View Full Version : Joe Montana Joins the Cowboys (Cutting Horse Story)

12-17-2004, 03:55 PM
Here are the opening paragraphs of a story on slate.com about Joe Montana's new sport.
Joe Montana Joins the Cowboys
The quarterback takes the field again. On a horse.
By Robert Weintraub
Posted Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004, at 8:33 AM PT

I finally got to see Joe Montana blow it. As a devout Cincinnati Bengals fan, I've waited for this moment for more than 20 years. I just wasn't expecting to see it here. This past Friday in Fort Worth, Texas, Montana choked away the National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity.

My enjoyment of Joe Cool's demise was slightly tempered by the fact that I hadn't heard of cutting horse until the day before. Probably because it doesn't involve lassos or bucking bulls, cutting horse is watched and practiced almost exclusively by equine sports nerds. It's a simple event: A cowboy or cowgirl rides through a herd of 64 cattle, "cutting" it down to a more manageable size. Once horse and rider separate a cow from the herd, they play tight man-to-man defense to prevent it from returning to its bovine friends. The horse digs deeply into the sandy floor of the pen with its hind legs, then explodes out of a crouch to cut off the cow as it jukes and parries. Watching in person, a cutting horse's agility is more impressive than the pure speed of thoroughbreds—no wonder everybody here calls the horses "athletes."