Pages Navigation Menu


☛ Is it “good sportsmanship” to refuse an NCHA buckle?





By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 14, 2018

There was an interesting post on my Facebook page yesterday when NCHA Vice President Ron Pietrafeso posted, “Sportsmanship has been and always will be the honor in which people participate in any type of competition, regardless of their personal opinion. What I along with others witnessed yesterday was not only ‘not good sportsmanship’ but was downright disgusting and disrespectful, to say the least.


There is no room in any sport for this type of action. What type of message does this send to our young members? The person who was responsible knows who he is and he should be ashamed of himself. What he did, watching the video, was deliberate by the mere fact that he could have just not shown up to receive his award but instead, he walked up as if he were there to receive his award and walked away leaving The presenters holding his award and wondering what just happened. You might expect this from some very young, spoiled brat but not from a grown man who supposedly knows better.


Luckily 99.9% of our members would never even think of doing something that is disrespectful but I guess there will always be that 1% who act out their stupidity.”


Since my Facebook page is open to the public for anyone to see and put statements on, I am publishing this situation to my readers.


From what I can gather from the chatter on my Facebook page, is that James Bankston was to receive a buckle for placing in the finals of the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur and/or Senior Amateur, that was to be presented by former United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has decided to become more involved with the NCHA. He, along with his wife, Renda, have been great supporters of the association, donating a lot of saddles. When Bankston came to receive his award, NCHA President Lewis Wray moved in to be a part of the award shot. Posts say that Bankston told Wray to get out of the picture and then walked away from Tillerson, who had his hand out to shake Bankston’s hand, without receiving his buckle. This was all caught on video.

NCHA Super Stakes Classic Amateur finals


Responses to Pietrafeso’s post came quick and fast.  Some were on Bankston’s side and others were appalled at what he did. As of today, Saturday, April 14, responses were as follows:

“Whether Mr. Bankston was right or wrong that should really be taken up by the directors of NCHA in a private letter, not on Facebook where everyone that does not like or respect him can take pot shots. He unfriended me too due to political reasons but I am not going to go after him with tar and feathers on Facebook because that is not going to solve the issue or change anything in a positive manner. If we are such “NICE” folks in NCHA, then treat people as such; there is just no need to air this on Facebook, whether you personally like the man or not. No one knows the backstory except for the people that were on that stage. If he was wrong, he was wrong; let him apologize and move on. Don’t persecute him on Facebook for it. Good Grief. “ From Cadace


“He made a choice to make this public at a major NCHA event. What he does in private or on his Facebook page is his choice but this was different. He writes articles in publications, he somewhat represents the NCHA and in my humble opinion what he did is a negative reflection and disrespectful” From June.


“I agree with Candace. This is enough .. let’s move on.” From Homer.


“I agree 100%. We all have our quirks. Bashing on Facebook is a great outlet for people’s rage but totally hypocritical to accuse someone of poor sportsmanship while demonstrating poor sportsmanship about it, as is being done here. Should have been handled differently, Ron, with all due respect.” From Maria.


“There are appropriate means/forums that deal with this situation in a professional manner. Facebook is not one of them.” From Bill.


“He certainly makes Facebook his broadcasting venue, even attacking others for their opinions, so why should he be exempt. He made the choice to make his statement on video in public.” From June.


“Myself, I would make a unilateral apology to Secretary Tillerson. I think Mr. Jimmy is a really nice man! But he is an adult that has really strong liberal views. Cutting is a sport that brings us all together, Democrats and Republicans. In a time that the NCHA needs more participation, there is no place for such behavior. I hope Mr. Jimmy makes his actions right. We all make stupid decisions. I sure hope Mr. Jimmy makes this right. He has unfriended me on Facebook but I still consider him a friend!” From Arthur.


Thanks for speaking out Mrs. Tillerson. Hey Team! Chill out! The situation was directed singularly at Lewis Wray. Not Rex and I. Lewis was a gentleman and the finalist was determined to stand up for his point of view. No foul. Just think about both sides .. to stand and have a smiley face photo op with someone you are having an issue with might be considered hypocritical to most. Both sides made strong statements. Lewis represented his office peacefully and the member voiced his wishes. Sleep well America! This public-service announcement was not approved by the Federal Government! From Tim.


“Be reminded of the “Code of the West.” Very simply put “You ride for and are loyal to ‘the brand,’ or you go elsewhere. Carol.


“Mr. Tillerson, who seems like a gracious man, probably ‘grinned and bared it,’ when posing with politicians he did not like. As my momma always said, “There is a time and place for everything.” I think we’ve all been in situations where the hypocrisy of that situation is almost unbearable. It’s the  ‘grown-up’ world. Children behave with their true feelings. I’m not saying this is right or wrong but head scratching from a grown-up’s perspective.

From Kathleen.


“Just don’t show up for the award; I mean getting there by marking a 213 isn’t exactly earth shaking. Does doing the “He’s not my President” remind you of anyone?

From William.




468 ad


  1. I think Mr. Jimmy is a kind of person we need on the ex comm. we, would be in better shape if someone of his person to speak for us, I don`t think it was Mr. Rex that he was displeased with it was Lewis wray notice I didn`t say Mr. he doesn`t deserve it . every has to earn respect lewis has not being just a yes man. Very poor President

  2. Lisa Brown Bankston we ALL know ole Jimmys hate for Republicans……as far as the NCHA president, suck it up butter cup and have respect. I think we have ALL seen that pathetic display on the video by now. I’ve never seen anything so pathetic in all of my years in NCHA, AQHA, etc! And I still stand by my comments on him being friends with Rex, it’s called Kissing Azz…Brown nosing. Ole jimmy is incapable of tolerating Republicans. Hell he likes NO one with a view other than his own.–
    Richard E. “Rick” Dennis

  3. The NCHA has strict rules that apply to unsportsmanlike conduct in the arena.. And placing the video on Facebook just goes to show how spoiled and immature Ole Jimmy is….. Both actions are a slap in the face to the NCHA. The NCHA has strict rules regarding unsportsmanlike conduct and they should be applied evenly to everyone. If Ole Jimmy gets a free pass , it will be difficult to punish members who commit an infraction in the future and those who have been suspended or given probation in the past will legitimately make the claim that the Executive Commitee shows bias.

  4. James Bankston is a director of the NCHA and should know better. The actions on that video should disqualify Bankston from representing the NCHA as a director . What kind of example is he setting for our members and our youth ? Should our kids be allowed to act like that if they disagree with a judge’s score ? Bankston has been hanging around cutting for 30 or 40 years , telling smart , accomplished people how to better run things…. Yet he has had very little success in cutting or in business. You would think he would RUN to receive his buckle on his 213 run…. I agree that NCHA rules regarding sportsmanship should come into play here with Bankston’s rude and inappropriate action….

Leave a Reply to Rick Dennis Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.