Since it began two weeks ago, the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Metallic Cat Summer Cutting Spectacular has showcased many talented Open, Non-Pro and Amateur riders, but for the past few days, the youth were the stars of the show.
Senior Youth Scholarship
Two of the highlights of the Youth competitions are the Junior and Senior Youth Scholarship Cuttings, which paid out $30,000, provided by the NCHA Foundation. Though some participants ride their own horses, others climb aboard other high-caliber mounts loaned to them by the horses’s owners for the event.
Twenty-nine youth came out for the NCHA Foundation Senior Youth Scholarship finals on Friday, July 30, and it was a competitive group. Five horse-and-rider duos marked a 220 or higher, but scoring well above the rest were Ryann Packard and Hott Nu Cowboy, who marked a huge 229 for the win.
“I don’t know what I was expecting, but that was definitely a surprise,” Packard said of her score, which is the highest she’s ever marked. “I knew the horse went and did his job, and I hoped I did my job.”
Packard said she could feel the momentum of her run building with each new cow. Hott Nu Cowboy rose to the occasion, seeming to respond to the cheering and pressure, too.
“I was having a blast the whole time, but I definitely wanted to do my part because that horse is so incredible,” Packard said. “It just felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to show him, so I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself for it to go good. It was so much fun.”
Hott Nu Cowboy (Hottish x Special Nu Kitty x High Brow Cat), a 7-year-old gelding bred by Wrigley Ranches LLC, is owned by Circle R Cutting Horses LLC. Packard knows him from working for Cullen Chartier, who has trained the horse for several years.
“I was lucky enough that Cullen asked [the owners] if I could show him, and they agreed,” Packard said. “He’s just really special to all of us at the barn. I couldn’t have thought of a horse I wanted to show more than that one.”
Brody Magby and Short Scootin’s 222 landed the Reserve Championship. The 17-year-old gelding (Smart Lil Scoot x Shortcake Berry x Shorty Lena) is owned by Debbie Jarma.
Junior Youth Scholarship
The Junior Youth Scholarship finals showcased 18 talented kids. Everybody gave it their all, but in the end, it was Max Sherrerd and Metallic Tracks who laid down a 222 for the win. It was Sherrerd’s second time to show in the junior scholarship cutting, and he was excited to win.
“I just can’t thank everybody enough [for this opportunity],” Sherrerd said. “I love that horse. We’ve had him in the barn for a while, and he’s talented at everything.”
Sherrerd relied on his dad, Andy, and his help —Jamie Snyder, Wes Ashlock and Casey Green — to help him pick cows, as he spent his time prior to his run getting Metallic Tracks ready. Before he rode into the pen, Sherrerd said his dad, who is a trainer, told him whatever happens, happens. Sherrerd knew if he did his job, they would have a good shot.
The 13-year-old thanked his family, along with Metallic Tracks’ owner, Bill Carter, for letting him show the 8-year-old gelding (Metallic Cat x Love Tracker x DJ Tracker), who was bred by Cowan Select Horses LLC. Only a couple days prior, Metallic Tracks carried veteran William Boelke to the co-high score at the National Youth Cutting Horse Association BraveHearts Shootout.
Taylor Allen piloted Fantastic One (Fantastic Cat x Star G Peptonita x Peptotime) to Reserve in the Junior Scholarship with a 216.5. The 8-year-old gelding was bred by Jim See and is owned by Allen.