by Corey Fagan
I can’t believe that, once again, my favorite time of year is almost here! Summer is approaching its end, and we can look forward to the smells and colors of fall! It comes with the harvest and the desire of gathering. A place for gathering has been going on for generations at the ICHA Fall Futurity and Aged Event. Each year the show continues to grow and the sense of family gathering remains. The buzz of FUN at these events has created interest within the community and this manifests involvement. There is so much more going on along with the incredible competition of cutting that it makes for an amazing event.
The NCHA International Mercuria Cutting will be held at the Idaho Horse Park, September 1st & 2nd. This is a show you never want to miss, as the best of the best, compete against each other. Last year Phil Rapp, broke the world record with a score of 234 on Don’t Look Twice, owned by Waco Bend Ranch. This year, new memories will be made. No matter what happens at the show, the best thing is that families are joined together with friends. This is a time to see familiar faces, catch up and have a great time.
This year we will be joined by Jonette Flores. Jonette and her middle son Cody Flores together own and operate Idaho Lifestyle Excursions. They have some exciting adventures to introduce to our guests. And talk about making it EASY! They have thought of everything, and will be at the Horse Park to take you on a fun adventure and bring you back. You decide what you are up for and how much time you want to spend doing it. Some exciting choices are a Caldwell sky diving trip, or how about a helicopter ride providing a scenic over view of the Treasure Valley. If you are in the mood for a wine tasting tour or a beer tour this season you will find it all taken care of, and at your finger tips during the show. My favorite is the Snake River airboat tour; I hear it is the only commercial air boat west of the Mississippi. This trip provides a scenic tour, with an historical narration given throughout. You will travel Swan Falls Dam and learn how the floods affected the geological form of the Snake River. You will also enjoy a delicious lunch at Brick 29. Like I said every detail has been thought of; snacks, gourmet dinners and lunches have already been taken care of. “No work all play!” Idaho Lifestyle Excursions has taken all the right steps to offer you the opportunity to build an all inclusive adventure for your family. They have already taken the time to find the best of the best, keeping safety as one of the main priorities. Depending on your level of comfort; you can go white water rafting, kayaking, or golfing. See beautiful Sun Valley, Cascade, and McCall. After a busy day of competition, you can relax and go on a hayride out to an old western town, have dinner and be entertained by a very funny melodrama. Sounds like a great way to end a perfect day! Check out the website www.IdahoLifestyleExcursions.com call them toll free at 1-855-442-4341/ 208-442-4341 or stop by to say hi and meet them at the show.
It is rewarding to be able to offer this added fun to the shows. Gold Buckle Champion is hard at work all year long, preserving our western heritage, and introducing the youth and community to the equine industry. Co Founder, Sue Marostica said, “I am so excited to be a part of keeping these shows alive in the community.” She continued “Each year more spectators come, that have never seen a Cutting Show, and they are glad they came. We are excited this year to also be able to introduce a Rodear to the community, thanks to Jeff & Sheri Matthews and Merle & Sandi Newton. It is my desire that everyone in all communites has an opportunity to be a part of something that has given my family and I so much over the years.” Sue’s children were raised around rodeo, with the lifestyle and gifts that this industry gives. “My children are dedicated, caring individuals because of what they were blessed to be a part of.” Each sport in the industry has one thing in common; discipline, hard work, integrity, and the spirit of the horse. It is definitely something that is worth passing along. It is something that everyone can be a part of and needs to be a part of. With so many shows having to close doors, and so many of our equine friends needing new homes, it is going to take creative thinking and a desire to keep many, doing what they love to do. Hence, the reason Gold Buckle Champion was developed. It is the desire to keep all shows going strong, and allow the communities to become involved. It comes with a wakeup call; this industry has a huge effect on our economy and our lives in general. We are the ones who will choose to let the impact have the upward effect and help all. But it takes a barn building philosophy. With this approach everyone gets to continue to do what they love doing. That is why this year Gold Buckle Champion will be holding an auction during one of our dinners and all of the proceeds will go back into the equine industry and keeping the community involved in these shows. Continuing with the neighborhood barn building philosphy, the ICHA would like to give special thanks to Tom Long, Nate Miller, and Brian Anderson for helping us to put together a spectacular stallion auction.
At this show, you can expect to be treated with that same 5 star quality, from the staff at the Idaho Horse Park, the ICHA Staff, and the friendly faces you will encounter along the way. The VIP Saloon will treat you daily to delicious meals, this year Indian Creek will be smoking up some lovely steaks for all who enter. QDoba, Mexican fiesta is always a treat. And TGI Fridays has something special planned to keep us all wanting more. We will continue on from where we left off in March with gift certificates for two each day into some of the communities finest restaurants.
The Nampa Fire Department will join us again, with a great BBQ benefiting the Burn Out Fund and the Toys for Tots, there will be ladder truck rides, delicious food, with donated time from Brent Reynolds, sharing his famous Old Ranch House Spices. I can smell it already, and can’t hardly wait.
The Toys for Tots always join us each year, and this year we have our first annual triathlon event “Governor of Gold Buckle Competition” Ten (10) teams will compete to see who will bring in the most toys to support this cause. They will also compete in a Celebrity Golf Tournament and a Celebrity Cutting. These teams will have a chance to win, a Gold Buckle etched Magnum of Wine, a Carroll Leather Jacket, and a plaque on the wall of the horse park for all prosperity. The Treasure Valley View will host reality style coverage of the events. Many of our local trainers will doing their part to help promote our sport and help teach novice participants; and get this, some have very little horse experience, possibly never rode a horse at all and will attempt in a short period of time to compete in the sport of cutting. This should be fun to watch along their journey. The Cutting Competition will be held Saturday evening during a dignitary dinner. I seriously doubt you want to miss that!
The following day will be the finals of the Mercuria and our 1st annual Rodear competition hosted by Jeff & Sheri Matthews and One Time Pepto and conducted by Merle & Sandi Newton. Check the website for competition schedules, clinic times, and FUN! If you haven’t already got your entry forms in, I would say “What are you waiting for?” With all this and so much more you will have more fun than you can imagine, and make memories that will last a lifetime!