The cutting class is a battle of wills between a horse and a cow. Contestants work individually. Horse and rider must move quietly into a herd of cattle, cut one animal from the herd, drive it to the center of the arena and hold it away from the herd. The cutting horse must match moves with the cow, anticipating its every maneuver. Judges score the horses on their ability to keep the cow from returning to the herd, cow sense, attentiveness and courage. Contestants can cut two or more head of cattle in the 2.5-minute time limit. Cutting is offered in Open-, Amateur-, and Youth divisions.

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