Kialla’s Xavier Harris will compete at the Southern Seven Cutting Horse Show at Tatura this weekend.By Rhiannon Gavalakis
Winning a plane ticket to the United States is one of the highlights of Xavier Harris’ cutting career.
The Kialla resident has ridden quarter horses all his life and said it was the thrill of chasing cattle that spurred his love of the sport.
‘‘It’s a very precise sport and I like the challenge of having to work cows,’’ he said.
‘‘It can be very unpredictable. You can have the best horse in the world, but if you cut a bad cow it’s not going to help you much.’’
Cutting is a timed competition where rider and horse work in unison to separate — or ‘‘cut’’ — a cow from a herd of cattle, for a period of time.
In 2006, Mr Harris won the plane ticket to the US, where he stayed on a horse ranch for three months, for winning the senior youth of Australia highpoint award.
He returned to the US in 2009 to spend another year refining his riding skills on a ranch.
‘‘It was amazing, the sport is a lot bigger there,’’ he said.
He will compete at this weekend’s Southern Seven Cutting Horse Show at Tatura, the second largest cutting horse show in Victoria.
Riders from across the nation will be in the Goulburn Valley for the show, with the main event — the Deb Elliot Memorial Mare Stakes — offering a share of $5000 prize money.
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