Canadian Cutting Horse Finals

Open Champion Dustin Gonnet riding My Own San Lena owned by Al and Ria Gerla with an aggregate of 293.5.

This spring the Canadian Cutting Horse Association (CCHA) hosted the third annual Canadian National Championship Finals at the Cow Palace in Olds, Alberta. The show featured the top five competitors from each affiliate association (BCCHA, ACHA, SCHA and MCHA) based on points earned at CCHA approved shows. The show ran April 9, 10 & 11th and despite the unexpected freak snowstorm, did well to feature the best of the best in Canadian cutting horse talent.

This year, cutting horse trainer Dustin Gonnet of Cayley, Alberta stole the show, winning the Open Championship, the Open Reserve Championship and the $10,000 Novice Horse Championship. In the Open, Gonnet rode My Own San Lena to victory with a remarkable total aggregate score of 293.5, earning $1,564. This mare, owned by Al and Ria Gerla of Busby, Alberta, has been a strong competitor in the Canadian cutting horse circuit for a number of years.  Last year at the 2008 Canadian National Finals, My Own San Lena and owner Al Gerla tied for the $20,000 Non-Pro Championship and won the $10,000 Novice Horse/Non-Pro Championship.

Gonnet, who has worked with her only a short time, knows she is “a really good mare. She’s got tons of expression on a cow and is electric when it comes to [the show pen].”  Now in her 8-year-old year she continues to be a well rounded horse, capable of competing in the Open, Non Pro and the Youth divisions; a unique attribute for any cutting horse.  With plans to secure the Open Championship in Canada this year, the pair is certainly on the right track.

Gonnet claimed the Open reserve championship aboard Dandy Lil Freck, a mare owned by Wayne and Linda Meekin of Alcomdale, Alberta.  The pair scored a solid total aggregate score of 291, to win $1,242.  Dandy Lil Freck has been in training with Gonnet since her 2-year-old year and last year as a 6-year-old, the pair was very successful in the aged event circuit, winning the 5/6 year old Open Championship at the Canadian Superstakes.  The mare has “tons of look on a cow and a cool style of working” says Gonnet, who adds “She is fun to show and to ride.”

Enjoy these shots from the show and read the full story in the June issue of Western Horse Review.

Non-Pro Scott Wardley riding Smart Little Koolio with an aggregate of 286.

3000 Novice Horse Champion Clint Christianson riding Rio Smart Hickory owned by Greg Grills scoring 291.5.

$15,000 Nov Horse Non-Pro Champion Sandy Reid riding Instants Bucks with an aggregate score of 289.

$5,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro Champion Dawn Hanson riding Quick Pepcid scoring 290.5.

$50,000 Amateur Champion Neil Shanks riding Call Me Smurf with an aggregate of 290.5.

$20,000 Non-Pro Champion Monica Heintz riding Pepino Boon with an aggregate score of 286.5.

$10,000 Amateur Champion Tony Piattelli riding Fairlea Hickory Pep with an aggregate score of 287.

$2,000 Limit Rider Champion Kelly Park riding High Power Pepto owned by Bill and Elaine Speight scoring an aggregate of 290.5.

Sr Youth Champion Madison Sawchuk riding CD Whirl with an aggregate of 289.

Jr Youth Champion Carly Christianson riding Bob Playin owned by Deb Harrison-steel with an aggregate of 292.

~ story by Sara Gallow. Photos by Bob Magrath

$10,000 Novice Horse Champion Dustin Gonnet riding Lizzys Play Girl owned by Rob Leman scoring 294.

Canada’s Cutting Olympics


Photo by Sandy Hansma

Amid the anticipation of tomorrow’s start to the Canadian Cutting Horse Association’s annual Finals, as well as the inaugural Northern Bloodstock Showcase and Sale – both at Olds, Alberta, we at the magazine are also feverishly finishing off the final details of our annual fashion photo shoot, scheduled this year at John Scott’s picturesque ranch – the scene of many movies over the years, from Little Big Man to Shanghai Noon to the modern The Virginian.

How I’m going to traverse from one to the other in the space of a Saturday, I haven’t quite determined, but I will be at both, and hope to offer you up some sneak peeks of the shoot sometime on Sunday.

Also, and in collaboration with our partners, Northern Bloodstock and Total Horse Marketing, we’ll be showing a live feed from the Finals beginning today.

Two valid reasons to stay tuned!

Winter Cutting Series Wraps Up

It happens every year. The tundra swans arrive. The winter series departs. It’s all part of the weird and wonderful universe we live in.

Tundra swans stop by at a slough near the log house. They are enroute to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

Last night I posted the results to the Silver Slate Arena‘s winter penning series and today I give you the results and photos of the winter cutting series.

Open Ranch Winner Jim Paradis and Kenny Be Caught.

5,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro Champion Lucy Streeter and Anita Steady Date.

Non-Pro and 20,000 Amateur Champion Jessica Devries on Lucky Powder.

2000 Limit Champion Gregg Dunn on Right On CD.

15,000 Novice Horse Non-Pro Champion Thomas Munro on Smart Lena Joe.

2,000 Limited Reserve Champion Railey Tremblay on Marty.

5,000 Ranch Champion (tie) Dana Jenkins on Una Lista Pepinic.

5,000 Ranch Champion (tie) Angie Sproule on Oakie.

If you have winter series results you’d like to have posted on this site, please contact the news desk at [email protected]