The National Cutting Horse Association has launched the Challenger Series, a new format of Weekend Shows aimed at giving weekend cutters a fun and affordable entryway to the sport. Challenger Shows will complement the existing NCHA Championship Shows, with lower cost and more flexibility for show producers. The time-tested features of the traditional Championship Shows will continue, with a few new features. Beginning with the 2017 point year, an awards and recognition program will be introduced for the new Challenger Shows, but Affiliates and other show producers may begin offering Challenger Shows (with no added money) even during the remainder of the 2016 point year. Added-money Challenger Shows will be allowed starting December 28, with the new point year. “The Challenger Series is a brand new format, building on the foundation of the Grassroots Program.” said NCHA President Chuck Smith. “The Challenger Series will make it easier for show producers and affiliates to create shows tailored to their unique situations. “It also gives new people and current members who are just cutting for fun a better experience, while being
rewarded for their efforts.”
Challenger Standings based on points
NCHA will establish Regional Top 15 Standings for the new Challenger shows. The Challenger Standings will be based strictly on points, rather than money eared. However, money won at Challenger Shows will count toward lifetime earnings, rider and horse eligibility and achievement awards.
Points awarded for any Challenger Show class will be based on the number of entries, with one point for every two entries, to a maximum of 10 points. No half-points will be awarded. If there is an odd number of entries, points will be rounded up. So placings in a 20-horse class, would be awarded as follows: 1st = 10 pts., 2nd = 9 pts. and down to 1 pt. for 10th place. All entries that mark a score of at least 60 will receive at least one point, which will help encourage ongoing participation. So in this example, places 11-20 would each receive one point. In the case of ties, each entry will receive the points awarded to the highest tied placing, with the normal points going to any contestants following the tie. This is similar to the way points are currently awarded in Youth classes at Championship Shows.
Buckles for money or points
NCHA Achievement Buckles will be awarded based on combined earnings of $1,000 from Challenger and Championship Shows, or for 100 points earned at Challenger Shows. Dollars and points can not be mixed for awards. Upgrade Medallions for Achievement buckles can be earned with additional points. For example, 250 points would earn a $2,500 Medallion; 500 points would earn a $5,000 Medallion, and so on. Participation in the jackpot will be optional for the contestant. So a cutter can enter without participating in the jackpot, but still receive whatever points he or she earns in the class. Points are recognized only for Challenger Regional Standings, Achievement Buckles and other awards. For the purpose of achievement awards, points carry over from year to year. Points do not count toward lifetime earnings, or eligibility.]
Flexibility for show producers
The new Challenger Shows offer greater flexibility and cost savings for show producers. (See What’s new in theNCHA Challenger Shows?). A low show approval fee, flexibility in staffing shows and setting purses, and the option of a two cow/ two-minute format will all appeal to show producers. Challenger Shows can offer any combination of classes, and do not necessarily need to include an Open class, as traditional Championship Shows do. For example, a Challenger Show could consist of just a $15,000 Amateur class with $150 in added money, if that format met the needs of show producers and cutters. The flexibility will enable breed shows and other established events to enhance their programs by offering an approved NCHA Challenger class or classes.
New incentives for cutters
The new Challenger Shows will offer cutters additional opportunities to participate, typically at a significantly
lower cost Cutters in Challenger Shows will earn points toward Achievement Buckles and year-end standings, with a new year-end awards program established. Even cutters in a slump will be able to earn participation points to make progress in the standings, and bring them closer to awards. In its initial year, the Challenger Shows will offer new NCHA members, or former cutters whose membership has lapsed for more than one year, a free introductory membership to the National Cutting Horse Association.
The CHALLENGER SERIES Series
Cutting is a sport that is just as much about the horses, the cattle, and the history as it is about the people. In fact, the people may very well be what truly makes this sport the great equine discipline as it is. NCHA has launched the Challenger Series which are day-long events hosted around the country at a grass-roots level. As part of these new events, we wanted to introduce the “Challenger Series” Series in which we will showcase and chronicle the stories about the unique people who participate in this great sport. These Series of stories will be run on the NCHA Facebook page and here in this blog every several days so please be sure to check regularly!
Last post : 2/18/2017