The Protect the Harvest Bridleless Challenge is always a hit with the crowd at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Futurity, but this year’s event took an even wilder turn than usual when Morgan Cromer decided to raise the stakes.
Her idea: why should one person cut a cow without a bridle when it could be done with two people?
After trying and failing to talk other competitors into cutting a cow riding double, Cromer decided to do it herself. She found a partner in trainer Eric Wisehart.
“Eric said, ‘I’ll take my spurs off and I’ll ride in the back,’” she said.
He was in for quite a ride, grabbing at the saddle and trying to stay aboard as Cromer piloted Smooth Georgy, a 2011 son of Smooth As A Cat, after the cows.
“I could feel [Eric] moving around, but I just kept watching the cow. But that little horse took it really good,” Cromer said. “I said, ‘Man, we should’ve picked a bigger horse if we were going to go double!’”
Wisehart’s survival instincts kept him on Smooth Georgy for most of the ride, although he eventually tumbled into the dirt. Not to be deterred, he jumped to his feet and got between Cromer and the herd, cutting on foot for the rest of the run.
The crowd roared, and the duo’s score of 229 tied with Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider Dave Costello.
Cromer, of Los Olivos, California, said the event is only possible due to the generosity of the horse owners, including Smooth Georgy’s owner, Roger Booth.
“We sure thank the owners that let us use their horses to go down there and have fun,” Cromer said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Proceeds from the event benefited Protect The Harvest. This year’s theme was “Legends vs. Young Guns.”