On July 3 to 5 the 3V Almond Performance Horses just east of Ponoka hosted the Alberta Cutting Horse Association Show for the first time in their new arena. The show was also sanctioned by the National Cutting Horse Association and Canadian Cutting Horse Association which made it possible for the professionals, non-pro and amateur cutters from all over Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan to compete.
There were horses and riders who came from Montana and as far away as Texas to join the competition. With two top rated American judges, Troy Babcock and Randy Butler from Texas, 1,200 head of cattle and 404 cuts, the cutters and spectators were subjected to the top horses in Alberta and the best professional riders in the cutting industry.
The non-pro, amateur and youth classes were just as tough and the riding just as superb as everyone was riding to collect a piece of the $62,000 prize money.
In conjunction with the regular classes, the highlight of the three day competition was a pro am event that was added to the regular lineup of classes. In this specialty class an amateur rider partners with a professional and they compete as a team riding the amateur’s horse. The competition was tough with 32 teams entered, all trying to make the cut into the over $30,000 prize money that was up for this event. Taking the top spot with a combined score of 432 was Hickory Freckles owned and ridden by Connie Down-Cicoria of Calgary with professional trainer Scott Hanson as her partner. Running a close second was Henry Reichert of Okotoks mounted on Spring Pic A Nic and pro partner Scott Hanson, with a show total of 430. Elaine Speight of Rocky Mountain House rode Pistols Smart Acre in the Saturday non-pro class to show a high score of 150.