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UPDATE: NCHA Releases Details of NCHA Super Stakes in Light of Coronavirus

The National Cutting Horse Association on Wednesday said it still planned to host the 2020 Kit Kat Sugar NCHA Super Stakes.

Hours after RodeoHouston became the third Western performance horse industry event cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus, the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) announced it still planned to hold the aged-event cutting in Fort Worth.

“NCHA will continue to monitor the situation in the coming weeks in cooperation with the City of Fort Worth, the State of Texas, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO),” the association said in a statement emailed to members and posted on its website.

One of cutting’s largest events, the NCHA Super Stakes is set to kick off on March 24 and run through April 18 at Will Rogers Memorial Center. Last year, the NCHA Super Stakes had 2,237 entries and a total purse of more than $3.4 million.

The NCHA said the well-being of its members and guests is its highest priority.

“Per guidelines from the CDC, we should all continue to practice standard health and safety precautions,” it said.

Texas is one of 38 states with confirmed cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, reported to the CDC. Earlier Wednesday, officials in Houston announced they would cancel the remainder of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Exhibitors were told they needed to be off the rodeo grounds by 4 p.m. that day.

* This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.


Our previous story:

RodeoHouston Cancelled Due To Coronavirus

Posted at 1:11 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, by Molly Montag

Another major event in the Western performance industry, RodeoHouston, has been affected by the coronavirus.

City and public health officials in Houston announced early Wednesday afternoon the remainder of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo would be cancelled. Grounds were to be closed as of 4 p.m. that day.

Dr. David Persse, Houston Public Health Authority, said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon the decision was being made to slow the spread of the virus. He said officials hope that by doing so, area medical facilities are not overwhelmed by a large number of patients due to rapid spread of the virus.

“If everyone gets sick at the same time, there won’t be a hospital bed,” he said during the new conference, which was attended by city and county officials as well as rodeo representatives. “If it’s slowed, the medical facilities can better handle the sick people.”

One of the largest rodeos in the country, the 25-day event started on Feb. 27 and was supposed to continue through March 22. In addition to rodeo, it includes several days of National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) classes, timed events, ranch sorting, mounted shooting and all-around classes for all breeds.

The cutting classes were scheduled for Feb. 27-March 5, which was before Wednesday’s announcement cancelling the rest of the event.

The cutting industry is currently planning for the next big event on its calendar, the NCHA Super Stakes. The 26-day aged event is slated to start March 24 at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, the NCHA planned to go forward with the event and was working with local and state health authorities to monitor the situation. More details about the NCHA’s plan going into the Super Stakes were expected to be released later Wednesday afternoon.

Down in Houston, officials said Wednesday that other large events, including the upcoming Tour De Houston charity bike ride on March 15, also will be postponed or possibly cancelled.

Officials thanked the RodeoHouston Committee for working with the city and county in the interest of public health.

“We’re doing this in order to save lives,” Persse said. “This is a very big step the mayor and the judge are taking, but it is to save lives.”

Two other major Western performance horse industry events — the American Quarter Horse Association Convention and the National Reining Horse Association European Futurity — also were cancelled due to concerns about the virus.

* This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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