FOLLOWING in her grandfather's footsteps, Faith Lutheran College student Callie Malmborg is forging her way in the western-style equestrian event cutting.
Despite being up against some exceedingly tough competitors, Malmborg came away with Youth Champion for the 8-14 age group on her horse Fly at the recent Australian Cutting Horse and Youth Group competition in Tamworth.
Cutting is a western-style equestrian competition where a horse and rider work as a team before a judge or panel of judges to demonstrate the horse's athleticism and ability to handle cattle during a two-and-a-half minute performance, called a "run”.
During the performance, one cow is separated or "cut” from the herd and the horse and rider stand between it and the other cows. It's up to the horse and rider to keep it from re-joining the herd.
The judges allocate points for how well the horse handles the situation.
Malmborg has been cutting for two years, which is as long as the Australian Cutting Horse competition has been going, but said her recent win has only motivated her to continue to improve during competition.
"It felt great to win,” Malmborg said.
"I love the competition and sense of achievement cutting the cow out of the herd gives you.
"In my age group we only get one cow to start with, we have to follow it across the pen and try to tame it.
"There were 14 competitors in the running in Tamworth, so it felt great to win and now I want to succeed even more.”
Currently in Year 9, Malmborg said she decided to pursue the sport because of her grandfather.
"My grandfather was a world champion and I really wanted to follow in his footsteps,” she said.
"I don't have any set training practices but I am constantly improving my riding which helps with the cutting. When I do train we use a mechanical cow, which is a bag that moves like a cow, for training purposes.”
The cutting season, which is made up of 13 shows throughout the year, is now over but will start again in January to align with the American Cutting Horse Association.
"In the future I may be able to travel to the USA to compete against them,” Malmborg said.
"I just want to keep competing and achieving higher goals.
"I just really enjoy the sport.”
Malmborg has previously been featured on Channel Ten's Totally Wild due to her involvement in the sport.
"We were interviewed about 12 months ago and it aired in February this year,” she said.
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