History of NDCHA

This history segment was given by Dorvan Solberg.



I believe the first president of NDCHA was Walt Neuens and his wife, Evelyn was the first secretary.  They had hand made gold and silver buckles made by Neil McGrady who was a saddlemaker who lived near White Earth, ND in a log shack.  He made the buckles from scratch.   He also made the championship buckles for the North Dakota Rodeo Assn. champions.   The Neuens' buckles had NDCHA Pres. and Sec. in gold letters on a solid sterling silver buckle.  I'm sure one of the Neuens' sons must have them.  When I first met the Neuens they had a saddle shop in Mandan.   I have a headstall which I bought there before they moved to Bismarck on 3rd and Rosser.


The first competitions that NDSHA had were open cuttings at the rodeos sanctioned by the ND Rodeo Assn.  It was one of the events at their rodeos.  That is where I first met Jay Andeberg who was a bull rider as a young man.  We would sometimes drink a few beers after the rodeo. There was no non-pro or novice classes at that time.  Later on, the NDCHA became an affiliate of NCHA.


The Champion's Ride at the Boys Ranch at Sentinnel Butte also had a cutting horse event at their Match of Champions when Father James Fahnlander was there.  I won that event 2 years on full brothers sired by Poco Blackburn out of a mare who was a great granddaughter of Peter McCue.  {Triangle Dell and Caudee Dell}.  


Most of the major AQHA shows in North Dakota and Montana had registered cutting horse classes.   We cut on the race track at the Glendive show so there was not too much emphasis on good ground in those days.


One of the big shows in ND was the 3 day run at Powers Lake, which was the first Quarter Horse show in the state and had cutting all three days.


The only 2 cutting horse events that were indoors were the Valley City Winter show and the Y's Men's Rodeo in Bismarck which had cutting as one of their events in the rodeo.  The rest of the cuttings were outdoors.  After NDCHA became an NCHA affiliate Don Taylor had big cuttings at his place near Kindred, ND.  Cutters from 6 states and 3 Canadian provinces would come.  We also had some big cuttings at the Bohnsack Ranch which is owned by Mrs. Lynn Laske (Bonita Bohnsack),


I also showed in Canada alot.  We were not allowed to have herd holders, just 2 turn backs.  The Canadians were great people and a lot of fun.  They had great cutting horses and top notch trainers.


I became a NCHA judge about 40 years ago when I was cutting at Taylor's place .   The judge who had been hired for the event didn't show so Lynn Laske asked if I would judge it.   He called NCHA and they said o.k.

I later had to attend my first NCHA judges seminar in Indianapolis, IN to become certified.   I have since judged the NCHA futurity and a number of major NCHA events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.   The first few years that I judged we didn't sit in a pickup or a judges stand.   But on a horse that someone would let the judge use.  Most of the time we got a gentle horse.


Cutting horse have been good to me and I will continue to be "hooked" on cutting.


This little bit of history of NDCHA is by no way complete but I will continue to do further searching and research for a more complete history of our organizationl.  

P.S. My oldest buckle is dated 1968.   Postscript from Dorvan's wife, Eileen.   He gave it to me to wear many years ago and I treasure it.  "Triangle Dell" is enscribed on it.  I also have another buckle he has given me to wear so I should probably give that one back to him.