Reasons why I am interested in serving as NCHA Vice President: I think there are three components to being an effective association leader.
- Know the history of the association
- Have a vision of what it takes to make it better.
- Know how to work within the system to accomplish established goals.
I have made a living in the cutting horse business as a trainer, show producer, director, judge, and teacher of cutting over the last 30 years.
Here at my cutting facility located just outside Columbus, Ohio, I have introduced hundreds of new people to our sport. Many have stayed with me for over twenty years. I have produced over 150 weekend shows at my location and 35 limited aged events at the Ohio Expo Center. I have been a director for 25 years and am also a AAAA judge. I am serving my fourth term on the Executive Committee, and have chaired the Long Range Planning and Limited Aged Events Show Producers Committees. Therefore, I have a thorough knowledge of our association, its past, and how it works.
My vision is to help our entire association maintain stability and grow.
I see the association basically in three parts; major limited aged events, seasoned hard-core weekend cutters, and others doing it just for fun (where most new people enter the sport). Each group is motivated by different goals, but all three must be functioning well for the association to grow. I think we are currently out of balance. The first two groups are solid but the third group (the new people and those doing it for fun) need attention. This group is where our future riders and horse owners come from.
A lot of work has gone into creating the great association we have. Let’s not tamper with the parts that are working. Triple Crown events, Major Events Trust Fund, Premier LAEs’, Mercuria events, and World Finals at Fort Worth during the Futurity have all been great successes. Let’s make sure we continue with their improvement and needs, but let’s now focus on our affiliates who are struggling to stay solvent and who need help in maintaining membership and recruiting new members.
Each area and even affiliates within the areas deal with different sets of problems. A few of the problems range from cattle availability and cost to show facility availability, and distance to shows. We need to listen more to the affiliate needs and try to become as flexible as possible without giving up the standards that set us apart from other associations. I think the grassroots program we started last year is a step in the right direction, but is by no means the only step.
We should do what ever it takes to give new people a good first experience, make them feel like there is a welcome place for them in our organization, and that we recognize and reward achievement and advancement.
My proudest moment in NCHA was back in 1998 when I spearheaded the Achievement Buckle program and it became a reality. Winning a buckle seems to define us as a true cutter whether at the Triple Crown level or as a grassroots cutter. The achievement buckle has been the first step for many in a long cutting journey and hopefully a first step for many yet to come.
I would appreciate your vote for Vice President and will do my best to help keep us in balance.