The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity, known as one of the world’s richest equine events, wrapped up the 2013 show on Sat., Dec. 14, sending hundreds home with hefty rewards in titles, cash and prizes. Clay Johnson of Stephenville, Texas, took home the prestigious Open Championship title worth $200,000 when he rode Dual Smart Kitty to a 224.5 for owners Rusty and Shelley Simpson, Nemo, Texas.
In conjunction with the much-anticipated event was the Western Bloodstock NCHA Futurity Sales, which came just $47 short of reaching an all-time record when the average landed at $21,323. A Smooth Satin Doll garnered $210,000 at the new Select Yearling Sale & Gala to serve as the high seller of the event for consigner Tommy Manion of Aubrey, Texas.
The Best of the West shopping, numerous events, such as parties, live music and the NCHA Then & Now forum that discussed how the NCHA judging system has evolved throughout the years, kept competitors and spectators entertained throughout the duration of the 21-day event. There were hundreds of international visitors who attended this year’s Futurity, and thousands flocked from within the United States to watch the equine action unfold.
The Open division saw a blast of 608 entries and paid out a total of $2.1 million, bringing the show total to more than 1,900 entries, which was a increase of 97 entries compared to the 2012 event. T.J. Good, who was also competing for the first time in the Open finals, finished as the Reserve Open Champion aboard Stunned, owned by Jackson Land and Cattle, with a 222.5 for $110,159.
The John Deere Open crowned Wayne Robinson, Millsap, Texas, and Cat Sheree, a mare owned by Bill Paxton, Tallulah, La., as Champions, sending the pair home with $24,563. The two advanced in a field of 247 to make the 20-horse finals. In the Non-Pro, seasoned competitor Craig Crumpler of Wichita Falls, Texas, rode Junie Wood to a 220.5 to seal the title and earn $56,825. Kelle Chartier, Cottrellville, Mo., marked a 219 on Thankyamuch to earn Reserve honors and $54,067.
This year’s Non-Pro Futurity welcomed more than 300 entries and reached a total payout of more than $1 million. In the Limited Non-Pro, 14-year-old Sheridan Clark, daughter of trainer Jason Clark and non-pro competitor Becky Clark, posted a 220 to take home $11,601 aboard Meradas Puddy Cat among 164 entries.
New to the NCHA Futurity, the Unlimited Amateur division welcomed 186 participants. Kayla Norris, Hattiesburg, Miss., and her gelding, CD Kual Gun, topped the competition with a 219 to earn $3,402. The Amateur division paid Marco Sacchetti of Italy $4,793 for his win aboard Puddy Lil Puppy with a 219. Combined, the two Amateur divisions catered to nearly 380 entries.
The NCHA World Championship Futurity will take to the airwaves on rural America’s most important network, RFD-TV, Dec. 21 and 23. The $4 million competition for 3-year-old cutting horses will be made available to more than 61 million households across the United States.
The Futurity broadcast will include highlights from all divisions and the Open division in its entirety. The show will air just in time for holiday viewing Dec. 21 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern and again at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Monday, Dec. 23.