Thompson, Moore among top PRCHA cutters

Horse cutting was the name of the game this weekend as the Peace River Cutting Horse Association hosted one of its season events at Dawson Creek's Lakota Agriplex.

Member riders from Fort St. John, Grande Prairie, Tumbler Ridge and everywhere in between took part in the doubleheader on Saturday and Sunday to try to earn points toward their season total, as well as pocket some extra spending money.

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"Each time you compete you get money and points," explained PRCHA director Pat Rorision. "At the end of the year it's [the championship] based on how many points you have."

This weekend's big winners were Dawson Creek's Gary Moore and Tina Berge. Both cut their way to the top of their respective classes on both days of competition.

Moore was the top scorer in the Open Ranch division, scoring more than 70 points on both runs to lead the field. He also took the Non-Pro division on Saturday. Meanwhile, Berge was the $2,000 Limited Class (no riders with total earning over $2,000) winner on both days.

Fort St. John's top rider was Trina Thompson, who won the $5,000 Non-Pro class on Sunday.

Here is a look at the rest of the weekend's winners:

Saturday:

Open Ranch: Kathy Corr, Dawson Creek

$5,000 Limited Pat Rorison, Dawson Creek

$2,000 Ranch Melanie Elliot, Berwyn, Alta.

Sunday:

Open Ranch Roger Lee, Valhalla, Alta.

$2,000 Ranch Melanie Elliot, Berwyn, Alta.

Non-Pro Mervin Ducharme, Grande Prairie, Alta.

Horse cutters are judged on their ability to separate a single calf from the herd and keep it away for a short period of time, with a lot of the responsibility placed on the horse. And in some cases, such as drop-hand events, the majority of the job is passed onto the horse, explains Rorison.

"Drop-hand event is where the horse has to actually consciously do it on his own," he says. "Once the cow is separated and by itself they drop their hand from the rein, if you pick the reins up you get knocked points off."

Though it may take some time to the learn the trait and properly train the horse, Rorison says newcomers are always welcome to give cutting a try, as he gestured to young riders Liam and Mattie Noble who were getting their first taste of competition.

"If anyone wants to try it they are more than welcome to come out," said Rorison.

"The toughest part when you are starting out is you have to have a good horse," he added. "You have to find a good horse because the horse has to be able to do it. It's definitely a process that takes a lot of training."

PRCHA, in fact, has volunteer trainers that offer tips and lessons to those interested in learning.

As for the rest of the cutting season, two more competitions will be held in August, with the league hosting events Aug. 10 and 11 to correspond with the Fall Fair at the Lakota Agriplex, and another doubleheader at Rorison Ranch, Aug. 24-25. And putting an end to things, PRCHA will hold its season finale Sept. 14-15 at Lakota.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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