Journal on the Road

Cutting Fever – Battle in the Saddle July 8

July 8, 2010

Cutting and reining fill the Jim Norick Coliseum during Battle in the Saddle in Oklahoma City.

By Larri Jo Starkey

Beau Galyean shows Sweet Abra in the open finals at Battle in the Saddle in Oklahoma City.

During the NCHA-Mercuria World Series of Cutting, rock music blared through the Jim Norick Coliseum while live commentators Chubby Turner and Hadley Barrett kept the audience listening with descriptions of the action, exhortations to the exhibitors and praise for the judges.

That was exciting enough, but the July 7 competition at Battle in the Saddle in Oklahoma City was pretty exciting, too.

Beau Galyean rode Sweet Abra to a 226 for owner Alvin Fults of Amarillo in the open division. The mare is special to Alvin and Beau because she’s a symbol of the beginning of their partnership.

“She’s a sweet, gritty mare,” Beau says of his ride. “She was at about $96,000 in earnings, and we wanted her to reach $100,000.”

She reached that goal at Battle in the Saddle. Sweet Abra probably won’t show much in open classes again, though Alvin might show her in non-pro. Fults Ranch hopes to see some of the mare’s offspring in the show ring soon: This year, she produced embryos by Metallic Cat and High Brow Cat. Sweet Abra is by Abrakadabracre and out of The Better Choice by SR Instant Choice.


In the non-pro, Caleb Anderson of Victoria, Texas, rode CA Las Vegas Lights to the top with a 226. The 1999 gelding is by Smart Mate and out of Real Plain Jane by Real Doc and is owned by Anderson Cattle Co. of Victoria, Texas.

The cutting contest at Battle in the Saddle continues July 8 with the finals of the $10,000 novice and the $50,000 amateur.

World’s Greatest Horseman Shootout

In between the two NCHA-Mercuria World Series of Cutting divisions, competitors in the World’s Greatest Horseman Shootout will take their turn at cutting.

The winner of the competition will get a free entry into the 2011 World’s Greatest Horseman competition. During Battle in the Saddle, that competition group consists of two riders each from the National Reining Horse, the National Cutting Horse, and the American Rope Horse Futurity associations, as well as from the AQHA Ranch Remuda group.

During the first event (reining), Todd Wright of Newcastle, Oklahoma, scored the highest on Mambo Number Shine owned by Anita and Hoby Horn of Oklahoma City. Todd represented NRHA, but he was closely followed by J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado, representing ARHFA on Bald N Shiney who is owned by Nelle A. Murphy of Burneyville, Oklahoma.

Other exhibitors are Clay Logan, ARHFA; Matt Budget, NCHA; Chris Benedict, NCHA; Doug Milholland, NRHA; Kris Wilson, ranch remuda; and Craig Haythorn, ranch remuda.

The steer-stopping portion of the contest is July 9 and the working cow horse is July 10.

To see photos from these Battle in the Saddle contests, watch the slide show below. Click on the photos to see the captions. Click here for complete results.

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