Chuck Smith was released from his duties as National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) executive director, effective immediately, on Thursday, May 31. The NCHA announced his departure Friday, June 1, at the start of its annual convention in Grapevine, Texas.
“We will fulfill our contract obligations to Mr. Smith,” said NCHA President-Elect Phil Rapp, who will assume his responsibility as president of the association on Sunday, June 3. He added that Smith, of Winchester, Ohio, will continue on as an NCHA director at-large for his region and “is going to go back and follow his cutting horse interests.”
When reached by phone, Smith declined to comment at this time.
NCHA President Lewis Wray, who steps down Sunday from his current position at the convention in Grapevine, Texas, will take on the duties of interim executive director until a replacement can be found.
“This will be strictly in a supervisor role. There will be no salaries and no contracts involved,” Wray said. “We’re doing it just like we do everything else. This is just a contribution to the NCHA.”
Smith assumed the role of executive director with the Fort Worth, Texas-based association roughly two years ago, beginning on an interim basis in August 2016 following the departure of former executive director Jim Bret Campbell. He was serving as NCHA president at the time of his appointment to the temporary post and took on full-time executive director duties in June 2017.
Prior to working with the NCHA, Smith served 23 years as cutting chairman for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. He also was director of the University of Findlay’s equestrian program in Findlay, Ohio.
The NCHA will immediately begin a search for Smith’s replacement, Rapp said.
“We’re looking for somebody that continue to take NCHA in a positive direction – someone who can help us enhance membership, continue with the trend that has been developed with fiscal responsibility, continue to keep the office in good shape and continue with the HUB program in a positive manner,” Rapp added.
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