Carson Pearson and White Leg are a relatively new team. Pearson has only ridden the 5-year-old mare for a few weeks this season. When they walked into the herd for the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro at the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) Western Nationals, they worked like a veteran team.
In the first go, they marked 218 to tie for the third-highest score in a class of 57 entries to advance. During the finals, a class of 23, the pair worked equally well.
In the finals, the Spearman, Texas, rider and mare (Dual Smart Rey x Meleena Olena x Smart Chic Olena) were next to-last-draw in the set, and his goal was to stay smart and cut clean. His game plant was to cut shape and hope for the best, he said. The first cow was fresh and on the outside of the herd and allowed him to show off the mare’s athleticism.
“I knew we had a good run, but there were a lot of good horses,” he said.
Judges rewarded their effort with a 219.5, which paid $3,892 and brought the horse’s career earnings over $25,000. That was the second highest score Pearson has scored in a cutting competition. His highest score came earlier in the week when he and White Leg marked at 220 in the first go of the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro.
“It felt really good to have my two highest scores here,” he said.
His grandfather, Dan Pearson, owns the mare and has hopes of finding her a slot in the Derby.
“We’ll see how she feels and go from there,” Carson said.
Glenn Barlow, of Gillette, Wyoming, rode Ferrarey (Dual Rey x Cats Good Intentions x High Brow Cat) marked 218.5 to win the Reserve Championship. The winning check of $3,214 pushed the horse’s lifetime earnings to more than $139,000.
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