Calgary – The 2021 Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity, presented by Wrangler, has crowned its champions after three days of exciting competition. With the pandemic forcing the event’s cancelation in 2020, horse owners and trainers from western Canada welcomed its return October 13-15, 2021, in the Nutrien Western Event Centre at Stampede Park.
“I think it’s a big feather in the cap of the Calgary Stampede to get this up and running again this year,” says Travis Rempel, a horse trainer from Abbotsford, B.C, who brought a trailer full of horses to the competition. “It was really important for the industry to have this show in some capacity,” he added.
In cutting horse competition, horse and rider are faced with a herd of cattle and two and a half minutes on the clock. Working together, they must select a single cow to move out of, or ‘cut’, from of the herd. The pair must then demonstrate their ability, as a team, to keep the cow from returning to the herd. The horse uses great strength and agility as it mimics the movements of the cow. Once the cow has lost interest and looks away, the team may re-enter the herd for a fresh cow to cut.
The Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse Futurity is a limited age event, featuring both Open and Non-Professional competitions for horses four, five and six years old; along with the signature Futurity for three-year-old horses just getting launched in their career.
The Futurity plays an important role in the cutting horse world, according to Rempel.
“It impacts the career for the horses, and for the trainers. Without Calgary, it’s not as appealing to have a three-year-old in training in Canada. Calgary is the only place to make a considerable amount of money on a three-year-old, and it’s prestigious – it gets people excited about buying young horses. It also really affects the amount of horses available in Canada down the road,” says Rempel.
Cody Smith trains horses just south of Calgary and he, too, was enthused about returning to competition at Stampede Park.
“It’s huge for us. It’s the biggest show in Canada for me, and with the young horses, it is the biggest deal,” says Smith. “The two horses I showed this year were both six, so this was their last chance to show at Classic Challenge money, which is also a huge deal for the customers, and for myself. I was very excited.”
Longtime Calgary Stampede Western Performance Horse Committee volunteer, Pete Fraser, was pumped to see cutting horses return to Calgary this fall.
“It’s a good feeling, and we’re happy to be back in the building. It took a very determined combination of the Committee executive and Stampede Agriculture leadership to make it happen,” says Fraser. “It was inspiring to be able to create new paths to success and find different ways to encourage people to come and play.”
Traditionally, this event attracts hundreds of horses from across North America. Given the challenges of the global pandemic, this year’s event was much smaller, with the majority of competitors from Alberta and British Columbia.
With the support of sponsors like Wrangler and Vada Capital, the Stampede was able to offer $30,000 in added money for the winners. The competitors also point out, there’s still nothing like being able to contend for a Stampede buckle.
“Anything Calgary Stampede is big for trainers, big for the owners,” says Rempel. “It’s recognizable, it’s prestigious, it’s known worldwide for that brand. Everyone wants to say they did well at Calgary.”
“Obviously, we’d love to get back to money we had before, but most people are just so happy to have somewhere to go and to show, and be in this building,” says Smith.
Competition during the three days of action was tight, and with only five riders making each of the Finals, participants had to put together a pair of top-notch runs to qualify. In the Finals, the scores were high, and there was even a three-way tie at the top of the Open Derby for four-year-old horses. Veteran trainer Denton Moffat of Armstrong, BC, earned over $5000 for his Finals win in the Futurity on a horse he owns, called Tapt Out Metallic. Doug Reinhardt of Irricana, AB, topped two of the Finals categories. He took the Derby with Blu Lilies, owned by Pauli Smith, and the Classic with One Million Reasons owned by Dustin Rusnack.
For a complete list of show results, https://ag.calgarystampede.com/events/836-cutting-horse-futurity-presented-by-wrangler.html
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together, we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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