THREE members of the Hunter Valley Cutting Horse Club have played a significant role in Australia’s win over the United States on foreign soil.
Scone’s Lynda MacCallum and Matt Caban competed in a cutting challenge at El Rancho Futurity, California, for the first time, while Maitland’s Geoff Saxby also qualified for the national squad.
As part of the competition, Australian riders were given a partner from the USA’s top eight riders, who then had to provide two cutting horses to each to the Australians.
Both nations’ points were tallied together, making it a real team challenge.
Australia started the challenge strongly and recorded a convincing lead in the first round.
Members then swapped horses with their partner and Australia managed to maintain the lead to claim round two.
Tough conditions in the cutting pen in round three saw half of the Australian team draw in the last five horses of the set.
It was neck-and-neck throughout the event, but the Australians were able to stay in front and win the challenge by 46 points overall.
MacCallum said beating the Americans at the home of cutting was a memorable experience.
“From the quality of horse power we were given to ride, to the hospitality extended to our team and the camaraderie shown by team members on both sides, it was something we will never forget,” she said.
“It was definitely a thrill to win the challenge on the home of cutting, USA soil.
“We could not have done it without the guidance of our coach Todd Graeme, Australia's number one earning cutting horse trainer.
“Jim MacCallum also helped us with our cattle selection and Australian born USA-based trainers Andrew Coates and Gavin Jordan were definitely still helping their home country competitors.”
The two nations will continue the series next year in Australia.
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