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The Rundown: News Roundup

Get the latest show industry news with The Rundown.

By Tara Christiansen
The American Quarter Horse Journal
October 17, 2011

Bill Collins

Canadian cutting icon Bill Collins, pictured here in 1980, has donated one of his championship saddles to the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity’s live and silent auction. (Photo by Walt Browarny).

Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity

In Canada, Bill Collins is the name synonymous with the sport of cutting. But the 87-year-old former chuckwagon outrider, show jumper and champion tie-down roper also boasts the honor of being the first international inductee to the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.

“If you can be bigger than an icon, he is. It’s that simple,” says Pete Fraser, vice chairman of the Calgary Stampede’s western performance horse committee. “History books don’t talk about cutting in Canada at all without a parallel mention of Bill.

“The neatest thing is – and I’ve seen this in both Canada and the U.S. – that he’s such a legend, that the ‘new’ legends of cutting go out of their way to seek him out. When we bring elite judges in, one of the first things they say is: ‘Is Mr. Collins going to be here? I’ve got to meet him’ or ‘I have to see him again,’ ” says Pete. “A couple of years ago, I was down (at Fort Worth, Texas,) at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity with Bill. We sat in the stands . . . and the whole time, you could see people pointing. And one by one, three by five, they would troop up to our seats to shake hands and visit. There’s not that many people in the world that can happen to.”

It was back in 1973 that Bill established the Calgary Stampede’s very first cutting horse competition. And almost 40 years later, the event marches on and speaks of considerable growth. This year, the Calgary Stampede’s Cutting Horse Futurity, presented by Wrangler, boasts entries of 100 riders and 200 horses from Texas to Ontario.

Meet Ruth Ann Barr and Johnny Be A Goodbar in the October 2011 issue of Journal Plus. The duo has 99 combined years of experience and competed in pleasure driving at the Adequan Select World Championship Show – be sure to check it out.

The Calgary Stampede’s futurity is the premier cutting event in Canada, and will once again offer a prize purse of more than $300,000. The event kicked off on October 12 and will wrap up on October 16.

On October 15, the futurity’s live and silent auction will feature a special contribution from Bill – the cutting legend will donate one of his championship saddles to the auction. All proceeds will go to the scholarship fittingly known as the Bill Collins Youth Excellence Award.

AQHA Incentive Fund

If you haven’t heard, the AQHA Incentive Fund has undergone a facelift.

When it was decided that the AQHA show program needed a makeover to offer more levels of competition based on the skills of the exhibitors and their horses, this pulled restructuring the Incentive Fund into the loop.

“The goal is to get the Incentive Fund up to a minimum of $50 per point, which is double what it has been averaging,” said Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity.

Here’s how it works: Each point earned at an AQHA-approved show in the open and/or amateur division by an Incentive Fund-nominated horse will be worth a specific amount. The exact amount will depend on total money in the Fund for that show year and the total number of points earned that year by Incentive Fund-nominated horses. For the 2010 show season, $3,017,927.14 was paid out at $21.29 per point.

Nearly 1,600 stallions are nominated for the 2011 show season. The stallion nomination deadline for the 2012 breeding season is November 30, 2011. Foals are nominated when they’re registered with AQHA.

The AQHA Incentive Fund Task Force, behind the restructuring, is made up of a cross-section of stallion owners, breeders, AQHA professional horsemen and American Quarter Horse owners, who met several times and hashed out the ideas for giving the program a facelift and making it more beneficial. The task force’s recommendations were reviewed and approved at the AQHA Executive Committee’s last meeting.

For more information regarding the Incentive Fund changes, visit www.aqha.com/showing.

Are you worried about the current and future hay situation? You’ll want to read about hay banks in “Helping Hay Hand" in the October 2011 issue of Journal Plus.

Ride With the Pros

Would you like to know how AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Martin would tackle the 2011 AQHA World Championship Show trail course? You’ll have the chance, for free, to watch Jason demonstrate the trail course on from 7 to 9 p.m. November 5 at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

Additional demonstrations by AQHA Professional Horsemen Michael Colvin, Jackie Krshka and Lainie DeBoer will be performed in showmanship, horsemanship and hunt seat equitation, respectively.

A question and answer session will be included with each of these demonstrations. Make your plans now to learn from some of the top professionals in the American Quarter Horse industry – for free.