By: Brittany Bevis
Just a few days ago, the official Quarter Horse Congress videographer, Mike Garner of Video Horse World, shared a clip on his Facebook page that featured an impressive performance by Brook Turner in the Youth Junior Cutting. The clip quickly went viral for good reason. It captured Turner’s remarkable recovery during a little slip-up in the class.
Turner began her run by selecting the first calf she intended to cut from the herd. After a clean cut, her horse “French Fry” locked onto the cow and began a solid run making quick passes across the arena. However, on the third pass, a combination of Turner’s swift kicks and her horse’s hard stops caused the rider to lose her stirrups, fly over the saddle horn, and was left hanging onto the side of her horse’s neck. Incredibly, she was able to keep hold of the reins, right herself in the saddle, and never lost the calf she was working. The performance was met with a loud cheer of applause from the crowd and an encouraging comment from the announcer to “stay hooked” for the remainder of her ride.
On its own, the video clip is amazing, but what makes this story even more unbelievable is a few facts about Turner that you might not know. For example, this tenacious equestrienne is only ten years old. This was her first time competing at the Congress and her first time riding this particular horse, MK Smooth Cat Mate, who is only five years old. It puts everything in a little different perspective, doesn’t it?
“I’ve been riding all my life, and I’ve been doing cutting for about three years,” Turner says. “That was the first time I’ve ever rode him or shown him. His name is French Fry. He was really sweet for the time I was there. He belongs to my uncle Jim who is from Texas.”
“I had to work him on cows to know how to ride him one time before I went in the pen. It was awesome. It was my first experience at the Congress, so I got to have a first time for everything. I thought it was pretty cool. I brought my little sister along with me. She’s seven. She’s going to start cutting soon.”
At the 2013 Congress, Turner competed in both the NCHA $2,000 Limit Rider (Any Ride) and Junior Youth Cutting. She describes exactly what happened during the Junior Youth Cutting when she was unseated from the saddle.
“He stopped, and I was kicking with my legs, and they were too far out,” she says. “He stopped, trying to get around the cow, and I went over the saddle. I landed on his neck, finally got back in the saddle, and kept cutting.”
“That has never happened to me before. My grandma and grandpa always said, ‘If you walk out, that’s not pushing yourself to be better.’ So, I always have a habit to keep going and not stopping in the middle of a run. When I almost fell off, I knew I had to keep going and keep trying. My score was a 125. I kept that one cow and lost the one after it. I actually want to go back next year and try again to see if I can do better.”
Next year, Turner hopes to take her own horse, Straight CD, aka “George,” a mount she shares with her grandmother and little sister.
We were so impressed by this young rider’s spirit and positive attitude that we asked her to give a little advice to fellow youth competitors about not giving up, even when things don’t go exactly as planned. This is what she had to say.
“I’d say to just keep trying even though you messed up,” she says. “It doesn’t matter [as long as] you keep going. All that matters is that you have the courage to keep going.”
Those are some very wise words and excellent advice for equestrians of any age. We wish Brook Turner the very best during what we are sure will be a long and successful career in the horse industry.
Scroll below to view Video Horse World’s clip of Turner’s performance.