THE SOUTHERN Hemisphere’s largest equine event was officially launched yesterday at Tamworth’s Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre (AELEC).
The National Cutting Horse Association’s 41st Max Gold Tamarang Futurity will see 14 days of the best cutting horse action from next week.
The main event, the Open Futurity, has attracted a record 160 of Australia and the world’s best trainers and riders.
Trainers have travelled from the USA, Canada, New Caledonia and New Zealand for the prestigious event.
They will compete for $200,000 in prize-money, including a $75,000 first place, with prizemoney for the fortnight coming in at over $700, 000.
Trainers such as Todd Graham, Aaron Wheatley, Jason Leitch and Corey Holden are all involved plus plenty more.
Nundle-based trainer Dean Holden will be competing and will join those names in the Hall of Fame when he gets inducted during the final weekend of the event.
Operations manager Sam Potter said the most prestigious horses and trainers in the country had come through this event and would again this year.
There has been over 500 entries, leading the NCHA to extend the event by one day to fit them all in.
As well as cutting horse action, there will also be plenty of other entertainment.
Friday nights will be crowd pleasers, with the first being the Stockman’s Challenge and the second Friday the Jack Daniels Rodeo.
Thursday and Friday June 5 and 6 will see the annual sale predicted to record around $1.5 million in sales.
NCHA GM Greg Sinclair opened the event in front of the AELEC yesterday with a host of sponsors and representatives alongside him.
Mayor Col Murray was one of them and welcomed the event back to Tamworth.
“We are very excited to have such an event in Tamworth,” Murray said.
“It is something council and community are keen to partner with and continue.”
Murray said the event brought $45 million to the region each year.
While the official opening was yesterday, the riding won’t start until next week.
Tuesday will be a pre-works ride before the main event kicks off on Wednesday.
The first event will be the first go round of the Open Classic Challenge at 8am, and the action won’t stop for a fortnight.
Entry on the first three days is free, and after that it will be $26 for adults and $12 for kids with full houses expected for the final few days.
Tickets are available at the gate or on the Visit Tamworth website.