New to the Congress, the Cutting Champions Challenge filled the Coliseum on Sunday night with spectators eager to see champions from 20 different classes go head to head in a winner-takes-all competition.
The first bunch pulled horse and rider pairs from the amateur division and featured 5 draws. Winning the division was owner/exhibitor Joey Varnadore, riding Sly Smooth Girl, scoring a 145. Varnadore took home $2,000.
The second bunch featured non-pro riders. The winner of the division was owner/rider Priscilla Crawley Wilson, riding Metallica Plays. The pair took home $3,000 with their impressive score of 149.
After a cattle change, the open division riders competed with 6 draws. The winner was Bradey Davis, riding Redhead From Denver for Lindy Wells. Redhead From Denver also competed in the amateur division with Wells. The pair scored a very impressive 153 to secure winnings of $4,000.
Often some of the most spectacular performances, the bridleless division was held last. The division pulled the top 4 riders from the open bridleless class. With nothing but a rope around the horse’s neck, the winner of this bunch was Gabe Reynolds on Hot Dona, owned by Jarrett and Shannon Callahan, scoring a 152 and winning $1,000.
For its Congress debut, the Cutting Champions Challenge was an enjoyable experience for all. With great horses and riders, an excited crowd, and an announcer with good taste in music, the countdown is on till next year’s Challenge!
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