May 22 to 26 saw the return of the Black Elk Cutting Classic to the Calnash Trucking Ag Event Centre. It was a family affair, as competitors ranged in age from eight to 75. About 400 cuts were judged over the five days by veteran judges Joe Cameron and Todd Williamson, hailing from Alabama and Idaho, respectively.
Competitors at the Black Elk Cutting Classic can collect points in the Alberta Cutting Horse Association, the Canadian Cutting Horse Association & the National Cutting Horse Association’s points programs. Year-end awards for each of these associations are based on the competitor’s performance throughout the year. Winners of classes at this event received leather jackets with reserve champions taking home fleece coolers for their horses. Total prizes and prize money was an estimated $40,000. Brett Jones and Sweet Lil Gal garnered themselves a jacket in the $15,000 amateur aggregate, and Harold Radke took home a nice cooler for his reserve aggregate win in the $2,000 limit rider division.
Scott Wardley, president of the ACHA, made the trip from Okotoks. “This is one of ACHA’s biggest shows and we’ve enjoyed being here this week. We know it’s a new facility and there’s always a few kinks to work out in a new facility.
“We can see the team work that’s going on to ensure we have the best show possible. We’re making plans to return in September for a new show, and have started making plans for the third annual Black Elk Classic in May, 2014.”