Chilliwack’s Heritage Park hosts cutting horse show

Organizers say cutting horse shows were once a Fraser Valley staple, and they hope for a revival.

Some of the world’s finest Cutting Horses and riders are coming to Chilliwack.

The Heritage Cutting Classic runs April 26-28 at Heritage Park, with cowboys, cowgirls and Hall of Fame trainers from B.C., Alberta and Washington State competing for over $20,000 in prize money.

Cutting cattle from a herd on horseback is an equestrian sport that dates back to the early days of B.C.’s ranching history.

“British Columbia’s Chunky Woodward and George Tidball were two of the dominant early leaders in this sport,” said Lois Clough, a local competitor and board member for the non-profit Mighty Fraser Agriculture Society. “Several decades ago, B.C. was the hub of Cutting Horse shows in Canada.

“It’s this history and the legacy of those who came before us that we wish to honour by bringing a major cutting show back to the Fraser Valley.”

In cutting, a horse and rider work as a team during a two-and-a-half minute performance, referred to by competitors as ‘a run.’

“The action starts slowly as the rider calmly walks into a large herd of cattle and cuts out a single cow,” Clough elaborates. “Then the horse, without visible cues from the rider and using instinct and training alone, tries to keep that cow from rejoining the herd.”

Easier said than done as the cattle’s natural instinct is to get back.

“The horse mirrors and anticipates every move the cow makes as it tries to get back,” Clough said.

Competitors normally ‘work’ three cattle during their 150 second run.

The same techniques used in the sport were and are used in real-life scenarios where cattle must be separated for branding, medical attention or other reasons.

Langley’s Travis Rempel is one of the rising stars in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA), winning nearly a half-million dollars.

Rempel rode ‘This Cats Max,’ a horse owned by Chilliwack’s Doug and Angie Wiens, winning the 2017 Calgary Stampede Open Mecuria Championship.

Facing a field of 500 in Fort Worth, Texas, Rempel finished inside the top 10 at the NCHA Futurity 2018 World Championship last November.

It’s been 40 years since a Canadian accomplished that feat, and he did it riding a horse trained at ‘Rocking P’ ranch, which is owned by Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Bobby Patton.

He’ll be a favourite at the Heritage Cutting Classic, but Clough said he should expect lots of competition.

“The number of competitors has far exceeded our expectations and we are thrilled,” Clough said. “Our goal is to expose this exciting equestrian sport to as many people, and that’s why we admission is free for the entire family for the entire event.”

Action starts at 7 a.m. each day and more info can be found online at

Just Posted

Harrison Festival fundraiser dance to have ’70s theme and features Chilliwack band

Chilliwack band The Vacationers to perform at May 31 Harrison Festival Society’s fundraising concert

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from May 26 to June 2

Seabird Island opens 50th annual festival

The weekend festival will see First Nations teams compete in soccer, three-pitch and canoe races

Chilliwack school district estimates costs of tampons, pads at $22,500 annually

Free menstrual products to be provided in washrooms and medical rooms by end of 2019

Police find loaded rifle in car of ‘prolific offender’ prohibited from driving

Tyler Houle of Abbotsford arrested Wednesday in Chilliwack

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Semis catch fire at wrecker off Highway 1 in west Abbotsford

Crews called to scene at around 2 p.m., finding up to six semis that had caught fire at the wrecker

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Most Read