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Weekly COVID-19 Update

Mar 30, 2020, 12:34 PM by Jay Winborn
Jay Winborn provides weekly NCHA related COVID-19 update

Good Afternoon NCHA Family,

This is week 2 of my weekly updates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all know by now, the President has extended our “social distancing” by two more weeks to take us through the end of the month. Before I get into the happenings of NCHA, I would like to take a moment to remind and refresh people on what this means. This weekend, my wife and I went to the barn to ride and take care of some chores. As we were out, I noticed several people at a park having a barbecue. I heard some friends were gathered at one’s place roping. I also have heard rumors that some are still holding small jackpot cuttings. I don’t really care what people do in their own time and it is really none of my business, but something did come to mind as I was thinking about it. 

The cutters are a small community. We interact with each other almost exclusively. This is good and bad. In some ways, we sort of social distance naturally. On the other side is the fact that if this virus ever enters our family, it could wreak havoc on our community. The spread could be rapid and potentially devastating. I am not trying to scare you, nor am I here to tell any of you how to live your lives, but much as to my own family I would like to give you something to think about…

Coronavirus explained easy:

  • John Doe got infected yesterday but won’t know it till 14 days later.   
  • John thinks he’s healthy and is infecting 10 people a day.
  • These 10 people think they are healthy and rope, train, cut and continue to mingle and infect 100 people daily. 
  • These 100 people infect 1000 people. Do you see where this is going?
  • No one knows who is healthy or who is infected.

Do you understand why we should keep to ourselves? Be responsible; take care of your family. Both your immediate and extended NCHA family. The sooner the spread stops the sooner we are back cutting. 

A board member brought this analogy to me. I think it’s a pretty good view of what we are looking at.  Now that my PSA is over, lets talk about cutting. It broke my heart to cancel the Super Stakes. I was excited to have the opportunity to personally meet some of you and get to know you. I was looking forward to seeing all of the great horses compete.  There were many factors surrounding the decision and the Executive Committee and staff labored over the decision. We did not have much choice, once the city of Fort Worth declared the shutdown. Will Rogers has become stacked with date changes and putting the Stakes on top of the Summer Spectacular was not really an option due to the length of time. 

We should have refunds for entries going out in the next ten days. We are working on a plan for our box seat and ticket holders and should have info out this week. The Stallion Foal program is in discussion and we are determining the best way to proceed. We have heard numerous scenarios and will move forward with the best decision that will follow our rules, by-laws and guidelines. We will be rolling out info this week on extending the entry deadlines for the upcoming scheduled shows and once we are back will work to fast track show approvals.  And… Eastern Nationals payouts went out Friday. Our office is here to serve you and will continue to provide the best service possible during this difficult time. There are many adjustments to be made, and please be patient as we work through them.

Speaking of the office, I would like to let you know that our staff is working from home. Following local government guidelines, we will remain closed until this mandate is lifted. We have put together a schedule that allows departments time in the office to handle duties that are not possible remotely. The staff’s schedule is staggered and limits social interaction at this time. There are some things that are just not possible working from home. Please know our staff is dedicated and working for you but is also following guidelines for personal safety and that of others.

With so much uncertainty ahead, I do want to assure you plans are moving forward for our summer events. The NCHA Convention, Western Nationals, and Summer Spectacular are in the works, and as of now, we are full steam ahead. There may be adjustments needed and we will address those as they arise.

In my previous letter, I addressed the importance of not doing anything drastic. Stay home, ride your horses, get ready cause cutting will come back strong. We just need to all be safe and healthy when it does.


My best to our family. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Jay Winborn

Executive Director

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