Video West Productions Deploys AJA Ki Pro® Ultra Plus to Record Real Time Video for NCHA Judging

Video West Productions Deploys AJA Ki Pro® Ultra Plus to Record Real Time Video for NCHA Judging

September 29, 2017

Video West Productions has supported National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA)-related shows for more than 12 years capturing video of fast paced horse and rider competitions. Judges at the association’s Triple Crown events reference real time video feeds recorded to AJA Ki Pro Ultra Plus recorders to score this exacting and demanding sport more accurately.

“We never had an affordable, easily portable way to feed and sync multiple camera angles into the judges’ booth, video village and online live stream. Ki Pro Ultra Plus has made that possible, and gives us the flexibility to have edit-ready recorded media available immediately after each event,” said Ted Petit, founder, Video West Productions.

The Cutting Horse sport is based on an equine discipline developed in the 1800s during the western cattle drives on the open plains. Cutting horses were trained to work within massive herds of cows when they mix with other owners’ herds. ‘Herd holder’ horses would circle and manage a herd as a cutting horse would then separate cows that belonged to different owners. 

Based on this western discipline, in a typical Cutting Horse competition there are 30-50 cows in a 110 foot arena along with four herd holders. Guided by a competitive rider, a cutting horse would single out one cow from the herd and block its attempts to return to the herd. Scoring is based on the poise of the horse as it attempts to maintain its position between the cow and the herd. The sport is extremely physical with a horse running at full speed executing sharp, angled maneuvers to keep its position between the cow and the herd. The action moves very quickly, and video is required to give judges multiple perspectives to score each horse in competition. 

Video West Productions provides comprehensive video coverage of the NCHA events; for larger shows the gear setup typically includes use of JVC® 850 and Sony® FS7 cameras along with an overhead camera above the arena. If there are multiple pens, Petit will have secondary crews supporting those as well. All signals typically feed into three different areas: a review area for owners, trainers and competitors; the  judges’ review station; and a production area where camera feeds are switched for live Internet streaming, and footage is recorded for archival purposes.

Petit recently integrated AJA’s Ki Pro Ultra Plus (KPUP) into his workflow to record multiple camera signals through AJA 3GDA distribution amplifiers and UDC (up, down, cross) Mini-Converters. A second KPUP in the judging booth enabled real-time review of recorded footage from three different camera angles, frame by frame. 

“Having access to all of this footage simultaneously and in real time blew the judges away. Having multiple camera angles all synched up through one small, portable product that records, converts and plays back signals  not to mention can withstand the dust and heat that go along with this sport — is a game changer.”

Before working with the KPUP, Petit and team did not have a practical, affordable way to record multiple camera feeds, synchronize signals and tag files so that they could be easily tracked to a specific competitor. At approximately  2½ minutes per round in multiple arenas, they are often tracking hundreds of competitors per day. Ki Pro Ultra Plus solves many of the team’s major production headaches and hurdles, which previously involved shuttling SD cards around to various monitoring stations.

Video West Productions plans to use Ki Pro Ultra Plus as part of its kit to capture footage from the NCHA’s largest, global competition later this year in Ft. Worth, Texas at the Will Rogers Memorial Arena as well as other NCHA supported shows in Northern California as well as Las Vegas, NV.

About Ki Pro Ultra Plus 
Ki Pro Ultra Plus is a multi-channel recorder offering 2, 3 or 4-Channel simultaneous HD recording up to 1080 50/60p, or in single channel mode, 4K/UltraHD/2K/HD recording and playback, with full HDMI 2.0 input and output (up to 12-bit capture and output). Housed in a 2RU half rack, it offers extensive I/O flexibility and a range of connectivity options from 3G-SDI to HDMI 2.0 and fiber. Ki Pro Ultra Plus captures pristine 4K/UltraHD and HD video to standard production codecs including Apple ProRes® and Avid® DNxHD MXF. Channels can be displayed on Ki Pro Ultra Plus’ LCD screen as a quad-split during capture for confidence monitoring, which can also be output over HDMI, SDI, fiber, and the device’s web-based UI. 

About AJA Video Systems, Inc.
Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of video interface technologies, converters, digital video recording solutions and professional cameras, bringing high quality, cost effective products to the professional broadcast, video and postproduction markets. AJA products are designed and assembled at our facilities in Grass Valley, California, and sold through an extensive sales channel of resellers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website at

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