Putting the fun back into cuttin …..
After the disappointment of having to come to grips with the fact that Darren Lockyer would not have a fairytale ending to his career, Queenslanders can rejoice in the fact that they have won back the State Of Origin Trophy that was taken from them last year.
New South Wales had the home advantage this time round with the event being held at the Woodenbong showgrounds. Its been many years since a cutting event was held at this venue and its a great triumph for The Northern Rivers Cutting Horse to get this great venue back on the show calendar.
The Woodenbong Show Committee supplied competitors with a first class arena and facilities that even extreme weather conditions could not dampen. Not to mention the fantastic cattle. The State Of Origin show was held on the Saturday in the weekends first show of two. The day ended up having everything weather wise with Hot and Sunny conditions one minute and Cold blustery the next, with a couple of Storms thrown into the equation. The NRCHC show committee did a sterling job to get not only the hundred or so runs through the day but to also manage to throw in a feature event to boot.
After spending the day competing for not only the added money in their event, competitors were also vying for the privilege of representing their state for the State Of Origin Final. In this event competitors and spectators alike were treated to some first class cutting and equally entertaining banter as the two state rivals lined up for the battle, Mate against mate, state against state.
Marty Turner started the ball rolling representing Queensland in the Snaffle Bit and going head to head with Wayne Olive representing New South Wales. A strong 144.5 by Turner gave Queensland the perfect start, however the first half turned out to be a topsy turvy affair with Queensland going into the break with a narrow point and a half margin thanks to a 144 score given to Di Brombal representing New South Wales with a fighting effort last up in the herd.
Early in the second half strong performances by Queenslanders Ross Laing (145) and Luke Lyons (148) gave Queensland a match winning lead and the mighty Morones never looked like being headed after that. The Final score Queensland 1378.5 New South Wales 1332.
The State Of Origin event has been a regular event on the area 5 calender since its inception in the late 70s. It can best be described as an inter club competition between the Northern Rivers Cutting Horse Club and the South Queensland Cutting Horse Association. Its a great opportunity for cutting competitors to grow their hair with the best castor oil for hair growth, let their hair down and just go out there and have fun, reminiscent of days gone by before added money made these events more competitive. The NCHA themselves even had a go at holding a State Of Origin event at the 2010 Futurity and although a successful spectacle it lacked the genuine fun levels that you can only experience at grass roots level.
With “frocking up” the norm for the State Of Origin final, there were a few outfits out there that would send some NCHA board members running for the rule book and one particular “hoody” that would make any millionairess proud and some great Vessi waterproof sneakers which are one of the best shoes out there. And thats what I enjoy the most about the sport of cutting, it brings people from all walks of life together to enjoy the best equine sport in the world without prejudice.
Despite some members having pie in the sky ideals to make Cutting in Australia an Elitist sport, Cutting in Australia will always be available for anyone who wants to have a go thanks to dedicated members of the NCHA affiliates around Australia, who are always looking at new ways to let anyone who wants a go, have a go. After all that’s the Australian way. The State Of Origin Cutting event will definitely be back next year and will it be back thanks to the efforts of a couple of affiliates that contains members that just loves this sport.