Executive Director's Letter
This year I lost, won, failed, cried, laughed, loved, but I didn’t fold…
2020 is a year we will all remember for sure. When I took over as your Executive Director at the first of the year, I knew there were going to be some challenges. I anticipated the normal administrative challenges of getting to know the staff, implementing necessary changes, and doing the job I was hired to do to, build a better NCHA. I can honestly say I was not prepared for a global pandemic and the situations that we faced as we, and when I say “we,” I mean all of us, have had to work through this year.
First impressions of the COVID -19 pandemic were that we would get through it in about 4-6 weeks. I remember as my wife and I were packing our house up for our move to Fort Worth in late February, I was dismissive that the COVID was as serious as it would turn out to be. I just wanted to be in place so I could travel to Jackson for the Eastern Nationals. Upon returning from Jackson is where things started to change. That Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster. I knew that things were about to get serious. My phone began to light up with calls about the NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes and what was going to happen. After a week of calls with committees of the NCHA, State and City officials, we had to make the hard decision to cancel the show. It was devastating. But only the beginning.
Next came the “Stay At Home” orders issued and our office was closed and employees worked from home for the next ten weeks. Numerous affiliate shows are canceled. The NCHA convention is canceled and our Summer Spectacular hung in jeopardy. I want to mention that we did not let up. Through numerous calls and meetings with countless people, “Horse Shows” are included in phase 2 of the “Reopen Texas” plan. Managing through this had its challenges, as we all know, but we were successful in executing our show. Slowly things changed but much of the country began opening in some capacity. Our affiliate and independent shows started up again and the turnout was huge. We saw record entries for many of these shows this year.
As the year moved on, confidence built and it even seemed that things were getting back to normal to some degree. But one thing that remained were the protocols and the guidelines that were put in place for us to have a show. The masks… the distancing… the seating requirements… all assured that even though we were having our Futurity, it would be decidedly different this year. Of course, this became more apparent the closer we got and with the cases of COVID increasing substantially before our show, it put even more emphasis on what we were about to undertake.
The rising COVID cases, the NFR coming to town and numerous other happenings put a huge amount of attention on events held in North Texas. Daily meetings before and during the Futurity were necessary to assure we would get to the next day. Despite all of this, we did it. And what a show it was. Despite the speed bumps, obstacles, and the most catastrophic year in my lifetime, we had a successful year.
As mentioned earlier, our shows collectively have thrived this year once we were able to resume activity. Even though the 2020 National Cutting Horse Association North Texas Chevy Dealers World Championship Futurity presented by Great American Insurance Group and the NCHA World Finals presented by 7 Ranch looked a little different this year, we had a show. And that is what we are here for.
This year with all the challenges we faced, we had a great year. We have grown. 2020 has been the best year of your life. You have faced challenge after challenge, you’ve adapted, and you’ve overcome. 2020 has forced you to grow exponentially.
And grow we did! For the first year in a decade, NCHA has grown its membership. We had one of the largest futurity payouts in NCHA history. We held a record-breaking horse sale this year and set an industry record with a million-dollar price tag. Our trade show was larger than it has ever been, and vendors reported sales records.
This year ushered in a new Executive Committee that has demonstrated a renewed commitment to growth and development. The implementation of the Circuit program has been met with excitement and will grow membership and participation. We have formed alliances with other organizations and will strengthen our numbers and involvement in cutting.
I look forward to 2021 with anticipation of moving back to a full program of what we produce. I look forward to not having to wear a mask and ask others to do so. But, as challenging as this year has been, it has helped me realize what we are capable of. We did not fold. To our members, supporters, and all of our employees, I thank you for what you have done this year. To our critics, I thank you too. It is what motivates us towards success.
As we draw to the close of the year, I would like to personally wish all of you Happy Holidays. We have 2021 to look forward to. I feel confidence is high as we move to the new year. Be proud of what we all accomplished this year. Be proud of yourself and be proud of NCHA.
My best to you,
NCHA Executive Director
PS: I would like to add that Futurity payouts and World Finals payouts were mailed out last week!
Director of Youth
Chairman: Mitch Farris R6
Vice-Chair: Amy Lippincott R7
Janet Cagley (22) R6
Alannah Chalmer (21) R8
Casey Crouch (20) R7
Landy Hedlund (21) R2
Barb Himsel (21) R4
Mark Mills (21) R7
Kolby Moore (22) R5
Tommy Neal (23) R7
Cindy Smith (23) R7
Nikki Sokol Roberson (22) R5
Rebecca Waters (21) R3
Kristen York EC
Purpose of the NYCHA
- Improve and promote the cutting horse industry
- Improve and develop the capabilities of youth in the breeding, raising and showing of cutting horses
- Develop scholarship, leadership, community interest and participation of youth interested in cutting horses
- Encourage moral character, sportsmanship and clean living among all its members
- Allow the youth members to learn about the leadership of the NCHA by working in conjunction with the NCHA Youth Committee
- Acquaint the youth members with the structure and functions of the NCHA
It is a constant goal for the NCHA to do its best to work with and fundraise for our youth members. There is no greater pleasure than watching the children of our industry grow up and become successful adults. All efforts of the NYCHA Officers, Youth Committee Members, and Youth Coordinator are committed to encouraging education and growing funding for scholarships for the youth that will become the future of our industry. Sponsors and donors are always appreciated. Be a part of the future with us!