Cutting classic attracts riders from across western Canada
The timer starts and so begins the dance between horse and rider and the lowing cattle of the Black Elk Cutting Classic.
With 150 competitors and close to 400 entries — as riders compete in more than one class — the Black Elk Cutting Classic is one the largest and most prestigious cutting shows in Alberta.
Scott Wardley, president of the Alberta Cutting Horse Association, says a group of cutters had decided to come together and create the “premier” show, which held its inaugural run three years ago at Ponoka’s Calnash Ag Event Centre.
“It’s one show that has a lot of money,” said Wardley. The classic has a total purse of $38,000.
“This is one of the biggest added money shows,” he added, referring to Alberta’s circuit.
Competitors of every skill level, hailing from British Columbia across to Saskatchewan, were using all the aptitude they and their horse possess to cut the cattle and isolate one in hopes of winning a chunk of the change.
The Black Elk Cutting Classic is the fourth show of the cutters season, which runs from the spring to the fall, says Wardley. In Alberta alone there are 22 shows, and competitors often travel across the lower provinces and down into the United States for more opportunities. “We have our choice,” said Wardley.
Over the last three years the event has been held in Ponoka. Wardley says it has experienced continual growth. “You see a lot of new people . . . it’s consistent year after year.”