TIP OF HER HAT
As she completed her high school career, Emily Kent won the NHSRA Cow Horse Challenge in style.
It was almost déjà vu for Emily Kent when she earned the 2023 National High School Rodeo Association Cow Horse Challenge Champion title, but it wasn’t on one of her usual mounts. She and The Gamblerr claimed the title after having shown together only once before.
Before the 2022 Snaffle Bit Futurity®, Kent had ACL surgery, and when she tried out The Gamblerr, she wasn’t even cleared to ride. That meant she had to learn the Cody Helford-trained horse without too much strenuous practice.
“I was looking for another Derby horse and bought him at the Futurity,” Kent said. “There wasn’t a lot of getting together; I didn’t take him home and go down the fence. We hung out, rode around and I didn’t get him figured out until a couple weeks [before the show]. I took him to a schooling show in January and we kind of got together there. He has been awesome for me.”
With a composite score of 285.5 (R:146.5/C:139), Kent and the 2019 gelding sired by Bet Hesa Cat and out of CDS Catalena Cash, by CD Olena took the win by one point. Along with the $460, she took home a custom Gist buckle sponsored by Garth and Amanda Gardiner and a YETI cooler sponsored by NHSRA.
The NHSRA and the National Reined Cow Horse Association work together to bring high school aged competitors to cow horse through rodeo, and Kent has appreciated her time as a member of both associations.
“I was always competitive in high school rodeo, and I made Nationals twice; it was a big part of my life,” Kent said. “I wanted to show in it one more time.”
Reserve Champion Sterlin Mitchell rodeo 2011 mare SCR Metallic Chic (Metallic Cat x SCR Crackin Chic x Smart Chic Olena), owned and bred by Singleton Ranches, to earn $345 and a custom Gist buckle sponsored by NHSRA with a 284.5 (R:143/C:141.5).