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North Mississippi Cutting Horse Show


By Shelby Louwerens

The North Mississippi Cutting Horse Association offered a $1000 added weekend class from June 30-July 3 at Arena One in Batesville, Miss.  In open and non-pro, $1000 was added to the jackpot, and first place won about $1000. Suzy Barnett, show secretary and ranch manager, explained the details of cutting events.

 “Each horse works three cows in two and a half minutes. They pull one cow from the herd and keep it separate,” Barnett said. “After they have the cow outside of the herd, riders are not supposed to cue the horse at all.”

Scores range from 60-80 points, with 1, 3, and 5 point penalties for a miss or loss, letting a cow get back in the herd or letting it go to the fence, reining or cueing noises or movements, or any time the rider has to help the horse.

The fees to participate included an entry fee as well as a cattle fee for the rented cattle. The cattle fee is usually the same as the entry fee, though the price of the entry fee varies, depending on the class. For the 11 days that Arena One hosted cutting shows, between 2,200-2,300 head were rented. The cattle are worked for only about 30 seconds per cow.

The show reserved approximately 200 stalls for the event, and had roughly 250 horses through the barn during the week, including riders from North and South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, and around the Mid-South.

Included in the participants for the weekend were big names in the cutting horse world, such as Austin Shepherd and Mary Jo Milner. Shepherd won the Futurity in 2007, World in 2011, and has won over $4 million cumulatively. He also won the Open class on his mount “Great Chief.” Milner has multiple World Championships and has been inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

Along with these big-name riders were younger riders looking to make their mark, such as Harris Cole, a 13-year-old hoping to score in the 50 amateur class on his mount “CR Dual Smart Pep.” Though young, he has already made it to the top 15 at Youth World previously.

“I love it here,” Cole said. “I like this place the most; it’s definitely one of the nicer facilities.”
For more information on events at Arena One, visit

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