Hundreds of horses and riders gathered in Nampa the week of August 28 for the 2017 Idaho Cutting Horse Association Futurity and Aged event at the Ford Idaho Horse Park.
In horse cutting, a sport based on traditional ranch work, the contestants have two attempts per run to separate a cow from a herd and move it to the center of the arena. A cow can be pulled from the outside on the other try. Four helpers on horseback assist in the background. Att eh Nampa event, participants competed in more than 15 categories.
Cindy Mann, a member of the Idaho Cutting Horse Association and
an avid cutter, is filling in as secretary for the association and helped organize the annual show, which is the association’s largest event.
Mann lives in the Blaine County town of Carey, about 40 miles southeast of Sun Valley, where she has two active cutting horses and two retired horses.
“There are people who come from all over the country at this show,” said Mann, who also rode in the event. She said many of those riders travel in a sweep of Northwest shows, finishing in the South. The event isn’t a
qualifier for any larger show, but Ember Gutierrez, a marketing representative for the Ford Idaho Center, noted that one of the events, a Sept. 2 cutting horse event at the Nampa arena, is known as the “world series of cutting” and carries $50,000 in prize money.
Gutierrez said in a prepared release that the nine-day event that ended Sept. 3 paid out more than $500,000 in purse money and drew more than 1,500 people to the Ford Idaho Center from about a dozen states and Canada. The release said that the park’s 64 full rental RV spots and 650 horse stalls were filled, and that 1,000 hotel rooms had been booked by riders, vendors, show managers, and judges.
“I relish being able to compete against the level of people who come here,” Mann said of the show.