Lacombe's Brad Pedersen tops Horse Cutting Finals Open at Calgary Stampede

Brad Pedersen, who owns a farm just north of Lacombe, won the Cutting Horse Finals Open at the Calgary Stampede last Friday. James Hudyma

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Brad Pedersen finally has his first Cutting Horse Finals Open victory.

The cowboy, who owns a farm just north of Lacombe on Milton Rd., reined in a score of 225 Friday, July 5th for the win at the Calgary Stampede  in the Nutrien Western Event Centre.

“I was pretty happy with the result,” he said. “The horse was good and I was lucky enough to cut some good cattle – I wish it could work out like that all the time.”

He’s been riding cutting horses competitively for 30 years, and estimated he’s competed at the stampede for 15, possibly 20 years. He’s placed third once and also won the reserve in the stampede finals, but now, he’s got his first victory – a feat that won him $10,820.

“I had a really good horse and I had really good luck with the cattle – the cattle I cut were really good,” he said, crediting his six-year-old mare Downtown Calico.

“We call her Paris. She’s just a real sweetheart, a very kind horse and just fun to show. She goes out there and does her job all the time. She was awesome today – never wavered at all.”

The closest competition behind Pedersen was Calgary’s Cody Smith who finished with a score of 221.5 with horse High Brow Clay 012, followed by Travis Rempel of Surrey B.C. on Dogs Money Honey with 221. The two took home cheques worth $8,640 and $6,460, respectively.

Horse-rider duos are given two and half minutes to select a single cow from a herd and ‘cut’ or move it away from the rest of the herd. Once the cow has been selected and cut, riders drop their reins, and then prevent the cow from going back to the herd.

Horses must mimic the movements of the cow in order to do so,  using their strength and agility to stay “one hoof ahead.” When the cow no longer has interest, the rider and horse can then cut another cow from the herd.

The season starts in March and runs through November. One of the the biggest shows of the year, however, is the Calgary Stampede Cutting Horse competition, marking Pedersen as one of the best in the world, at least for the time being.

In the first go, Pederson placed sixth with a score of 218.5.

His wife, Heather Pedersen, competed in the Non-Pro competition, also on Downtown Calico, but did not earn a score in the first round, and therefore did not make the finals. Emma Reinhardt of Irricana, Alta. took first place and $11,084 with a score of 223.5 on seven-year-old mare Miss Smoke is Smooth.

As for how he’s going to top this appearance, he said they have some futurities, for the younger horses, in the fall and shows in Calgary, Nanton, and Ponoka.

“Any time you can win here it’s great,” he said. “Definitely excited about this win. It’s always fun in front of the Calgary Stampede crowd, especially in the finals.

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