Journal on the Road

All American Quarter Horse Congress – October 8

October 9, 2010

Ropers, cutters take a turn in the spotlight at the All American Quarter Horse Congress

By Larri Jo Starkey

Matt Gaines of Weatherford, Texas, scored a 231 on CD April Fool, owned by the Flying A Ranch of Las Vegas, New Mexico, during the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting on October 8 at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. To see more photos from Congress, scroll to the slide show below.

Matt Gaines of Weatherford, Texas, has now ridden CD April Fool twice on cattle.

The first time was October 7 during the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting open prelims at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. The second time was October 8 when he scored a 231 on the sorrel gelding to win the open finals during the Congress stop on the World Series of Cutting tour.

CD April Fool’s regular trainer, Jeremy Barwick, couldn’t be at Congress, so Matt filled in at the coliseum on the Ohio State Fairgrounds.

“Tonight I thought he was awesome,” Matt said. “It was tough and he tried hard. You know, when a cow gets in his face, he has a lot of eye appeal. I think that’s what made the run. And we went for it. We had a lot of working time. I asked him for all he had and he gave it.”

CD April Fool is by CD Olena and out of Attractions First by Bob Acre Doc. He is owned by the Flying A Ranch of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The World Series of Cutting is an eight-stop series of cutting events designed to give older horses a chance to shine and to introduce new audience that already like horses to the sport of cutting. The finals October 8 included loud rock music and Chubby Turner, NCHA president, on horseback in the arena with a microphone to encourage the crowd to yell and the riders to work harder.

The last open finalist, Austin Shepard, lost his first cow on MH San Tules Dually. At Chubby’s goading, Austin, reached over his horse’s ears, took off the bridle and finished the run bridleless. The judges only gave the run a 189, but the crowd gave it enthusiastic applause and cheers.

“I think they’re great events,” Matt said. “The crowd likes it. I think it’s one of the best outreach events we have for our sport. It goes fast. People get to see a lot of good horses and the riders put on a show. It makes everybody step their game up a bit when the crowd is whooping and hollering and pulling for you.”

Meanwhile, over at the Celeste Arena, AQHA Professional Horseman C.R. Bradley was hearing his own cheers during the Cinch Team Roping Challenge. The new event at Congress invited the top 30 finishers from the open heading and heeling and the top 20 finishers from the amateur heading and heeling to compete for a $20,000 purse.

Riding Play Dual Rey, C.R. and his heeler Zane Bruce put up fast numbers in two rounds for the win.

“He does everything, the reining, the cow horse, all three roping events,” C.R. said. “We made it back in heading, so I decided to head on him. He’s a really good head horse. He’s mostly a show horse, so he’s not used to going fast, but he’s so athletic that it’s easy for him to go fast.”

The 7-year-old sorrel stallion is by Dual Rey-Hiccup N Play by Doc’s Hickory, and he’s owned by the Play Dual Rey Partnership of Whitesboro, Texas.

“He stays at Casey Hinton’s – one of the owners – and he does the reining on him,” C.R. said. “Todd Crawford does the cow horse on him. I’m only 10 miles from Casey, so I pick him up 3-4 times a week and rope on him.”

If you missed “Raymond’s” athletic performance in Columbus, Ohio, you can see him in action at the AQHA World Championship Show in November. He’s entered in five events.

To see more from Congress, check out the Journal slide show below. Click on each photo to see the caption.

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