NCHA Triple Crown pays out $10 million

July 9th, 2008

The National Cutting Horse Association, which is about to pass the $600 million milestone in purses awarded since its inception in 1946, will mark another landmark this year with a total of $10 million awarded in the Triple Crown events that culminate with the 2008 NCHA Derby on August 3.

NCHA Triple Crown purses have increased 55 percent in the past five years, surpassing Thoroughbred racing’s total Triple Crown purse (from the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) by $6 million, and Quarter racing’s Triple Crown (Ruidoso, Rainbow and All American futurities) by $7 million.

“The excitement and popularity of cutting horse competition have driven the phenomenal growth we’ve seen in our Triple Crown events,” said NCHA executive director Jeff Hooper. “We’ve hosted a total of well over 5,000 entries at the three shows.

“It’s also worth noting that while the owner of a Kentucky Derby starter pays a minimum of $50,000 to enter the Triple Crown events, NCHA Futurity contestants can take a shot at a bigger purse for $2,500.”

In 2007, purses for all NCHA events amounted to over $43 million, exceeding that of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, whose signature event is the $5.6 million National Finals Rodeo, at the end of each year in Las Vegas. According to a recent article in the New York Times, PRCA reported total purses of $40 million for its 2007 season.

The annual NCHA Triple Crown trail begins with the $4.4 million NCHA Futurity in December, and continues with the $3.4 million Super Stakes in April, followed by the $2.2 million Derby, a division of the Summer Spectacular. All three events are held at Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, TX.

With a victory in the 2008 NCHA Derby High Brow CD, winner of the NCHA Futurity and co-champion of the NCHA Super Stakes, would become just the fourth horse in history to win cutting’s Triple Crown. Chiquita Pistol was the last Triple Crown winner, in 2003. Smart Little Lena and Docs Okie Quixote, in 1983 and 1984, are the only other Triple Crown champions.


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