NCHA cutting horse competition rides into Jackson - - Jackson, MS

NCHA cutting horse competition rides into Jackson

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By Marsha Thompson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The largest open cutting horse show in the world has come to Jackson.

Fairground officials say hundreds of cutters are in town for the huge competition.

The riders take it slow and easy.

This sport requires cow sense.

They approach the herd then, the cutter drops the reins and let's his horse take control.

The goal is to use your horse to separate one cow from a herd.

Non-pro cutter Joe Ellard comes back home to Mississippi every year from Texas to compete.

Ellard says it's a family affair.

"It's one of the best sports that family can be involved in because everyone in the family can compete the husband, the wife, the children, the grandchildren. It's a great thing for people to do as a family," Ellard said.

The National Cutting Horse Association show attracts cutters from around the globe.

NCHA Hall of Fame rider Ray Smith lives and breaths cutting.

"Over the years it's really built up and it's a worldwide competition," Smith said. "We have people from all over the U.S. And foreign countries that enter the cutting here in Mississippi."

The working cow horse gets down low and maneuvers.

Some say it's like a game of chess.

Something new every ride.

And the 5 judges are closely watching.

And even in a tough economy, this year's show has 1200 competitors, and pumps millions into the local economy.

Their incentive, $416,000 in prize money.

The event has an estimated economic impact of over $7 million for the City of Jackson.

It runs through March 19th and is free to the public.

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