Sam McCracken

Sam McCracken competes in Burns in September.

Two Grant Union High School students took first and fourth places in cow cutting at the Molalla cutting competition over the weekend.

Sam McCracken, a junior, took first place in boys cow cutting, while his sister Bailey McCracken, a freshman, took fourth in the girls division.

Cow cutting is an equestrian competition where a horse and a rider demonstrate before a panel of judges both the horse and rider’s ability to handle cattle.

Sam rode Buttercup, a 17-year-old horse he began working with roughly a year ago. Buttercup is about a year older than Sam.

Bailey rode Cats Purry. In other events, she has ridden Chex.

Sam brought home the state title in cow cutting at the Oregon State High School Rodeo State Finals in Prineville. In June, he finished in the top third in reined cow at the National High School Finals Rodeo in Guthrie, Oklahoma.

Currently, Bailey ranks second in the girl’s rookie category, with an average score of 43. In barrel racing, she is ranked first.

Both Sam and Bailey train with David Glaser in Star, Idaho.

The season will resume in April of 2021.

In total, four Grant Union High School students participated in a season modified and cut short by the pandemic.


Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at or 541-575-0710.

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