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Rodeo organizations grow, thrive in Fort Worth

Got a rodeo-related organization? Want it to thrive? Looking for a location for your headquarters?

Look no farther than Fort Worth.

Cowtown has helped several entities grow into national powers and host big events. Perhaps the best example of this is the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show.

The exposition has been around since 1896 and hasn’t left. It’s been through several names, including Texas Fat Stock Show and National Feeders and Breeders Show, and several venues in town.

In 1918, an indoor rodeo was added to the stock show. This is particularly noteworthy because Fort Worth still claims to have hosted the first and original indoor rodeo at the North Side Coliseum. Throughout the years, Fort Worth helped introduce the side-release chutes to rodeo and brought some of the first radio and television rodeo broadcasts.

The show moved to the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in 1944, where it remains today as the largest and longest-running rodeo and livestock displays in the country.

The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show has been growing for 112 years. But the city can help organizations much more quickly.

Take the National Cutting Horse Association. Based in Fort Worth, the organization has seen so much growth in the past decade that its Triple Crown now dishes out more prize money than racing’s Triple Crown. The NCHA’s executive director, Jeff Hooper, estimated last month that there has been a 76 percent increase in prize money earned this decade.

Even more growth is on the way. Plans are in the works to develop a national tour and an international presence.

Finally there’s the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum and Hall of Fame (formerly known as the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame). It began literally as a mom ’n’ pop organization by Jim and Gloria Austin.

The couple took their dream of teaching people about how minorities helped shape the Western frontier into an organization that is making its way into history books and will move into a new building in the near future.

For all of these organizations, Fort Worth has been the catalyst that brought prosperity to their visions. The city and its people care about and embrace rodeo more than most places around the country.

NCHA technology

The NCHA is embracing today’s information-driven, internet-addicted society by offering many different ways to use technology to enjoy the sport of cutting horse. From their regularly-updated website to its links to sallyharrison.com, cutting’s most popular blog, the NCHA knows how to keep up with its audience’s needs.

Perhaps its best internet move, though, is its YouTube channel, NCHAcutting. The association joined the internet’s most popular free video viewing Web site in June, providing educational videos and an interesting view of the growing sport.

Since the NCHA joined YouTube, they’ve acquired nearly 200 subscribers and more than 36,000 views.

To see these videos for yourself, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/NCHAcutting.

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