Competition horses bring in revenue for Abilene

POSTED: 7:50 PM Jan 05 2013   UPDATED: 4:07 PM Jan 06 2013
ABILENE, TX -

The Abilene Spectacular Cutting Event is in full swing at the Taylor County Expo Center.

This event is a major tourist attraction in Abilene. It's their 21 year in show and the city reaps the benefits. 

Carolyn Gully and her husband founded the show.

"The people train on these horses from the time their two-years-old till they're four and five," Gully said. "This show is for four-year-olds, then we have a class for five and six-year-olds."

People come from all over the U.S. including Canada and Australia to participate.

"One horse will ride to the herd and pick out a cow," said Gully. "The rider will pick out a cow, bring it all the way to the front of the herd and he will hold it out there for as long as he can."

Not only the riders, but also the city stand to make money.

"Just about every business in this town either directly or indirectly will benefit from us being here," said Gully. "When you stay somewhere 15 days- you do spend quite a bit of money."

This year, the event has a sponsor. Equipride makes digestive supplements for the horses.  Their distributor is an amateur cutter who also sees the economic benefit.

"Most people stay here and they eat out," Equipride Distributor Rick Reeves said. "We eat out sometimes- two times a day. At least once a day in the restaurants. I'm staying here 14 nights."

Everyone's main goal is to cash out.

"You never who's going to win it and that's the game," said Reeves. "Whoever marks the biggest scores, they go home with the money."

The top winner can earn up to $264,000. The event runs until Jan. 12th.