Weatherford Democrat

Big Story AM

July 8, 2011

NCHA Summer Cutting Spectacular starts Tuesday

WEATHERFORD — Tuesday marks the start of the National Cutting Horse Association’s Triple Crown of Cutting, and Parker County cutters are expected to make a grand appearance.

Of the more than 1,600 entries, one is Phil Hanson, who took home both first and second place in the cutting derby last year with LHR Smooth Jamie May and Pounce.

Hanson, a local cutting horse trainer, has participated in the event since 1984, but last year was his first time to win the championship.

“Usually we’ve done OK,” he said. “But until then I’d never won it, and I took both first and second place. That’s the first time that was done by anybody. It’ll be hard to top.”

LHR Smooth Janie May, owned by Sherry Chamberlin, and Pounce, owned by Julie Clarke, will both compete under Hanson’s direction this year in the 5- to 6-year-old category.

“We’re going to do it the same as we do every time we enter an event,” he said. “Try to get my horses to show as good as possible and take home the biggest check I can when it’s time for finals. It sounds simple, but it’s not.”

Hanson has earned more than $3 million in winnings from taking the horses to competitions. Most of the horses he has competed with he has trained at Hanson Cutting Horses in Weatherford.

While many of Hanson’s customers are from Parker County, he also boasts to have trained horses from Oklahoma, California, Oregon and Washington.

The Summer Cutting Spectacular runs July 12 through July 30, at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth.

Classes begin daily at 8 a.m., with free admission to the public, excluding the finals on July 30. Admission to the finals starts at $8.

There will also be activities for National Youth Cutting Horse Association members throughout the 18-day show, as they participate in the annual NYCHA Convention and Scholarship Cutting July 12 through July 16. The sponsors’ cutting will be held at 5 p.m. July 22.

The Best of the West Premier Shopping Experience is back in full swing for the duration of the show. Exhibitors featuring the latest trends in Western clothing, tack, jewelry, home decor and more will fill the Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall. Admission is free and the doors open at 9 a.m. daily.

Western Bloodstock will hold the Summer Spectacular auction July 29 and 30. The first part of the sale, July 29, will include the absolute dispersal of the Bar H Ranche out of Weatherford. The sale starts at 5 p.m. and the ranch has about 50 head up for sale.

Ben Emison spoke on behalf of the ranch and said ranch owner Bobby Pidgeon, 77, is ready to call it quits and is closing up the 250-acre site on Bethel Road.

According to the July issue of Quarter Horse News, the Bar H Ranche has earned nearly $9.4 million. Two of the cutting horse industry’s top sires — Dual Pep and CD Olena — are listed in the article as top players in the ranch’s success.

A complete daily schedule and list of classes are available on the NCHA website at www.nchacutting.com.

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