The 35th Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Holy Cow Performance Horses Futurity, Gelding and Cutting Stakes and 5/6 Year Old event is in full swing in Paso Robles running October 21st-November 2nd and is sure to be a crowd pleaser as usual. Known as the Richest Futurity on the West Coast, cutters come from all over to compete in the event divisions but the Futurity competition usually gets the crowd whooping and hollering as we watch some of the best young horses in the sport of cutting under some of the best trainers on the West Coast, all the way to our friends from Texas. From wine tasting to a western trade show and the recent addition of Holy Cow Performance Horses as a title sponsor, this show is “the” show of the season for the PCCHA. I had an opportunity for a quick chat with Phil Benadum, the Executive Director of the PCCHA for the past 5 years, about why Paso Robles is such a great place for the sport of cutting. As a cutter for 25 years himself, Phil Benadum knows the hard work that goes into training a cutting horse, going to a show, and now the work it takes to putting on a top notch show. He served on the Board of the PCCHA for 20 years and the Executive Board for 4. He has either been on or chaired the Trainers, Paso Robles Events, Judges, Cattle and Finance Committees. Phil says, “I love the thrill of competition and want to put on the best cutting shows possible. I want to see cutting grow so the next generation can enjoy this great family sport.”
I love the thrill of competition and want to put on the best cutting shows possible. I want to see cutting grow so the next generation can enjoy this great family sport.
It seems in the past couple of years Paso Robles has really become a hot spot for horse competitions of all types. What is it about Paso Robles that makes it great for PCCHA shows or horse shows in general?
“Paso has everything needed to put on a great show. The City supports the cuttings, the PREC is state of the art, and you could not work with a better person then CEO Vivian Robertson and her staff. And of course great food, lodging and winery’s!” Can’t disagree with him there!
How would you describe the growth of the Futurity since its been in Paso Robles?
“Since we have moved to Paso our futurity has grown from an 11 day event to a 12 day event. The PCCHA Holy Cow Performance Horse Futurity is the 2nd largest Cutting Horse futurity event, and as most of the Texans call it, our favorite cutting of the whole show year! This speaks a lot about the show and the City of Paso.”
There definitely seems to be a cutting horse community on the Central Coast, let’s hear a little about it from your perspective.
“I spend 2-3 days a week in Paso Robles and we consider Paso Robles the home of the PCCHA. The support from Paso is unbelievable. The late George Hearst who sat on our board for 20 plus years, Mike Rawitser, a past PCCHA President and owner of Paso Robles Golf Club, and Mark and Sheila Borjon owners of Borjon Auto Center and 6 year title sponsors of our futurity are the reason we are here! The city, hoteliers and restaurants all open their doors and do whatever they can to make our events the best for the participants. Paso Robles has several NCHA/PCCHA Million Dollar trainers that call Paso and the vicinity their homes.”
Well there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth so to speak! If you have the opportunity to stop by during the run of the show, I highly recommend you do to check out the daily trade show, immaculate show grounds and of course the talented horses and riders. On a side note: Since the show runs through Halloween, I can tell you there may be some interesting outfits in the warm-up pen around that date. And if you see Mary Kate Hunstberger or Morgan Cromer, ask them about a certain “cowgirl” costume.[contentblock id=3]