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NCHA Overturns Horse Limiting Rules & Class Restructure Decision

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Executive Committee voted Aug. 7 to pass new rules limiting the number of horses a rider can show. Approximately one month later, they changed their minds.

In a letter emailed to the membership on Friday, Sept. 13, and signed by NCHA President Ron Pietrafeso, the association announced the Executive Committee rescinded two hot-button decisions made during its Aug. 5-7 meeting.

The announcement cited “recent input and feedback received from eight regional calls and the membership as a whole” as its reason for revisiting the topics during a special Sept. 12 meeting called by Pietrafeso.

Rules Limiting Horses

Rules limiting the number of horses a contestant could show in most NCHA-approved limited-age events was one issue at hand. A 9-4 vote during August’s Executive Committee meeting passed a motion for the change. However, the decision reportedly generated a substantial amount of negative feedback from members.

“The EC [Executive Committee] voted to rescind this motion, and no further action was taken on the item,” the organization’s email read. “The EC recognizes that a mistake was made during the August EC meeting with the vote on limiting the number of horses.”

Two-Class Structure

Another topic of discussion was a proposal the Non-Pro Committee made for the NCHA return to a two-class structure, rather than the current Open, Non-Pro and Amateur configuration.

According to the August NCHA Executive Committee meeting minutes released by the NCHA office, “Some benefits of this two class recommended structure include simplicity, eliminating rules and exceptions, no gray area on who can/cannot be an Amateur and this would be more in line with other equine associations. Associations that operate with two divisions are AQHA [American Quarter Horse Association], NRHA [National Reining Horse Association], NRCHA [National Reined Cow Horse Association], ACHA [American Cutting Horse Association] and USCHA [United States Cutting Horse Association]. This recommendation was presented with backup slides on stats to the committee.”

Following the Non-Pro Committee’s presentation, Executive Committee member Rock Hedlund reportedly made a motion that was seconded by Ernie Beutenmiller to send the item to the Competition Committee for review. That motion carried by a majority, with Vice President Ora Diehl, Region 1 member Kristen York and Region 5 member Sharon Overstreet opposed.

“However today [Sept. 12], the EC voted to rescind the motion to send the proposed two-class structure to the Competition Committee for analysis. No further action was taken by the EC on the proposal,” the NCHA’s announcement read.

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