A natural partnership. Instinct in action. There are many ways to describe what you will see at the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity, presented by Wrangler. Each horse and rider is faced with a herd of cattle and two and a half minutes on the clock. Working together they must select, or cut, a single cow from of the herd. It’s then up to the horse to use its instincts, also known as cow sense, to keep it from returning to the herd.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, local horse trainer Doug Reinhardt uses hockey as an analogy. He says watching a horse develop the cow sense needed for cutting, and then move through the different classes, is like watching a rookie work his way up through the ranks to the NHL. And the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity is the Stanley Cup of cutting.
“You want to peak the horses for Calgary, you’ve got to peak them at the right time. You want to keep building and then go show them in Calgary.” Reinhardt says. It’s something the Irricana-based trainer knows well, with a string of successes at Stampede Park. But he knows a trainer and rider can only do so much, and the rest is up to the horse. “It’s the most natural of all the horse events, and once you put your hand down if the horse doesn’t want to cut he’s not going to cut. It’s a partnership.”
The Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity, presented by Wrangler, takes place in the Agrium Western Event Centre October 14-18. More than 240 of the best cutting horses in North America will be competing in seven classes for more than $375,000 in prize money. Admission is complimentary throughout the weekend, with the public invited to come see what cutting is all about.
The highlight of the exciting, family friendly event is the Saturday night Cut of the West, featuring live music from Canadian country music artist Drew Gregory, a western marketplace, and silent auction. There will also be a new event this year, a celebrity cutting competition. Olympian Mellissa Hollingsworth, bareback rider Jake Vold, news anchor Amber Schinkel and professional rodeo clown Dennis Halstead will battle for celebrity supremacy. The Saturday Night Cut of the West kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on October 17, and will be action packed!
A lot of work is still going on behind the scenes to get ready for the start of the competition on October 14, led by Western Performance Horse Committee Chair, Angela Pipe. “We have so many volunteers working on this that are dedicated and passionate about both the Stampede and the sport of Cutting and they bring with them such a wealth of knowledge and experience in all the facets that make this event such a tremendous success” says Pipe, adding “It’s exciting to see all the things that we have been planning for months come to fruition. The cherry on top of everything is having the opportunity to showcase the best of the best in the Agrium Western Event Centre.”
Doug Reinhardt is also hoping to see all of his hard work come to fruition, in the form of success for the horses he’s been training, saying “When you’ve spent all that time with the horse, and you’ve had a really nice run, that’s an accomplishment.”