I have a great passion for horses which led me to the cutting horse more than 30 years ago.
Let me introduce myself to new members of NCHA and reacquaint longtime members. My livelihood for the past 40 years has been earned in the real estate industry. I am a commercial and residential developer. During the last 20 years, our company really has focused on subdivision development with an emphasis on adult communities.
In the course of local community volunteer efforts, I have served on the boards of numerous non-profits, including our local chamber of commerce, the YMCA, North Carolina High School Rodeo Association, the North Carolina Housing Foundation, as well as Christian Village. This lifetime work has given me many opportunities to experience how vision, strategy and execution are the foundation of any successful project.
My participation in cutting begin in 1978, showing in local jackpot cuttings.
For six years, I served as president of a local affiliate and in 1993 established the Raleigh Cutting Limited Age Event. That was a fall show that gave trainers and their clients a place to showcase young horses and gain limited age event experience. The show had a positive impact on cutting in the Southeast for ten years. Many of the contestants have gone on to be inducted in NCHA’s Riders and Non-Pro Hall of Fame.
For more than 30 years, I have served the National Cutting Horse Association as a Director, and as a member of the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, and the Affiliate Officers and Secretaries Committee.
The variety of these positions has given me a broad perspective on what makes NCHA run. I believe it takes several years of hands-on experience to really understand DNA of our membership.
A very large proportion of our members have earned less than $10,000. Most of us started as weekend cutters in the $2,000 Limited Rider class and have had to develop from those humble beginnings.
I feel NCHA needs to re-focus and continue to develop our weekend cuttings. One real effort is to strengthen our NCHA affiliates through education, clinics and enhanced membership services.
I believe our new Challenger Show Program which allows Affiliates to design cuttings to fit their local customer base will add excitement to their shows and attract new members to our sport.
Every NCHA member is a stakeholder in our organization, whether as an owner, breeder, trainer, week- end cutter, limited age event competitor, or a fan.
Our Association’s leadership must keep focused on the needs of the entire membership when writing rules, setting goals and developing policies.
I could not commit to the responsibilities that come with being an NCHA Officer without the support of my wife, Bek.
And I thank, you, the members of the NCHA, for this opportunity.
My wife Adrienne, and I became involved in the cutting industry over 23 years ago. We bought our first cutting horse at the NCHA Futurity Select Sale. Lloyd Cox was recommended to us at that time and we have done business with him off and on ever since.
We currently have several horses with Nate Miller who has trained for us for over 15 years. Our three daughters are all cutters and we enjoy traveling all over the country showing our horses. We live on a 400-acre ranch just south of Denver and we raise 12 to 15 babies every year, most of which are by our stud Rap Cat, a son of High Brow Cat.
I have been an officer for Western States CHA and served on their board for over 12 years. I have been very fortunate to be elected as an NCHA director from Colorado for the last 12 years. I was selected by past president Barbara Brooks to serve as a member of the newly created Governance Task Force and I am a member of the NCHA Youth Committee.
In 2013, I formed a group of people to try to bring the Western Nationals to Denver for 2014. We raised over $130,000 for NCHA and successfully had the Western Nationals in Denver and we will host them again this year.
As an Association, I think we need to focus on building our member- ship, increasing participation, and supporting our Youth. Building our membership back up is extremely important. I think we need to determine why some people have dropped out of the Association and the sport, and to figure out ways to attract new people.
My reasoning is that if we can build our membership numbers, we will also be boosting our participation. That, in turn, will make us more attractive to sponsors and help us to increase purses.
The money we have received from the state of Texas for our Triple Crown shows in recent years has been wonderful. But we need to recognize the possibility that it could go away at any time—for reasons beyond our control. So we should look for other ways to ensure that our payouts are as big as possible, for all classes across the board.
In many ways, our Youth members are the future of the National Cutting Horse Association. We owe it to them to build our scholarship fund, through sponsorships, donations, the Foundation, or any means available.
I don’t know of any other sport where families can participate like they do with cutting. Our family atmosphere is one of the greatest things about our sport. There’s nothing in the world like going down the road with your kids, talking about cutting, and what they’re going to do, and where they’re going to go to school.
Through our children, and through my work on the Youth Committee, I’ve met some terrific kids who are interested in the country life; they’re interested in agriculture; they’re interested in their animals; and most of all, they really get along well together. Our Youth are truly the future of NCHA.
If you look back at some of our members like Matt Miller, Tarin and Tatum Rice, and Beau and Wesley Galyean, they all started out in the Youth, moved up to the Non-Pro, and now they’re some of the top trainers we have today.
Cutting gets into your DNA, and it can carry on for generations, as long as we nurture it. One other thing that is vital to NCHA’s future is to make sure everybody is having more fun at our cuttings, whether it be the Triple Crown events, some of the small futurities, or our weekend shows.
We all got started in this because it was fun, and if we keep that magic, and share it with the world, it will go a long way toward attracting our new members.
I am a Colorado native and have been around horses almost my entire life. As a businessman, I feel I can make a valuable contribution to the growth and success of NCHA.
For more than 20 years, I served as a law enforcement officer, in a job that I thoroughly enjoyed. I spent four years as a regular patrol officer and was then promoted to detective. During my next 16 years, I worked undercover narcotics and organized crime. I was assigned to the Colorado Attorney General’s office and became the agent in charge of investigations. I worked all over the United States investigating major drug smuggling operations and organized crime. I received numerous commendations for my work including the Denver Police Department’s Medal of Honor, the highest award that is given.
After leaving the police department, I became involved in the auto- mobile business, working for three major new car chain dealers. Eventually I became a dealer of my own, representing Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge. While working for the chain dealers I was responsible, at times, for more 300 employees.
Currently, I manage our family business which is J.M. Auto Service and Collision, John’s Towing, Apollo Motor Home Rentals and Chambers Road RV and Boat Storage.