2017 NCHA Members Hall of Fame Inductees
Author: Lauren Middleton
Most consider being selected as an inductee into the NCHA Member’s Hall of Fame to be the highest honor we can achieve in the cutting horse industry. We tend to agree, as it is not just based on what we accomplish in the show pen but also what we contribute to the sport. The following 2017 inductees have given back so much and continue to make our industry better as the years go on.
Keith Deaville has been involved in cutting the majority of his life, and if you have ever shown on the east side of the Mississippi River, he has more than likely helped you in the corner. We all know him as the first one out in the mornings at a show and the last one to leave. He is an excellent coach who has put in countless hours to help so many get started in this great sport. He attributes this achievement to his father Paul H. Deaville and his wife Pam Deaville because they have always inspired him so much. Keith has also been involved in the governing body of the NCHA for years as a director, show committee chairman, executive committee member and president of the NCHA. He is also a long-time judge on all levels.
One contribution he has made in recent years is assisting in the formation of the “Challenger Series.” He is responsible for these shows being implemented in Louisiana in the effort to get more people involved in cutting by providing a less expensive, stress free experience. The shows have also included clinics that everyone has really enjoyed.
Barbra Schulte is another inductee that has gone out of her way to help promote the sport of cutting by educating both people who are already involved and people who have never seen a cutting horse competition before. She continues to hold clinics from a holistic standpoint, which have included people such as Julie Goodnight, a prominent rein cow horse trainer to teach along side her.
Barbra speaks from a woman’s standpoint in the training world that is predominantly male and provides women’s retreats for all types of female professionals. She has even been featured on Good Morning America for her efforts. Barbra, like Keith, has been very involved in the leadership aspects of the NCHA including being the NCHA Vice President at one point. When talking to her, she speaks about how much the NCHA has given back to her rather than the other way around. She and her husband formed the Zane Schulte award to honor their late son and recognize a trainer’s outstanding character each year. There are so many that deserve this award making it that much more special for the individual who receives it. The outpouring of love and support they received when Zane was ill from everyone in the NCHA family was astounding and inspired them to put together this award. It is one that we all look forward to year after year.
The next inductee in our lineup is Leon Harrel whose reputation speaks for itself, but, when talking to him, he just seems grateful and honored for the chance to be inducted into such a prestigious group. He has accomplished so much in the show pen over the years including winning the NCHA Futurity and being inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall Of Fame. He has been highly involved in the leadership aspects of the NCHA as well since 1966. He has not only been a director for all of those years but was on the executive board from 1974-1981 then later President in 1981. Leon was highly instrumental in the PCCHA’s early years and got this great group to start using the NCHA’s rules and regulations.
Leon is another individual who has promoted the sport of cutting in multiple ways. He holds three to five day clinics at his ranch now but, in the past, has given clinics in Italy, Germany, France, Australia, and Venezuela just to name a few. Some of these have been judging clinics as well as informative clinics on the “how to’s” of cutting. He also wrote the first step-by-step guide to cutting, which sold over 20 thousand copies. It is titled The Western Horseman’s Guide to Cutting.
Our next inductee takes us to an entirely different area of the country. Nina Lundgren is based in the state of Washington and has been instrumental in adding new members in that part of the country. Her innovative ideas, such as the Wild Women of the West clinic and Climb Aboard a Cutter buckle class for new cutters, have gotten more people involved and given new comers an awesome experience while promoting the social aspect of the sport.
Nina is a big believer in the fun that needs to be had, as it is a hobby for most members in the NCHA. It is a lifestyle for many of us, and we forget it really needs to be fun! It is nice for all involved to go back to the fun and the foundation of it all, and this has been such a focus for Nina throughout the years.
The final inductee for 2017 is Billy Martin who promoted cutting in yet another area of the country being a resident of Maryland and Pennsylvania for so many years. He originally set out to just spend time with friends and see others enjoy the horses and the sport like he did, but it became something much bigger. He and his friends formed the Maryland Cutters and later several associations on the East Coast. At first, Billy had to recruit people to come see what cutting was all about. The group made sure that it was fun and about the people not just the competition. There were always get togethers during each show from pool parties to baseball games, it was all centered around having a good time. He also made sure to always have events for kids along with everyone else. He did not do this for any kind of future recognition but just to see everyone have a good time and enjoy what he loved so much.
Billy since has made a name for himself and now has two branches of their family’s 72 Ranch. One located in Pennsylvania the other in Millsap, TX. His main passion is training horses and the whole process that goes into getting them to the show pen. The horses keep him going, and he does not plan on stopping anytime soon!
It is the love of the sport that ultimately keeps everyone involved and inspires people, like these five inductees, to go above and beyond to make cutting that much better for the next generation. They are all humbled and extremely grateful to be part of such a prestigious group. We would like to congratulate every one of these inductees on this accomplishment and applaud their efforts over the years. We are extremely grateful for cutters like these and look forward to their official induction to the Member's Hall Of Fame during this year's Hall Of Fame Banquet at the 2017 NCHA Convention.