Originally created 01/23/04

Cutting explanation

The Augusta Futurity is a cutting-horse show, where a rider and horse try to "cut" a cow out of a herd of cattle and then attempt to prevent its return to that herd.

Riders have 2 1/2 minutes in each ride to show the ability of the horse to control a cow once the cow is cut. At least two cows must be cut at different times during the ride. Some riders cut three.

Five judges rank a ride on a scale between 60 and 80 points, with half-points being allowed. The final score is reached by dropping the high and low scores and taking the total of the remaining three scores. The highest possible score is 240.

The rider guides the horse to prevent the cow from returning to the herd. Cows that return to the herd, bring the highest penalty from the judges (five point deduction from each judge). It is said a horse "lost a cow" when it fails to hold it.

The highest score in the 24-year history of the Augusta Futurity is 230.5. Any score above 220 is considered exceptional.

Chiquita Pistol, ridden by Tag Rice, set the record score in last year's Futurity Open final. The pair set the mark after eclipsing Lindy Burch's run of 227 on Play Peek A Boon.

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