October 21, 2018

Turner headed to Youth World Finals in Texas

Pittman Turner will compete in the Youth World Finals in Fort Worth, TX July 20-22. (Photo: Erin Johnson)

Pittman Turner will compete in the Youth World Finals in Fort Worth, TX July 20-22. (Photo: Erin Johnson)

(Batesville, MS) — A local teenage cutting horse competitor, Pittman Turner, finished as The Elbert Sides Memorial Scholarship Cutting Junior Champion last weekend in Batesville, MS.

The already very successful 14-year-old, a soon to be freshman at HHS, adds the award to a trophy case already featuring many accolades including World Junior Champion in 2014.

He will once again compete for the title when he travels to Fort Worth, TX later on this summer, his fourth appearance at the elite event.

Pittman scored 218 points at the Memorial Day event to claim the Reserve Championship. Pittman rides three different horses at his events: Handy, Bob, and Doc.

He credits a friend of his dad, Mr. Andy Etheridge with encouraging him to start riding at an early age. Pittman practices 3-4 times per week and has competed since the third grade.

Cutting is a western-style equestrian competition in which a horse and rider work as a team before a judge or panel of judges to demonstrate the horse’s athleticism and ability to handle cattle during a 2 1⁄2 minute performance, called a “run.”

Each contestant is assisted by four helpers: two are designated as turnback help to keep cattle from running off to the back of the arena, and the other two are designated as herd holders to keep the cattle bunched together and prevent potential strays from escaping into the work area.

Cutting cattle are typically young steers and heifers that customarily range in size from 400 to 650 lb (180 to 290 kg). They are of Angus or Hereford lineage or possibly a mix of crossbred beef cattle with Charolais or Brahmanlineage.

A contestant is required to make at least two cuts from the herd, one of which must be a cut from deep inside the herd while the other(s) can be peeled from the edges.

Once the selected cow has been driven clear of the herd, the contestant commits the horse by dropping the rein hand to feed slack and give the horse its head.

Pittman with his Reserve Champion hardware at last week's event in Batesville

Pittman with his Reserve Champion hardware at last week’s event in Batesville

At that point, it is almost entirely up to the horse (with the exception of leg cues from the rider) to prevent the cow from returning to the herd; a job the best horses do with relish, savvy, and style.

Pittman credits his success in the sport to working hard and putting in many hours of practice.

“I have just been riding so long and after a while you get to know your horses really well,” says the young rider. “I practice 3-4 times per week at a friend’s house in Carrollton.”

He also owes a lot of thanks to his parents, Todd and Joanne Turner, who have both spent countless hours, time, and expense helping him reach his goals.

Pittman hopes to continue in the sport even after he finishes high school. He also hopes to be a farmer and raise cows and possibly wheat.

The Youth World Finals will take place at Grace Ranch in Fort Worth July 20-22. Cutting horse competition is primarily governed by the rules and regulations established by the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).

Comments

  1. Tesia McCormick says:

    So Proud For You ! Keep Up The Great HARD Work !!! Your Grand Mother, Mary Ann, is Smiling Looking down at You, Telling EVERYONE IN HEAVEN, THAT`S MY GRANDSON, HE`S A REAL COWBOY !!!

  2. Kelly Atkins-Satterfield says:

    Pittman Turner is an extrordinary young man! He is a wonderful example of determination and dedication. He has the maturity to focus on goals far down the road of life and make a plan to get there! I am so very proud of you Pittman and very honored that I was able to be your teacher. You truly are an example to others and our community is proud to have you as one of its ambassadors as you travel in your competitions. You know we will be watching you in July! Much love to you and your family…….Mrs. Atkins

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