The youth riders took to the arena on Thursday at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular. In the Senior Youth Scholarship finals, several high scores had already been posted when Lane Cooper and Holly Is Smooth walked to the herd as draw No. 10 in the 29-horse field. As Cooper went to work, the crowd showed their enthusiasm for his run by cheering loudly, but when a score of 233 appeared on the screen at the end of the arena, the roar was deafening.
Cooper and Holly Is Smooth had just set a new arena record. Even though there were still 18 horses left to work, Cooper celebrated his accomplishment with his friends and family.
“My whole family is in cutting, and it felt really good to be back showing with a lot of family and friends,” the 17-year-old said after his win.
Cooper, of Weatherford, Texas, has earned $8,632 in the cutting pen, and Holly Is Smooth (Smooth As A Cat x Holly N Zack x Zack T Wood), who was bred by Kyle Manion and is owned by Rose Valley Ranch, has an Equi-Stat record of $224,182.
Regan Plendl and C Spot Cut (Spots Hot x Ruby Duece x Smart Little Jerry) marked a 225.5 for the Reserve Championship.
In the Junior Youth Scholarship finals, Katherine Queen and Princess And The Pea proved to be cutting royalty when they walked away with the Championship after marking a 220. They were the fourth horse-and-rider team in the arena out of 15 and their score held up until the end.
Queen, of Allendale, South Carolina, has won $5,224 in her cutting career, and the Carroll’s Cutting LLC-bred mare (Halreycious x A Purrfect Cat x High Brow Cat) has lifetime earnings of $24,960.
“I like cutting a lot,” Queen said. “My whole family is in it.”
Jaycee Lowery marked a 218.5 aboard Catarose (High Brow Cat x Rosies Playboy Lena x Freckles Playboy) to clinch the Reserve Championship.
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