Nick O'Dell after winning the Open Classic at the NCHA Summer Spectacular in 2012 * Photo from QHN Facebook

NCHA Announces 2023 Zane Schulte Award Recipient

National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) is honored to announce Nick O’Dell as the 2023 Zane Schulte Award recipient.

As a special presentation during the 2023 NCHA Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity, the NCHA is honored to announce Nick O’Dell as the Zane Schulte Award recipient. This award was created as a way to give back to the cutting horse industry through Tom and Barbara Schulte by recognizing those who quietly inspire others each day. The award recognizes professional trainers who display good character and leadership.

The award was created to honor teen cutter Zane Schulte, the son of Thomas and Barbra Schulte, who died at age 17 from a rare form of bone cancer. The award criteria mirrors the values for which Zane is remembered: integrity, service, values, respect of their peers, contribution to the industry and excellence in the arena.

O’Dell was introduced to the NCHA through an equine partnership though he originally worked with Western Pleasure horses. Once he made the switch to the NCHA, he never went back. His career includes 35-plus years training cutting horses with a recent 2021 Futurity Open Finalist title.

“I am so honored to receive this award…[cutting] has been a huge part of my life. It’s been a great family to be with, the NCHA has. I’ve made a lot of really great friends” said O’Dell. “There are numerous customers I am thankful for; they’re the ones that have helped me get this far. This award means a great deal to me; it isn’t just about your training abilities, it’s more personal and how you conduct yourself.”

“The NCHA is proud to honor the memory of Zane Schulte during the 2023 Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity. Nick O’Dell’s characteristics have stood out to the association and we look forward to him receiving this significant award,” explained Jay Winborn, Executive Director of the NCHA.

Other recent honorees include Ted Sokol (2019), Casey Crouch (2018) and Austin Shepard (2022).