Nicole Pietrafeso was named the winner of the 2017 Todd Drummond Memorial Award, an annual honor that highlights Youth members who demonstrate scholastic achievement in addition to cutting and extracurricular activies.
A former National Cutting Horse Youth Association (NYCHA) officer, Pietrafeso has an Equi-Stat record of approximately $70,000. The 20-year-old junior is currently studying animal science and business at Colorado State University.
She’s cut over the past several years with younger sisters Gianna and Jessica. All three made the Youth top 15 in 2014 and 2015. Her father, Ron, currently serves as vice president of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) and together with her mother, Adrienne, operate Missing Creek Ranch in Ebert, Colorado.
“I’m extremely fortunate to get to do this with my entire family and spend time with them,” Pietrafeso said.
She counts her appearances in the NCHA Youth World Finals among her top moments in cutting, even though she said it was a challenge hauling while balancing schoolwork with hauling for the top 15 in the World standings.
“It was definitely rewarding at the end,” she said.
Her victories also include the 2017 Scottsdale National Championships Senior Youth win with Purely Badger.
Pietrafeso was particularly grateful for cutting’s emphasis on sportsmanship.
“I just think that’s one of the most important things you can learn from being in the NCHA or NYCHA,” she said. “I think it’s really important, so it means a lot to me to win this award.”