NCHA Mercuria World Series of Cutting: A Family's Journey
October 7th, 2015Tweet
By: Barbara Aitken
Photo: Ed Dufurrena, Open NCHA Mercuria World Series of Cutting
The NCHA Mercuria World Series of Cutting kicked off yesterday in Columbus, Ohio at the All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC). With almost 60 non-pro and open exhibitors, the Mercuria is a highlighted event during the AAQHC.
The Mercuria Energy Group developed the World Series of Cutting in pursuit to expand the cutting industry.
Designed around eight shows across the nation to qualify and compete for a chance to win the World title during the NCHA Futurity in Ft. Worth, Texas, the Mercuria World Series is truly an open cutting event. Horses of all ages may participate for the potential to win thousands of dollars on the weekends with Mercuria laying down 50% of the added money.
Ed Dufurrena, from Gainesville, Texas with lifetime earnings of $1.1 million in the cutting pen believes that Mercuria has, “completely changed the face of cutting.”
According to Ed, historically the weekend shows were a place for people to start in the industry and work their way up to the aged events, which are customarily at a more prestigious level. However, the development of the Mercuria World Series, “has opened up to so much money at the weekend level to showcase some of the best horses in the industry.” Most horses are between six and nine years old when they compete in the Mercuria World Series, which means many of these horses have competed and won the aged classes including the famous NCHA Futurity.
“Before [the Mercuria], there wasn’t a place for aged horses to go,” says Ed.
Ed along with his son, Brandon (NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame member with lifetime earnings of $752,000) and daughter, Rieta (lifetime earnings of $185,000) know their careers would not be as successful without the Mercuria World Series.
“We happened to have a few good horses that were aging out of the events as the Mercuria started. It’s really played a big role in my business and had a big impact on my family. Without the Mercuria we would have never been able to accomplish what we have. We might not have even tried it,” says Ed.
Ed, Brandon, and Rieta travel almost 52 weekends a year competing in top-notch cuttings, including all eight Mecuria World Series events. “ The West Coast, Georgia, Idaho, Houston, and Columbus, Ohio are just some of the places we stop,” explains Brandon.
The Dufurrena family certainly possesses a strength beneficial to their success. They are more than a family; they are a team.
“We all can show horses as good as the other one,” says Brandon. “At home I ride our own 2-year-olds, Dad trains the open horses, and Rieta focuses on condition and health.”
The camaraderie between father, son and daughter are as close as anyone will experience. “Just because I have won more money at this point than Rieta, doesn’t mean that I should automatically get the most talented horse,” says Brandon. “If one of us does good, then all of us benefit. Without the money any of us win, we wouldn’t be able to go down the road and compete.”
Along with the money won and the strong bond she has with her father and brother, Rieta attributes her success to “drive”.
“You can have all the right bloodlines or training on a horse, but if you don’t have the desire and the drive to win and do the best you can do, you’ll never succeed. It’s all a mindset to push yourself to do the best job your capable of doing.”
The Dufurrena family is one of many exhibitors that push to be at the top.
The Mercuria World Series has, “raised the bar for cutting,” according the Ed. “It’s enhanced the whole industry.”
“It’s more than just a horse show. It’s entertainment.”
The Mercuria World Series of Cutting continues today at the AAQHC with the Non Pro preliminaries and the Open and Non Pro Finals tonight. Although Ed missed the qualifying score this year, both Brandon and Rieta compete for a chance to make it to the finals in the Non Pro division.
For more information on the Mercuria World Series of Cutting or NCHA, please visit www.nchacutting.com.