Every semester is a busy one for our various equestrian teams, and this fall is no exception. Our NCTC Stock Horse Team recently competed at the Stock Horse of Texas World Championship Show in Abilene. Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX) is the oldest versatile stock horse association in the country — a true original that continues to innovate. Shows offer competitions in the four basic stock horse disciplines: Reining, Working Cow Horse, Stock Horse Pleasure and Stock Horse Trail. There is a division for every skill level, so riders can show with others of similar ability and experience. Divisions include Open, Non-Pro, Limited Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro, Novice, Youth and Junior horse. SHTX also offers incentives for collegiate teams and members. The SHTX World Championship Show consists of two rounds, with the champions to be determined by the average of both rounds. This major competition boasted over $70,000 in prizes and drew exhibitors from all over the United States.

The NCTC Stock Horse Team was victorious, coming out on top of the leader board with outstanding sophomore riders and several promising freshmen riders, proving they will be fun to watch in the future for NCTC. Sophomore Josh Briggs of Pilot Point led the way by winning Stock Horse Pleasure, Stock Horse Trail and Working Cow Horse classes, dominating the Non-Pro All-Around Division and was Reserve Champion in the Collegiate Non-Pro Division.

This young team will be the one to watch with more time and experience under Coach Cathy Luse.

I am extremely proud of all our equestrian teams. Coach Cathy Luse is a phenomenal equestrian herself, having won numerous awards during her collegiate and professional careers. Luse’s dedication and leadership to the equestrian program, make her a tremendous asset to NCTC. NCTC and our students perform above many, in fact most, four-year institutions and much of that is to the credit of Coach Luse.

The NCTC Rodeo Team just finished their final rodeo of the semester in Lubbock under the guidance of new Coach Chance Walther. Walther is in his first season as head coach of the NCTC Rodeo Team and is already recruiting for fall 2020. He hopes to double the team to 20 students next year.

Walther is a championship roper that has competed in rodeo since he was 10 years old. He graduated from Decatur High School and won the R. E. Josey World Championship in roping three years in a row. He attended Tarleton State University, where he was also on the rodeo team for all four years of his undergraduate career. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and was working as a welder before coming to the college. NCTC’s students are lucky to have the guidance and expertise of someone who is so fresh off the college rodeo scene.

The NCTC Rodeo team is part of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and competes in the South West Region. Our team travels over 6,000 miles every school year to compete in 10 rodeos for a chance to go to the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, in June.

The NCTC Intercollegiate Horse Show Team traveled to Canyon for a horse show hosted by WTAMU with Coach Cathy Luse, and the team finished Reserve High Point Champion Team both days. NCTC Co-Captain, Cailyn Simonis, was Reserve High Point Open Rider Champion, with a win in Reining and second in the Open Horsemanship.

There’s lots more “horsing around” to come from the North Central Texas College Barns this season!

The NCTC Judging team is preparing for the upcoming contests hosted by the National Reining Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association with Coach Becky Terrell. Saddle up and hold on tight for more exciting news about these talented North Central Texas College students!

Lisa Bellows is the chair of the Division of Science and Agriculture at North Central Texas College. She has been with the college for over 25 years.

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