Quarter Horses in the Spotlight at the North Central Working Western Celebration Show

by Christy Egan

The Working Western Celebration Show celebrates its fifth anniversary in 2018 at the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wisconsin. At a time when breed shows are struggling, this robust super show, featuring Quarter Horses, Arabians and Half-Arabians, Morgans, Appaloosas, Buckskins and Paints, Palominos and POAs, deserves applause and prime example status for its success story. Born a modest 3-day show, the 2018 NCWW Celebration will run from September 7th through the 16thand includes an NRCHA Futurity, Derby and Bridle Spectacular, an NRHA Futurity & 7-Up Maturity, Open and Non-Pro, Ranch Horse Versatility Championships (American Ranch Horse Association approved) and a full roster of Ranch Horse classes for Morgans, Buckskins, Arabians, Half-Arabians and Palominos, as well as POAC and ApHC shows, AQHA, ApHC, AHA, and APHA Cutting, and more.

For prizes there are thousands of dollars, big, beautiful trophies, gorgeous belt buckles and trophy saddles. Founder and manager Sandy Woerle has her hands full these days, and to think it all started as an idea without much support.

“When I first came up with a Working Western Celebration that would include several breeds, everybody said I was crazy,” Sandy laughs. “What a struggle it’s been to make this dream come true. Honestly, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere without the support of many people in a variety of breeds and disciplines.”

The NRHA will once again be offering the Bob’s Supreme Versatility Championship. Plans are moving ahead for an NRHA-sanctioned Futurity along with an entire slate of reining classes. The show also hosts a 7 & Up Maturity and a Freestyle event. Eleanor’s Arabian Farm is again sponsoring the Arabian and Half-Arabian Futurity and Maturity with $20,000 in added money. Arabian classes are once again AHA approved.

This show has proven to be both successful and popular with Quarter horse trainers like Luke Jones of Allerton, Iowa and his customers. “I realized pretty fast that the Celebration show had good added money and was a great place to bring my three-year-olds,” says Jones. “It’s a perfect prep show for the big, late fall futurities. The facility is first rate and they made a lot of improvements in the place between 2016 and 2017 to boot. This is an interesting show and you talk to a lot of people you don’t normally see on the NRHA circuit. I bring eight to ten horses along with my non-pro riders and a few home-grown youth.” One of Jones’ riders, Ken Schueller, is quick to agree positively. “I provide the cattle for the NCWW Celebration show … about 2 semi loads. I do it just for this show.

We bring Hereford-Angus cows. The cows run 5-600 pounds, perfect weight and size,” says Ken. “We live in the northwest corner of Illinois, about 25 minutes from the Mississippi, so it’s an easy drive for us to Madison. When you look at the shows we normally attend: Rapid City, Las Vegas, Fort Worth, this one is really close to home and provides a great opportunity to both win some money and show our horses to potential local and regional customers.” In 2017 Ken Schueller was Reserve at the NCWW Celebration show in the NRCHA Non Pro Derby with That Metal Show and he won the NRCHA Non Pro Futurity with Reychal Alexandra. A top NRCHA Non-Pro competitor, Ken travels the entire country and really appreciates the Celebration.  Also among Jones’ customers, Hockenson’s Quarter Horses, Nichols, IA, is delighted to be competing. “We’ve done very well with several of our horses at this show,” says Reid Hockenson. “Our 6-year-old stallion CD Dyna Cee had some great show pen time. What’s not to like? The weather is beautiful, the trophies and prize money are great and we get the chance to showcase our horses close to home.” Not just close-to-home exhibitors attend this show, Bull Dwight and his wife came all the way from Florida. “You can ride from eight to eight daily, if you want to,” says Dwight. “My wife, Gigi and I won $14,500 in prize money last time we showed there, plus two, huge trophies and eight belt buckles. Gigi won the Half-Arabian Reining and our trainer was Reserve with both of the horses we brought. Did we have fun!”

The NCWW Celebration was meant to be a collaborative for all working western horses, including Arabians, Half-Arabians, Quarter Horses, Morgans, Paints and Appaloosas. A new show addition sampler in 2018 would include Jackpot roping on Saturday, September 8th, with $5,000 added money and buckles for high earners.  Also new for 2018 is the Supreme Versatility Ranch Horse competition with awesome awards and added money. ARHA classes will include Ranch Riding, Ranch Trail, Ranchmanship, Ranch Reining, Ranch Cutting, Boxing, and Herd work in the Open, Amateur and Youth divisions. Ranch Horse competition will include an ARHA Working Cow Horse and Conformation in the Open division only. Each first place winner will receive a plaque sponsored by ARHA and there are WWC ribbons from first to sixth place.

While each Breed Association holds its own approved show during the Celebration, with full class rosters, the show also offers Supreme Championships open to ALL breeds in Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Trail, Halter and Ranch Horse. There is also a Walk/Trot Supreme in Western Pleasure and Hunter Under Saddle.

Needless to say, this brief editorial cannot possibly cover the endless list of events gathered beneath the NCWW Celebration show banner. The show has a working western something for everyone, with endless classes for all levels of professional, amateur, youth and novice exhibitors.

The Celebration show pre-entry deadline is August 27th. Entries are accepted up until the session before the class. For information about NCWW Celebration classes, events and hotels contact Sandy Woerle at (715) 558-5080, check Facebook or go to www.WorkingWesternCelebration.com.