We would like to provide some further insight as to how the decision was reached to move the 2022 NCHA Classic Events to align with the National Finals, to be held in Scone from 12th – 20th March 2022.
The 2021 NCHA 4CYTE Futurity will run for a duration of 14-days. This extended period places increased strain on competitors and the NCHA alike. We recognise that a 14 day show, plus travel, is a stint away from home that some just cannot justify, especially in relation to time away from employment, school and business. We are very much aware of the need to make cutting a competitor-friendly sport and try to facilitate a show calendar that allows for as much participation as possible. We feel that moving the 2022 Classic events to align with the 2022 National Finals in Scone, is an important step to continue moving in this direction. We are mindful of the significant cost we must impose on competitors and owners related to stabling, camping and facility fees. The Board receives continued criticism regarding the elevated cost of holding major events at AELEC and feels that the ability to provide shorter, more affordable events to our membership is also a positive move.
For Trainers, preparing horses for their client base to be at a point of peak performance across such a lengthy event can also impose considerable strain on both them and their teams.
Similarly, for Traders who attend the Futurity, a lengthy duration can make the event prohibitive to their continued attendance, due to time away from their core businesses and increased costs related to a longer stay.
A lengthy show of this nature also significantly increases cost to the Association, particularly through venue hire and staffing. For the core NCHA staff, the consistency and length of working hours to stage a 14-day show of this scale, including the extended periods of bump-in and bump-out, places significant strain on wellbeing. The need to comply with WHS & Fair Work requirements dictates the need for additional event staff to be able to facilitate a show of this size running over this period. The financial stability and long-term success of the Association is paramount in such decisions and ensuring that cost-effective, high quality events are delivered into the future is a key priority.
Following a successful Autumn Spectacular in Scone in 2021, the NCHA sees this strong momentum as an opportunity to further enhance the 2022 National Finals, to be held in Scone, with the edition of the Classic Events. Not only as a positive addition to the Program for competitors, but also as an opportunity to raise the profile of the National Finals and make it an attractive and beneficial event for attracting Sponsorship. Sponsorship is an essential element of our industry and requires us to continually look at ways to improve our sport’s sponsorship proposition in order to increase Sponsor retention and attraction into the future.
Furthermore, aligning the Classic Events with the National Finals creates increased opportunities for competitors to show their horses in multiple events. For example, a $7,500 Non Pro could show their horse in the Classic, as well as the $7,500 Non Pro, the Novice Non Pro or the $15,000 Non Pro. This gives competitors and participants greater value and more opportunities for their travel dollar.
For those who attended the 2021 NCHA AGM in Scone in April, this issue was raised and discussed openly with the Board & Members in attendance.