Cutting horse competition fuels Nampa economy

Credit: Zach Stotlant / KTVB

Cutting horse competition fuels Nampa economy

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by Bonnie Shelton

Bio | Email | Follow: @BonnieKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 2 at 8:06 AM

NAMPA -- Hundreds of cowboys and cowgirls are competing in the Treasure Valley this week. It's all part of the 12th Idaho Cutting Horse Association Futurity and Aged Event taking place at the Idaho Horse Park in Nampa.

Organizers told us there are about 750 riders competing in the 10-day event. Each usually brings several people with them. Event coordinator Sue Marostica estimates more than $2 million will be spent at local businesses and restaurants during the week.

Rider Scott Martin has been training horses for 30 years.

"You're looking for consistency in the horse staying with the cow, stopping when the cow stops," he said.

He traveled to Nampa from Bellevue. Sunday afternoon he competed with a three-year-old mare named Scoot Doing Flips.

"Everybody works for probably a year and a half to two years getting these horses ready for the futurity," he said.

Riders from across the United States and Canada are also showing off in the arena. Marostica said there are about 750 competing throughout the event.

"They have two and a half minutes to separate three head (of cattle)," she said about the cutting horse rounds.

Riders use athletic horses to cut a cow from the herd and keep it from returning.

"So they start the dance trying to get back and the horse is dancing right with them," said Marostica.

Martin was unhappy with his Sunday afternoon round.

"Cattle were just tough and we were late and it just didn't work out and that's kind of the way it goes," he said.

He said his score wasn't good enough to move on to the next round in that event, but he's competing in several others. Organizers told us with so many other riders doing the same throughout the week, revenue adds up and not just in Nampa.

"I have competitors that come in early, they go whitewater rafting or fishing," said Marostica.

Riders added that they're happy to be here and look forward to fierce competition during the days ahead.

"Money on the line," said Martin.

Riders can win thousands of dollars for taking first place in an event, but the ICHA also raises money for local groups and charities during the week.

Last year, they raised about $10,000 for the Nampa Fire Department. They also donated money to Toys For Tots.

The event is free to attend and runs through Thursday at the Idaho Horse Park in Nampa.

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