The West Texas Futurity will offer $25,000-added Open and Non-Pro any-age cuttings at this year’s show in August at the Tri-State Exposition Arena in Amarillo, Texas.
The five-judge format is similar to Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting events, with one go-round and a finals.
West Texas Futurity organizers decided to offer the $25,000-added classes due to the big response they got from the Mercuria event they hosted last year, said Show Manager Skip Jones. In 2016, one of eight scheduled Mercuria events was left without a host after the cancellation of the Mane Event III show at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas.
Jones applied to host a Mercuria again at the 2017 West Texas Futurity, but was not successful in getting the event.
“When they did that, we just decided to host it ourselves – a $25,000-added Open and $25,000-added Non-Pro,” said Jones, president of the West Texas Cutting Horse Association. “We felt that last year, because of that event, it increased our overall attendance and participation so much that we really couldn’t afford not to do it.”
Entries for last year’s show jumped 50-75 percent across the board, Jones said.
The West Texas Cutting Horse Association, the nonprofit group that puts on the West Texas Futurity, will front the added money for the new any-age classes. The goal is to continue to offer the $25,000-added Open and Non-Pro in the future, if funds are available, Jones said.
“From year to year, we either bank the money or take it out of savings to fund it [the show],” he said. “And because we had a pretty successful year last year, we have the funds to do this without a major sponsor [for the $25,000-added events].”
The entry fee for the $25,000-added any-age classes will be $600, which includes a $400 cattle charge. Two hundred dollars of the entry fee will be jackpotted, Jones said.
“What that means is an equivalent class at our event, compared to a class at a Mercuria event, ours will pay better,” he said. “It won’t be radically different, but it will pay better because all of the contestant money over and above the cattle charge, which is fixed, the same as the Mercuria, will go into the pot.”
The go-round for the $25,000-added Non-Pro will be Friday, Aug. 18. The Open first go will be Saturday, Aug. 19. The finals of both classes will be Sunday, Aug. 20.
Organizers hope to have a production similar to that of Mercuria events for the finals.
“We’re going to encourage the crowd to be there,” Jones said. “We had a pretty good crowd at the Mercuria last year and we’re going to try to duplicate it or increase it.”
In 2016, Adan Banuelos and Glitter Done (Dual Smart Rey x Tinsels Cat Lady x High Brow Cat) won the Mercuria Open at the West Texas Futurity with a 226 for owner Susan Hearst, of Paso Robles, California. Julie Jarma and SS Blacks Lil Kitty (Blue Bayou Boon x Show Biz Kitty x High Brow Cat) took the Non-Pro with a 227.
The West Texas Futurity will continue to host $2,500-added Open and Non-Pro any-age classes. For more information, visit westtexasfuturity.com.