Message from NCHA President Chuck Smith

There appears to be some confusion concerning the action taken by the Executive Committee at its August 22, 2016 meeting to adopt a recommendation from the Non-Pro/Amateur Review Committee relating to the modification of the existing amateur exception rules effective in the 2017 point year. I am sending this correspondence to all directors in order to clarify any confusion that may exist.

The Amateur 10yr/$15,000 Exception Rule, which is currently in the Rule Book, allows past trainers who have trained astride in other equine disciplines to return to the Amateur division if certain requirements are met. That exception was recommended in 2009 as part of the Non Pro Amateur Task Force Proposal, was vetted by the Amateur Committee, was recommended to the Executive Committee by majority vote by the Amateur Committee and has been in the Rule Book since 2010 (See page 152 of the NCHA Rule Book).

The most recent recommendation from the Non Pro Amateur Review Committee that was considered and approved by the Executive Committee in its August 22, 2016 meeting was simply a modification of the time and monetary limits contained in the current exception rule. The adopted modification is applicable to the potential conversion to amateur status of a former trainer who trained astride in another equine discipline and to the potential conversion from non pro to amateur status for former trainer’s families. Neither the existing exception rule, nor the adopted modification to the exception rule, allow any former cutting horse trainer or assistant cutting horse trainer to qualify for Amateur status under any circumstances. The Executive Committee strongly endorsed these changes and these changes currently stand as approved.

The motion as approved by the Executive Committee was as follows: A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Lewis Wray and passed with one opposed (Jerry Louie) to approve changes to current amateur exceptions to allow the following persons to apply for amateur status: (1) former horse trainers from other equine disciplines (not cutting horse trainers) who have not engaged in training activities for at least three years prior to the date of application and who have lifetime open earnings (in all disciplines as reported by Equistat) of less than $15,000; (2) ex-spouses of professionals who have been divorced for at least three years prior to the date of application and have less than $50,000 in earnings in all breed associations and cutting competitions; (3) children of professionals who have not resided with the professional for at least three years prior to the date of application and have less than $50,000 in earnings in all breed associations and cutting competitions; and (4) spouses and children of persons who were formerly classified as professionals, but who have been granted a change of status to non-professional under NCHA exception rules. These changes will become effective in the 2017 point year.

The Executive Committee is committed to making changes that benefit the membership as a whole and is also committed to the processes contained in NCHA Rules. Therefore, in order to insure that all interests have been fully heard from, I am exercising my authority under Article 5, Section 5 of the Constitution & By-Laws to invite the chairs of the Amateur, Non-Pro, Professional Trainers and Non-Pro/Amateur Review Committee or any other effected committees to again address this issue with the Executive Committee, if they so desire, under new business at the November 2016 Executive Committee meeting. If any member has comments on this issue, please contact your directors or the appropriate Standing Committee Chairs to discuss this matter. After hearing from those Committee Chairs, the Executive Committee will decide what further action, if any, will be taken in connection with this matter.

History of the Amateur Division and Exception Rules

The following is a brief history of the development of the amateur division, and the exception rules affecting that division that demonstrates the changes that have occurred over the years.

In the time span of the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s, a new division of the NCHA called the Amateur Division was created. The need for and structure of this division was debated for several years. The Executive Committee knew something had to be done to create participating membership at the base level. The question was how to structure with fairness and long term growth. After much study, two approaches materialized: (1) the creation of a pure, pristine amateur true to the definition of the term “amateur”, or (2) a more restricted form of the non-pro. The “amateur” approach would be awards only or, at best, allowing only jackpot earnings without restrictions on longevity in the class. The restricted non-pro concept would eliminate current dominating non-pros from the new class so that it could be used as a stair step system for graduation to the regular non-pro competition after earnings levels were met. It was believed that given the opportunity to compete in restricted classes, participants would gain the experience and confidence to move up and compete in regular non-pro competition.

A compromise between those two approaches was finally reached. Members qualifying for the new division would be allowed to compete for money, including added money. It was to be a stair step structure with earnings limits that forced graduation into the non-pro class. It would be called the “amateur” division, even though by definition, it really wasn’t. The reasoning for the name “amateur’ being selected was to create a distinction in name between the new class and the non-pro class.

The rest is history; the Amateur class grew. It became popular in weekend events and really boomed in the Triple Crown competition. All of a sudden, people were graduating out of the earnings limits, but didn’t want to advance to the non-pro division. Amateur class limits were raised, exceptions were made, more amateur divisions were created, and more prize money was added. In short, Amateur Class eligibility has continued to evolve to meet the needs of NCHA members.

The Non-Pro/Amateur Review Committee was formed in 2009 to deal with the disciplinary issues arising around status, horse ownership and the many people who wanted to crossover into the amateur/non-pro divisions or to remain eligible in the amateur and/or non-pro division. The purpose in forming this committee was to allow a committee that knew the history of the association and divisions to determine how to best deal with disciplinary issues, amateur/non-pro applications and exceptions. Additionally, it placed eligibility and disciplinary actions in hands that were not directly affected by the decision, eliminating decisions on eligibility and discipline made by competitors in the same division. Only past presidents have ever served on this committee. That committee makes recommendations it feels best serve the association as a whole. Without the developments that have come from that committee, many who are now competing in the amateur, unlimited amateur and non-pro divisions would not be eligible.

NCHA launches Challenger Shows

New format offers fun, affordability

The National Cutting Horse Association has launched the Challenger Series, a new format of Weekend Shows aimed at giving  weekend cutters a fun and affordable entryway to the sport. Challenger Shows will complement the existing NCHA Championship Shows, with lower cost and more flexibility for show producers.

The time-tested features of the traditional Championship Shows will continue, with a few new features.

Beginning with the 2017 point year, an awards and recognition program will be introduced for the new Challenger Shows, but Affiliates and other show producers may begin offering Challenger Shows (with no added money) even during the remainder of the 2016 point year. Added-money Challenger Shows will be allowed starting December 28, with the new point year.

Chuck Smith

Chuck Smith

“The Challenger Series is a brand new format, building on the foundation of the Grassroots Program.” said NCHA President Chuck Smith. “The Challenger Series will make it easier for show producers and affiliates to create shows tailored to their unique situations.
“It also gives new people and current members who are just cutting for fun a better experience, while being rewarded for their efforts.”

Challenger Standings based on points
NCHA will establish Regional Top 15 Standings for the new Challenger shows. The Challenger Standings will be based strictly on points, rather than money earned. However, money won at Challenger Shows will count toward lifetime earnings, rider and horse eligibility and achievement awards.

Points awarded for any Challenger Show class will be based on the number of entries, with one point for every two entries, to a maximum of 10 points. No half-points will be awarded. If there is an odd number of entries, points will be rounded up.

So placings in a 20-horse class, would be awarded as follows: 1st = 10 pts., 2nd = 9 pts. and down to 1 pt. for 10th place. All entries that mark a score of at least 60 will receive at least one point, which will help encourage ongoing participation. So in this example, places 11-20 would each receive one point.

In the case of ties, each entry will receive the points awarded to the highest tied placing, with the normal points going to any contestants following the tie. This is similar to the way points are currently awarded in Youth classes at Championship Shows.

Buckles for money or points
NCHA Achievement Buckles will be awarded based on combined earnings of $1,000 from Challenger and Championship Shows, or for 100 points earned at Challenger Shows. Dollars and points can not be mixed for awards.

Upgrade Medallions for Achievement buckles can be earned with additional points. For example, 250 points would earn a $2,500 Medallion; 500 points would earn a $5,000 Medallion, and so on.
Participation in the jackpot will be optional for the contestant. So a cutter can enter without participating in the jackpot, but still receive whatever points he or she earns in the class.

Points are recognized only for Challenger Regional Standings, Achievement Buckles and other awards. For the purpose of achievement awards, points carry over from year to year. Points do not count toward lifetime earnings, or eligibility.

Flexibility for show producers
The new Challenger Shows offer greater flexibility and cost savings for show producers. (See What’s new in the NCHA Challenger Shows?).

A low show approval fee, flexibility in staffing shows and setting purses, and the option of a two-cow/two-minute format will all appeal to show producers. Challenger Shows can offer any combination of classes, and do not necessarily need to include an Open class, as traditional Championship Shows do. For example, a Challenger Show could consist of just a $15,000 Amateur class with $150 in added money, if that format met the needs of  show producers and cutters.

The flexibility will enable breed shows and other established events to enhance their programs by offering an approved NCHA Challenger class or classes.

New incentives for cutters
The new Challenger Shows will offer cutters additional opportunities to participate, typically at a significantly lower cost.

Cutters in Challenger Shows will earn points toward Achievement Buckles and year-end standings, with a new year-end awards program established. Even cutters in a slump will be able to earn participation points to make progress in the standings, and bring them closer to awards.

In its initial year, the Challenger Shows will offer new NCHA members, or former cutters whose membership has lapsed for more than one year, a free introductory membership to the National Cutting Horse Association.

What’s new in the NCHA Challenger Shows?

Here’s an overview of the new features of the NCHA Challenger Shows.

  • Available for Affiliates and other producers. Any NCHA Affiliate or independent show producer may hold an NCHA Challenger Show. Breed shows and other existing events can enhance their programs by adding NCHA Challenger classes.
  • Parity of purses not required. Any NCHA-approved class or combination of classes can be included in a Challenger Show. Any class may be jackpot only, or may offer from $1 to $199 in added money, without regard to added money in any other class.
  • Low approval fee. The approval fee is just $200 for an added-money Challenger Show, or $100 for shows with no added money. The approval fee must be sent when results are submitted to NCHA.
  • A Regional Awards fee of $2 per entry will be collected and submitted to NCHA with show results to fund year-end awards for leading participants in Challenger Shows.
  • Entry fee may be lower than cattle charge, to give show producers flexibility and to help make participation more affordable for cutters.
  • Judges, video personnel and secretaries do not need to be certified, with the exception that certified judges must be used for classes with added money. Video must be recorded for all classes, and retained for 180 days.
  • Two cows/two minutes format is optional. Instead of the traditional format of two and a half minutes, with two or three cows to be cut, Challenger Shows may offer a two-minute format, with two cows provided.
  • Membership dues may be paid after the show without affecting money or points earned at the show.
  • No judges protest system will be available for Challenger Shows.
  • Multiple judges may be used at a show.
  • Judges’ names do not need to be submitted to NCHA before classes with no added money. However, for added-money classes, a certified judge must be named seven days before the show.
  • NCHA will record earnings, but earnings in Challenger Shows will not count towards World Standings. Only Championship Shows with $200 or more in added money will count towards World Standings beginning with the 2017 point year.
  • Weekend limited age events may not begin until the Challenger classes are completed, unless two arenas are being used.
  • Regional Standings and Awards. NCHA will maintain Regional standings for all approved Challenger Show classes, and publish them online. Cutters will earn points in whichever Region they are competing in, so an individual could be ranked in the standings of more than one Region. Year-end awards will be presented to the leading participants in each class in each Region.

What about my NCHA Championship Shows?

NCHA Championship Shows are largely unchanged by the addition of the Challenger Series shows. They are still the cornerstone of NCHA’s Weekend Show program. Here’s a recap of Championship Show features:

  • Qualification for the Top 15 Standings will remain the same as it has been in recent years.
  • The NCHA World Finals format held during the NCHA Futurity will remain the same.
  • Area Standings will still be maintained and published online and in the Chatter. NCHA will present a trophy to the Area champion in each approved class. Beginning with the current point year, NCHA will also publish pictures of the Area champions online after the end of the year, and in a designated issue of the Chatter. The most up-to-date standings will be available throughout the year on the website.
  • Regional Top 15 Standings will be tracked and published on the website beginning with the 2017 point year. The Regional standings will be based on money earned at all Championship shows in the Region. Awards will be given to the leading participants at the end of the year.
  • Standings based on $200 or more added shows. Since shows with $199 or less in added money fall under the Challenger Series, NCHA World Standings and the Championship Regional Standings will be based on shows with $200 or more in added money. Championship Area Standings will still be based on shows with $200 to $750 in added money.

A message from Chuck Smith

My objective as President and Interim Executive Director of the NCHA is to move this Association forward by meeting the needs of our membership.

Every member is important to us, from grassroots to triple crown, from amateur to professional.

As always, our challenge is to get as many people riding cutting horses as possible, and to provide a broad enough selection of classes and activities that we are able to offer an enjoyable, satisfying experience to all of our members.

Our greatest asset is the cutting horse itself. It’s an easy sell once a beginner has his or her first ride. Our goal should be to help them go forward from that initial experience. We are constantly searching for ways to make our sport more affordable so that we can welcome more cutters, and keep them engaged.

We need to adapt to ever-changing markets. We need to find ways to tailor the cutting experience to a wide variety of local conditions. We need to leverage new technology to help us move forward into the future.

No one in our association can achieve these things alone. But working together, we can make it happen.

NCHA Executive Committee minutes August 22-24, 2016

The NCHA Executive Committee met on Monday, August 22, 2016, in the NCHA offices in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting was called to order at noon with a quorum of 14 present: President Chuck Smith, President-Elect Lewis Wray, Vice President Phil Rapp, Kathy Daughn, Chris Dublin, Jeff Fisk, Jack Holt, Seth Kirchner, Jay Klamon, Jerry Louie, J. B. McLamb, Matt Miller, Tatum Rice, and Ronnie Smith.

A donation was made by Kenneth Johnson of the saddle that his father, Pine Johnson, used at the Waggoner Ranch’s Three D Stock Farm on many of their great horses including Poco Bueno.

A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Kathy Daughn and passed to approve the minutes from the June 22, 2016 meeting.

Amateur/Non Pro Review Committee
Lindy Burch, Chair of the Amateur/Non Pro Review Committee presented potential changes to the current amateur exception rules. The Amateur/Non Pro Review Committee feels that changes to the current exception rules are warranted to provide greater consistency to the exception rules which allow people to qualify for amateur status. A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Lewis Wray and passed with one opposed (Jerry Louie) to approve changes to current amateur exceptions to allow the following persons to apply for amateur status:  (1) former horse trainers from other equine disciplines (not cutting horse trainers) who have not engaged in training activities for at least three years prior to the date of application and who have lifetime open earnings of less than $15,000; (2) ex-spouses of professionals who have been divorced for at least three years prior to the date of application and have less than $50,000 in earnings in all breed associations and cutting competitions; (3) children of professionals who have not resided with the professional for at least three years prior to the date of application and have less than $50,000 in earnings in all breed associations and cutting competitions; and (4) spouses and children of persons who were formerly classified as professionals, but who have been granted a change of status to non-professional under NCHA exception rules.  These changes will become effective in the 2017 point year.

Finance & Audit Committee
Acting Chair Lach Perks and Tommy Neal, member of the Finance Committee, were in attendance to give an update on the NCHA finances. As Angie Highland is scheduled to go to part time beginning October 1, a search for a new treasurer is underway. It was reported that two new initiatives relating to membership and trainers’ involvement will be presented at a later meeting. It was reported the Payout Task Force is working on new proposals which will be presented at a later meeting.

MERP Report
Lobbyist Jim Short and Michelle Wittenberg were in attendance to give an update on the MERP program.  It was reported the reimbursement figure was approved for $500,000 more than what was in the application. Wittenberg met with the Governor’s office and able to explain the reason why the NCHA reimbursements were better served as payments after each event than a one lump sum payment as the rules dictate. A new set of MERP rules have been released with Wittenberg and Highland submitting comments on any major concerns, questions or issues for NCHA.

Standing Rule 35 & 35A
Both Standing Rule 35 and Rule 35A were reviewed with proposed changes. Standing Rule 35 references the Zero Tolerance policy and the consequences related to violations. Standing Rule 35A addresses the Medication & Drug Rules & Guidelines. Attorney Jim Morris reviewed the changes and the reasons for the changes. A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Ronnie Smith and passed with one opposed (Chris Dublin) to accept the proposed changes to Standing Rules 35 & 35A with the modification of striking the word “practice pen” from Standing Rule 35.C.4.

Regional Reports
President Chuck Smith has asked the Executive Committee members to give a report on their regions – entries up/down, clinics/special events, initiatives, concerns, etc. A report will be given during each meeting. A short synopsis of each report is below.

  • Region 1 (Jack Holt) – Colorado cancelled a show because of lack of entries; membership is down. Canada has more shows scheduled with new cutters; concerned over cost of cattle/organizing; winning affiliate of the year was a boost. Oregon – a facility has begun to host shows offering new riders an opportunity to work cows with a boxing class; holding non-cutting shows/clinics; the Regional series was presented as an answer to increasing interest and entries by having coordinated shows in Nampa, ID; Madras, OR; Moses Lake, WA; Kalispell, MT; with a finals to be held in Farmington, UT.
  • Region 2 (Jerry Louie) – Both entries and shows are down about 5%; there are six – seven trainer clinics scheduled; grassroots shows have not been successful; September show is offering a 2 cows/2 minutes class; cost of cattle are making entry fees so high; lots of club cuttings.
  • Region 3 (Seth Kirchner) – shows are good but not as many are being held; will hold regional shows next year.
  • Region 3 (Jeff Fisk) – the shows are up with good cattle in a few states and Canada, further up the east coast is struggling (with members/shows) but are excited about the opportunity presented by the Challenger series; discussion about a possible World Series event in 2017; grassroots shows are generating some new members/interest; complaining about the 8% fee and the loss of directors.
  • Region 5 (Jay Klamon) – recent five day show had good entries; there is a new facility for affiliates; some growth in specific areas; offering unique ways to try to get sponsors (VIP room, banners, members thanking them); cattle costs/availability are a big issue as well as trainers being spread out in the region; the members are looking forward to the Perry, GA show.
  • Region 6 (Ronnie Smith) – the region is struggling with affiliates down from six or seven; the grassroots show in Louisiana was successful; the State Fair cutting should be good.
  • Region 7 (Kathy Daughn) – regional shows are not very feasible for some based on distance; entries are up in one area but down in another location; some new ideas being utilized include: cut classes, AQHA classes, never won a buckle class; offering unapproved classes for feedlot workers. A high school youth clinic offers free NCHA membership to a youth that has never entered a cutting. Youth classes are well attended with those going to the NHSRA finals, the cutting is typically the class that determines the all-around national champions. Some shows have cancelled Sunday portions of shows because of cattle availability.
  • Region 8 (Matt Miller) – shows are strong in the region with late nights being a concern; clinics for beginners are being scheduled; the grassroots show during the Summer Show was not quite what was intended (some used it to train their show horses); membership is down.
  • At large (Tatum Rice) – sent an email to all directors with links to the recommendations with some positive responses back; (Chris Dublin) – need to review scheduling of shows in other areas that might be in conflict; also concern about declining membership.

IT/Hub Update
An update was provided by Lach Perks and Steve Carnes on the Hub software and the NCHA website. It was reported that everything is still on schedule with the old system (AS 400) not being used by the end of the year.

A motion was made by Jack Holt, seconded by Jerry Louie and passed to adjourn and proceed into executive session.

NCHA Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday, August 23, 2016  *  8:00 a.m
NCHA Offices  *  Fort Worth, Texas

The NCHA Executive Committee reconvened on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, in the NCHA offices in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. with a quorum of 14 present: President Chuck Smith, President-Elect Lewis Wray, Vice President Phil Rapp, Kathy Daughn, Chris Dublin, Jeff Fisk, Jack Holt, Seth Kirchner, Jay Klamon, Jerry Louie, J. B. McLamb, Matt Miller, Tatum Rice, and Ronnie Smith.

 Review of 2016/2017 Budget
Finance Committee acting Chair Lach Perks, committee member Tommy Neal and Angie Highland presented the budget for 2016/2017. Although approved by the Finance Committee, it was not a unanimous decision. One item in the budget is to increase the championships fee from $2 to $3 with the additional western event. A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Chris Dublin and passed for the committee to discuss this item with their members and report back in approximately two weeks to review the entire budget again.

A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Jay Klamon and passed to close the open session and open again in Executive Session. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Phil Rapp and passed to close Executive Session and go back into open session.

Long Range Planning Committee
Long Range Planning Committee Chair Chris Dublin and Vice Chair Sharon Beach were in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. There were two items that did not require Executive Committee approval. One pertained to the changes to the NCHA Foundation By-Laws as they were presented to the Board of Directors at the Convention and approved. The other item concerns researching a “Battle in the Saddle” type event with youth competitors involved. A presentation was made during the Long Range Planning meeting and that committee endorsed the idea. It will be discussed more during the Youth Committee report.

The committee recommended changing the name of the existing Board of Directors to “representatives” and changing the name of the existing Executive Committee to the “Board of Directors”. A vote was taken regarding these two names changes. There were seven voting to not approve these By-Law changes and five in favor.

There was discussion on the director’s duties and what is currently outlined in the By-Laws. It was decided the Board of Director’s responsibilities should be outlined further in the Constitution and By-Laws. This would include updating the director consent form. These items will be charged to the Long Range Planning committee with the final version presented at next year’s Convention.

The recommendation for the creation of a Competition Committee was discussed. This item will be sent back to the Long Range Planning Committee to formulate the exact structure/steps, how regional representation is selected, from which committees, whether to include at large members based on skill set. This will be reviewed at a later date.

Note on committee reports: Any same/similar recommendations that were on several committees were discussed during each report and decisions made when the last committee gave their report.

Affiliate Officers & Secretaries Committee
Affiliate Officers & Secretaries Committee Chair Pam Scott joined the meeting via conference call to present the committee recommendations from the Convention.

It is recommended the development of Area pages on our website/social media when available through the new Hub software system. Beginning next year, photos of the Area champions will be posted online after the end of the point year and in a designated issue of the Chatter.

The committee is beginning to work on getting a three to five year tentative schedule for NCHA events. This schedule will be posted online. The committee recommends to follow the Youth Committee recommendation on Standing Rule 6.h. The Challenger program will be reviewed at a later time during the meeting.

The committee recommends to approve the following regarding non-approved classes held during a championship show: “If show management holds an unapproved class that does not adhere to NCHA rules the class must be held one hour after show is completed. If show management does hold an unapproved class within the approved show then all NCHA rules would apply.” It was noted that when an unapproved class is held it is up to show management but it must adhere to NCHA rules including western attire and proper horse equipment.

Non Professional Committee
Non Professional Committee Chair Sherry Graham was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. It is recommended to revise the verbiage of rule 51.a.1 to read: Any person who has trained horses in another discipline working or involving cattle shall be considered a professional by the NCHA and would only be considered for Non Pro status if they become eligible under one of the existing Non Pro exception rules. Those who have not trained horses involving cattle will be immediately considered for Non Pro status. There was no action taken on this item as there is concern about the individual still being a current trainer even if in another discipline.

It is recommended to change the time required to buy/sell a slot at the Eastern and Western from three days to one day (5 pm day before class starts). A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jerry Louie and passed to approve this recommendation.

The recommendation to move the Non Pro finals to the same day as Open Semis or Open Finals at Futurity is not an option because of the horse sales schedule.

The recommendation to change rule 8.e allowing current $50,000 Amateur card holders to retain their $50,000 Amateur status at age 60 and removing the cap was discussed and will be reviewed again at the November meeting for further review by staff and the NCHA attorney.

Cattle Committee
Cattle Committee Chair Casey Green and NCHA Cattle Manager Bronc Willoughby were in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. The Cattle Committee will continue to evaluate the cattle when they come into the show, by suppliers, to determine if the cattle need pre-settling or just allow cattle to stand in pre-settle pens for an amount of time and then split them into the working groups.

Professional Trainers Committee
Professional Trainers Committee Chair Casey Green was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. Beginning next year, photos of the Area champions will be posted online after the end of the point year and in a designated issue of the Chatter.

The committee recommends to alter the maximum entry fee percentage which weekend shows can charge for cattle (cattle surcharge) as listed on Standing Rule 14. The cattle surcharge for entry fees between $50 – $1,000 will be a maximum of 60% of the purse. Entry fees above $1,000 will remain with the same cattle surcharge percentage. This will be reviewed at a later committee.

The committee would like to emphasize the importance of Judging Rule 16.b related to dress code as a way to preserve the western heritage and professionalism at NCHA events. Several committees reviewed similar versions of this recommendation.

It is recommended to alter the guidelines for the selection of the Horse of the Year. This will be reviewed by several committees.

New business
The slot cutting scheduled to be held during the Futurity was discussed with a decision being made on the number of entries needed to conduct. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Kathy Daughn and passed that there must be a minimum of 180 entries by the entry deadline of October 1 in order for the slot cutting to be held at the 2017 Futurity.

Open Show Committee
Open Show Committee Chair Skip Jones was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. It is recommended the development of Area pages on our website/social media when available through the new Hub software system. Beginning next year, photos of the Area champions will be posted online after the end of the point year and in a designated issue of the Chatter.

No action was taken on the recommendation to alter the maximum entry fee percentage which weekend shows can charge for cattle (cattle surcharge) on Standing Rule 14. This item will be reviewed at a later meeting.

The recommendation for regional awards/championships will be reviewed at a later meeting. A similar format is being proposed with the Challenger program. The Challenger program will be reviewed during a later committee report.

Changes to the Horse of the Year format were presented by two other committees (LAE and Professional Trainers). After reviewing all of the committee proposals, a motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Tatum Rice and passed with one opposed (Chris Dublin) to keep the Horse of the Year format the same except that the World Series/Mercuria points would NOT be doubled and for the World Finals, points will be awarded for the pencil finals average and not in the go rounds. This would begin in the 2017 point year.

The recommendation to change rule 8.e allowing current $50,000 Amateur card holders to retain their $50,000 Amateur status at age 60 and removing the cap was discussed and will be reviewed again at the November meeting for further review by staff and the NCHA attorney.

The committee recommends to follow the Youth Committee’s recommended changes to Standing Rule 6.h concerning Youth classes being held at other venues during the Eastern/Western Championships. This will be reviewed during the Youth Committee report.

There was discussion of having a sub-committee review the concept of a sliding scale to allow an affiliate the option to change the added money based on the number of horses entered so that entry fees and associated costs be adjusted accordingly. Any proposal would be reviewed at the 2017 Convention.

Youth Committee
Youth Committee Chair Jody McGlothlin was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. It is recommend for the existing ten point scale which is currently used for NCHA Weekend (Saturday) and NCHA Summer Scholarship Cutting to use the NCHA Mandatory Payout Schedule Guidelines. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jay Klamon, and passed to approve this recommendation.

It is recommend to add the Novice Youth during the NYCHA Scholarship Cutting with awards only. It would be a class within a class for those with less than $500 in earnings and less than 15 points. Further discussion included offering the class during the Summer Show and at the National Championships. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to approve the Novice Youth pending a sponsor being signed to cover the cost of the class.

A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to approve the following changes to Standing Rule 6.h:

  1. No show will be approved by NCHA during the annual Association Convention, as well as the day before and the day after. No youth classes or show with an added purse of over $500 in any class will be approved by NCHA during the youth weekend only at the Eastern National Championship in Regions 4,5,6,7, and 8, and at the Western National Championship in Regions 1,2, and 3 with the exception of state, regional and county fairs. Within 300 miles of any Eastern, Western and Mid-Western National Championships show.

There was discussion of forming a World Cup/Battle in the Saddle type of event that would have members of the NCHA, NRHA, and NRCHA competing in all three events. There was also discussion of including the NHSRA as well. Other options would have the competitors a mixture of youth, trainers, and non-pros/amateurs. Other options include having the event in the Watt arena, utilizing the same cattle for fence work, working with the sponsor crossover from the associations to cover all expenses, the opportunity to use the event for membership growth as it exposes cutting to those that already ride and understand the expenses involved, awards could consist of buckles and scholarships. Another option was to include some of the NCAA equestrian teams and involve those riders in some aspect. Work is to continue on the details and a concrete proposal.

Stallion Owners Committee
Stallion Owners Committee Chair Gail Holmes was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. The Stallion Owners Committee met after the convention to continue to work out the details on the Super Stakes Stallion Subscription & Foal Nomination program rules. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to accept the rules as presented with a few minor formatting changes.

Being no further business, the meeting adjourned for the day at 6:30 p.m.

NCHA Executive Committee Meeting
Wednesday, August 24, 2016  *  8:00 a.m.
NCHA Offices  *  Fort Worth, Texas

The NCHA Executive Committee reconvened on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, in the NCHA offices in Fort Worth, Texas. The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. with a quorum of 14 present: President Chuck Smith, President-Elect Lewis Wray, Vice President Phil Rapp, Kathy Daughn, Chris Dublin, Jeff Fisk, Jack Holt, Seth Kirchner, Jay Klamon, Jerry Louie, J. B. McLamb, Matt Miller, Tatum Rice, and Ronnie Smith.

Judges Rules Committee
Judges Rules Committee Chair Ernie Beutenmiller was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to approve the five recertification judges clinics to be held this fall at major events (Las Vegas, Columbus, Jackson, Canada and at the NCHA Futurity). Additionally, a motion was made by Chris Dublin, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to offer a “makeup” recertification clinic in January, 2017 (dates TBD) for a fee of $250 in the NCHA offices with an additional one to be offered in Italy.

The Challenge System has been offered at NCHA-produced events and it is recommended it should be expanded to other shows. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Tatum Rice and passed for the Challenge System to be used beginning in 2017 at ALL LAE monitored events (excluding World Series events because of time constraints associated with those shows) that utilize five judges. In the event that a challenge fails, the $1,000 filing fee would be retained.

A sub-committee (Russell McCord, Ernie Beutenmiller, Chris Benedict, Joe Cameron, Rick Mowery, Rock Hedlund, Tracy Surles, Brett Davis, Don Pooley) will continue to research Standing Rule 24 regarding who a judge may or may not be allowed to judge at the weekend level. (Examples: spouse, other relatives, clients, etc.)

A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Jack Holt and passed for an Apprentice/Mentor Judge Program be formed on a one year trial period. This would allow for an approved judge to be mentored by a more experienced judge of their choice. There would be a fee of $150 to be paid to the Judges Department in advance which will be forwarded to the Mentor Judge after completion of the training. The apprentice judge must follow all of the same judge’s rules and guidelines as their Mentor.

There were two clarifications recommended to two judging rules. A motion was made by Kathy Daughn, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to change Standing Rule 21.h regarding the rating system for foreign judges: A score of 81-95 will earn a 3-A rating and 95 96 and higher will earn a 4-A rating. A motion was made by Chris Dublin, seconded by Kathy Daughn and passed for a new Standing Rule 27.f.1.l to clarify any missed major penalties (3 or 5 point penalties): If a judge misses a Major penalty, on a non-placing run, in a class that was protested, and does not score that class a 75 or higher, the judge would receive a valid protest. If the said judge does score the class 75 or higher, the judge would only receive a valid complaint.

The recommendations from several committees regarding Judging Rule 16.c (western attire) have been reviewed. A motion was made by Kathy Daughn, seconded by Jay Klamon and passed to approve the following:

At limited age events and other special events approved by the NCHA, Rule Sixteen shall become effective three (3) hours one hour (1) prior to the published starting time each day and shall remain in effect until one hour after each day’s performance is concluded. An announcement will be made each day when the rule is in effect. Alleged violations will be sent to the Grievance Committee for review.

A motion was made by Chris Dublin, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to approve the following note be added to Judging Rules 5.b, 6 and 14: At the first sound of the buzzer, the run is terminated.

Standing Rule 35 (Zero Tolerance) was approved earlier. No action was taken on the recommendation there be a maximum time frame of 1 – 2:30 minutes to ride to the herd at NCHA produced events.

Hall of Fame Criteria
Ernie Beutenmiller was tasked with reviewing the criteria established for induction into the Non-Pro Riders and Open Riders Halls of Fame. Some of the criteria listed was out of date and needed updating. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Ronnie Smith and passed to approve the following criteria for the two awards:

NON-PRO RIDERS HALL OF FAME

  1. Win any two (2): NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes, or Derby Non-Pro, World Championship Non-Pro.
  2. Win any three (3): Super Stakes Classic, 5/6 Year old Classic Challenge, Reserve World Champion.
  3. Win one in category 1, plus two in category 2.
  4. Have lifetime earnings of $500,000 including all non-pro monies earned in any non-pro class (limited age or weekend combined) and any open monies won to achieve that total lifetime earnings. Exclude all amateur money.
  5. Have in excess of $150,000 in non-pro championship weekend earnings, excluding novice/non-pro classes.
  6. Have combined earnings from category 4 and category 5 in excess of $500,000.

Award: Certificate presented at the NCHA Convention

OPEN RIDERS HALL OF FAME

  • Win any two (2): NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes, Derby, World Champion
  • Win any three (3): Super Stakes Classic, 5/6 year old Classic/Challenge, Reserve World Champion.
  • Win one (1) in category 1 plus two in category 2.
  • Ride horses ranking in the NCHA Top Five Open Cutting horses five (5) times. A rider must win 90% of the qualifying money to receive credit.
  • Have in excess of $1,000,000 NCHA lifetime earnings.

Award: certificate presented at the NCHA Convention 

Approved LAE Show Producers Committee
Approved LAE Show Producers Committee Chair Garry Merritt was in attendance to present the committee recommendations from the Convention. The proposed Major LAE show calendar was reviewed. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jay Klamon and passed to approve the Major LAE show dates for the time period of January 1 – June 30, 2017.

A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by J.B. McLamb and passed to take no action taken on the recommendation for the Mercuria/World Series events to adopt the same application deadlines as currently used by the Major LAE’s.

After reviewing the recommendation to change the Regulations for Approved Limited Age Events, under item 6, a motion was made by Kathy Daughn, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to approve the following (Item e, requesting the NCHA pick up the monitor fee for Mercuria/World Series shows held within the blocked days of a major LAE was NOT approved):

6. Pay NCHA an approval fee on total entry fees collected, the percentage owed NCHA determined by the amount of added money.

a. $9,999 or less in added money—(8%).
b. $10,000-$99,999 in added money—3.5% (no monitor required).
c. $100,000 added or more (monitor required) Shows that require  a monitor—2% plus $500 per show day approval fee.
d. Approval fees may be deducted from total entry fees collected. The daily fee approval fee of $500 may be prorated between classes held that day.

The committee has requested that show secretaries submit tentative dates so that a five year schedule can be maintained for all NCHA produced events, Major LAE’s and Mercuria/World Series events. A motion was made by Tatum Rice, seconded by Kathy Daughn and passed to approve proceeding with this calendar and for it to be posted on-line.

The committee is in favor of the restructure of the Grassroots/Jackpot events and the new Challenger Series. No action was taken on the request for further study into whether the approval fee paid to NCHA for premier shows have a cap.

Promotion & Development Committee
Promotion & Development Committee Chair Constance Jaeggi was in attendance to present the recommendations from the Convention. The committee has continued work on the Challenger Series as a replacement for the Grassroots shows. The proposal was reviewed with several edits made that will be incorporated. A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Chris Dublin and passed to approve the Challenger Series program. Work will continue on the details for the shows and a final proposal will be provided the membership in advance of the 2017 point year.

A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to go into Executive Session.

The committee reconvened after lunch. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Chris Dublin and passed that President Chuck Smith will serve as the interim Executive Director until a permanent individual is employed.

Limited Age Events Committee
Limited Age Events Committee Vice Chair Tarin Rice was in attendance to present the recommendations from the Convention. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Lewis Wray and passed to allow the Limited Open riders the opportunity to show a third horse in that division, provided one of the three horses is a gelding. This will be for the Super Stakes and Summer Cutting Spectacular, beginning in 2017.

The recommendation for a class within a class for geldings at the Futurity was discussed. A motion was made by Phil Rapp, seconded by Tarum Rice and passed that beginning with the 2017 Futurity in the Amateur, Non Pro and Open, a class within a class will be held for geldings utilizing similar rules from the Super Stakes. Riders will still be only able to show two horses and there must be 50 entries/class for awards to be distributed.

A sub-committee met after the Convention to work on the details for their proposal of a class within a class for non-Texas riders be developed.  It is recommended the name of the class be the Texas Invitational and it be offered for Amateur, Non Pro and Open riders at all three Triple Crown events. The requirements for this class:

  1. No Hall of Fame Members may enter
  2. Owners and riders must be from outside of Texas as based on their primary residence.
  3. Entry fee to mirror the gelding class – take out $50.00 plus 1% for promotion cost.
  4. No awards to be given out in class.

A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed with two opposed (Seth Kirchner and Jay Klamon) to offer the Texas Invitational beginning with the 2017 Super Stakes pending the ability of Hub.

The discussion of a potential horse fee at the weekend LAE events that are $10,000 or less in added money will be discussed at a later time. The recommendation supporting the Unlimited Amateur entry fee while not holding a Semis will be reviewed during the Amateur Committee report.

The recommendation for altering the time frame for Judging Rule 1.c (western attire) was addressed during an earlier committee report. The recommendation regarding the Horse of the Year point system was addressed during an earlier committee report. No action was taken on the recommendation that 50% of the penalty money at the Super Stakes and Summer Cutting Spectacular be allocated to the purse.

The recommendation for allowing a horse to be named late after a go-round has started was reviewed. A motion was made by Ronnie Smith, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to approve, beginning with the 2017 Super Stakes, for the Non Pro and Amateur classes, a horse may be named late after a go-round has started. However, if the horse is scheduled after the first day of a go round, the horse must be named before the first horse of that day rides to the herd. The late naming fee will be equal to the jackpot portion of the entry fee.

Potential payment dates for the Summer Spectacular were reviewed. After discussion, a motion was made by Jay Klamon, seconded by Matt Miller and passed to approve the payment dates of April 10 and May 10 for ALL classes at the Summer Spectacular.

The committee met during the Summer Show to discuss an item that was on their agenda but they were unable to address during the Convention because of time constraints. The committee recommends a stand-alone class for the $10,000 Novice Horse during the Summer Spectacular for the four-year-old Open and Non Pro classes. The item will be reviewed again at a later date.

Amateur Committee
Amateur Committee Chair Jaime Beamer was in attendance to present the recommendations from the Convention. The recommendation to raise the Unlimited Amateur entry fee from its current $1,100 to $1,750 (with the increase being added to the jackpot) was reviewed in depth. A motion was made by Jay Klamon, seconded by Ronnie Smith and passed with one opposed (Jerry Louie) to raise the entry fee for the Unlimited Amateur for all three Triple Crown shows by $220 with that amount added into the jackpot. The change in entries will be examined at the end of 2017 and appropriate adjustments will be reviewed.

The recommendation of changing the allocation percentage of the foal/stallion monies need to be reviewed by other committees before a decision can be made. No action was taken on this item.

The recommendation to implement a four year old gelding class in the Amateur and Unlimited Amateur was reviewed. A motion was made by Seth Kirchner, seconded by Tatum Rice and passed that beginning with the 2017 Super Stakes, to offer a four year old gelding class in the Amateur/Unlimited Amateur. This will be conducted as a class within a class while leaving the limits in place and does not allow an additional horse. Other rules for gelding classes will apply. Entry fee of $535 and must have 50 entries for awards to be presented.

The weekend Unlimited Amateur for weekend shows was discussed. A motion was made by Jack Holt, seconded by Jeff Fisk and passed to allow, on a one year trial basis for 2017 (dependent on computer programming), the Unlimited Amateur at the weekend level with the same rules as the LAE Unlimited Amateur without an earnings cap. This was approved for 2016 as a trial basis but computer programming did not allow.

No action was taken on the recommendation to exclude the Hall of Fame members from participating in the Weekend Unlimited Amateur.

The Mary Kingsbury Award will be given annually to an Amateur that exhibits the true spirit of an NCHA member and continually uplifts, encourages and strives for the greater good for all cutters. A motion was made by Jerry Louie, seconded by J.B. McLamb and passed for the Mary Kingsbury Award to be given beginning at the 2016 Futurity. The Amateur Committee will handle the award and process to determine the winner.

Two other committees made recommendations regarding the $50,000 Amateur at the weekend level. As this was not addressed by the Amateur Committee, it will be tabled until the November meeting for further review by staff and the Amateur Committee. Those two recommendations were: The Open Show Committee made a recommendation if an individual at age 60 is still eligible for the $50,000 Amateur at the weekend level, they will remain eligible for the class for life. Additional notes from the Non Professional Committee this would be made retroactive so that an individual on the day they turn 60 years old, if eligible for the $50,000 Amateur, they can remain an amateur for life.

A motion was made by Jeff Fisk, seconded by Ronnie Smith and passed to adjourn the meeting and proceed into Executive Session.

“Back the Blue” with NCHA

With the assistance of Cutting Horse Central, the National Cutting Horse Association is inviting local law enforcement and their families to come join us for a special opening ceremony for the Open and Non Pro NCHA Derby Finals at on August 6 at 3 p.m. in Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum during the NCHA Summer Spectacular, presented by Great American Insurance.

  • Free ticket for ALL local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, first responders and their families
  • Be part of this special event and stay to watch the NCHA Great American Insurance Summer Cutting Spectacular championship finals featuring some of the top Cutting Horses and riders in the world!
  • All officers are invited to the arena as we honor them in a special opening ceremony and show our support
  • The Fort Worth Mounted Patrol and Weatherford Sheriff’s Posse will present the colors
  • Everyone is invited to wear blue colors to show your support
    We will have special Back the Blue bracelets and American flags available to the first 600 people to come through the doors
  • Special guest performance by up and coming local country singer Garrett Bradford and performing his new song “I Back The Blue”
  • Ceremonies start at 3 p.m. sharp so please come early to get your seat