Legends of the NCHA Convene in Fort Worth

LegacySeriesBuster Welch (middle right) and several of his peers telling stories about the NCHA’s past during the Legacy Series • Photo by Chris HamiltonAs the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) strives to preserve its history and heritage through the NCHA Foundation, the organization debuted its Legacy Series on Friday, Oct. 16, in Fort Worth, Texas. Held in the renowned Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum, the event featured storytelling from the legendary Buster Welch and other guests who walked the audience through the history of cutting.

NCHA President Jo Ellard, of Whitesboro, Texas, welcomed approximately 200 attendees to the Legacy Series, praising Dennie Dunn and Frank Merrill for their unique idea of how to record the history of the NCHA and move the association forward. Executive committee member Bill Riddle took the microphone next, stating, “We are here to glorify the cutting horse. We must tend to our business, or we have none.”

Riddle passed the torch to Red Steagall, known as the “great American storyteller,” who moderated as Welch, Bob Byrd, Dennis Funderburgh, Sam Wilson, Lex Graham, Tom Lyons, Terry Riddle, Dick Gaines and Billy Rank Cogdell discussed the beginnings of the NCHA, the great horses they have enjoyed and personal anecdotes of their experiences in the sport.

Welch spoke of the origin of the cutting horse, and went on to talk about its partnership with the American cowboy. He contested the common theory that cutting came about by horsemen bragging on their own stock, because that would have been like bragging on themselves. Instead, he believes the sport came from others bragging on good horses.