Six Cut Bank Saddle Club riders competed at the National O-Mok-See in Verndale, Minnesota July 10-14 and each rode into the top ten standings in their respective age division over the week-long competition. Even though the National Show was smaller than normal this year, the good riders still showed up, making everyone have to ride hard and the Norman/Cassidy/Pemberton riders from Cut Bank did just that bringing home two High Point Saddles.
Richie Pemberton, Browning, rode in 7 & under winning 3rd overall on Top Gun with wins in 3 events: Arena Race 11.636, Flag Race 13.040 and Figure Eight Stake race. Richie also placed 2nd in Pole Bending, Flying W & Polo Turn, 3rd in Speed Barrels, Straight Barrels and Half Eight, 4th in Key Race and Keg Bending for a total of 1,050 Points. Richie did a good job learning the patterns and staying qualified to win a Classic EquineWool Saddle Pad and Airflex Cinch for 3rd on Top Gun.
Jodi Norman was 7th overall in the Women’s division with 527.5 points riding against 43 other women. She and her horse Patrick won the Figure 8 Stake with 18.144, were 2nd in Speed Barrels 10.489 and Western Jumping 12.129, 3rd in Barrel & Stake, and 4th in Polo Turn. In team and pair events she placed 6th in Devil’s Cowhide and Exchange Race, and 8th in Express Rescue and with partner Trey Cassidy. The Western Relay Team of Jack, Doug, Trey and Jodi were 8th and they won the Team Arena Relay Race with a good time of 51.351.
Jack Norman was 4th overall in the Men’s division winning a horse blanket with wins on Leroy in Tomahawk 11.526, Keg Bending 13.088, Western Jumping 12.581 and 1st in Flag on Windy, 10.375. Jack also placed 2nd in Barrel & Stake, Two Barrel Flag and Arena Race 9.970, 3rd in Flying W, 4th in Straight Barrels and Pole Bending, 5th in Figure Eight and 8th in Speed Barrels. Jack was also 8th with Kyle Neibauer, Billings, in Devils Cowhide, 4th in Exchange Race and 7th in Express Rescue with Muri Cole, also from the Billings Saddle Club. He had 1,082.5 points, just 85 points behind 1st place winner Trey Cassidy. The Men’s group was smaller than usual, but that made it more important to qualify in every event, and Jack placed in 12 of the 15 events. The top 4 men’s riders had over 1,000 points each.
Consistency paid off for Trey Cassidy who placed in 13 of the 15 Single events and all but one of the Team & Pair Events run throughout the week. He rode Patrick to win Speed Barrels 10.736, and Arena Race 9.953, with a 2nd place finish in Pole Bending, Figure 8 Stake, 3rd place finishes in Keg Bending, Straight Barrels, Polo Turn, Key Race & Half 8; 4th in Flying W and 5th in Flag and rode Top Gun to 3rd place finishes in 2 Barrel Flag, Tomahawk, and Team & Pair events accumulating 1,167.5 points to win the top Men’s honor. It came down to the last race: Exchange Race, to determine the winner, Trey was just 10 points ahead of Reserve Champion Chance Bowker of Kansas, and if Chance won the event he would have picked up 50 points, but he missed the horn to get on, and Trey and Jodi were 6th picking up 25 points apiece extending Trey‘s lead to 35.
In the Sr Men’s division Doug Norman was 6th overall with 822.5 pts accumulated in 13 events and 3 Pair/Team races. Doug was 1st in Speed Barrels running a 10.419 on Wally, he was 2nd in Pole Bending 24.752 (thanks to the Ken Smith Pole Bending clinic in June!), 3rd in Flag Race, Flying W, Figure 8 Stake, 5th Western Jumping and Keg Bending, 6th in Polo Turn, Tomahawk Race & 2 Barrel Flag, 7th Arena Race, 9th Half Eight, & 10th in Key Race. Doug and Kim were 7th in the Devils Cowhide Race and he was on the winning Team Arena Team of Doug, Jack , Jodi Norman and Trey Cassidy who also placed in the Western Relay together. “Other than mosquitoes and thunderstorms it was a good trip, but if it wasn’t raining it was too hot!” Commented Doug about the Minnesota trip, adding, “The corn grew 2 feet during the week we were there.”
In the Sr Women’s division Kim Norman came away with the Saddle winning 1st with 980 points, just 5 points ahead of the Reserve Champion rider. Kim placed in 13 single events including wins in Arena Race 9.769 riding Wally, 1st in Tomahawk Race 11.091 and Key Race 10.747 on Windy. Kim was 2nd in Barrel & Stake, 3rd in Pole Bending, Flying W, Flag Race & Speed Barrels, 4th in Polo Turn and Figure 8 Stake, 5th in Straight Barrels, 8th Western Jumping, & 9th in Half Eight. The only Pair points she won were from riding the Cowhide in Devils Cowhide race with Doug. Short of points just before the final race: Straight Barrels, Kim gives the credit for placing in the event to Doug who rode the same race on the same horse just ahead of her group. “I needed to place in the top 5 to be in the running for the saddle, but Straight Barrels has never been a great race for me. Wally really made a nice run for Doug, but cut the middle barrel a little close tipping it, or he would have been placing in the top 5 in that event, too“; said Kim adding “ I hoped to make the same run leaving all barrels standing.” As it turned out Wally gave Kim a good run and she was 5th earning 60 points, just enough to take the lead. “I missed out on some of the Team and Pair Events because someone had to babysit while everyone else rode.” Kim laughed. It all worked out!