Wes Adams, 61, Logandale, NV, founder of the MillionHeir Cutting Classic and owner of Western State Ranches, died unexpectedly on Friday, February 18. Although Adams had been recovering from surgery, his death was attributed to a heart attack.

Adams initiated the MillionHeir Classic stallion incentive program in 1999, when he told me, “My mind is the spark; the spark would be the desire – the desire to do something that hasn’t been done; the desire that brings value and excitement.”

Adams launched the program in 2004 with $1.6 million added money and diamond-studded, solid gold belt buckles for winners of the four-year-old division. Only horses sired by stallions owned by Adams’ Western State Ranches, Dublin, TX, were eligible to perform in the events, which were held annually, in conjunction with the South Point Cutting Championships in Las Vegas. Horses owned by Adams and his family were not eligible to compete.

Between 2004 and its final edition in 2010, the MillionHeir Classic paid out more than $9 million. Winners of the open and non-pro four-year-old events were guaranteed $300,000 and $150,000, respectively, which was more than the winners of the NCHA Futurity.

Adams, at one time listed among the top 100 land owners in the United States by Worth magazine, owned construction, heavy equipment and underground utility companies. He became interested in cutting, when his children began competing in youth rodeos. His son, Dustin , 31, is a leading NCHA non-pro money earner with over $3 million.

Wes Adams is survived by his wife, Liz, and their six children, Weston, Dustin, Randon, Jason, Britney and Austin.

Visitations will be Thursday, February 24 from 6-8 p.m. and Friday, February 25 from 9-10:45 a.m., with the funeral to follow immediately. It will be held at the Logandale, Nevada Stake Center, 2555 N. St. Joseph Street, Logandale, NV 89021. All who wish to attend are invited.

Flowers may be sent to Moapa Valley Mortuary, 5090 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Logandale, NV 89021.