The cows inside Alex Fraser Park’s Agri-plex were tense on Saturday and Sunday (July 28-29), herded in for the Quesnel Cutting Horse Show.
The horses and riders seemed poised, however, ready to test their skills in competition.
More than 80 riders competed in the event, hailing from across British Columbia and Alberta.
Pro competitors and trainers Travis Rempel, from Abbotsford, B.C., and Loren Christianson, from Stony Plain, Alberta, say a lot of the competition is about horsemanship.
“We have a lot of non-pros we work with and coach, and we hope it works out so they have fun. It’s about having fun,” says Christianson.
“This is about how the horse controls the cattle, and the picture that you paint; it’s all about showmanship. It’s about technique, accuracy, finesse, and calmness and smoothness,” adds Rempel.
Rempel exemplified these skills, winning the Open Class riding his horse This Cats Max. Rempel also won the Novice Horse class riding NVR Reylena, taking home $25,000.
Other winners included Armstrong, B.C.’s Cathi Taggert, who put $5,000 in her pocket after winning the Non-Pro class, just beating Quesnel competitor Robin Hay.
And Alberta sent over some strong riders, who topped seven of the categories.
Jane Leeson from Hinton, A.B., collected a cheque for $50,000 after winning the Amateur Class on her gelding One Stylish Pepto.
Horst Gartner of Stony Plain, A.B., was top in the Non-Pro Class, winning $35,000. Quesnel’s Hay took second place in the category.
Glen Beveridge of Valleyview, A.B., won $5,000 in the Novice Horse Class, riding Hot Metal Smarts; Naomi Yanota of Peace River won $15,000 in the Amateur Class; and Louisa Murch-White of Calgary won the $2,000 Limit Rider for the weekend on One Legend Atta Time. Murch-White is also in the top 10 in the world standings.
Skye Christianson of Stony Plain won the Youth Class, and Danielle Oslund from Valleyview was the top Non-Pro Rider of the weekend, riding Smart Dixie Kit.
Organizer Hay says the weekend’s show was the biggest one to date.
“It was hot, but the cutters and guests were impressed with our facility and the town of Quesnel. [It was a] huge success.
“We have had great community support and sponsorship.”
Hay was the only rider competing from Quesnel, but says there was one competitor from Hixon, who is just getting into the sport.
“He just came to his first clinic three months ago, so he’s just getting started,” says Hay.