Terrell cowgirl Austria Arnold, 16, and her good friend Trevor Pritchett, 18, of Quinlan recently finished a plan they had made more than a year ago to win two National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA) titles. The plan was for Arnold to win the Senior World Championship title and for Pritchett to win the Senior Rookie of the Year title. And that is just what the two friends did!
The format for the 850-member National Youth Cutting Horse Association point year is unusual as it began on June 1, 2013, and ran through May 31, 2014. The two cutting horse enthusiasts rode all year to accumulate the most points in each division in order to win their chosen titles.
Arnold, a junior at The Hockaday School in Dallas, had made the World Finals in the junior division in 2013. She knew what kind of commitment it would take not only to make the finals in the Senior division but to have a good chance at winning the World Championship. Pritchett, a recent graduate of Quinlan Ford High School, was prepared for the task of a year-long learning curve and competitive haul after only a few years of participation in the sport. The friends spent most weekends since last summer on the road and hauled together many times during the twelve months. Both had times of great success over the year, and both experienced dry spells when they could not win points for weeks at a time.
Then in July the final 3-day showdown concluded on July 23 in the WR Watt Arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Equestrian Complex in Fort Worth. Arnold went into the prestigious July World Finals in 1st place, a position she acquired in November of 2013 and never relinquished. Pritchett worked his way through the standings and spent the majority of the year in the 5th and 6th position of the celebrated top 15. The family friends often battled it out at shows for precious points between themselves as well as with other top competitors from across the country.
An interesting side note: Both teenagers showed the same horse on different weekends with great success – a 13-year-old gelding named Cowcattin. Cowcattin is owned by Pritchett’s parents Doug and Lecia Pritchett also of Quinlan. Both teens used a total of four horses during the year to acquire their title winning points. Arnold finished the season with 131 points in 52 shows to win the NYCHA Sr. World Championship title, while Pritchett finished the season with 57 points in 24 shows taking the Senior Rookie of the Year honors for 2014.
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