The National Cutting Horse Association welcomed Grace Ranch as its newest corporate sponsor on January 1. Grace Ranch will be the title sponsor of the new NCHA Youth World Finals in 2012 and 2013, and will host a Cajun Cutters Party at the XTO Energy NCHA Super Stakes.
Chris and Staci Thibodeaux’s Grace Ranch of Jennings, Louisiana, is the home of 2007 NCHA Futurity champion and 2008 NCHA Horse of the Year High Brow CD. Ridden by Austin Shepard, High Brow CD made a dramatic return to competition in November when he marked a 230 in the NCHA Futurity Champions Cup.
“The National Cutting Horse Association is proud to work with Grace Ranch to promote cutting,” said NCHA Executive Director Jeff Hooper. “Chris and Staci Thibodeaux have offered generous support for the new Youth World Finals format and other family-oriented activities.”
For the first time in 2012, the Grace Ranch NCHA Youth World Finals will be held in conjunction with the NCHA Summer Spectacular in Fort Worth, Texas. The top 15 riders in the Senior and Junior Youth divisions will be invited to compete based on a new point year which ends May 31. The new Youth World Finals will be held in addition to the long-standing Youth Scholarship Cutting held during the Summer Spectacular.
Chris Thibodeaux, whose 13-year-old daughter Madison Claire and 10-year-old son Christopher John are also avid cutters, said that the family aspect of the Youth World Finals sponsorship appealed to him.
“We like to include our children in the things we do in the horse business, and they compete in the youth as well,” he said, “so this is a good match for our program.”
Grace Ranch and NCHA will also host a family-oriented Cajun Cutters Party at the 2012 and 2013 NCHA Super Stakes. Plans call for Grace Ranch-raised crawfish, along with other food items and the hospitality southern Louisiana is famous for.
“We want to make it a good, old-fashioned family day,” Thibodeaux said. “One thing we surely want to do is give something back to the NCHA and the people who make up the NCHA.”
Grace Ranch’s High Brow CD stands at Don Ham Quarter Horses in Sadler, Texas.