Comradery That’s a Cut Above
The Scottsdale Showdown took place this year May 4ththrough the 12thin Scottsdale, Arizona. The event was a great success showing how comradery from affiliates and organizations can pull together to produce a great event.
The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association and the Arizona Cutting Horse Association partnered together to produce the nine-day event, which brought in 431 entries, and paid out more than $30,000.
Dawn Chapman, President of the Arizona Cutting Horse Association, spoke about the two organizations’ common goal, which was to support cutting on the West Coast.
“I love this sport, and what better way to support it here on the West Coast than to partner up the two biggest affiliates?” Chapman said. “All in all, the partnership couldn’t have gone better, and I told Phil [Benadum, Executive Director of Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association] that I wouldn’t vote to do this again if he and Pacific Coast weren’t going to be there. Their energy and everything they put into it was extremely positive.”
Benadum also expressed his excitement and thankfulness of the partnership saying, while it was new experience to partner with another affiliate, he wouldn’t have had it any other way. The two affiliates’ comradery and love of cutting made for a great, and fun, event.
“The Arizona Association was absolutely great to work with,” Benadum said. “We each got a group together and met every week leading up to [Scottsdale Showdown], and we all buckled down, put our heads together, and successfully made a great show for all cutters.”
Half the battle for any producer is having a cutting at a venue that is able to meet the needs of everyone involved. Tucked away at the base of the McDowell Mountains, the event fell right into place at the welcoming facility of Westworld of Scottsdale.
“The facility was absolutely top-notch,” Benadum recalled. “There was air-conditioned stalls, two arenas, a loping arena, plus a practice area.”
Chapman echoed Benadum’s remarks and added how the facility was also close to many attractions of Scottsdale.
“Westworld is a happenin’ place!” Chapman said. “You’re literally five minutes away from the best restaurants you’ll ever eat at, then there’s such great shopping, and, if you wanted to, you could go see the desert and hike in the mountains.”
Being the first show for the partnered affiliates, both Chapman and Benadum said how, while it was a great event, they will definitely use what they learned from this year’s event to make next year’s even better.
“Looking at how we’re going to plan next year, we’re definitely going to make it more cutter friendly,” Chapman said. “We plan on putting it into blocks, as in the aged events in one block and the weekend events in another block, instead of running them all together for nine days.”
The goal for next year’s event is also to have more added money in the amateur LAEs to allow the Amateurs to have the equal money-making opportunities as the open riders.
“We want to go right to the grassroots of the amateurs,” Chapman said. “We really want to get them involved in the LAEs, and then also be able to reach our weekend amateurs, as well.”
Both affiliates were also extremely thankful for the sponsors who helped make the event possible.
“Cowan Ranch, with Bill and Sherry Cowan, were a big support,” Benadum said. “They always step up and help us. We also had some great, local sponsors who really helped us put this thing together.”
Chapman went on to say how Lucas Oil and Protect the Harvest played a big role in the event, as well.
“Protect the Harvest and the Arizona CHA sponsored a dinner one night and Mr. Burtenshaw spoke to everyone at the dinner,” Chapman said. “His talk was extremely well-received, and everyone loved him and what he had to say.”
Shawn Burtenshaw, a representative of Business Development for Lucas Oil, spoke about Protect The Harvest’s initiative and how members of the NCHA and the affiliate organizations can get involved and help the right voices be heard.
“It was a great evening,” Burtenshaw said. “There were a lot of people who didn’t know about what was going on and, thankfully, I was able to answer questions and shed some light on what’s going on in our country and how Protect The Harvest is here to help people like us in the industry.”
According to Burtenshaw, Protect The Harvest was created to defend and preserve the freedoms of American consumers, farmers, ranchers, outdoor enthusiasts, and animal owners with three main objectives – to inform, protect and respond. More information and ways to donate to the initiative can be found at protecttheharvest.com.
Along with the dinner, there were other events to keep the spirit of the cutting fun and enjoyable for all those in attendance, and there are plans to continue those aspects for future events.
“We had a costume dog show, and it was absolutely hysterical,” Chapman said. “We’re going to have a lot more things like that, and I can guarantee you that we’ll have a lot more people coming, we have the support of AZCHA PCCHA, this event will be huge and fun!”
The affiliates have already gotten to work to plan next year’s Scottsdale Showdown, so be sure to keep an eye out and make plans for one of the biggest events of the year. With a great partnership and lessons learned in tow, both affiliates are looking forward to providing another great show for all cutters to attend and enjoy.