Cuttin’ with Shynia, a memorial youth cutting horse event, is held annually to help under-18 competitors earn scholarships for college while enjoying a two go-round and working finals formatted event. Established in honor of Shynia Randles, an avid youth cutting horse competitor who died in a non-equine related accident in 2008 at the age of 13, Cuttin’ with Shynia is offering $18,000 to NCHA youth this May. The 2013 event will be held at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds in Kearney, Nebraska, on May 25-27, and is free to the public.
“Since Shynia was a true youth cutter and accomplished many of her dreams competing as a youth and non-pro cutter, we felt it was a way to keep her memory alive with the cutters, which is why we started her scholarship and memorial awards program,” says Susie Randles of Ulysses, Kansas, who works with her husband Todd and a host of cutting horse enthusiasts each year to make the scholarship event bigger and better than the one before.
Shynia Randles loved horses, competition and the cutting horse community. Her parents Todd and Susie first created the event in June of 2009 a year after her death. Today the cutting horse industry rallies around the competition with attendance, entries and funding. Most of the scholarship funds are raised during an annual stallion auction, with owners donating breedings to top horses in the industry, for educational dollars. Additional financial support comes from silent auctions, event sponsorships and donations. The event continues to be an industry wide effort with services also being donated from many companies such as Tom and Carrie Bruch’s Big Sky Internet Designs.
Each year the event is held with 25-30 top competitors divided into the standard National Cutting Horse Association’sJr. and Sr. divisions. With competitorsfrom multiple statesincluding (but not limited to) Alabama, California, Louisiana, Texas, and even Switzerland, the scholarship funds are equally divided between the two divisions. Some of the past competitors were close friends of Shynia Randles’; all have the opportunity to wear a memorial ribbon and receive an event T-shirt and participant gift bag for entering.
“We believe that this annual event not only financially supports the youth’s college funds it also teaches sportsmanship, responsibility, faith, honor, love of the cutting horses and the competitors,” adds Susie.
In 2009 the first Cuttin’ with Shynia was held in Hutchinson, Kansas, and offered $7,500 in scholarships. In 2010 the growing memorial competition offered $10,000 in scholarship funds in Garden City, Kansas. Painted View Ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado, hosted the 2011 and 2012 competitions with the youth competing for $12,000 in 2011 and $15,000 in 2012. This year Cuttin’ with Shynia will celebrate what would have been Shynia Randles 18th birthday with a $18,000 scholarship purse in Kearney, Nebraska. Originally slated to return to Colorado for the 2013 competition, a conflict with NCHA Summer Spectacular dates sent event organizers searching for a new plan.
“The Platte Valley Cutters in Kearney, Nebraska, stepped right up and brought Cuttin’ with Shynia into their 3-day show,” says Lee Ann Bates, who has served as the Cuttin’ with Shynia event secretary since its creation. “I wanted to help Todd and Susie in their work to carry on Shynia's memory, and felt that I could assist with the show production side of things so they would not have to be burdened with all the administrative details.”
Cuttin’ with Shynia entry information is available by calling Lee Ann Bates at 620.664.7230 or going to CuttinwithShynia.com. Youth must have an NCHA membership, fill out a Cuttin’ with Shynia entry form and pay the standard youth fee for the Kearney show. (For information on the regular weekend show call Jacquee Daniel at 402.644.4665.) There is a $150 advancement fee for all Cuttin’ with Shynia finalists.