Hockaday student Austria Arnold has been named the American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) Youth High-Point Cutter for 2011. Located in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization in the world. Cutting pits the horse against a selected cow in a battle of wills. The horse and rider move quietly through a herd of cattle, select and cut a cow from the herd and drive it to the center of the arena and hold it from the balance of the herd. Ability, cow sense, courage and pure athleticism of the horse and rider is judged in a 2 1/2 minute competition. Austria, who competes on multiple horses, rode her 2004 AQHA gelding Haidas Heritage to win the AQHA Youth High-Point Cutter title over the 12-months of competition.
“Heri (Haidas Heritage) is a tremendously athletic Quarter Horse gelding that has very sharp moves when working a cow. We bought Heri in the summer of 2010 after researching him a bit,” says Austria. “He and I have always worked well together. I won on him the first time I showed him.”
The young equestrian views 2011 as a year of great success as she has also been named the 2011 Texas Quarter Horse Association’s Youth High Point Cutter. During the 2011 show season Austria won the 2011 American Cutting Horse Association Red Randolph Youth Scholarship and the McDonald Shoot-Out Saddle aboard her gelding Justa Lena 1997. Last August she also placed 6th at the prestigious AQHA Youth World Show in Oklahoma City on her gelding Twist Olena Doc.
“It is the best feeling is when you are in-sync with your horse and the cow,” says Austria. I could not do this though without the Lord who I praise for giving me the courage and confidence to compete. My parents have taught me to push to be the best I can but to praise Him for the strength to do it.” Austria is also quick to credit a long list of trainers and helpers who have made her success in the cutting pen possible.
“Winning the AQHA High-Point is especially sweet for several reasons. I have been around horses and competition all of my life, so this was certainly a dream for me and my parents. But it is such a great win because I had so much support to get it done. My parents and I hauled hard. Last May we tried to get a firm grip on the title. I left school early and headed to Gainesville (Texas) and showed in the middle of the night with plans to head to Belton and try to pick up the Red Randolph Scholarship on the way to another AQHA Show in San Antonio. The scholarship was a one shot deal and I really needed to get to San Antonio in order to have a chance to win the High-Point title. It was one of those deals where my parents took turns sleeping and driving to get me and my horses where we need to go,” Austria says with a laugh. “Well we showed up in Gainesville, did our job and as we were pulling out about midnight our truck broke down. We haul a big 40’ trailer so it is major when your hauling rig is broke down. We went to sleep with hopes of getting the truck fixed early in the morning and getting on down the road in time to show the rest of the weekend. Well the short version is our truck was in the shop for several weeks and we were stranded. Teddy Johnson and his wife Lynn told my folks to take their big rig and get going. I definitely would not have won that scholarship or this AQHA High-Point title without the Johnson’s help.”
Austria Arnold is the daughter of equine veterinarian Dr. Kenton H. Arnold and Carroll Brown Arnold of Terrell. Texas. Competing in equine events for more than seven years, Arnold is a 4-time World Champion with the American Cutting Horse Association where she also took Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. Prior to her career with cutting horses, Austria competed in speed events including barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and roping. In 2009, she was the Lone Star High School Rodeo Associations Junior All-Around Cowgirl. Austria is currently an 8th grade student at The Hockaday School in Dallas, where she also competes in field hockey, soccer and lacrosse. She is an editor for her middle school newspaper and attends Lake Point Church in Rockwall where she is active in the AWANAS program. Austria is co-president of the American Cutting Horse Youth Association and an Area Director for the National Cutting Horse Association.
Austria hopes to continue to improve her showing skills over the coming year with particular emphasis on learning more about cattle and how to pick the best cow for the horse she is riding.
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