Buster and Sheila Welch were in Fort Worth on Thursday to reminisce about the NCHA Futurity, which celebrates its 50th edition from November 21 through December 10, at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
Buster won the first Futurity in 1962 and four more within the next 15 years, a record that has never been equaled – Money’s Glo in 1962; Chickasha Glo in 1963; Rey Jay’s Pete in 1966; Dry Doc in 1971; and Peppy San Badger in 1977.
Here are a few highlights from Lindy Burch’s interview with Buster and Sheila for an upcoming NCHA video – Lindy was the first woman to win the NCHA Futurity:
Buster: I won $3,800 in the first Futurity. Back then that would by you a four-door loaded Mercury.
Buster: I think King was one of the earliest (sires) that bred cow into Quarter Horses.
Buster: Every one of the horses that I won the Futurity on would have been competitive today.
Buster: There is very little difference in top horses, but that little difference is what counts.
Buster: You don’t win the Futurity without you’re horseback.
Buster: Like everything with livestock and horses, it’s all about the “feel.”
Sheila: I’d just get on them and show. I didn’t know their weaknesses and they didn’t know mine. If Buster trained one for himself, when I got on them, I felt like I could do anything. (Sheila won all three rounds of the NCHA World Finals on Peppy San Badger)
Sheila: I never saw (Buster) hurt a horse.
Buster: When I’m riding a good horse today working cattle, I feel like I’m on the A Team.
For an in depth history of the NCHA Futurity and the individual champions, see my latest book, available for pre-order before the Futurity – “Cutting Horse Gold: 50 Years of the NCHA Futurity.”