The National Cutting Horse Association's annual Cutting Futurity is underway in Tamworth, with more than 500 competitors vying for more than $700,000 in cash and prizes.
The NCHA Futurity is the most significant and richest indoor sporting horse event in the Southern Hemisphere and runs through to the end of the June long weekend.
Coming from humble beginnings at the Moonbi Showgrounds and offering up a prize purse of $10,000, 1974 marked the beginning of the first official cutting Futurity, run over three days and 25 keen competitors.
Now 47 years later the prestigious event is hosted in the Country Music Capital of Tamworth and is one the biggest draw cards in the region, bringing in an estimated $2.3 million to the local economy each year.
The Futurity attracts, on average, 15,000 spectators throughout the 13-day program, not only from all parts of Australia but also worldwide, with live streaming of the heats and finals.
The event is housed at the spectacular 38 million dollars Australian Equine, Livestock and Events Centre (AELEC). Many hardy souls are camping on the grounds as the thermometer slides towards zero degrees at night.
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