April 16-18
State Fair Park in Oklahoma City

April 16, 2014

Cattle Boxing Clinic

Exhibitors at the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships learn about boxing in a Ride the Pattern Clinic.

By Larri Jo Starkey
The American Quarter Horse Journal

AQHA Professional Horseman Todd Crawford talks about the scoring for boxing April 17 during a Ride the Pattern clinic at the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships in Oklahoma City. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

AQHA Professional Horseman Todd Crawford talks about the scoring in boxing April 17 during a Ride the Pattern clinic at the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships in Oklahoma City. (Larri Jo Starkey photo)

Exhibitors, families and friends took time out of last-minute practices with their horses to enjoy a party April 17 at the 2014 Zoetis AQHA Cattle Novice Championships in Oklahoma City.

The pizza was plentiful and the exhibitors both nervous and excited as they listened and then asked questions of two AQHA Professional Horsemen during Ride the Pattern clinics the day before the inaugural Novice championship involving cattle events.

AQHA Professional Horseman Todd Crawford of Blanchard, Oklahoma, offered his thoughts on the boxing pattern and some suggestions on how Novice exhibitors should approach it, beginning with understanding the score sheet.

Score sheets were passed out so spectators could follow along as Todd talked about what each segment of the sheet means in terms of working cattle.

"The judges want to see you in position, working the cow," he said. "Sometimes the cow will get away from you. It happens to me. It happens to everybody, and it's a three-point penalty. When it happens, go down and bring it back, gently, so it doesn't double back on you and you get two penalties."

Todd began showing cow horses in the late 1980s and was the first $2 million rider for the National Reined Cow Horse Association. In 2000, he was  AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year in 2000.

The most important thing for Novices to remember is to breathe, he said.