In modern cutting contests, competitors have two and one-half minutes to cut or separate as many individual cows from the herd as they choose, usually two or three. As the horse slowly walks into the herd, the rider begins the process of selecting one cow to cut from the rest of the group. Once a cow is selected and the cut made, the rider loosens the reins, grabs the saddle horn and allows the horse to take control of the show. The horse must now prevent the cow from returning to the herd.

​​If the cow becomes inactive or loses interest in returning to the herd, the rider may lift the reins, signaling to the horse to "quit the cow". The cow is allowed to return to the herd and the rider repeats the selection process. 

  By the mid 1880’s, the sport of cutting began to evolve as cowboys held impromptu contests to determine who had the best Cutting horse. It gained increased popularity as a sport in the early 1900’s. Cutting events were featured at rodeos and cowboy gatherings. 

As the sport expanded, it became apparent that a standardized set of rules and guidelines were necessary. This led to the formation of the National Cutting Horse Association in 1946 and later, the Canadian Cutting Horse Association.


The art of Cutting was born out of necessity on the cattle drives and working ranches in the early 1800’s. Individual cows had to be isolated or cut from large herds for branding, medical treatment and grouping purposes, and it was discovered that such separations could be performed easily and efficiently by using a specially trained horse. It marked the creation of the cutting horse and the practice of cutting.

The ECCHA was born in September 2008 and is getting very popular amongst horse lovers. The growth of the Association in 2011, which is here to promote the sport of Cutting in Eastern Canada including Ontario, Québec and the Maritimes, has been phenomenal. With the lowest Membership cost and the best clinics and competitions made available to our riders, we are rapidly being noticed across Canada and in the United States. 


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       ECCHA is a NCHA Affiliate