What in the world is a Cutting Horse Derby?
by Shonna Howenstine, Tourism Coordinator
Paso Robles plays host to two large cutting horse events each year. The annual Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby/Challenge happens at the Paso Robles Event Center March 13-18, 2012. I recently had the opportunity to interview the Director of the PCCHA, Phil Benadum about the show. Along with throwing down some horse lingo, he also provided some helpful information about their next event.
SH: Hey Phil, long time no see. What have you been up to since the Futurity?
PB: We just finished our 2011 PCCHA Convention and Year End Awards Banquet at the Harris Ranch Hotel in Coalinga, Ca. This is where we highlight the grass roots "Weekend Cutter"(aka the beginning cutting horse competitor). We had a nice turnout and a lot of great ideas came out of our Convention. We will be putting some of them to good use during the Derby in March.
PB: We have a handful of really exciting changes to announce. We have a new Derby format this year - instead of 2 go-rounds and a finals we will have 3 go-rounds and a pencil finals (see explanation below). This will let the spectators see the best 4 year-old horses on the Pacific Coast on three different days.
Also on Saturday March 17th we will have our finalist party with music by the local Paso Robles band "Acoustify". Also, we welcomed aboard Core Balance as our new title sponsor of the PCCHA Derby - Classic/Challenge.
SH: Can anyone come watch? And is there a fee to get in?
PB: We invite everyone to come out and watch some of the best cutting horses and riders compete for over $450,000.00 in cash and prizes!!! The event is free to the public every day, so we hope to see everyone at the Paso Robles Event Center!
SH: Last question, do cowboys really like wine?
PB: Yes they do!!
For more information about the event, check out www.pccha.com.
If all of this sounds greek to you, come on down to the Paso Robles Event Center during the PCCHA Derby/Challenge to find out more about the fastest growing equestrian sport in the world. In addition to the competition, there is a western trade show, daily wine tasting and more. Admission and parking are always free.
Shonna Howenstine is the tourism coordinator for the City of Paso Robles and thinks that few things smell better than a horse. To stay up to date on all of the upcoming events and special offers in Paso Robles, sign up for the monthly Paso Robles Insider newsletter here.