Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center April 30, 2013 -May 8, 2013
A fascinating competition that features a horse's agility and cow sense.
What is a cutting horse?
A cutting horse is an athletic animal who has an innate "cow sense" and the ability to respond quickly and turn sharply. It is trained to keep a cow from returning to the herd. The horses involved are typically American Quarter Horses, although many other stock horse breeds are also used.
Cutting Horse Events
In a cutting horse event, the horse and rider select and separate a cow (typically a steer or heifer) out of a small group. When the cow instinctively tries to return to its herd, the rider loosens the reins and leaves it entirely to the horse to keep the cow separated, a job the best horses do with relish, savvy, and style. The horse and rider are judged on how the horse moves in relation to the cow. The Western National Championships feature some of the best cutting horses in the sport. Click here for the competition schedule.
The sport originated from cattle ranches in the American West where it was the cutting horse's job to separate cattle from the herd for vaccinating, castrating, and sorting. Competitions eventually arose between the best cutting horses and riders in the area. In 1898 the first cutting horse competition was held in Haskell, Texas. With the growth of such cutting horse contests, a group of owners decided to form an organization to establish a universal set of rules and regulations. As a result, in 1946 the National Cutting Horse Association was founded.