The West Texas Futurity continues this weekend at the Tri-State Exposition.
The competition is saddling up at the Amarillo National Center with nearly a quarter of a million dollars added up for grabs.
More than 350 horses are competing, and according to General Manager Skip Jones, some of the best athletes in the equine world are a part of this sport.
“This sport originated on the cattle ranches and it was a way to separate single cattle from the herd,” Jones said. “What’s going on is called “cutting,” a National Cutting Horse Association-sanctioned event and it is a competition for horses 4, 5, 6-year-olds and also some 3-year-olds are here.”
Jones said the horses are specifically bred and trained for cutting from a very young age and from this competition, at least a few superstars are expected to emerge.
“We have a stallion–a six-year-old stallion,” said Alvin Fults from the Fults Ranch. “We’re retiring him after this show. His name’s Stevie Rey Von. He’s been an awesome animal for us. He’s won lots and lots of shows. He’s a little over $400,000 in winnings, so we thought it’d only be fitting being from Amarillo, that this would be his last show.”
While the West Texas Futurity might not be a huge draw for spectators, Jones said it is great for the local cattle industry as all the cows are rented from local feed yards.
The show also provides new athletes with a baseline for cutting competition.
“A lot of times this is the very first show for many of these horses ever to be shown. There are rules that state 3-year-olds can’t show before a certain point in the year and we’re the first show for that. So that does make us unique,” Jones added.
Jones said with the $245,000 added and contest entry fees in the pot, they will award close to half a million dollars to competitors this week.
The Mercuria World Series of cutting is set to take place at the Amarillo National center next weekend and Jones said they hope to see a large turnout as some of the best horses in the country compete.
Free tickets for the Mercuria World Series are available at Cavender’s Boot City, Coolhorse, and West Texas Western Store.