The decision by the NCHA Board to bring forward the date of next years futurity has been described by some as an opportunity lost.
In Futurities past the scheduling of the NCHA Futurity traditionally clashed with the Breeders Invitational event in the US. The date was put back a week in 2011 in order to attract some more US riders to our richest event. Of course the rest is history with Kiwi expat Clint Allen, coming over and taking out the event on John Brecklemans horse Ducks Dux.
It is beleived that Clint plus some other US based trainers including names like Matt Miller, and Matt Budge were planning to come out in 2012 with some of their Non Pro clients with the aim of buying some horses at the NCHA select sale so that their clients could compete in our Futurity in the future. Of course because of the date reshuffle this will no longer be possible.
The reason for the decision remains patchy at this stage but it has been alleged that this about face was because there were some concerns that the 2011 date clashed with one of Australias major campdraft events the Coonamble Draft. This in turn limited the amount of campdrafters spending their hard earned at the NCHA’s major revenue raiser for the year, the NCHA Futurity Select Sale.
Apparently the 2011 NCHA sale was the most succesful to date with the highest average in the history of the sale, a clearance rate comparable to past sales and with only one sale to blow the average out, the means price for the sale was also extremely healthy.
Some people feel that the decision is short sighted and that if left at the 2011 dates, in time more US investment would have given the industry a much needed injection of revenue and new members.