Producers of cutting events approved by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) will now have greater flexibility to make changes.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based association announced Monday that its Executive Committee recently amended Standing Rule 5 and 6 in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Standing rules have been amended to allow for the shorter approval and edit timelines for all NCHA-produced events, according to the NCHA.
NCHA show approval applications must be received in the NCHA office 15 days prior to entries closing and show producers can make changes up to seven days before the entries closing. This amendment will apply retroactively to shows that have existing NCHA approval and will run through March 31, 2021.
Officials with the NCHA say the decision will allow show producers and affiliates greater flexibility and more time to adjust, react and best serve the membership.
Additionally, the NCHA says it will continually monitor the situation, and that its Executive Committee may choose to extend the expedited timeline further.
Many horse shows, including NCHA-approved events, were canceled or postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and/or local government restrictions imposed on large gatherings. One of the largest Western performance horse events to cancel was the 2020 NCHA Super Stakes, a Triple Crown event in Fort Worth, Texas.
Though several large cutting, reining and reined cow horse shows were able to be held in late 2020 and so far in 2021, ongoing local restrictions or spikes in cases continues to cause issues for some shows.
Earlier this month, organizers of the Augusta Futurity announced they would postpone the 2021 edition of the show — scheduled for this month — due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the region.
A number of smaller Western performance horse events in other parts of the country also announced venue changes for shows scheduled for early 2021, or informed membership they were attempting to find new venues.