NCHA Futurity Non-Pro

Nadine Payne captures the title in her first non-pro finals at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity on Great Expectations.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Nadine Payne rides Great Expectations to the non-pro title at the 2014 National Cutting Horse Association Futurity. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from Nadine's ride, scroll through the slideshow below.

The first time Nadine Payne made the finals at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity was the first time she won.

Nadine rode fourth in the second set of cattle December 11 in the non-pro finals and picked out her first cow, but the cow was paired with another cow and wouldn’t be separated.

“When they wouldn’t clear and I couldn’t get my first cow cut, I was thinking, ‘please get out of the way, please get out of the way,’” Nadine said. “I threw my hand down and my mare took over. It was crazy.”

Nadine and her husband, trainer James Payne, own Great Expectations, and when the mare started dancing with the cow, the crowd started cheering each stop.

“On my second cow, I couldn’t hear because the crowd was cheering so loud,” Nadine said. “I was trying to hear what my corner guys were saying, and all I heard was ‘here, here.’ I looked around to see where, and they were saying, ‘stay here, don’t get off (this cow). I kept looking at the clock to see how long it would take. It was awesome and scary at the same time.”

When time ran out, Nadine had a 219, good enough for the win.

Great Expectations is a 2011 black mare by Third Cutting and out of Miss Biscalena by Mister Dual Pep. She was bred by Bill Masterson of Guthrie, Texas, who sold the mare to James and Nadine in May.

“James had her (in training) from start to finish,” Nadine said. “I’ve always liked her. She just fits me. She’s got a big heart. She wants to come back to the cow every time. A lot of people were questioning her physical ability, but she’s smart.  I’ll take intelligence over physical ability every time.”

While in high school in her native Austria, Nadine worked for AQHA amateur Gerold Dautzenberg, but when she came to the United States for three months after graduation, she fell in love with cutting and ended up staying and marrying James, who won senior cutting at the 2014 AQHA World Championship Show on Once In A Blu Boon.

The day before the non-pro finals, James and Nadine were offered $75,000 for the mare. As Nadine finished her run, James rode over to her.

"She's not for sale for $75,000 anymore," he said.