Emerald riders ready for nationals

Emerald cutting horse competitor Trent Dudley tries his hand at a cattle sport of a different kind.
Emerald cutting horse competitor Trent Dudley tries his hand at a cattle sport of a different kind.

NATIONAL competition is ramping up for Trent Dudley and Lisa Ryan in the northern New South Wales city of Tamworth this week.

The Emerald cutting horse representatives are competing alongside some of the best in the country at the National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) National Finals, with more than $50,000 in prizemoney on offer for the lucky winners.

Ryan, who already has a top-10 placing in the $5,000 Non Pro event, said luck of the draw played a big role in the final divisional standings.

"It would be good to win it but the competition is always strong," Ryan said.

"On the day it all boils down to the cattle you get."

Dudley is backing his abilities to claim the Rookie Champion title at this year's finals at the Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre.

The Emerald-based rider said he couldn't have asked for a more consistent showing from his champion mare.

"I only purchased my mare Highbrow Summer a bit over 12 months ago and the last year has been amazing," Dudley said.

"The highlight of the year was winning at Wildhorse at Rolleston which gave me the incentive to pursue the Rookie title.

"I would like to acknowledge the trainers for all their and support for the opportunity to reach the National Finals."

The 2012 Yulgilbar Snafflebit Futurity has been a feature event throughout the five days of cutting horse action in Tamworth.

Tomorrow the final 10 competitors will compete for more than $20,000 in prizemoney.

The Snafflebit is a unique form of cutting which sees riders use two hands on the horse's rein as opposed to one during other cutting events.

Ryan said the final season run gave a few more opportunities to snap up the odd buckle or two and have a bit of fun at the same time.

The Nationals end Sunday.

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