After his foot slipped out of one of his stirrups midway through his run aboard Low Down Catt, Love held on for a wild ride.
“Most horses, it would’ve freaked them out,” he said. “He hung in there.”
Love and Low Down Catt marked 211 to claim the $100,000 Amateur 4-Year-Old finals by three points Friday night at James Brown Arena.
Love of Harvest, Ala., earned $1,960 for his harrowing adventure. Denise Seiz and Billy Bo Dual placed second at 208 for $1,632, while Troy Randolph and Cee Sophi Kat finished third (207, $1,436).
The 55-year-old Love dabbled in the sport of cutting in the 1980s but left it to focus on family – he is married to Donna and has two adult sons and 18-year-old daughter Amber – and his work as a framing contractor. He returned two-and-a-half years ago, and he competed in just his second aged event Friday.
In his first time in Augusta, Love and his horse found quick success. They tied for second in the go-round earlier in the day before returning hours later for the finals.
“The go-round to me is harder to me, because you’re trying to get to the finals,” Love said. “In the finals, you know you’ve got a check.”
Low Down Catt is a gelding by WR This Cat Smart out of Sanjos Gay Lady. Sam Shepard bought the horse as a 2-year old and still trains him. Love said his horse is a little hot-blooded.
“We lope him for a while, but after that we just have to walk him around and keep him calm,” Love said. “He’s ate up with cow. He really works good.”