To Our Membership,
As we look towards April, the province of Alberta is still under stringent indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions. The Claresholm Easter Spring Bash, scheduled April 2 and 3, is cancelled. We are extremely hopeful and optimistic that the second show on our roster, hosted at Silver Slate Arena, April 16-18, will be a go and that we will be able to have a much fuller and “more normal” show season than last year.
The Alberta Cutting Horse Association has been, and continues to, work hard for all facets of our membership. We’d like to drum up some excitement for the upcoming season and remind you all to save the dates for some awesome events we host throughout the season!
➡ ACHA NOVICE CHALLENGE
We are extremely hopeful that in 2021 the ACHA Novice Challenge will return at our ACHA Days Claresholm Show in June. This event features a $500 Limit, $1200 Limit and $2000 Limit Rider so that entry-level cutters have a chance to compete against their respective peers before the top 3 head on to a shoot-out style finals. In the finals all finalists receive amazing prizes, but the top cutter is awarded a saddle worth $2,500. The $500 and $1200 Limit classes are not NCHA-approved, and all cutters need to enter these classes is a $5 ACHA membership!
➡ ACHA FUNDRAISER CLINIC
The ACHA Fundraiser Clinic will once again be a go in June at Thorlakson's. We love to see our local members, but also cutters from far and wide, come out to learn from our trainers and support our association while they do it!
➡ HANS HANSMA YOUTH SCHOLARSHIP CUTTING
We are hopeful to reprise the extremely successful Hans Hansma Youth Scholarship Cutting in July, once again at Claresholm, where the top three youth riders walk away with buckles, prizes and scholarships thanks to the Hans Hansma Youth Scholarship Fund. In 2019, over $5000, was allocated to this initiative and we were extremely impressed with the turnout of kids from Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
➡ YOUTH INVOLVEMENT
We would love to have more youth involvement at our shows this year. We want to remind all youth cutters, and their parents! 😊, that the ACHA subsidizes youth classes, saving them $100 per cut. Youth cattle classes are fresh cattle. Youth cutters also receive a free ACHA membership when joining. In the past we have sponsored a saddle for the Alberta High School Rodeo Finals, and this year we are actively working with the Alberta High School Rodeo Finals to do something bigger and better for youth cutters - stay tuned for more information.
➡ NEVER WON A BUCKLE CLASS
This year we plan to once again host the Never Won A Buckle classes at certain events throughout the season. This event is for competitors who have yet to win their achievement buckle at the $1000 mark in NCHA competition. Each top rider from these events wins their very first buckle and moves onwards to a shoot-out where a bronze is awarded to the top competitor at the end of the year.
➡ ACHA SPONSOR CUTTING
Last year covid-19 sidelined an event that we know will go down as one of the best yet - the ACHA Sponsorship Cutting. Join us towards the end of the year where our amazing class sponsors, whether individual or businesses, will nominate a rider to compete in the first ever Sponsorship Cutting. Riders will be paired with great horses provided by our wonderful members and have the chance to cut it up! All of our sponsors will also be recognized at this event, and we expect a great turnout to celebrate the individuals and businesses that help us thrive as an association!
➡ ACHA WELCOMING COMMITTEE
At the AGM in 2020 we heard membership around concerns over exclusivity within our sport. The ACHA has created a welcoming committee to hopefully curb these concerns and provide a friendly face, comfort, education and positivity to new membership. Each show will have a designated board member that works alongside our already extremely inclusive secretary, Shauna Reinhardt, to welcome newer members, show them around and help them get the lay of the land! These board members will be identified in advance via social media and our website, but will also be provided a list of new membership to ensure they are sought out and made to feel welcomed at our shows! Plus, we hope restrictions are fully lifted and we can go back to enjoying the wonderful socials and fun events we have had in the past.
There’s even more than that to come, but for now we just want to remind everyone to hang tight, because show season IS just around the corner, and we can’t wait for this one to be one of the best yet.
ACHA President on behalf of the ACHA Board of Directors