DEAN Holden will finish the NCHA Imax Gold Tamarang Futurity a Hall of Famer regardless of whether or not he wins the $200,000 Open Futurity.
The Nundle trainer has spent over 25 years in the sport and will join an elite list of Australian cutting horse legends when he is inducted on the final day of the event.
Since the Hall was opened in 1992, only 20 riders have been inducted, one of whom is Dean’s brother Corey who was inducted at the Futurity in 2010.
Both brothers were born into the sport and have spent their lives training and on cutting horses.
Dean wouldn’t have it any other way and is humbled by the recognition.
“It is definitely a big deal and a bit of a milestone for me,” Holden said.
“There are only a few in there and they are top trainers.”
Holden is in the midst of a pretty good season and hopes to continue that form into this week’s futurity, and the $200,000 Open Futurity.
Last month, Holden took out the National Finals at Tamworth on board six spins, with a score of 150.5 points.
This year, Holden has come with thirteen horses for the southern hemisphere’s largest equine show.
Four of those are three-year-olds for the main event.
“They are all very good but Bad Haddy is probably my best chance,” Holden said.
“She has been good all year and starting to show a lot of promise.”
Holden has been coming to the Futurity for eight years in a row now.
Before that, he was based in Texas for nine years, trying to perfect the art of cutting horse training and riding.
The sport is huge in the States, with some events attracting millions of dollars in prize money.
Holden will have his work cut out for him over the next fortnight, with at least four other Hall of Famers competing.
1996 inductee Todd Graham will once again be here for the Futurity and riding in the Open.
NCHA Operations Manager Sam Potter said Graham was the most recognised and successful trainer in the country at the moment and has been for some time.
The 2014 Imax Gold Tamarang Futurity kicks off at 8am next Wednesday.s