Brianna Edgmon.
Brianna Edgmon.

I knew that Benny could do it and I told myself that I wanted to win this,” said Brianna Edgmon on Thursday, following a 223-point win in the $20,000 Non-Pro division aboard her gelding Zack Benny.

Charlene Rossoll, Santa Ynez, CA, scored 219 points for the reserve championship riding Lucky Number Sleven.

Edgmon, 20, a full time college student,  marked 215 points in the go-round, where it took 208 points to advance to the finals.

“I didn’t push him in the go-round,” said Edgmon. “I just wanted to get through it.

“The cows have been tough here and a lot different than what I cut at home.”

Edgmon’s family raises roping cattle on a small ranch in Black Canyon, AZ.

“I cut a lot of Mexican cattle with a lot of feel,” Edgmon added. “They’re real pushy. But here, they’re not. They’ll walk away from you. So I knew to really listen to my help.”

Eight-year-old Zack Benny, was bred and raised by Dick Gaines, who showed the Zack T Wood son as a finalist in the 2006 NCHA Open Gelding Stakes.

After she bought him from Gaines, Edgmon put Zack T Wood in the hands of trainer Scott Raftery, who showed him as a $3,000 Novice finalist last year at the Western Finals, as well as this year in the Open division.

“He’s been awesome for me,” said Edgmon of the gelding. “He does take some loping though. He’s a big horse and he has a big motor, so I lope him down quite a bit and make sure he’s nice and calm before I show him.”

Charlene Rossoll.
Charlene Rossoll.

Charlene Rossoll, also a finalist in the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro division, spent this week in Ogden loping horses for her husband Rex, who trained her mount, 7-year-old Lucky Number Sleven, by Smart Little Pistol.

“I’m usually on the muscle and a little bit nervous,” said Rossoll. “But here, for the first time, I was not nervous and it seemed easy.

“The first cow that I cut felt good and the more I relaxed, the better the horse was. The third cow was the best. It was awesome.”

Rossoll, who owns a truck brokerage company in Santa Barbara, got hooked on cutting 15 years ago, when she went for a teaming penning lesson and was offered a ride on a cutting horse, instead.

“That’s all it took,” she said. Five years later, Rossoll met Rex at a cutting and they have been together ever since.

Rossoll was out of the saddle most of 2009, following wrist surgery. But she  has been able to make up for lost time this year due to a slowdown in construction that has affected her business.

“I went to the Wild West qualifying show and squeezed in,” she noted. “It paid off. It’s like a dream come true.”

$5,000 Novice Non-Pro

Kay Pugh.
Kay Pugh.

Kay Pugh, Walla Walla, WA, used the same strategy to win the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro Finals with 219 points as she had to win the go-round with 217.

“I learned from the first go-round not to get too committed and to see what would let me drive it out and wanted to stay there,” said Pugh. “This horse has a lot of get-back and draw, so that’s part of our deal always, to really drive out, but it was especially critical in this pen.”

Pugh rode 6-year-old Cat With A Hat, by High Brow Cat, a limited age event finalist that she purchased from Jerry Durant last August.

“We’re just figuring each other out, but I’m really thankful to have him,” she said. “We were looking for a horse that I could step up with. I’ve never had a good horse long enough to have a career of consistency. He’s my first really great horse.”

Pugh, who teaches psychology at Columbia Basin College, is married to cutting horse trainer Kenny Pugh, who she met through a cutting lesson.

“I was running barrels and a friend offered to let me try her cutting horse,” Pugh recalled. “The very first time I dropped my hand and the horse went with the cow on its own, I was hooked.

“I went home and sold my barrel horse and saddle and bought my first cutting horse in 2003 from Chuck Black.

“This is my very first buckle,” Pugh added. “I feel so lucky. You never do this (sport) on your own and I have so many people that have helped me and made this possible.”

Dana Haefner.
Dana Haefner.

Dana Haefner, American Canyon, CA, placed second to Pugh in the go-round with 216 points and scored 217 for reserve in the finals.

“I got lucky with my draw and was lucky enough to cut every cow that Jason told me to cut,” said Haefner, who is married to trainer Jason Haefner.

Haefner rode 7-year-old Guaranteeya Julestar, by Soula Jule Star, who she rode as NCHA world champion last year in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro, and that Jason showed as NCHA reserve world champion in the $3,000 Novice.

“This horse is our baby,” said Haefner. “We bought him at two from the family of a good friend who passed away. He was in our barn for training. He was such a good athlete and so good-minded, but even if he hadn’t turned out to be as nice a cutter as he was, we would have kept him for sentimental reasons.”

Guaranteeya Julestar has earned more than $150,000 and competed in the finals of 10 limited age events, including the Wine Country Open Futurity where he was reserve champion under Jason Haefner, and the 2006 PCCHA Futurity where he placed fourth in the Non-Pro.