Former NRCHA Executive Director Jay Winborn will now take the reins of the NCHA, officials say. • QHN File Photo.

Jay Winborn Hired as NCHA Executive Director

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) has hired Jay Winborn as its new executive director.

The association announced Sunday that Winborn, who most recently was executive director of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA), will assume his new position with the NCHA next month.

“We are excited to have Jay [Winborn] join the NCHA,” NCHA President Ron Pietrafeso said in a statement. “He is a visionary when it comes to growing and promoting a brand. We believe he is exactly the type of leader NCHA needs right now.”

Winborn, who was hired by the NRCHA in June 2012, was with the organization for more than seven years. According to the NCHA, he developed and implemented numerous programs during his time with the cow horse association that doubled its membership, grew both participant and spectator involvement, developed event production and led the NRCHA to financial success. 

Previously, Winborn was marketing director for Hatco, the largest manufacturer of headwear in the U.S. As such, he directed brand strategy and management for brands including the Stetson and Resistol hat lines. Before Hatco, Winborn was a regional marketing manager for Red Bull energy drink.

“It is my mission to bring stability and prosperity to the NCHA ,” Winborn said in the statement released by the NCHA. “I believe we have a great opportunity here to really take the NCHA in the right direction for the future. I am excited and look forward to working with the members and staff of the NCHA to help grow and promote the sport, our owners and riders, and all aspects of our industry.

“The time is now that we look to a new future, and I believe we are all ready to take that step.”

In a letter to NRCHA members announcing his resignation, Winborn thanked the association for the opportunity and wished them the best. He also said his last day with the NRCHA will be Nov. 27. His first day with the NCHA will be Dec. 1.

“It has been an absolute pleasure working with a dynamic Board of Directors and the best staff in the business,” he said in the letter, which was posted Saturday morning on the NRCHA’s Facebook page. “I feel that I am leaving the NRCHA in the best shape it has ever been in and with a competent staff that will continue to make the NRCHA the best in the industry.”

Winborn’s hire at the NCHA fills the vacancy created by the departure of former NCHA Executive Director Kirk Slaughter, who in September announced plans to resign after about four months at the Fort Worth, Texas-based association.  

In addition to his management experience, Winborn has a background in horsemanship, though the fast-paced variety he practiced was not specific to the Western performance horse industry. He was a professional polo player during the ’80s and ’90s in Europe, North America and South America. 

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