— By SALLY SEXTON
PARKER COUNTY — It’s no secret that cutting horses is a growing and prosperous business in Parker County.
Beginning last week, cutting horse hopefuls from all over the country, as well as Canada, Italy and more, came to Parker County to compete in the annual Brazos Bash at Silverado on the Brazos.
The event, in its 14th year, began Sept. 26 and runs through Sunday. Admission is free and visitors are encouraged to attend.
In its biggest year ever, this year’s Brazos Bash had 1,065 riders register, with total prize money at $993,000.
“This is the biggest cutting event held in Parker County and it’s also the best payout and the biggest prize money,” Tom Holt, announcer and show manager, said. “It’s one of the top cutting competitions in the world as far as payout and attendance.”
Riders and their horses competed at the main arena at Silverado, with top finishers cutting in the first final rounds Monday and Tuesday.
“Everybody that makes it to the final round gets a check,” Holt said. “[Tuesday night] we had two final rounds and gave away purses of $186,000 and $184,000. The biggest individual prize so far was Monday night at $21,000.”
The event has steadily grown bigger each year. Before this year’s registration, the highest number of participants was 780.
“In this area, cutting horses is the biggest business in Parker County,” Holt said. “Probably half of our entries came from within 50 miles of the county.
“Cutting is a lot about competition and horses competing against other horses because everyone thinks their horse is the best.”
Holt added that the crowds for the event every year benefit other area businesses, including restaurants and hotels.
For a full schedule of events and times, as well as results and live webcasts, visit www.brazosbash.com.