Jimmy Bankston

Cornbread Thinks: Them, They and Us

Jimmy BankstonWell, Cornbread and Buttermilk went to the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Convention. The overall tone was excellent and upbeat with plenty of signs of growth. The best convention I ever attended. It was a chore, even living 10 minutes away, ’til I walked in and was at peace. Family – it’s a very good thing.  

Jim Bret Campbell, our new executive director, was introduced. He has a talent for speaking and showed us that talent. His words were good. His credentials are in communicating. He pledged better up and down information. He is kinda country, growing up in the Panhandle ranching on a cow/calf operation. He allowed that college is for people who can’t rope fast and he’s got a whole bunch of letters behind his name. He goes by “Jimbret,” one quick word. Wonder if he caused his mama to use his middle name so much it stuck?

He talked about something we know, but might have forgotten. Cutting is the most respected and monetarily successful of the equine sports. Everybody wants to be a cowperson, every cowperson wants to be a cutter. He wants to make that happen. 

Now, in my own words – very few of us go anywhere without something that says, “I’m A Cutter,” whether it’s buckles, jackets, shirts or just our overall awesomeness. After all, the cutting horse made the world what it is today. This makes us ambassadors, not just for cutting, but for cowpersoning in general. The phrase, “in today’s world,” gets thrown around a lot. How people are treated forms their opinions, not just of the treater, but on all the treater does. This is not “today’s world” stuff. This is always. The way Jesus treated people sure generated a lot of members with that Golden Rule deal and all. 

Us humans like to not be the problem, so we just naturally blame somebody else.  Playground 101 taught us that putting a name to the blame often resulted in a bloody nose. The quick learners evolved to using words like “They” and “Them” to place the blame. If I ever get “Them” or “They” in my sights, I’m squeezing the trigger. 

When things go wrong or don’t go right, we like to feel like it is all a conspiracy. Somebody intentionally and willfully derailed our happy train. That somebody goes by the moniker of “Them” or “They.” In the last few years, these yahoos have been blamed for most nearly all NCHA’s headaches. I have tried to get an ID on these two – even thought about hiring one of those police artists to get a picture drawn. Nobody seems to actually know them. Every now and again a name comes up, but it seems to come from a rich deceased uncle in Nigeria or Iowa.

My research has been fruitless in trying to find a common amongst all who have been around. We are blessed with members who give time to serve on the executive board, board of directors and committees. There is turnover, that’s just the way things work, when members have to get back to their lives and other victims are brought in. It makes for a plethora of suspects for the gang of “Them and They.” After studying Nancy Grace, I decided to indict all the usual suspects. That would be “Us.” Consider yourself an “Us”; you are in a lot of trouble. I think I can cut you a deal, though, for just community service. 

“Us,” like it or don’t, are the NCHA – the face, the personality, the power, the everything. “Us” is who is going to grow the NCHA. “Us” is who is going to bring people in as spectators. “Us” is who is going to elect members to run our organization. “Us” is who is going to make that first impression on the world. 

Cutting has some problems. What doesn’t, or never did? Most of them are not huge and we could even rock along with deferred maintenance. That is, of course, the way “Them and They” would do it. But, this is a job for “Us”.

Some are problems lots of equine organizations would love to have, like weekend shows being so well attended that they run too long and too late. We need to embrace cutting as a spectator sport. (Hint: Cattle change is our biggest asset, not something to be fixed to make us a watchable thing.)

“Them and They” are our biggest enemies. If you get them in front of your rig, don’t lift. “Us” is who is going to make cutting an even greater sport and bring more prosperity than has ever been.

Cornbread Thinks: “Us” can do this, “Them and They” can’t.

You can reach Cornbread (Jimmy Bankston) at [email protected] or find him on Facebook.