2014 NYCHA Sr. World Champion Austria Arnold & 201
Terrell cowgirl Austria Arnold, 16, and her good friend Trevor Pritchett, 18, of Quinlan successfully finished a plan in late-July that they had made more than a year ago. The family friends had made a plan to win two highly coveted titles with the National Youth Cutting Horse Association (NYCHA) - Arnold the Senior World Championship title and Pritchett the Senior Rookie of the Year title. The friends knew from the start that winning any year-end NYCHA title would involve a hearty will to win, an iron vow to the task at hand and multiple solid cutting horses as well as a family commitment to see it through.
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 when the year ended. 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 multiple 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.
The point year for the 850-member National Youth Cutting Horse Association began on June 1, 2013 and ran through May 31, 2014. Then last month 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. They often battled it out at shows for precious points between themselves as well as with other top competitors from across the country. Ultimately the competitive pair finished what they started, both winning their chosen titles.
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.