FORT WORTH-If you're a Paint Horse cutter and up to the challenge of earning big money at this year's American Paint Horse Association (APHA) World Championship Show, be sure to enter the Cutting Challenge competition. This year's Challenge event features $10,000 in added money.
Cutting competition rounds out the APHA World Show, scheduled June 24-July 7 at the Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Riders who register before April 15 pay a discounted entry fee.
A part of the First USA Challenge Series, the competition will include the 3-Year-Old Cutting Challenge and 4-Year-Old Cutting Challenge, with $5,000 added to each. Preliminaries for both events begin July 6 at the Will Rogers Coliseum, with the finals taking place in the same arena on July 7.
At the 2000 APHA World Show, 39 cutters earned gross paybacks of $29,250 in the 3-Year-Old Cutting Challenge, with the winner taking home $7,313. In the 4-Year-Old Cutting Challenge, 28 competitors shared gross paybacks of $21,500, with the first-place finisher earning $5,375.
This year, the APHA World Show will continue to offer cutting competition as part of its cattle classes. Senior cutting classes are scheduled for July 6, while Amateur and Junior cutting classes are scheduled for July 7, all at the Will Rogers Coliseum. Entry deadline to avoid late fees is May 15. Contestants in these events will also be eligible for added-money awards.
By holding cutting competition during the final two days of its World Show, APHA is able to take advantage of world-class equipment and facilities provided by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). In preparation for its Summer Cutting Spectacular, set for July 12-29, NCHA prepares the arena during the final days of the APHA World Show.
NCHA goes to great lengths to provide an ideal foundation for cutting horse competition, trucking in special base dirt and raking sand into layers on the arena floor. In addition, NCHA sets up special elevated stands near the center of the arena floor so judges have the best possible view of the action. An electronic scoreboard is brought in that displays detailed information on the competition.
"Our relationship with NCHA over the years has allowed us to set up the best environment possible for Paint Horse cutting competitors," said Jim Kelley, assistant executive secretary of the American Paint Horse Association. "The conditions you find at the cutting horse competition at our World Show are second to none."
NCHA Show Manager Dave Brian has also been happy with the relationship between the two associations. "Because of the tight schedule between our move-in dates and APHA's move-out dates at the arena, this helps us get our show started on time and helps APHA with its cutting competition," he said. "It has worked out well for both of us."
"It's a win-win situation," Kelley added, "with cutting horse competitors coming out on top."
For more details about cutting competition at the APHA World show, call (817) 834-2742, extension 773. For a complete 2001 APHA World Show schedule and other valuable information, visit http://www.aphaworldshow.com/.
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The Fort Worth-based non-profit association employs 165 people and maintains an operating budget of more than $15 million for activities worldwide.
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