November, thank you for finally showing up. Does this mean fall is actually here? Texas summer should actually be considered a year-round tumultuous undertaking. There are really just two seasons in this state: summer and football season.
With November comes cooler weather (hopefully) and football (definitely). The college football rankings are starting to shake out and while I will be curious to see who rises to the top, my interests in this season have shifted as life goes on. At one point in life, I was a huge football enthusiast, and would have never missed an A&M game. But nowadays in November, my attention shifts to my four-legged loves — my cutting horses!
This is #FuturitySZN (translation: horse show season). The crown jewel of The National Cutting Horse Association is about to start! On November 21, the NCHA Futurity begins in its annual home, the iconic Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. This event showcases the best horses in our sport, from the Top 15 in the world to the newbie three-year-old horses competing for a grand prize of $175,000+. Let the early mornings and late nights begin!
For those of you unfamiliar with NCHA, it’s an organization that:
…promotes and celebrates the cutting horse, whose origin on Western ranches allows us to support ranching and its western heritage. By establishing rules for the conduct of cutting horse shows, NCHA strives to give cutters a level playing field and a progressive class structure, which accommodates everyone from the beginner to the advanced competitor (from the NCHA mission statement).
Every day during this horse show season I find myself thinking: which horse is “the” horse this year? Who will be the favorite, the sleeper, the crowd favorite, and on and on. Thoughts of these horses consume me; I am obsessed with seeing the babies display their natural ability in this premiere event.
NCHA Quick Facts
- Over 1,300 NCHA events are held annually
- Each year, over 130,000 entrants are paid in excess of $36 million in prize money.
- There are 20 NCHA-produced events in the United States every year. Altogether, these:
- Award over $10,000,000+ in prize money
- Include 7,700+ entrants and 30,000+ spectators
- Account for over 110 days of competition
- Bring in over $119,000,000 in local economic impact
- Some well-known celebrities involved in the cutting horse industry include:
- Kix Brooks, of the country music duo “Brooks and Dunn”
- Country singer, Tanya Tucker
- Professional golfer, Tom Watson
- Film producer, Charles Roven
- Former Exxon CEO and former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson
- Nike co-founder, Phil Knight
- Walmart heir, Alice Walton
- NFL Hall-of-Famer, Mel Blount