NCHA lopers were recognized this year as the backbone of the association. * Photo by Amy Olson

Rafter P Loper Of The Year Recipient Awarded

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) congratulated Ella Blazek as the very first Rafter P Loper of the Year. Blazek was awarded on November 11, 2023 at the NCHA Metallic Cat World Championship Futurity with a $5,000 check, custom Gist buckle and Rafter P gift basket. Rafter P president and founder Brad Pryor hand-selected Blazek from a mountain of potential and hard-working lopers due to the outstanding character traits and work ethic that multiple people described her as having.

Blazek works for renowned horse trainer Kenny Platt in Fort Lupton, Colorado. She is also a fierce competitor in the NCHA. During the 2023 Metallic Cat Futurity, after she was awarded Loper of the Year, she went on to win reserve champion in the T/K Cutting Horses Limited Open on her horse, Ristos Boon, with a 217.5 on November 28.

Pryor modestly stated “it’s the least I can do to give back to the backbone of the NCHA” when asked about the award. This is not the only award Pryor has started with the NCHA; the Rafter P Hardship Award goes to a youth member in good standing with the NCHA during the Summer Spectacular and Youth World Finals to receive financial assistance.

NCHA Executive Director Jay Winborn looked forward to recognizing hard-working individuals within the NCHA along with Rafter P. “Our goal is to highlight and encourage the exceptional people that put in the effort to make the NCHA the esteemed organization it is. We are thrilled to recognize Ella Blazek as the 2023 Rafter P Loper of the Year for all of her hard work and dedication to the sport of cutting and NCHA.”

The NCHA would like to say thank you to all the hard-working men and women nominated for the Rafter P Loper of the Year award.