Weekend cutters will take center stage later this year at a show co-sanctioned by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) and United States Cutting Horse Association (USCHA). Called Cutters in Cowtown, it will be held Nov. 21-22 at the Will Rogers Memorial Center during the 2020 NCHA Futurity.
In a statement, the two associations said there are eight classes in both NCHA and USCHA competition with similar eligibility requirements, allowing for NCHA and USCHA members to compete in one or both.
The competition will be double judged, wherein two judges — one NCHA judge and one USCHA judge — independently score each entry. While the event is double judged, the payouts will remain separate.
The eight recognized classes will include Open, Non-Pro, Youth, $5,000 Novice Horse, $5,000 Novice Non-Pro, $35,000 Non-Pro, $2,000 Limit Rider and $50,000 Amateur/Non-Pro. An additional two unapproved classes will also be offered: Select Limit Amateur/Non-Pro and Limit Rider Ranch Cutting.
Celebrating Weekend Cutting
USCHA Administrator Chris Fairbanks said the show was a way to highlight the weekend cutters, as well as to give them the opportunity to cut for more money in a premier venue.
“They have the ability to enter under one judge or under two judges and, in doing so, there’s only one cattle charge instead of two cattle charges,” said Fairbanks, who added the event was a show of solidarity between the two host organizations. “But, [there’s] two purses, two jackpots and much smaller office charges, and so on and so forth.”
In the statement announcing the show, the NCHA lauded Cutters In Cowtown as a way to promote the sport as a whole.
“NCHA is excited to team up with USCHA to host this event,” NCHA Executive Director Jay Winborn said in the statement. “We all share a love of cutting, and working together for this event is a great way to continue to grow our industry and promote the sport of cutting.”
A Unique Opportunity
Formed in 2016, the USCHA was created to promote the weekend cutting sector of the industry. Currently, Fairbanks estimates the USCHA has between 2,600 and 2,800 members. Membership is free.
“That’s been our goal and a mission, to get additional monies, sponsors, awards and to grow the weekend sector portion of the industry, giving them more opportunity,” Fairbanks said.
Fairbanks said Cutters in Cowtown will offer a unique opportunity for cutters of all levels to show at one of the sport’s famed venues during the NCHA Futurity. The action will be centered in the Watt Arena, which later in the month will host the NCHA’s top weekend cutters at the NCHA World Finals.
“They’re going to be able to come there and not only watch the Futurity and to be a part of that spectacular event, but to actually be there with their horse and cut,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for them. They’re extremely excited about it.”
Show management, including entries, will be handled by Western Sports Production Associates (WSPA). The WSPA will abide by the rules and regulations of both associations, using certified secretaries and dual-carded judges.
Entries are open now and close Nov. 16.