|Judie Doran riding Oaks Shiny Jewel|
|Brad Tkacik riding Genuine Soda Rey|
Story and Photos by Helge Nome
Last weekend, April 13,14 and 15 saw the best competing against the best at the Cow Palace in Olds, Alberta. The challenge? To separate a cow from the herd and control her movements thereafter. And that's easier said than done because there is nothing a nimble footed bovine wants more than staying with her herd mates for a sense of security. It is an ancient instinct that protects the individual from predation, in most circumstances.
The cutting horse is an animal that fully knows the game and enjoys it as much as the rider does. It is teamwork in the best sense of the word and the personalities of horse and rider need to be matched for a successful outcome in the keen competition that takes place between Canada's top performers in this sport.
Two and a half minutes are allowed for each rider to show a panel of judges what a horse can do and considerable financial awards are given to prize winners. The downside is that this money has to come from entrance fees that are not for the faint of heart. Perhaps that has something to do with the look of seriousness and total concentration on the participants in the rink?
For championship results, go to the Canadian Cutting Horse Association website here