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Magnificent 7 Showcased at Horse Expo

Entries now available for this one-day, dynamic stock horse event

Seven riders and seven horses will capture the title of Magnificent 7 All-Around Stock Horse Champions at the nation’s largest horse exposition, the 9th annual Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California, June 8-10, 2007.

This event, richly reminiscent of the working cowboy and cow horse of the Old West, has captivated audiences young and old alike as they watch athletic horse-and-rider teams stop steers, turn a steer on the fence, perform a reining pattern, and cut a cow from the herd.

The Magnificent Seven has been a rousing headliner event at the Western States Horse Expo for the past five years. The preliminaries have always been held on Thursday, the day before the Expo officially opens, with the Magnificent 7 finals held Friday evening.

That format has changed for 2007.

This year people can pack in all the excitement the Magnificent 7 offers all on one day, Friday, June 8, rather than watching it over two days.

Two of the Magnificent 7 events (herd work and steer stopping) will wow the crowds on Friday morning for just the price of the Expo admission ticket. Friday evening’s Magnificent 7 performance, featuring the two remaining events (reining and fence work), is a separate admission for only $15. Audience members can pick their favorite Mag 7 competitors from the morning performance, and then stay for the evening program, fortified with corn dogs and sodas to sustain them as they cheer for these talented cowboys.

The Sundowner Arena, spiffed up with new footing, will showcase the Friday Magnificent 7. Bill and Colleen Enk will again ably manage the event, and Mark Thompson will once again be the event’s announcer. A purse of $25,000 added will be paid to the top seven competitors.

Past winners of the Magnificent 7 read like the “Who’s Who” of the stock horse world: Jon Roeser, Russell Dilday, Rod Weimers, Ron Emmons and Bob Avila. In 2006, the crowd was standing in anticipation as Avila was the first competitor to ever sweep the first and second places at this event.

There are four events that comprise the Magnificent 7. Herd work consists of walking into a herd of cattle and cutting out a cow, with the goal of keeping the cow from getting back to the herd. Rein work is a pattern of circles at a gallop, sliding stops and spins. Steer stopping is literally that: Roping a steer that comes out of a chute, stopping the steer and then having it turn and face the horse and rider. Fence work consists of a steer released into the arena where horse and rider keep it contained until they drive it down the fence past the center marker, get the steer to change direction, then turn it back again, ending with driving the steer into a figure-eight pattern.

Based on the historical 1972 event called the World’s Championship All-Around Stock Horse Contest, the Magnificent 7 is a revival of the first one-man, one-horse competition created by Pro Rodeo Hall of Famers Cotton Rosser and Benny Binion. Long ago the idea became reality over drinks at Benny Binion’s notorious Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas, Nevada, when the two men started talking about putting together a competition showcasing the horses that many ranchers talked about --- the horse that ranchers loved to ride --- the horse that could rope, cut, rein, and run a cow down the fence.

When the original World’s Championship All-Around Stock Horse Contest faded into history, it gave way to smaller spin-offs at various National Reined Cow Horse Association sanctioned events. But it was the World’s Greatest Horseman that brought the “one man, one horse” all-around competition back to life. That stock horse event was started years ago but was only held periodically, and eventually wasn’t held at all.

The World’s Greatest Horseman contest was suspended in 2002. Horse Expo folks felt that the stock horse is an important and vital part of Western heritage, and that the cowboys who ride these athletic horses should be recognized for keeping alive these historic ranching skills. So in 2002 Western States Horse Expo founder Miki Cohen brought the Magnificent 7 to life with the help of Bobby Ingersoll, Benny Guitron, Ted Robinson and Bill Lefty.

Today, this open competition has a permanent home at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento and is widely respected as the place to see the “best of the best” compete in this sport.

For an entry to this event, or to discover more about the 2007 Western States Horse Expo, visit http://www.horsexpo.com The Expo’s toll-free number is 800.352.2411.


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