For the first time in more than 40 years, the NCHA Futurity Open Semi-Finals will be held on the Saturday morning preceding Sunday’s Finals, rather than on Saturday evening.

The change is a welcome one for competitors and has been enthusiastically embraced by Western Bloodstock, the company that produces the NCHA Futurity Sales.

“We welcome that change,” said Western Bloodstock’s Ben Emison. “We’re going to move the Invitational Yearling Sale to Saturday night. It’s a special sale, strictly invitational, and we’ve made a pretty bold move.

“Super Stallion Saturday will remain the same, but instead of serving breakfast as we have in the past, we will offer a brunch during the cattle change between the first and second set of the Semi-Finals.”

The new venue isn’t the only change made by Western Bloodstock for the 2009 NCHA Futurity Sales, which marks their tenth anniversary at Will Rogers Equestrian Center. They have reduced consignment fees for the Preferred Breeders Sale nearly 30 percent, from $1,100 to $800.Milt Bradford Productions conducted the first Preferred Breeders Sale in 1990, ten years before he joined with Ben Emison and Jim Ware to form Western Bloodstock. The fee in 1990 was $800. It was raised to $1,100 in 1994 and has remained the same for the past 15 years.

“We want people to know that we are trying to help them in the current economy,” said Jim Ware. “So we’re rolling prices back twenty years.

“This applies only to the Preferred Breeders Sale, but it is our most popular sale with consignors.”

There will be four sessions of the Preferred Breeders Sale, beginning on Tuesday, December 8 through Friday, December 11. The NCHA Futurity Sale of 2-Year-Olds by Select Sires, a new concept initiated last year, will feature two sessions to be held starting at 3:00 p.m. on December 8 and 9.

The New Sire Spotlight Sale will be incorporated within the Preferred Breeders Sale and the Invitational Yearling Sale and all entries will be noted as offspring of a “New Sire” in the catalogs. Awards for the top new sires will be made on Sunday.

“It’s been like playing chess to get this to all work right,” said Ware. “But we’ve been flexible from the start and we are going to continue to offer our customers what they want and need. No one can accuse Western Bloodstock of not being able to change at the drop of a hat.”

The Select Seasoned Cutting Horse Sale will be held on Sunday, December 13, in the morning preceding the Open Finals.