One of the reasons David McDavid and his wife Stacie are competing in the Augusta Futurity is because they enjoy visiting the city of Augusta so much.
Ironically, with 11 entries in six classes this year, they have had little time to see the sights.
The Fort Worth, Texas, couple had so much fun in their first year -- 1997 -- that they couldn't wait to get back.
"A friend of ours, Tony Langdon, had been telling us for several years what a great show this is and how much fun it is opposed to most of the shows," David McDavid said. "All the shows are fun, but you try to pick the best ones, and Augusta ranks way up there."
hough the couple's best finish in the 1997 Augusta Futurity was a tie for seventh place in the $50,000 Amateur Any Age by Stacie, they were smitten with the show and Augusta.
"We love the quaintness of the city and how incredibly hospitable the people are to the cutters," David McDavid said. "We had a ball last year."
This year's Augusta Futurity couldn't have started off much better for the couple. Stacie tied for first place after the first go-round of the $20,000 Amateur Any Age and then went on to win it Saturday night with a 219.
"It really was exciting," Stacie said.
he couple have been active in cutting for close to five years. For David McDavid, the sport offers a break from the hectic work-a-day world. He is an automobile magnate and co-owns the NBA's Dallas Mavericks.
"It's a great release for me to get on a horse and be a cowboy for two-and-a-half minutes," David said.
When the McDavid's became interested in the sport, they went right to the top for instruction. Terry Riddle of Wynnewood, Okla., a four-time Augusta Futurity winner, has trained their horses from the start. Riddle is riding horses owned by McDavid in the Classic Open (one of them) and the Futurity Open (two horses).
Both of the McDavid's have been riding horses for most of their lives, but they found riding cutting horses was a whole new game.
`I thought, `heck, I've ridden all my life, I can just get on a horse and do this,"' David McDavid said. "You can't."
"Terry's about the only person I know who can chew David and I out and get away with it," Stacie said.
After one of the McDavid's ride, Riddle takes them aside and critiques their performances. After all, he's seen it close up as one of their herd holders. He's also the one who suggests which cattle for them to cut.
After Stacie won the $20,000 Amateur Any Age, Riddle told her "good job."
`He doesn't throw out that many compliments, so for him to make that statement was big," Stacie said. "Most of the time he points out our mistakes and I really like that in him. He's still trying to make you get better."
"If they mess up, I'll chew on their butt," Riddle said with a laugh.
"Like they say, they don't have time to practice a lot," Riddle said. "When we have a practice session, they have to learn something from it. They don't want somebody babying them and telling them they're doing it right when they're not."
Riddle said the couple is "doing great for no longer than they've been showing. The best thing they've done is they've listened to my advice about what horses they needed to buy to show," Riddle said. "I've been in it 30 years so I've figured out a little bit about it, I guess."
McDavid's father was a contemporary of the founders of the National Cutting Horse Association in Fort Worth, but the cutting bug never bit McDavid when he was a young man. He's got it bad now.
"Once you do it, it's incredible," David McDavid said. "Once you get older there are a lot of things you can't compete at. You can play golf, but in cutting, there are so many variables. The horse has to be good, the rider has to be good and you have to draw good cows. You can have the greatest rider and horse in the world, but if he draws a bad cow, it's too bad."
The toughest part of cutting for David McDavid may be watching his wife compete.
"I get more nervous when she goes in there than I do," David McDavid said. "I don't know why -- she always does good. I was telling some friends that I don't know how you'd watch your child do it."
In the end, the sport "is a great competitive thing for us," David McDavid said. "If you own a racehorse, which I've never done, all you do is go watch the horse run. I prefer to participate myself. The cutting horses' instincts are incredible."
All events at the AugustaRichmond County Civic Center and start at 8 a.m., except Jan. 31, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 30
First go-round of the $50,000 Amateur Any Age, followed by the finals of the $50,000 Amateur Any Age.
7 p.m. --
Finals of the Classic Non-Pro, followed by the finals of the Classic Open.
Saturday, Jan. 31
10 a.m. --
Augusta Futurity Horse Sale (no admission charge).
6:30 p.m. --
Futurity NonPro finals, followed by Futurity Open finals.
General admission: Jan. 25-30, adults $5, children $2. Thursday, Jan. 29 night show, adults $8, children $2. There are no general admission seats Jan. 31. Reserved seating: Adults $12.50, children $5, except Jan. 31, adults $15.50, children $5.