Kicking off 2018!
Author: Lauren Middleton
The 2018 show season has already begun as it does from year to year. As cutters, we allow ourselves to have about three weeks off from show life then we are back at it. Winter Circuits are underway and have been underway even before ringing in the New Year! Do we love the sport that much or are we just crazy? That is debatable but either way there is so much to look forward to in the upcoming months.
Major aged events kick off in Abilene, Texas on January 3rd at the Abilene Spectacular and continues until the 8th. The Abilene Stallion Auction is always a highlight for this show and the Incentive Program is very lucrative. The stallion lineup is available on CHC Facebook Album for pre-bidding rounding out with a live auction on Jan 5th which will be webcast via CHC Live Scoring. The money is great as always at this opening show of the year, but there are also some improvements to look forward to. The facility has been updated with new stalls along with three practice pens and flags. Gully Ranch and other producers of the Abilene Spectacular are excited for the 2018 show year to commence, and we are excited to see all of the new show horses to get the spotlight once again!
2017 Derby Open Champion at the Abilene Spectacular Michael Cooper and Cattys Hope
The second major event of the year takes us to the East Coast where the historical Augusta Futurity is held in Augusta, Georgia. This show has been one of great prestige, and the locals fill the stands for the finals each year! There are many who say that the atmosphere for the finals is something we all must see at some point in our show careers, so why not make it 2018! This event will be held from January 14th- 20th and also includes a Stallion Incentive Auction. It works a little differently than Abilene though, in that there is a list of nominated stallions and all four year olds by those stallions are eligible for the purse accumulated by the Stallion Auction. It is an innovative idea, and it is exciting to see what each show comes up with to make their shows stand out. Along with the aged event classes, there are several $2,500 added Open and Non-Pro classes followed by the first Mercuria World Series of Cutting events for the year. Needless to say, if you have aspirations of hauling for the world this year the Augusta Futurity is a good place to start!
2017 Augusta Futurity Derby Open Champion Craig Thompson and Reyzurbetsonthiscat
We head to The Ike Futurity & Classic in West Monroe, Louisiana next starting on January 26th and continues through February 3rd. There are five $2,000 added Open and Non-Pro classes along with the formidable aged event! The Southern Hospitality is always present at the shows held in Monroe due to producers such as Robert Charles Brown and Della Hillerman. The facility is all under one roof, and many of us know that is so important during this time of year!
2017 The Ike Derby Open Champion Craig Thompson and Reyzurbetsonthiscat
Next up is the Bonanza Cutting held at the state of the art, Silverado On the Brazos in Weatherford, Texas, February 7th-17th. This show is held in the heart of the Cutting Horse Industry, and the Crumpler family always tries their best to make it a great show! There is a stallion incentive program at this show as well keeping up with the times and adding an extra reason to head to Weatherford for the next stop of 2018.
2017 Bonanza Classic Open Champion Kenny Platt and Moms Stylish Player
Weatherford is not the only area of the country holding an event at this time of the year. In Vegas the first of the “Mane Event” shows will get underway on February 13th and will finish up on February 18th. This show will be jam packed as there will be six days of Open and Non-Pro $1,000 addeds and four days total of all other weekend classes and aged-event classes. If that is not enough cutting for you, the second Mercuria World Series of Cutting event will be part of this cutting! The sport is certainly alive and well in all parts of the country.
2017 Non Pro Mercuria World Series of Cutting Champion at the Mane Event Cade Shepard and Gini One Time
If you are feeling ambitious, there is not much time for rest between these shows and the second show managed by Della Hillerman for the season. The Arbuckle Mountain Futurity will begin on the February 19th and ends on February 25th. There will be an impressive $100,000 added to the Derby Open class along with $20,000 added to the Derby Non-Pro class making it a good show to attend on your talented four-year-old!
2017 Derby Open Champion at the Arbuckle Mountain Futurity TJ Good Riding Game On Smooth
Finally, rounding out the winter run is the Cattlemen’s Derby and Classic held in Graham, Texas with $125,000 in added money. It will be held from March 5th- 11th. There are many other weekend events and smaller aged-events going on throughout the country during these initial months of the year, but we just wanted to highlight these special shows that will start off the excitement.
2017 Cattlemen's Derby Open Champion Lloyd Cox riding Copperish
The sport is not for the weak of heart, and looking at this schedule written down can be quite overwhelming. Of course, once you get to each one with our cutting family it is all worth it! The hopeful hearts and challenges alike make this crazy way of life worth living, and we cannot wait for an amazing 2018.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Cutting Horse Central and be sure to keep up with all of the schedules, draws, and results for these events at www.chclivescoring.com!