Winning an American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World title is not an easy task, but winning back-to-back World titles is doubly hard. Newly crowned Level 3 Cutting World Champion Faith Farris, of Midway, Texas, is the second member of her family to win back-to-back AQHYA World titles, with her older brother, Kyle, having won the 2011 and 2012 AQHYA Cutting World titles.
Farris rode 7-year-old mare Smooth Serena Rey (Smooth As A Cat x Margaret Rey x Dual Rey), bred by James Jr. and Amanda Pitard, of El Dorado, Arkansas, and owned by her grandfather, Jimmy Farris, to win her second AQHYA Level 3 Cutting World Championship with a 220.5 score. Farris also placed 13th in the finals on Quite The Fat Cat (Mr Peppys Freckles x Quite The Cat x High Brow Cat), who carried Farris to three World titles in 2017 – Levels 3, 2 and 13 & Under.
Adding to the family celebration, Farris’ cousin, Riley Farris, of Madisonville, Texas, rode KT Macs Kat (High Brow Cat x Mels Aristomatic x Smart Aristocrat) to finish sixth in the Level 3 finals, fifth in the Level 2 finals and to the 13 & Under Championship.
As draw No. 10 out of the 15-head Cutting finals, Farris said it was a little nerve-racking watching the other riders compete.
“Stephanie Croft [who finished second in the finals] had already run and did really good, and I just wanted to do really good, too,” Farris said.
When it came time for Farris to cut, she said most of the cattle were either really wild or too soft. Her first two cows were soft and hard to read, but the third cow was good – a “money cow,” she said.
“My mare was good and tried her heart out,” she added. “She always gives me 110 percent, every time.”
Farris started showing Smooth Serena Rey, who has lifetime earnings of $57,129, this past February.
“I’d shown her a few times about a year ago, but we just never clicked,” she said. “I think she may have needed time to mature, and I needed time to mature. When we got back together [this year], we finally put it all together.”
Aside from having a big heart, Farris said the mare also has a big personality.
“Somehow, she just knows how I’m feeling, and she tries to cheer me up when needed,” she said.
Farris said she definitely credits God and Jesus for giving her the opportunity to compete and to win again. She also thanked her parents, Mitch and Tracy, and her grandparents, Jimmy and Carolyn, for all of their support through the years; her help in the show pen; and her friends for helping her get through it all.
Farris, who will be a high school freshman this fall, said one day she’d like to study cosmetology and become a make-up artist and, of course, compete as a National Cutting Horse Association non-pro rider.