National Cutting Horse Association Executive Director Kirk Slaughter intends to leave the organization. * Photo by Molly Montag.

NCHA Executive Director Kirk Slaughter Resigns

National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Executive Director Kirk Slaughter announced his resignation. News of his departure comes roughly six months after he was hired.

Slaughter, who was hired in March, sent out a letter Monday, Sept. 9, saying he planned to leave the organization effective Dec. 31.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve this great organization which has such an incredible passion for cutting horses,” he said in the letter emailed to NCHA members. “Thank you for allowing me to be involved with the many wonderful members of the NCHA.”

Slaughter told Quarter Horse News he notified the NCHA’s Executive Committee Monday morning of his decision to resign. A resignation letter was later published on the NCHA website.

In a phone interview, Slaughter said he was in a position in life where he works because he wants to — and chooses positions where he is a good fit. He declined to say if the NCHA wasn’t a good fit or, if so, why it wasn’t.

“These cutters are wonderful people, passionate for their sport, and they want to make sure things continue to grow and develop for the organization,” he said.

He did say he hoped the association could find stability, which is important for organizations to continue their legacies, management and operations.

Slaughter assumed the helm of the Fort Worth, Texas-based organization from Interim Executive Director Lewis Wray, who held that title after former NCHA Executive Director Chuck Smith resigned during the 2018 NCHA Convention. Smith, of Winchester, Ohio, served in the position for roughly two years. Before Smith,

From 2012-13, the NCHA had five executive directors – three of whom were hired as permanent employees and two who served on an interim basis. 

Slaughter was one of several new executives hired this year by the NCHA. Other new hires were made in the association’s show, youth and financial departments.

“There’s a lot of good people in this organization and I will tell you it’s one of the most talented staffs I’ve ever had the chance to work with,” Slaughter said. “I was blessed at my last job to work with a wonderful, talented staff and NCHA’s got a really good group of people here.”

Slaughter moved to the NCHA after serving as director of the City of Fort Worth’s Public Events Department, which oversees city-owned venues such as the Will Rogers Memorial Center. Some of cutting’s biggest events, including the Futurity, are held annually at the Will Rogers.

The NCHA has not released details of how it will search for and hire a new executive director.

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