Some days are diamonds - that summed the long weekend in Tamworth for Lynda MacCallum and her colt Metallic Storm with outstanding success at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Australia's SDP Buffalo Ranch Futurity.
Like so many people on the land today Lynda and her husband Jim MacCallum wake every morning in the hope that rain clouds will appear over their farm near Gundy in the parched Upper Hunter.
Jim, a Scone based auctioneer with MacCallum Inglis, has witnessed first hand the devastation, the now two year drought, has had on the region especially for cattle producers.
So it was something very special to travel over the range to Tamworth (now almost as dry as Scone) and compete against the best in the country and come home with a swag of ribbons and plenty of championship awards and prize money.
Each day the couple train their horses using Limousin infused cattle on their farm to perfect the art of ‘cutting’ or taking stock away from the group in the ring and keeping them separted for 2.5 minutes.
Points are awarded for herd work, control and the ability of the horse to work and understand the stock.
And Lynda riding her three year old Metallic Storm were unstoppable winning champion Amateur Futurity, third non-professional Futurity and most importantly coming second in the big end daddy at the event the Open Futurity. It was Lynda’s best performance to date in her eight year cutting career and its now means she is no longer an ‘amateur’ competitor.
No doubt riding Storm, who had an incredible seven runs for the week, took her mind off the drought and its associated heartache – even for just 2.5 minutes. “He simply got better through the competition he was outstanding, solid and improving with each run which shows his ability, strength and fitness,” she said.
She described him as being her best horse to date due to his athleticism and the fact he is smart.In these competitions the riders do not hold the reins – so the horses have to have the ability and be extremely well trained to cut out the stock.
“They have to understand cattle and Storm certainly does that,” she said.
He will now compete throughout Australia in his age events and eventually the MacCallums hope to stand him at stud.
They purchased the horse at the 2017 Landmark Classic from Tom Williamson, Glen Innes. He is sired by Metallic Cat from Oakes Chime, herself a great campdrafter and Storm comes with Stock Horse bloodlines on his bottom side.
In between those events Lynda will once again represent Australia as a member of the cutting horse team when it competes in the USA in September at the non-pro challenge.
She said it was fantastic to be selected again as a member of the team and take on the USA on their home ground.
The couple’s children 12-year-old Peter and ten year-old Olivia also enjoy the sport and no doubt were very proud of their mother’s achievement and that of Storm’s in Tamworth.