The littlest cowboy in Orange County is off to a flying start.
Two-year-old Maxwell McNulty of Corona del Mar recently won the leadline class at Sun Mountain Riders ETI Corral 9 Show in Ontario.
In the first competition he entered, "Max" won the class aboard his mother's quarter horse, Ooh La La. He has been riding the 14-year-old sorrel mare for several months.
Kathy McNulty, Max's mother, has owned the mare since it was a 2-year-old filly. A former riding instructor and A-circuit competitor in Western pleasure, equitation and trail classes, McNulty has been riding since she was as young as her son.
"I put Max on the horse, and he took to it right away," McNulty said. "There are some things he can't quite understand yet, but he's getting a feel for riding. I'm just letting him enjoy it at his own pace right now."
McNulty boards her horse at Mattox Ranch in Westminster. In the next few months, she and her son will be there practicing for the Anaheim Hills Saddle Club year-end high point leadline championship this fall.
In the running: Several local horses and riders are among the top contenders in the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Assn. standings for the 1988 show season. Standings as of this month include:
PCHA Leading Horse--Threes and Sevens, ridden by Lynn Witte of Laguna Beach, is in first place, with 1988 earnings to date of $6,000. Tied for sixth place with earnings of $750 each are Hermes, owned by The Oaks of San Juan Capistrano, and Juniperus, owned by Juniperus Partnership and Hap Hansen of the San Diego area.
PCHA Leading Rider--Hansen is in first place with earnings of $7,500, and Witte is fourth with $6,000. Alain Vaillancourt, who rides for The Oaks, is ninth with $750.