Katherine Queen has grown up going to cutting horse shows, but the 14-year-old from Allendale, South Carolina, had never been to a big show by herself before. Riding solo did not faze Queen, as she and her gelding Metallic Manziel marked a 225 to win the Junior Youth and $312 at the 2018 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern Nationals.
“I’ve never won anything at that show. I was really nervous in the first go but in the finals, I wasn’t as bad until the last cow,” Queen said. “I was nervous because nothing had really been marked before me besides a 19 and a 17. I was worried about the cows because they weren’t the best, and being last never helps. All three cows I cut were good, they stayed in the middle and ‘Manny’ handled them really well.”
“I can always count on him. I know that he’s never going to do anything to mess up a run or cheat on me or get show smart,” Queen said. “He has a real huge stop and is fancy in the middle.”
Metallic Manziel’s (Metallic Cat x Smart Look N Pepto x Peptoboonsmal) good attitude extends beyond the show pen. The Strawn Valley Ranch-bred gelding allows the youth rider to work him before showing when needed.
“You can’t do that on many horses. I’ve worked him before at weekend shows by myself, so I wasn’t too nervous about that,” said Queen, who stayed with Morgan Griggs while in Jackson, Mississippi. “My dad [trainer Skip Queen] worked him before the show. I got there Thursday, so Friday, Saturday and Sunday I had to work him myself. I think going to bigger shows like that and working him myself is really good for me. He’s really easy to take care of, and I never have to worry about him.”
While Queen’s parents may not have been at the show, she still had good help from Scott Wray, Gabe Reynolds, Austin Shepard and Walt Erwin.
2017 NCHA Eastern Nationals Junior Youth Champion Charles Russell Bushaw, of Weatherford, Texas, rode Peptotoodie (Peptotime x Too Smart Toodie x Smart Mate) to a score of 219 to be the Reserve Champion. He and the Bill Masterson-bred mare won $273.