Clean Sweep in Cutting
Team USA takes first two golds at the 2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.
By Larri Jo Starkey | June 24, 2016
The American Quarter Horse Journal
Austria Arnold of Team USA swept the cutting competitions June 26 at the 2016 American Quarter Horse Youth World Cup.
Riding two Australian-bred American Quarter Horses, Austria scored a 76 and a 75 to put Team USA in the lead in the international competition at the Australian Equine & Livestock Events Center in Tamworth, New South Wales.
“I’m just so thankful that these horse owners bring their horses and donate them and donate their time and do so much to make this a great event,” Austria said.
The Youth World Cup includes two complete horse shows. For cutting and reining, which require specialty horses, both shows are completed in one day, and each team chooses one rider to compete on two different horses.
For her first horse, Austria drew Playin Moore, bred by owner Kevin Marsden of Tamworth, who crossed his top campdrafting mare with One More Playboy.
“He was the first horse we ever bred,” Kevin said. “He won the futurity and he has been a good project, good fun. We were happy to help the youth.”
Austria was thinking about what “Mister” needed when she rode into the herd.
“I wanted to make sure that I cut things that were flowing away from me because those cows were close, and I knew this horse needed a little room to work,” she said. “We were able to get up there clean, and he did a great job for me.”
The clock visible to competitors quit working during Austria’s second run on Spinnies Spit N Image. Austria and the mare handled her first two cows easily, but before she cut the third, her turnback help called out 30 and 45 – meaning 30 or 45 seconds left.
“A cow we liked had stepped up there and I stepped to it and was going to try to chip it off quickly, but then I heard the 45 and I thought, ‘Oh, I need to take a little more time,’” Austria said. “We cut it and I wasn’t sure how much time we had left. It was a great cow and worked well, but I was nervous the whole cow.”
“Just being on a horse you don’t know well, you don’t know how they’re going to react to these tough cows, and she was awesome. She stayed so gritty, and she was really pretty doing it.”
Owner-breeder Colin Jaeger says the mare has always been tough, suffering a broken bone in a back leg that left her unridden for 14 weeks before her last competition in her last year of futurity eligibility three years ago. “Bridie” made the finals and had the top average in her last two go-rounds.
“I wanted these other people to have a ride on such a good horse – I think she is!” Colin said. “She has a foal starting in training now for next year’s futurity. Away from a cow, she’s quiet as a mouse, a little lamb she is, but behind a cow, and away she goes. She can just relax at will. We love her.”
Youth World Cup participants will have two days of clinic and a show-preparation day before competition picks back up again June 30. Thirteen teams are representing their countries in the international horse show that celebrates youth and the American Quarter Horse.
Follow the competition live at www.ywc2016.com