By now all Canadian cutters have returned from Ogden, Utah, and the 15th annual National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships held April 28 to May 9 at the Golden Spike Arena in Ogden, Utah.
Canadians showed well with some landmark and personal victories including:
Carly Christianson scored a lifetime accomplishment with a championship in the Junior Youth. Riding Bob Playin (Bobs Freckle), owned by Equistar Enterprises, the 12-year-old daughter of cutting horse trainer Loren Christianson and his wife, Lisa, scored 217 to take the win.
Guy Heintz and Call Me Smurf, out of the Rafter H stallion, Jose Boon, scored a 220 to claim the reserve in the $3,000 Novice Horse class. “We got the good draw,” said Guy Heintz, in the Daily Chatter. “The cattle had been pretty tough, but we cut what we had picked. When you’re first up, you just have to come and let everybody else chase you.”
Call Me Smurf’s score went up on the scoreboard as 218 points, but was later adjusted to 220. The 6-year-old gelding is owned by Neil Shanks of Okotoks, Alberta.
Call Me Smurf was clearly on his game, as he later led Neil Shanks to the reserve championship in the 50,000 Amateur with a 218. As reported in the Daily Chatter, Shanks said, “I scored 211 points in the go-round and just made it on the bubble. We tried to show as good as we could and it all worked out.”
Other top 10 finishes included:
10,000 Novice Horse: Dustin Gonnet on Christinas Blue (Mecom Blue), owned by Ron Patton (4th)
Junior Youth: Matt Couillard on War Bar Maid (War O Lena), owned by James Couillard (5th)
Open: Teri Paradis on Lil Scoot N Peppy (Smart Lil Scoot), owned by Jim & Teri Paradis (10th)
2,000 Limit Rider: Jackson Holm on Short N Steady Date (Smart Peppy Date) (8th) and Kelly Park on High Power Pepto (Peptoboonsmal), owned by Bill and Elaine Speight (9th-10th)
10,000 Amateur: Linda Meakin on Lookin Purr Tee (Caught Me Lookin), owned by Wayne & Linda Meakin (10-12th)
15,000 Novice Non-Pro: Doug Wiens on Trava Bob (Travalena) (10th)
50,000 Amateur: Rod Macdonald on CD Graceful Dual (CD Olena) (7th)
Overall, the Alberta Cutting Horse Association won the prize for most points scored for their region with 1,630 points, and brought home a $7,500.00 cheque for their efforts. In this excellent side-race to the competition, sponsored by the AQHA, members are signed up under their affiliate association, and collectively score points for each member’s effort, from 10 points for an entry in a class, to 50 points for a championship. It’s a great way to build community among the affiliates and provides for some good-natured rivalry between the affiliates. Close on the heels of the Alberta Cutting Horse Association was the Western States Cutting Horse Association with 1,595 points, followed by the Montana Cutting Horse Association with 1,050 points.
The Western Nationals posted an all-time record this year with 925 entries and $414,002 in prize money, nearly doubling last year’s prize goods. This sets the stage for a stellar 2011 show, and the race is already on for qualification.
~ thanks to the NCHA and the Daily Chatter for the use of their files for this post.