|First Posted: Sept 26, 2010 |
Sep 26, 2010
Cutting is an equestrian event in the western riding style where a horse and rider are judged on their ability to separate a single animal away from a cattle herd and keep it away for a short period of time.
In the event, the horse and rider select and separate a cow (typically a steer or heifer) out of a small group. The cow then tries to return to its herd; the rider loosens the reins ("puts his hand down" in the parlance) and leaves it entirely to the horse to keep the cow separated, a job the best horses do with relish, savvy, and style. A contestant has 2 ˝ minutes to show the horse; typically three cows are cut during a run, although working only two cows is acceptable. A judge awards points to the cutter based on a scale that ranges from 60 to 80, with 70 being considered average.
Cutting is one of the fastest growing equine sports in the world. In 2006, the contestants at the United States NCHA Futurity competed for more than $3.7 million—over a hundred times the offering of the first year. Total purses at NCHA-approved shows now exceed $39 million annually, not including prize money distributed at Australian Cutting Horse Association, American Cutting Horse Association, single-breed shows, or European and Canadian events.
For More Information:National Cutting Horse Association of the United States
National Cutting Horse Association of Australia
American Cutting Horse Association