The Long Lasting Impressions of Buster Welch

April 14th, 2023 by Karen Quigao

Buster Welch was not the only talented cutting horse trainer in his day but his knack for young horses was what set him apart.

“It’s like cooking a dish. It’s never one thing that makes it better. It’s about 50 things at the right time. What Buster had more than anything, he had feel. He had so much feel and so much cow,” trainer and friend, Kory Pounds said.

Kory and Buster ready to head out on the ranch.

“When he was working a horse he wasn’t thinking he was going to present it to a judge… He thought everything he did with a cow and a horse was just [ranch work], that’s how his idea of the round pen came about… It was whatever the cow did, the horse did. That was his thought process,” said Pounds.

Pounds was working for a rodeo outfit when a friend mentioned he knew  of a cutting horse trainer that needed some help. That trainer was Welch who hired Pounds to help him work cutting horses in the morning and ranch in the evenings. Read the rest of this entry »

Buster Welch – How his Legacy Lives On

September 12th, 2022 by Simone Cobb

Wes (19) with Buster in the chuck wagon tent while they were branding cows at Buster’s ranch 20 years ago.

From bits and saddles, to working a cutting horse in a round pen, to helping start the NCHA and hosting the first futurity, Buster Welch made cutting what it is today.

“Anybody that has [ridden] a cutting horse has been influenced by him whether they know it or not,” $9.1 million earner Austin Shepard said of his good friend Welch, who passed away June 12th, 2022 at his Abilene home at 94 years old.

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The Impact of COVID – 19 On Cutting

December 9th, 2020 by Simone Cobb

A rider at the futurity wearing a mask.

No one could have predicted the year 2020 has been. The cutting horse industry has never experienced something like COVID-19. All equine sports have had to adapt to continue to function in the midst of the pandemic. But how has COVID -19 actually impacted the sport and the community involved with it?

It’s important to recognize that many people have suffered the loss of loved ones and/or endured the illness themselves not to mention dealt with financial hardship. While it’s impossible to know those statistics in the cutting industry, we can investigate other ways it’s been felt.

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Trainer’s Corner – Lindy Burch – Weatherford, TX

November 5th, 2020 by Simone Cobb

Lindy Burch and Bet Yer Blue Boons

Total Earnings: $4,030,194

In Ojai, California in the early 60s on a family Sunday drive, 13-year-old Lindy Burch came across a cutting show. She decided then and there that she had to be part of it. A few weeks later, in another moment of serendipity, a cutting horse trainer moved in down the road and Burch immediately wanted to learn from him. She offered to pay the trainer, Bruce Cahill, to teach her cutting. They worked out a deal where she would help around the ranch cleaning stalls and saddling horses in exchange for coaching.

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Jay Winborn – On A Mission To Revive Cutting

February 7th, 2020 by Simone Cobb

Jay Winborn NCHA Executive Director

You could say Jay Winborn is a man with a plan, or two or three. Not only is he brimming over with creative ideas, he has a track record of implementing them, successfully. It’s why the National Cutting Horse Association, plagued by membership decline, lack of leadership and financial strife, was prepared to make a lucrative offer to get Winborn on board. So in December of 2019, the NCHA welcomed Jay Winborn as the new executive director.

Winborn is credited with transforming the National Reined Cow Horse Association. In seven years as executive director, he doubled the membership, breathed new life into their events and increased spectator involvement. His resume also includes being a regional marketing manager for Red Bull, and a marketing director for Hatco.

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Member Spotlight: Dustin Grams – Rolly View, AL, Canada

January 13th, 2020 by Simone Cobb

Dustin, Shannon & Brooklynn Grams

Dustin Grams has experience showing and training in the cutting and reined cow horse disciplines. For the past 3-4 years, he has focused on the cow horse side of the business after a local cow horse club got started and created a lot of interest in the sport.

Grams has been training horses for 34 years. In his 20s, he started 2 year olds and got his first introduction to cutting and cow horses. A lot of horses he started ended up at the Bar H.

Grams began showing in the cutting pen about 10 years ago. He and his family have shown throughout Canada and the United States. Grams is proud to say his wife, Shannon, qualified for the NRCHA World Show the past few years.

The last few years Grams has had to slow down training horses due to some heart issues but is now back at it. When Grams was sick, Shannon was able to ride the aged event horses and keep them going. Dustin said he is so thankful for her stepping up and carrying on.

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Adan Banuelos – Teaching, Not Telling, Two Year Olds

January 10th, 2020 by Simone Cobb

$3 Million Trainer Adan Banuelos

It’s that time of year again! Two year olds are being started and the ever important foundation for the rest of their career is being established.

Reserve NCHA Futurity champion for the second year running, Adan Banuelos has already earned in excess of $3 million in the show-pen. At just 31 years of age, Adan has proven his mastery in the show pen. Now we take a closer look at his skill as a horseman and learn how he handles his two year olds.

Adan is captivating to watch and listen to because he is such a student of the horse. His respect for the horse is admirable. He reiterates all the time how he likes to TEACH his horses something rather than TELL them!

Adan wants to instill a “where’s the cow” mentality in his horses, so that no matter what angle they land or where they end up (past the cow or behind the cow) that they want to find the cow and go with it.

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High Brow Cat – The Legacy Lives On

December 11th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Successful, good looking and with a spunky attitude to match, High Brow Cat was a rock star in the cutting horse industry. For more than two decades, the stud has had a massive influence over the sport by dominating bloodlines with his successful progeny.

High Brow Cat’s (HBC) offspring have earned a staggering $82 million in the show pen and that number continues to climb. As a paternal grandsire, his record is even higher, his sons have fathered the winners of $126 million and his daughters have produced more than $35.9 million.

Some of his greatest offspring include 2011 Horse Of The Year and highest money earner of more than $850,628, Dont Look Twice, and the incredible stallion, Metallic Cat, who won $637,711 and like his father, is also a proven producer.

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Trainer’s Corner – Tatum Rice

December 11th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

TOTAL EARNINGS: $2,327,291

How did you get into cutting? “I’ve been in cutting forever. My entire life my dad [Boyd Rice] trained cutting horses and his dad [Sonny Rice] did also. My dad’s mom’s dad was the first one that got into cutting.”

Who did you work for? “I was with my dad until I was 17 and then I worked with [cousin] Tag Rice and Ronnie Rice for a long time after that. I was with Tag from 2004- 2009. I left Tag’s in 2009 and went to work at Carl Smith’s place in 2010 and 2011. When I married Kylie, we built our place and started here in May of 2012”

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Member Spotlight – Cody Patterson – Blanco, Texas

December 11th, 2019 by Simone Cobb
Cody Patterson

Cody Patterson Photo By: Emily Sgarrella

Cody Patterson started off with humble beginnings in the horse business cleaning stalls for Phil Hanson Sr, from California (Futurity Champion Phil Hanson in Texas is his son). At the time, Hanson trained cutters but he also trained cow horses and made the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals a few times. Patterson always gravitated to the cow horse side of the performance horse world, appreciating the versatility of the sport.

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Trainer’s Corner – Kenny Platt – Ft. Lupton, Co.

November 8th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Kenny Platt

TOTAL EARNINGS: $1,691,493

• Rubys Cd
• Metalic Man
• Fancy Hughes
• Moms Stylish Player

• 2019 Waco Texas Cutting Horse Open Futurity Champion
• 2018 Open Western Nationals Champion
• 2017 Breeders Invitational Open Classic Champion
• 2017 Bonanza Open Classic Champion
• 2016 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Champions on Moms Stylish Player
• 2016 NCHA Super Stakes Champion on Moms Stylish Player
• NCHA Futurity Finalist x 3
• NCHA Futurity Semi Finalist x 6
• 2015 Super Stakes Classic Finalist
• 2015 Idaho Classic Champion
• 2014 Brazos Bash Futurity Champion

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Cutting On A Budget

November 8th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Gavin Clarke and Rubys Cd Legacy Photo By: John O’Hara

One of the biggest complaints about cutting is that it’s a rich man’s sport. Sure, if you buy the best horse, get the fanciest truck and trailer, have a full time trainer and compete in the triple crown events (not to mention vet fees), it will cost you a pretty penny, even if you do win. But it’s a myth to suggest cutting is only a rich man’s sport.

There are countless cutters around the world who don’t have unlimited means and still get to indulge in their love of the sport. All it takes is some realistic expectations, a bit of planning and the discipline to stick to it.

Yes, it sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to do, mainly because we can be our own worst enemy and our wants often speak louder than our needs. But a bit of common sense, and some extra effort and patience, particularly when looking for the right horse for example, can pay off big.

We spoke to a variety of cutters who have all managed to make cutting affordable for themselves and they have shared their thrifty habits and handy tips here.
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Tips & Tricks: Fungus Edition

October 7th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Here are some tips and tricks from a recent social media post sharing some home remedies to help get rid of various common fungus. Don’t forget, you can always go to your vet for a prescription or advice!

                                To Get Rid of Girth Itch/ Sweat Itch:

• Dry horse in the sun, lightly spray very diluted bleach
on cinch after a ride and let it dry in the sun, then use
Micro-Tek shampoo on the horse.
• Hose off horse really well, apply athletes foot cream
with Tinactin/ Monostate cream to area. You can also
spray Listerine on the horse before adding one of the
• Wash horse in vinegar and soap mix every other
• Use a topical solution like diluted Synbiont and leave
it sit on the whole horse, or just the areas you need.
You can also apply one of these products:

-Dry Cow


                                     To Get Rid of “scratches”/ Mud Fever:

“scratches”/ Mud Fever

• Apply sauerkraut to the area and wrap it on hoof for
a few days.
• Apply Extra strength Desitin
• Apply MTG to area
• Apply Hay Whats That Blue Stuff and A&D cream
• Put Vaseline on the area and wrap in saran wrap and
vet wrap. Leave for 3 days to suffocate the fungus off.
Warning: it smells awful when you take it off.
• Apply bacon grease to scratches and wrap hoof/
fetlock area.

Trainer’s Corner: Faron Hightower

October 7th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Faron Hightower

How did you get started in cutting?

“Been involved in cutting since ‘79 or ‘80. My dad [got me involved]. My dad was Olan Hightower. He trained Colonel Freckles. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher that knew more about the cow and horse than anyone I ever encountered…the good Lord blessed me with some ability and feel for a horse. Dad’s way of teaching was about the horse and the cow and not you.”


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The Heart of Cutting

October 7th, 2019 by Simone Cobb

Star Roberts
Photo By: John O’Hara

With all the recent turmoil in cutting with declining membership, staff turn-over and controversies over how to make the sport fairer and more accessible, it can be hard to stay positive. But two cutters who have optimism to share are Star Roberts and Amy Jones.

When they started out in cutting, both knew that they weren’t going to go buy a six-figure cutting horse, if ever. They each began with a horse that was at their level and gradually moved up in horse power as they developed. Their trainers helped them learn and improve, knowing full well that they were not going to spend a lot of money on a horse. As a result, both riders have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the sport, making great friends.

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