Wayne Hodges: 2011 NCHA Members Hall of Fame

Wayne Hodges

Wayne Hodges

For cutting veteran Wayne Hodges, the sport and its equipment have come a long way in the 50 years he has been riding to the herd.

Wayne’s passion for the sport and the people in the business has not only kept him involved shows, but has also led him to become a corporate sponsor for the NCHA. Through his company, Wayne Hodges Trailer Sales & Outlaw Conversions, he has sponsored numerous events and has tried to encourage people starting their careers.

He has been an innovator in the trailer industry and has been a long-standing supporter of cutting, both as a contestant, and as a sponsor of shows and special promotions. One of his latest contributions has been to provide a deluxe trailer for this year’s $50,000 Amateur World Champion.

Wayne didn’t grow up cutting, and wasn’t raised with horses. But in high school he got involved and has been cutting actively since about 1961, beginning in California. The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association still fills a large part of his heart.

While Wayne hasn’t shown for awhile because of a badly broken leg, he is starting to ride again and plans to do more, as his old injuries get stronger.

Through the years, he has enjoyed helping other people get started in cutting. He has trained his own horses and hauled with good friends.

Wayne says he’s  an NCHA corporate sponsor because he wants to be, because cutting has been good to him.

He has seen major developments in trailers over the years. and feels there is no comparison to what they were like 40 years ago. As people get better ideas the equipment naturally gets better. Wayne remembers that folks laughed at him when he first asked for drop-down windows on a trailer

He’s also seen the standard of competition rise over the years. Where once there might have been 15 or 20 top Non-Pros competing, nowadays, he sees hundreds who could win at any given time. And he’s played a big role in helping them down the road.

Wayne has been supported and encouraged by his wife, CarolAnn, a talented cutter in her own right. Together, they continue to breed great hosres horses and are active in a Therapeutic Riding program.

Don Bussey: 2011 Members Hall of Fame

Don Bussey

Don Bussey

Don Bussey’s leadership and love for cutting have been evident during his almost 40 years of involvement with NCHA. His passion for the sport, his service, and his desire to preserve cutting for future generations all contribute to his induction in the NCHA Members Hall of Fame.

Don became an NCHA Director in the 1980s. He served as the president of the North Alabama Cutting Horse Association for several years where he worked to promote fun activities for the affiliate’s membership.

They put on an Amateur Cutting Tournament for a few years that offered Rubbermaid buckets for prizes. The popularity of the event reinforced Don’s belief that fun and love for the sport can be the biggest motivators of all.

He also promoted a team cutting at NCHA Day, where each team consisted of an Open, Non-Pro, Amateur and Youth rider who competed together for prizes.

In an effort to provide a big event East of the Mississippi, Don and his friends James Hooper and Pat Earnhart revived the Memphis Futurity after it had dropped from the calendar for a few years. Over the years, the show has moved to Tunica, where the three men continue their partnership in hosting the show and promoting cutting in that area with the help of a few other individuals. This year, cutters came from as far as California and even Italy, as well as a good representation from the East Coast.

Don has been a member of the NCHA Executive Committee for many years, becoming NCHA President in 2004.

During his campaign for the vice presidency, he said, “I want to do all that I can to insure that my children and yours, my grandchildren and yours, can enjoy the thrill and excitement that I have while participating in cutting.”

Don first developed an interest in cutting after visiting a friend in Oklahoma who rode cutting horses in the early 1970s. He had spent years in the horse business showing western pleasure horses, and he had rodeoed in high school. But the challenges of cutting attracted him to the sport. After trying his hand at it, he knew that was where he wanted to be.

Cutting has always been a family affair for Don and his wife Brenda. They have been married for over 53 years and have two sons, Buck and Bret. They have six grandsons and one granddaughter, who followed his footsteps into cutting.

He is still actively involved, as a Lifetime Director for NCHA and as a current member of the Executive Committee. He continues to ride, breed and show cutting horses and he said recently,  “Win or lose, I still get a thrill when I walk across that time line. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than cut.”