Two local mother-daughter teams qualified for the world championship in the Extreme Cowboy Association (EXCA) in Hamilton, Texas, on Oct. 29-Nov. 1.
“The EXCA is a series of obstacles and maneuvers set up by a judge and each one is scored,” said Jancy Clark, competitor.
Clark’s partner will be her daughter, Nocona Clark Russell.
“This is our first year going to worlds and we are very excited,” said Clark.
Russell, 24, the mother of a 5-year-old girl, just received a kidney transplant and has spent a lot of time recovering to compete in the championship.
Her horse’s name is Solid Gold, a gelding that is seven years old and was never ridden until he turned six.
“Together we won the Kansas State Championship,” said Russell.
Jancy, 53, rides a big Palomino named Cowboy. She bought the horse at a sale barn last year.
“It’s been a lot of work, and we’ve come a long way. I like how there is always something new at each race,” said Russell.
Christi Bennett and her daughter, Cheyenne Bennett, comprise the other mother-daughter team that will be competing in the championship. This will be the second time they have competed at worlds.
“Last year Cheyenne got second place in her division and I got fifth in mine,” said Christi, who works full-time as the postmaster in Seneca.
Cheyenne, 20, is a student at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami, Okla., and is currently leading the Mid-Central Ride and Slide Association on her horse, Gambler.
She won her horse in a drawing for $1 when he was just a yearling. Cheyenne has used him as her goat-tying horse up until this year.
Christi Bennett, 46, rides her horse named Shrek, a 16-year-old Hand Palomino gelding. The horse was used in Western Pleasure and Trail Classes.
“I love how friendly everyone is and it is always challenging,” said Christi.
In addition to the two mother-daughter teams, Max King, of Seneca, will also be competing in the EXCA. Max, 15, is the son of Darren and Sandi King and is a sophomore at Seneca High School.
He has been competing in the EXCA for two years and is very active in his local FFA Chapter.
“I have been riding for as long as I can remember. My favorite part of the ECXA is the camaraderie of the sport and the fun experiences along the way,” said Max.
Max is sitting in first place in the Mid-Central Ride and Slide Association in the youth class. He also won the Oklahoma State Championship last month.
Max’s horse is a bay gelding named Superman.
“He is 11 years old and used to be a jumping horse and was purchased from a boys’ school,” said Max.
“We all practice together and compete against each other and cheer each other on. It takes a lot of training for both the horse and the rider,” said Jancy.
There are six different classes for the competition. Nocona will be competing in the novice class, Max will be in the youth class, and Cheyenne, Jancy, and Christi will be competing in the intermediate class. Both mother-daughter teams live in the Seneca area.
The News-Dispatch wishes the best of luck to them at worlds!