Letter from National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) President Steve Norris

Steve Norris Steve Norris Repost pic from NCHA FB

— NCHA Mission Statement: The National Cutting Horse Association promotes and celebrates the cutting horse, whose origin on western ranches allows us to support ranching and its western heritage.

Dear NCHA Member:
I hope that this letter finds you and your family in good health and good spirit.
Once every hundred years or so, we are reminded not just how small our world truly is but also how strong and generous we are as people. Seeing so many of our neighbors, friends, business associates and family members supporting one another, coming together, making sacrifices for the common good and preserving, both alone and together, has given me great pride and renewed hope for our country, our economy and for humanity.

We have had quite a ride this year, and undoubtedly, we will have more bumps in the road in the near future. For all the changes we currently face as a society, as individuals and as an association, we have also been gifted opportunities. Stay at home orders may have been stifling, but it has provided each of us a chance to slow down, spend more quality time with our loved ones and given each of us time to reconsider our priorities. This is true for me both personally and as your elected leader.
My ascension to NCHA President during this unusual and tumultuous time requires an evaluation of how associations function and prioritize. All of us have been impacted in some way by the global COVID-19 pandemic. NCHA is no exception; this pandemic has had its effect on the markets and businesses as well. We are now reminded that “BEST-CASE” is no longer the scenario… Survival is the new normal and we need to take measured steps to ensure not just the future of our great association but also the legacy of our western heritage.
Accordingly, I am announcing my most important priorities for my time as your President. My top priority will be to protect the financial health and ensure the operational excellence of the NCHA. I firmly believe we need to become a transparent and fiscally conservative association once again in light of this uncertain economy and challenges that lie ahead. 
My second priority is growing our membership by supporting weekend cutters and amateurs. In developing a new circuit system, including local Circuit Finals and a National Circuit Finals, along with a show rebate program. Amateur cutters are both the backbone and the future of NCHA. We, as an association, need to invest in our future and our future champions, which can only be accomplished by making cutting events more accessible, affordable and fun at both the local and national levels.
As our mission statement reminds us:
The National Cutting Horse Association promotes and celebrates the cutting horse, whose origin on western ranches allows us to support ranching and its western heritage.
Let us not forget there are cutting horses, ranches and the western lifestyle worldwide and, as such, we should celebrate the cutting horse across as many borders with as many cultures as possible.
My third priority, as most agree, needs to be the streamlining and improvement of NCHA Governance. Work in this area has already begun, but more needs to be done.  My intention is for us to make responsible, equitable, thoughtful and purposeful changes to our governance to evolve NCHA function, reduce redundant and unnecessary efforts and bring operations and bylaws into the 21st century. There has been, and will continue to be, some growing pains while we make meaningful and studied changes. Please be patient as some of these changes take time to implement or may require economic impact studies for us to determine the most advantageous method of implementation. Updates will be provided to the membership along with requests for the directors and membership to provide input or feedback as we progress through these priorities. All members and invested parties can rest assured that our Executive Director, the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors and I are truly working toward our goals and meeting our needs.
I invite you to join me in supporting our new Executive Director, Jay Winborn. Jay and I share the same vision of growth and prosperity. Our platform is not rooted in all-out change but in improving the association to benefit our membership, shows and overall well-being of the NCHA.
In the past 40 years of showing cutting horses, the NCHA and my horses have given me many happy memories, taught me a few life lessons, and provided opportunities. I’ve made numerous friends and formed decade-old friendships. I have seen generosity, dedication, strong work ethics and unwavering moral fortitude (with a few exceptions) in NCHA members. Most importantly, I’ve seen and experienced something invaluable the NCHA offers indirectly, something that has life-long impact and payout: development of self-worth, competency, respect, teamwork, accomplishment and opportunity for members as young as 5-years-old and as old as 80. I am grateful for our western heritage and everything the NCHA has done for me during my lifetime. I want our youngest members and even members who haven’t yet been born, to be afforded the opportunity to be grateful for the NCHA, our legacy and western heritage as well.
On behalf of all members and staff of the NCHA, I offer our deepest appreciation to the City of Fort Worth for its leadership and to our incredible sponsors, all of which help make our events and association’s continued operations possible.
Stay healthy, generous, kind and grateful.
God Bless!
Steve Norris
NCHA President