Cutting Horse Show at the "Ike" - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; |

Cutting Horse Show at the "Ike"

Posted: Updated: Sep 12, 2012 12:52 PM

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Cotton Stakes Classic Cutting Horse Show.  All this week at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe, a group of cowgirls and cowboys are carrying forward a tradition that began in the old west days of cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail.

Bob Darden, Cotton Stakes Classic Cutting Horse Show: "When the cowboys got together, they decided to have a contest.  So they developed the cutting horse contest, which horse was the best at going through the herd and separating the cattle."

The cutting horse is bred and trained to perform a specific task, and that is the heart of the competition.

Darden: "The unique thing about this sport is, once the horse enters the herd and cuts the cow out, selects the cow he wants to work, then his hand has to drop his hand.  He can give the horse no guidance at all, he has to mirror this cow and stop the cow from going back to the herd."

Bob Darden has years of experience with the show, he says some folks have a poetic way of describing the movements of these talented quarter horses.

"It's like a dance between horse and cow."

With the best cutting horses in the country, close to a thousand riders are competing for a million dollars in prize money.  The community also benefits as the visitors are expected to bring in more than two million dollars for restaurants, motels and retailers in the area.

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