horse to the Reserve Champion finish in the Futurity Non-Pro finals. The duo earned two checks totaling $140,953 at their first cutting show.

Horses owned by Harden Ranch had earned $2,577,385 through the end of the 2012 cutting season. Horses bred by Harden Ranch had earned nearly $3.6 million through early 2013, according to Equi-Stat records.