The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) will offer its first leveled Triple Crown event this year.
Officials say the NCHA Executive Committee voted Wednesday (Jan. 15) to level the Kit Kat Sugar NCHA Super Stakes, which is scheduled for March 22 to April 18 at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to a statement from the NCHA, the decision was made after feedback from members. It said the format changes were made to maximize the experience and entry options for competitors, and serve the best interests of members and the horses.
The leveling format, which was created by the NCHA Competition Committee, has Open, Non-Pro and Amateur divisions that each have separate restricted Intermediate and Limited classes. Class eligibility is determined by lifetime earnings.
“The exciting new leveling format provides many opportunities, implementation details will be continually adapted to best serve the membership,” the statement said. “Understanding this, as entries are processed the schedule will remain tentative and may be adjusted to maximize the exhibitor experience.”
Although several large limited-age event cuttings have used the leveling format created and tested by the NCHA Competition Committee, as well as some other forms of leveling, the 2020 Super Stakes will be the first time the association itself will level one of its prestigious Triple Crown events.
Last year, the NCHA Super Stakes had a unique schedule among Triple Crown events in that it bunched classes according to division: the Open classes were held first, the Non-Pro events were next and the show concluded with the Amateur and Unlimited Amateur classes.
Officials say if the 2020 NCHA Super Stakes requires fewer competition days, the schedule will be shortened at the beginning of the show. The schedule is available at nchacutting.com/events/superstakes.
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