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Special Nu BabyOpen first go-round concludes
by Jessica Harms
What started as a field of 558 horses on day one of the 2015 NCHA Futurity has now dwindled down to 264 that have moved on to round two of the Open competition in which begins Tuesday, November 24 in Fort Worth. It took a score of 212 or better to advance to the second go-round. Following the second round, the top averages between the first and second go-rounds will again advance to the toughest round of them all, the Open semi-finals on Dec. 11. 

Yesterday’s field of scores were topped by Matt Gaines who, with more than $7.4 million in earnings is one of the top riders of the cutting horse industry.  Gaines rode Smooth Nu Cat, by Smooth As A Cat out of Special Nu Baby, to a 218.5, which ranked as a tie for the third highest score of the first go-round. 

It’s familiar territory for Gaines as he walks to the herd on three different horses out of Nu I Wood or her daughter this week. Fifteen years ago, Gaines placed third in the NCHA Futurity on Nu I Wood, who went on to earn more than $400,000. To date, Nu I Wood, by Zack T Wood out of Baby Nu Bar, has produced earners of more than $950,000. She is owned by Eddie Longley's Crystal Creek Ranch who purchased her in 1999 from breeder Tim Montz. 

Read more . . . Watch the live webcast here.

WebcastCatch the excitement on live webcasts
Cutting horse fans can watch all of the 2015 NCHA Futurity, Mercuria NCHA World Finals, Western Bloodstock Showdown in Cowtown and the Careity Celebrity Cutting on their desktop computer or mobile device.

The Celebrity Cutting will follow the $316,000 Open finals of the Western Bloodstock Showdown in Cowtown on December 4. First-round entries for the Open Showdown include past futurity champions He Bea Cat, Horse of the Year winners Kit Kat Sugar, Dont Look Twice, Junie Wood, Reyzin and Saguaro Ichi, World Champion One Time Choice, leading World Champion contender Special Nu Baby, and the great Third Cutting.

All the action surrounding the 2015 NCHA Futurity will be webcast live, with special pay-per-view coverage of the Open Semi-Finals (December 11) and Finals (December 12), the Non-Pro Semi-Finals (December 9) and Finals (December 10), and the Open and Non-Pro World Finals on November 27, 28 and December 3 and 5. Viewers can register and log on for webcasts at nchacutting.com.

Pay-per-view charges for the webcasts will be:

Non-Pro Futurity Semi-Finals $4.95
Non-Pro Futurity Finals $9.95
Open Futurity Semi-Finals $14.95
Open Futurity Finals $24.95 Or all 4 nights for $38.95
World Finals $4.95 each Or all nights 4 for $14.95

A special two-hour telecast of the open Futurity Finals will be presented on RideTV on Saturday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m. Central Time. RideTV is available on select cable and satellite providers including Dish Network. Check your provider or go to ridetv.com for more information.

Celebrity CuttingTickets available for celebrity double header
Each year, celebrity riders team up with top cutting horses to introduce the sport to an enthusiastic new audience at the Careity Celebrity Cutting. On December 4, the time-honored formula will take a new twist as some of the cutting horse world’s most celebrated older horses face off in the Western Bloodstock NCHA Showdown in Cowtown just prior to the Celebrity Cutting.

Tickets are now available online, or they can be purchased at the Careity Booth in the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall during the 2015 NCHA Futurity. Proceeds help support the Careity Foundation’s comprehensive program for cancer patients.

This year’s Celebrity cutters include entertainers Tanya Tucker, Lyle Lovett, the ever-popular Bob Kingsley and Jay Novacek, honored veteran Dan Nevins and more.

And the list of contenders for the Showdown in Cowtown includes equine superstars such as Kit Kat Sugar, Junie Wood, Dont Look Twice, Third Cutting, Reyzin, Saguaro Ichi, A Little Bossy, Special Nu Baby, One Time Choice and many more. The 15-horses for the finals will be determined in a go-round scheduled for November 17.

The Careity Foundation’s tickets are the only way to watch these special events live and in person in Will Rogers Coliseum, as the regular Futurity and World Finals passes and seating reservations are not valid for this special, charitable event.

However, if you can’t make it to the show, you can tune in to the live webcast at nchacutting.com.

NCHA Intercollegiate Judging Contest Scheduled
Judges History will be made in Fort Worth, Texas, December 2 – 4 when approximately 100 students will compete in the inaugural NCHA Intercollegiate Cutting Horse Judging Contest. The NCHA, in conjunction with Texas A&M Agri-Life Extension, will host collegiate judging teams and coaches from across the nation during the 2015 NCHA World Championship Futurity.

Contestants will be treated to a judging seminar featuring NCHA Director of Judges, Russell McCord Wednesday afternoon then Thursday take a rulebook test, judge a penalty clip test and two sets of horses from the second go-round of the Non-Pro Futurity via video. Winning teams and top 10 high scoring individuals will be determined based on a total composite score and recognized during an awards dinner Thursday evening. The top 10 individuals will judge live horses Friday, in the Watt arena, during the World Finals of weekend classes. The overall high point contestant will be recognized and invited to judge from the "6th Box" during the NCHA/Western Bloodstock Showdown in Cowtown Open Finals the evening of December 4. Read more ...

Inside the Judges Stand: The new challenge system
In Episode 10, NCHA Director of Judges Russell McCord looks at the new challenge system.



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