Membership, shows, entries, added money, purses: all of the trends an equine organization might watch are heading in the right direction with the National Cutting Horse Association, said NCHA’s finance committee chairman Terry Strange (pictured) at the association’s annual convention in Grapevine, Texas this weekend. He showed NCHA directors figures that from 2000 to 2007 to illustrate that NCHA

  • Membership increased 31%
  • Weekend show purses were up 40%
  • Limited age event purses were up 121%
  • Purses at NCHA’s six shows were up 69%
  • Purses at all NCHA shows were up 76% (from $24.6 million to $43.4 million)
  • Purses per member were up 34%
  • The appraised value of NCHA’s headquarters building, purchased in 2002, has risen by 76% over the cost of purchase and renovation

The main business of the convention is for the NCHA’s 13 standing committees to develop proposals for the executive committee to review for action later this year. The front-and-center topic was changes to the standards applied to Amateur and Non-Pro eligibility, with statistics gathered, proposals circulated and surveys taken well in advance of the convention. Most committee chairs reported opposition to a major overhaul of the current standards, but invited ongoing review of money limits and other requirements for Amateur vs. Non-Pro eligibility.

Other topics that sparked widespread interest included:

  • Wider recognition of Hall of Fame, Horse of the Year, Non-Pro and Youth horses and riders
  • Gather data for setting time limits for settling herds in Triple Crown events

Re-elected to the Executive Committee are Jerry Black and Ernie Beutenmiller Jr. Joining them are newly elected members Edley Hixson Jr. and Don Bussey. Bronc Willoughby was installed as president; Chris Benedict is the newly elected vice president.