The American Quarter Horse Journal, May 24, 2010 – A match roping between Texan Fred Whitfield and Oklahoman Hunter Herrin will be held July 9 at the inaugural Battle in the Saddle competition at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. In the Texas versus Oklahoma duel, accuracy will be the name of the game and more than state pride is on the line. The roper with the most catches will ride away with $10,000 and a pair of commemorative Battle in the Saddle spurs.
Whitfield and Herrin, both professional tie-down ropers, will rope in five rounds for a $10,000 winner-take-all purse. State Fair Park and the American Quarter Horse Association have teamed up to present Battle in the Saddle, the first-of-its-kind equestrian event. The event is owned by Oklahoma State Fair Inc. and managed by AQHA and is a premier equine competition showcasing five western disciplines. Competitors will shoot it out in five fast-paced, exciting events: ranch horse, reining, working cow horse, roping and cutting.
Whitfield is an eight-time World Champion tie-down roper from Hockley, Texas, with career earnings of more than $2 million and has qualified to the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 18 times. Fans of the Texas cowboy are sure to be “raising the roof” with Whitfield’s famous hand gesture. Hailing from Apache, Oklahoma, Herrin has four Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifications in his six-year career and has more than $600,000 in career earnings. The talented Oklahoma roper finished second in the 2008 world standings.
The excitement begins at 7 p.m. at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. In addition to the match roping, the evening will also include the finals for the junior and senior team roping. Tickets for the Friday night roping event are only $15 and can be purchased from the State Fair Park ticket office.
The world’s most talented horses and cowboys take center stage July 5-10 in Oklahoma City to battle it out for top honors at the inaugural Battle in the Saddle competition. Battle in the Saddle is open to all breeds and will feature $130,000 in added money for an estimated $300,000 in total purses. Cutting, reining, roping and working cow horse classes will be recognized as AQHA special events. All breeds are welcome, but American Quarter Horses competing will receive AQHA points.
Roping events will be recognized by the American Rope Horse Futurity Association and follow ARHFA rules. Horses competing in the cutting will receive National Cutting Horse Association recognition. Ancillary reining classes will be approved by the National Reining Horse Association and NRHA affiliate Oklahoma Reining Horse Association. The National Reined Cow Horse Association will be involved as well.
State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, often referred to as “The Horse Show Capital of the World,” is a premier equine facility that annually hosts the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show, the National Reining Horse Association Futurity and Derby, the U.S. Team Roping Championships, the International Finals Rodeo and many other major equine events. With more than $70 million in recent renovations and stalls available for 3,000 horses, State Fair Park has become the go-to destination for top-tier equine competitions and events.
For more information, or to enter, visit www.battleinthesaddle.com.
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