Vickrey Excited About Mid America Cutting Extravaganza by Kevin DeBusk NCHA Director Tim Barry of Illinois, and Amory, Mississippi's Don Vickrey have joined together to create the Mid America Cutting Extravaganza June 20 through 23, in Tunica, Mississippi. This event is designed with both the weekend cutter and futurity cutters in mind and offers $16,000 in added money. "How this came about was Tim Barry asked me to come up to his cutting in Springfield, Illinois in February," Don said. "When I got up there, he probably had a hundred and fifty riders and I didn't know anybody. He had all the open riders and weekend riders and they were really nice to me. "On the way home, I decided it would really be great if we could get all of his people together with our people and have a weekend show. "On futurities, you get the big time trainers but you don't get the weekend people, and on weekend shows you get the weekenders. The big haulers and the world class riders don't come to weekend shows because the jackpot don't pay the kind of money they are looking for. "What we decided to do was put a show together that was centrally located where we could get all the weekend cutters there and all the big futurity people there. We located it centrally so we could pull everyone together. "Tim is promoting it in Illinois and Indiana and I'm promoting it down here. Everybody is coming. You are going to have a hodgepodge of people from Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. They're going to be coming from all over. "We are expecting around three hundred and fifty horses and you can figure each horse will be shown twice a day giving us around seven hundred entries a day. The NCHA President has reserved five stalls and most of the trainers you see advertising in the NCHA Chatter have committed to come. It's going to be nice to have new competition. It makes you ride better and the horses work better." With the potential for a who's who among the cutting horse industry, what does Don and Tim plan to offer them to come back? "One thing on cuttings, you have to have good dirt," Don said. "You want to have a good arena that, during the summer, is usually air-conditioned and we have that in Tunica Arena. We also wanted a centrally located facility that was nice and the people were easy to deal with. It's within a five-hour drive for most people. "We are trying to get judges from way off that don't know anybody. We are trying to have some real fair and impartial judges. We're also bringing vendors in because it's nice to have something to do. They'll also be able to go shop and visit Tunica." Quality of cattle is another area Don says they are priding themselves on. "Tim Barry is a cattle trader," Don reported. "Tim is lining the cows up and I can tell you they are going to be nice cows. The one thing I was really amazed by when I went up there was the cattle he had. He had some really nice cattle. They were easy to cut on and they didn't try to run over you or run off. "We also have an experienced show secretary. Cheri McGann is from up in Illinois and works with Tim." The show itself will consist of a two judging system with two arenas. They will also be holding a 4-wheeler shootout for the Amateur Classes. "Everyone does saddle," Don said. "That's one reason we decided to give away a 4-wheeler. We wanted to offer something different." Open Cutting runs June 21- 24 and the limit age events will be June 22 and 23. For more information contact Don Vickrey at (662)257-1060 or (662)257-6370,Tim Barry at (815)985-9167 or Cheri McGann at (309)274-2609.
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