Holly Clayden hopes to parlay her best ever cutting horse result in Australia into American success when she competes in the CHA World Championship Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas, in November aboard a three-year-old stallion with a Venezuelan name she had to look up to spell.
The 21-year-old from Loomberah made the final of the limited non-pro futurity at the SDP Buffalo Ranch Futurity at AELEC on Friday.
Clayden said the AELEC event was the Australian equivalent of the US event in prestige. She finished seventh in the final – a result that has instilled her with confidence as she eyes her US assignment.
In Tamworth she rode Reykn One In, a three-year-old mare. In American she will ride Araguaney.
Clayden, trained in Loomberah by Dean Holden, purchased the horse when she was based in Gainesville, Texas, at the start of the year. She went to the US to learn more about the sport, and while there she won some events.
“I think I’m really consistent and I always just keep going at it,” she said. “No matter how many times you keep getting knocked down, this is a sport where you really have to keep at it and have faith that it will all come together.”
Clayden credits her relationship with Holden for her improvement. The duo came together “about three years ago”.
“Dean’s trained me some incredible horses this year … Yeah, I just had the horsepower and the mindset to get a bit more done,” she said.
“I think every run you get better and better,” she added. “That’s the thing with cutting. You never master the sport – you just keep getting better and better.”