The semiannual National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA)/Western Bloodstock Showdown In Cowtown slot cutting that was scheduled for this month in conjunction with the NCHA Summer Spectacular has been cancelled. The suspension of the event, which was decided in early June, means a substantial amount of money that was paid out in 2015 will not change hands this year.
“There just weren’t enough entries,” said Western Bloodstock co-owner Jeremy Barwick, who was the brain behind the creation of the lucrative event in 2015. “It takes about 50 in each class to really financially make it work out, and there just weren’t enough. There were nearly 50 [entered] in the Open, but the other two classes were only in the 30s.”
The unique cutting, which follows the format of slot barrel races like Diamonds & Dirt, debuted at the 2015 Summer Spectacular. A maximum of 100 slots in three divisions – Open, Non-Pro and Unlimited Amateur – were available for purchase and horses were required to also be entered in the Summer Spectacular. The single go-round and clean-slate finals structure promised a rewarding payout that easily topped the majority of cuttings in the industry today.
The premiere Showdown, held July 9-27, 2015, attracted a total of 168 entries and paid out $541,500 altogether. The second installment of the event was held a few months later during the NCHA Futurity, where the response was far greater than at the inaugural show. At that Winter Showdown, which ran Nov. 17-Dec. 4 and included any-age horses, entries increased by an astounding 73 percent to 230. With that increase, the payout skyrocketed up by 75.5 percent to $717,000, attracting an impressive list of top-notch competitors and even pulling legendary athletes out of retirement.