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Betts Transport Carts Cattle for the New England Cutting

MORE THAN 300 competitors cut to the chase at Armidale yesterday, when the New England Cutting for Cash wrapped up at the showground. Toowoomba’s Todd Graham, one of Australia’s top cutters, claimed victory in style.

Peel Valley Cutting Club president and event organiser Rob McKenna said the weekend’s competition was a premier event for the sport of cutting.

“It was great to have so many top quality competitors like Todd Graham take part in our local event,” he said.

“We had a huge range of divisions from juniors right through to opens and it was great to see a diverse range of people contest the event.”

Mr McKenna said the event was now in its third year and continued to grow. “We saw some great scores, great cattle and all in great facilities,” he said.

“I know that there are plenty of competitors that are very keen to head back next year.”

As part of the weekend’s events a fundraiser was held for the Westpac Rescue helicopter, with an auction on Saturday night netting more than $4200 for the charity.

“The Westpac Helicopter is a great cause that we like to support because it seems that they tend to so many horse-related accidents,” Mr McKenna said.

“And it is important, not just to our sport but to all of our community.”

Competitors travelled from Queensland and across NSW to compete in the three-day event for the chance to claim a slice of the $30,000 prize money on offer.

Cutting involves a rider being judged on their ability to separate a cow from a herd within a certain time period.

It shows off practical horsemanship skills used during cattle muster seasons.

By SIOBHAN MCARTHY The Armidale Express 22 October 2012