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Ted Petit – The Zen of Videoing Cutters

July 20th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

With a background in aerospace engineering and martial arts, videographer Ted Petit was uniquely qualified to become cutting’s leading camera man!

Ted Petit

Ted Petit

While those fields don’t sound remotely related to equine sports or videoing, they are a large part of Petit’s journey that fostered an interest in videoing cutting shows. That, and the odd curve ball life throws at you.

It was 15 years ago when Ted was photographing a local cutting in California, when the owner of Video West suddenly died.

“I have trained in martial arts for 40 years. With the teaching aspects [of that] I would use video as a medium to film my students. So as far as using a camera, I was very familiar with that and having a couple of years of cutting photography under my belt, I guess they felt I was a good choice to try to go for Video West,” said Petit.

As the new owner of Video West, Ted has spent the past 14 years videoing cutting horse shows across the country. In 2015, Ted and his son Seth took over the contract to video the NCHA’s Triple Crown events as well as the Eastern and Western Nationals.

They brought with them their broadcast quality high definition cameras and equipment which saw a big jump in the quality of the videos and the webcasting.

Ted has more than a knack for working with this kind of equipment with 20 years of experience as an aerospace engineer for companies like Lockheed, and General Electric. Ted was a pioneer in developing flight simulation video graphics in the late 70s.
Needless to say, Ted has watched a lot of cutting! Like the judges, it takes a special kind of discipline to be able to sit in a chair for up to 14 hour days, keeping your focus on rider after rider without losing a beat.

With a black belt in Kamishin Ryu (a blend of Jiu Jitsu and A Kempo), Ted’s martial arts training helps.
“I’m very interested in watching the relationship of movement within applications. And so from day one, I was always on the lookout of seeing how the applications, with the riders and horses and how the movement [interacted]. So when I began to watch that, I really started to see the details that are involved in this phenomenal sport,” he said.

Ted relates much of his martial arts background to cutting. He is an inherited master of that system, where he was trained directly by his master and will in turn pass on that knowledge to his students.

“I see the same kind of application in the sense that a trainer that works with those around him, the lopers and [assistant trainers] to pass on the teachings,” Petit said.
       

Much of the training in martial arts is about reading your opponent and anticipating their movements. Petit said this also assists in videoing the runs.

“I get a feel for the flow of the cattle and if people watch they’ll see how I’m kind of leading the herd because I’m recognizing where the rider wants to go. I’ve been tricked sometimes but basically I do see that movement and I love working with that,” he said.

Ted said there is much that can be learned from martial arts such as how to focus.

“When I watch the pros, they very well recognize that ‘going to their place’ [skill], and what I try to share with amateurs is probably the biggest area I see them having problems with is that when they walk out because I’m watching through the camera lens, I look at their eyes. In Cowboy Church even I share this sometimes, I’ll say, I watch your eyes and I can see that you really have no idea what’s going on, they are darting all over the place and there’s no focus. Then they get distracted by all the voices of the trainers and then they begin to not understand what they need to be doing…so I tell them that they need to be able to come to that place within themselves and remember to apply the basics that they hear time and time again: don’t watch the horse, look at the cow, keep your target always out in front of you,” he said.

Ted said he has heard so many people say if they’d gotten out of the way and let their horse do its job, they would have done a lot better.

“A lot of the time, people overthink a situation, just like in self-defense, you overthink a situation and you turn out to be ineffective because you’re bombarded by all the surroundings. They need to just boil down to the basic element and stick to that.”

While Ted himself had a cutting horse he competed on for a while, time constraints forced him to give it up. One reason is Ted’s passions for animated films which harks back to his days in computer graphics. It’s a painstaking process where you create scenes frame by frame to make the movements.

“About a year and half ago I started training in animation as a discipline. I’ve got a mentor who was the animator of Scooby Doo and now animates Curious George,” Ted Petit said.

Ted is currently developing a short animated film that is a mystery based on a psychologist who uses ink blots to get into the minds of the criminally insane.

Ted Petit Photography

Ted Petit Photography

Ted Petit Photography

Ted Petit Photography

And if that isn’t enough to keep him busy, Ted has also developed the dexterity to combine two of his skills at once! While videoing cutting runs, Ted is also able to photograph them.

“Years ago, I started developing a rig that allowed me to mount my still camera above my video camera and I began to develop the technique and now I’ve been doing it for years. My right hand shoots the still photography, my left hand shoots the video and I blend the two disciplines together.”

Ted has taught other professional photographers the skill but he said they gave it up after finding it too difficult.
“You have to kind of split your brain a little bit,” he said, “it just comes from knowing both disciplines so well, I don’t have to think about it.”

If you’ve ever seen Ted Petit’s cutting photo’s, you’d be amazed to think he’s videoing at the same time. The picture is crisp and his timing is perfect, creating amazing action shots of horse, rider and cow. Check. Them. Out!

 

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Carly Chiarelli Claims 2018 Summer Spectacular Ltd Non Pro Classic Challenge

July 20th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

Humble, grateful and overjoyed was how Carly Chiarelli felt after her win in the Limited Non Pro Classic Challenge at the 2018 Summer Spectacular in Fort Worth.

Carly rode Olive Martini and marked a 222, leading the field by 5 points.

Carly, who works for Matt and Megan Miller, told CHTO’s Simone Cobb that the couple were mentors to her and were a big part of her success.

Carly purchased the mare, a Metallic Cat out of Martinis Miss Peppy, from the Millers.

Gentry Gonsalves was the Reserve Champion on Georgia Bootlegger with a 217.

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Terry Hollis Wins 2018 Summer Spectacular Ltd Open Classic Challenge

July 18th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

Terry Hollis surpassed the $600,000 mark in earnings with his victory in the Limited Open Classic Challenge at the 2018 Summer Spectacular in Fort Worth.

Terry marked a 222 aboard Isabella Rey to win the final by two points ahead of Glynn Whitman on Reyvinmetallicat.

Terry told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he was thrilled with the win especially for the horse’s owner, Paul Thompson.

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Member Spotlight: Nancy Hyser

June 25th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

Member Spotlight: Nancy Hyser – Rockford, IL

Nancy Hyser

Nancy Hyser

What started out as team pinning friends looking at horses ended up with Nancy Hyser getting her first cutting horse and gaining a lifelong passion for the sport.

“It’s all about the competitiveness and the strive for doing better,” Hyser said. “There’s always something that happens that pushes you further. The horses are incredible and athletic-it’s great just sitting up on one.”

While Hyser has now been cutting for 18 years, she says her biggest accomplishment is her medallion from the Quarter Horse Congress in the 35,000 Non-Pro. This year she is continuing to show in the non-pro and her goal is to stay in the top 5 in the affiliate.

Hyser believes that cutting is a partnership between the horse and rider, each contributing to do their part and says she is most proud of her development over the last two years of getting the cow in front of her horse. Hyser is continuing to focus her efforts and is planning on showing two horses later this month.

WHY NANCY USES CHTO:
“CHTO helps me get focused to do my job; many of the videos has really helped me with my plus points working the herd.”

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Protected: Most Popular Video of all Time on CHTO!!!

June 22nd, 2018 by Simone Cobb

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Member Spotlight: Addie Culp – West Monroe, LA

June 21st, 2018 by Simone Cobb

Member spotlight: It wasn’t until her senior year at West Monroe High School that Addison Culp joined the school rodeo team.

Addison Culp on Ghost

Addison Culp on Ghost

She had grown-up around cow horses and always competed in barrel racing, but with the perception of how challenging the sport of cutting was she just couldn’t resist giving it a try.

“I really love cutting,” Culp said. “It came pretty natural to me. I like the pressure and feel as though I can go in with confidence and be straightforward with my [cow] pick.”

Although it was her first year cutting, Culp made the upcoming nationals that will be hosted mid-July in Wyoming. Culp says she plans on using her graduation money to send her longtime horse, a 14 year-old mare (her barrel horse and cow horse), Annie, to see her trainer Mason Griffin. She wants to tune her up and go for the NCHA World Titles in the $2,000 or $35,000 classes.

Despite her graduation and the end of her high school rodeo debut, Culp says she plans on continuing to cut in the NCHA.

 Addie with trainer Mason Griffin

Addie with trainer Mason Griffin

 

 

Why Addie Loves CHTO:

“It’s very convenient and a great tool when I’m by myself and training. I can get on my phone in the practice pen and look at it while I’m training.”

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Experiencing The Kentucky Derby!!!

June 19th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

The orange glow of first light warmed the horizon. The morning dew spoke of a clear, fresh day as a gentle breeze cooled the sweat on the magnificent thoroughbreds limbering out along the famous track. Conditions were perfect for preparing an unknown Derby champion.

The 144th Kentucky Derby Race

It was two days before the 144th Kentucky Derby and morning practice had brought Churchill Downs to life. Those eager to get a close up look at the 20 horses running in the nation’s most popular horse race were milling along the track.

A mix of two years olds getting used to the track were being trotted out slowly by their jockeys while the three and four year olds were stretching out at a faster pace against the inside rail. Some horses rested at the outer railing in groups of two and three, so close you could touch their hindquarters or pet their nose. They all looked invigorated, happy to be out exercising in the crisp morning air.

As though heeding a call to join the fray, a chestnut horse standing right by us suddenly slid into a canter as the rider lifted out of her saddle pad, their pair moved so gracefully, Beau Galyean remarked “it’s like dropping in on a wave”. The athleticism, the balance, the power of this horse was breathtaking. Who was this horse? Non other than the event favorite, Justify!

Two presenters filled the gargantuan TV screen above the track to discuss the contenders, of particular interest was the import from Ireland, Mendelssohn who made his appearance later in the morning surrounded by a large entourage. The Irish horse had just come out of quarantine, and despite the fanfare looked a little uneasy having worked up quite a sweat. But by the end of the session, the second-placed favorite was appearing more settled and its paces more impressive.

Other horses making tongues wag amongst the group of cutters was Audible, who in comparison to Justify’s effortless movements, required quite a bit of urging via his jockey’s whip to get moving. While this initially put us off, we later found out, Audible was not a morning horse!

Cutters Hit Kentucky

At Oaks Day

Our group consisted of Matt and Tara Gaines, Beau and Ashley Galyean, Duncan Steele-Park and myself, with the trip hosted and organized by Gabe Reynolds and Lauren Minshall who live and train cutting horses not far from Louisville.

For many in the group, it was their first time ever to attend a horse race. Lauren grew up around thoroughbreds in Canada where her parents and grandparents bred race horses. Her step grandmother, Barb Minshall is a current well known trainer at Woodbine, Toronto. Lauren’s knowledge of the industry is extensive as was her patience answering our never ending questions.

Exploring Keeneland, Lexington

With our first impressions made, we headed out to Lexington for a broader look at the industry. Lauren took us to Keeneland, another renowned race course and the nation’s top auction house for thoroughbreds.

It’s a beautiful, tree-filled facility where many trainers work their horses, Barb included over the winter months leading up the Derby.

At Keeneland Stables

We visited with her and some of her racers, one of which had won a race on the Wednesday at Churchill Downs. Interestingly, these leggy horses with a reputation for being flighty and hot tempered were anything but as they were led quietly around and stood in their stalls.

The doorways had nothing but a simple crossed plastic-covered chain to keep the horses in, giving them more air and helping them to feel less hemmed in.

They appeared soft-natured and curious, keen for a pat. One playful two year old stallion had a large pink teddy bear hanging from its doorway to nuzzle. Matt Gaines couldn’t resist and got some close-up cuddle action himself. We also met Barb’s gelding, Admiralty Pier, that was racing on Derby Day in an earlier event.

Posing with American Pharaoh

From there, we drove to the esteemed Ashford Stud, owned by Coolmore Stud, the world’s largest breeder of race horses. The stately driveway lined with hundred year old trees, led onto an array of beautiful stone stables, offices and breeding facilities that over looked rolling hills carpeted with the famous lush green grass of Kentucky.

Tara and Matt Gaines With American Pharaoh

Our tour guide took us straight to the main stud stable which housed non other than American Pharaoh. Featuring a soaring cathedral ceiling, the stables held four massive stalls lined with varnished timber, filled with an overabundance of straw to soften the floor. Brass name plates announced the owner of each stall. Declaration of War was getting his daily grooming via vacuum as we entered and Uncle Mo was enjoying some downtime. A groom brought the great American Pharaoh out into the courtyard where we got a closer look and a photo with the 2015 Triple Crown Champion.

While these stallions are retired from racing and live in “luxury”, they face the arduous task of 3 live crosses a day, seven days a week. Even for the most virile, it’s a tall order. The going rate for American Pharaoh is $125,000 a service, guaranteed to a foal on the ground. With 160 mares to cross each breeding season, I would say those boys earn every cent!

Derby Day Arrives

Derby Fashions

Derby Fashions

Fast forward to Derby Day, cowboy hats, boots and buckles were swapped for fedora’s, bow ties and even the odd cigar (or two). The ladies donned some larger than life hats and spring inspired dresses and hit the track. The people watching is just as fascinating as the horses, where anything goes from crazy hats, gaudy suits and killer heels to the most refined millinery and haute couture outfits of the well-heeled and/or famous.

Yes. Unexpectedly. It. Rained. All. Day. Needless to say, it was a great excuse to stay close to the bar and sample a Mint Julep or Oaks Lily (or three or four…).

Another factor to take into account, the wet track. As each race took place, the track got sloppier and sloppier, till come Derby time, it was a mud bath! You could almost see the odds changing in the lead up to the race as horses with experience in the wet improved and others got longer. All except Justify, the horse that never raced as a two horse year old remained the firm favorite!

For most of two days, the group got an A for participation when it came to betting but an F for success when it came to winnings. But it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirit, Tara and Matt were so full of awe, they stood out in the drenching rain to watch the Derby race at the rail, keen to feel the thundering hooves of those splendid athletes striving for immortality.

It’s a simple concept: first past the post, but what an exciting flutter of emotions it creates when you have a vested interest in how it ends! With a half mile to go, Justify passed Promises Fulfilled, and looking comfortable and totally in control, took the lead and sprinted home. Whopping and hollering like mad men, we were all going off but it soon became evident who picked the winner as Beau crowed triumphantly! It was a great moment, a great day, a great experience! Thanks to Gabe and Lauren for being such great hosts and so generous with their knowledge and thanks to Beau for letting us feel successful by association!

Now what are we going to wear next year? Did anyone mention this is addictive?

Watch Beau Galyean videos here.

Watch Matt Gaines Videos here.

Watch Gabe Reynolds videos here.


Hauling A Horse? The Mandate That May Require You To Get A Commercial Drivers License!

May 16th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

You thought you were involved in the horse industry? It seems the Federal Government may actually define you as a commercial truck driver.

According to the Commercial Drivers License law written in 1986, anyone driving a vehicle weighing 26,001 pounds and above is required to carry a CDL whether it’s for recreational or agricultural purposes. So you might have to go sit for your commercial license test just to haul your horses to a show!

Protect The Harvest Representative, Shawn Burtenshaw

Shawn Burtenshaw, a Representative for Protect the Harvest, explains how the CDL law requirements plus a 2012 Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate could affect how you travel, but is here to educate and help you!

“The law that was implemented [in 2012], which would be referred to as the ‘ELD Mandate,’ is an electronic device put in your vehicle to monitor your drive times between point A and point B and throughout the day,” Burtenshaw said. “So if you’re in a pickup and horse trailer traveling, hauling horses to shows it’s your business… it puts you as a commercial driver to where you’d have to have an electronic logging device in your pickup to haul your horses to shows.”

SO not only would you be required to carry a commercial drivers license, but you would also be required to log your trips and abide by ELD rules. However, advancements in vehicles and the hauling industry have changed vastly since these were written, creating a few complicated issues.

“The problem is this law was written in 1986, when a one-ton pickup was 8600 pounds,” Burtenshaw said. “It was never intended to umbrella over pickups and trailers but today when this is enforced through, the ELD really brought attention to these weights because the law is still at 26,001 pounds; which in 1986 was a Class 7 truck, today it’s a pickup. Gross vehicle weight ratings since 1986 to 2018 have increased 60% but the law stayed the same so that’s where people get caught in it with a pickup and horse truck.”

Adding to the complexity are states that have different regulations and classifications of a CDL, where in some states it’s a simple process, while in others it is extremely difficult.

“We’d like to see that not happen because these people are not commercial drivers, they’re horse trainers, they’re rodeo cowboys, they’re ranchers, they’re farmers, they’re not a commercial driver,” Burtenshaw said. “So why should they need to go get a CDL and be monitored the same as a over-the-road truck driver when they’re just driving their horse to a horse show?”

Another issue that will place an onerous burden on drivers is the tracking and monitoring that o

Electronic Logging Devices (above) required for commercial drivers to log all stops and track drive times, and requires breaks after certain amounts of driving.

ccurs with the electronic logging device.

“It is extreme inconvenience,” Burtenshaw said. “It becomes a personal issue of privacy to tell you the truth, I don’t want to be monitored how fast I’m going, where I’ve stopped, how long I’ve stopped. I don’t want to be told when I need to stop and use the restroom, I don’t need to be told when I need to stop and eat, I don’t need to be told when I stop and sleep. The hours of service that you have to comply by when you have an electronic logging device in your pickup and you have live animals on your trailer, you can’t stop for ten hours consecutively, you have to keep going.”

From December of 2017, there is a 12-month exemption to the rule for agriculture when live animals are being transported.

“So that means that hopefully within the coming year that maybe different hours of service can be written,” Burtenshaw said. “These laws need review because it’s not 1986 anymore. The biggest thing I’m trying to do right now at Protect The Harvest are get people engaged and get them educated to where they’re going to fall in this mandate or these CDL requirements, what classifies them as a commercial motor vehicle.”

On the Protect The Harvest website it also states that a “Not For Hire” sign on your rig will not protect you if it is determined that your truck and trailer fit into the commercial category or are being used for commercial purposes. Nor will it protect you if you are driving a vehicle and trailer that requires a commercial license. The law also affects young drivers and will put the brakes on anyone under 18 hauling a horse or anyone under 21 crossing state lines to go a rodeo or show.

“To be intrastate (within your state) you have to be 18 years-old to get a commercial drivers license and to go interstate (to cross state lines) you have to be 21 years old. 87% of the college rodeo kids are under the age of 21 and every college rodeo around the United States kids have to cross across state lines,” he said.

If the mandate alarms you, Burtneshaw said go to protecttheharvest.com and read the highlighted version of the 200 page mandate, which has been narrowed down to the key points. Another suggestion is to spread the word and lobby your local representatives.

“Call your congressman, get a hold of your senator, get everybody in government whose connected to you, because those government officials work for you,” Burtenshaw said. “Let them know where you stand on these issues, let them know that these need review. The more people who write their letters, call their representatives, make some noise about it to get this changed.”

“It’s laws like this that keep restricting our industry. Usually it happens and nobody knew about this..well we’re gonna tell you right now it’s happening,” Burtenshaw said. “Please take action, get involved, become engaged, voice your opinion, and help us move forward with getting this rewritten.”


Wrangler in the Pen & on the Streets: Gabe Reynolds

April 25th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

By Bailey Bryan

He could have had his pick of glamorous ladies, he could have been the master of the rose ceremony, he could have been a reality TV star, but Gabe Reynolds is more interested in training and showing cutting horses.

Between modeling assignments, TV scouts and cutting clients, it seems the Kentucky based trainer is in high demand. But with a growing list of wins to his name, four time Mercuria Finalist, NCHA Ltd Reserve Champion, and Augusta Classic Challenge Reserve Champion, Gabe’s focus is squarely on his training career.

With his dashing good looks, unassuming manner and Aussie charm, this cutter has got a little more boot cut than the rest of us, filling in for Blake Shelton as a Wrangler jean model and starring in a Wrangler commercial along with George Straight! The opportunity presented itself when Gabe was training for Barbra Brooks in Tennessee.

“There was a bunch of celebrities that came out to Barbra’s ranch for the CMA shoot and for some reason or another Blake Shelton didn’t show up and they asked if I’d fill in for him as I was about his size,” Reynolds said. “A few months later I was in a western store and saw a picture of me.”

Reynolds later got a call asking if he’d come out to audition for the Wrangler commercial in California, which he originally said no to, but later they called again to offer him the role if he’d say yes right then.

“It was really neat,” Reynolds said. “I went out there and was picked up in a black limo and got full rock star treatment.”

As it turns out, Wrangler wasn’t the only one with an eye for Reynolds, he was also recently asked at a cutting event by scouters to participate in the popular reality tv show, The Bachelor.

“I was walking around the coliseum and they happened to sit next to me,” Reynolds said. “They got to whispering and they told me they wanted someone who rode horses and I told them I didn’t really know about that.”

Reynolds said he never really paid much attention to the show, but went back later and watched a few episodes and said afterwards that ‘it seemed a quick way to embarrass yourself.’

Although well-known as a handsome cutter, Gabe’s hardly an eligible bachelor, with a serious live-in girlfriend and business partner Lauren Minshall (sorry ladies).

Reynolds says on a more serious note he’d love to make a final in Fort Worth.

“I really feel like I’m knocking at the door in Fort Worth,” Reynolds said. “I keep making semi-final after semi-final, but am trying to stay consistent and train the best horses I can train and we’ve got some good horses this year.”

 

Watch more CHTO videos of Gabe HERE.


Lance Cooper Dominates 2018 Super Stakes Ltd Non Pro Derby

April 23rd, 2018 by Simone Cobb

You could say Lance Cooper was a star of the 2018 Super Stakes after winning two titles in less than a week and making a third final. Lance dominated the Ltd Non Pro Derby Championship on Zen And Tonic with an impressive 224!

The 17-year-old told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he just loves showing that mare! Reserve Champ was awarded to Alexa Dahl with a 218.5 on Playsomethingsmooth.

 


Megan Miller and Chad Bushaw Tie for First in 2018 Super Stakes Non Pro Derby

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

It was an exciting Non Pro Derby final that saw Megan Miller and Chad Bushaw share the title at the 2018 Super Stakes. Chad marked a 222 on Bittersweet in the first set, a score matched by Megan on Carolena Reyn in the second set. Chad told CHTO”s Simone Cobb he’s hopeful of winning the Triple Crown after also taking out the Non Pro Futurity title on the same horse. Meanwhile Megan told Simone she was proud to win in the Will Rogers on a horse she raised.


Casey Crouch: The Hot Quit Bottle

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

The Perfect Penalty

The saying is true, if you want something bad enough you’ve got to get creative and creative is the exact word I’d use for trainer Casey Crouch and his technique to train bad habits out of his clients. They call it the “Hot Quit Bottle,” and it roots back to 2015.

“It started actually right here at the futurity. We showed the colt here at the futurity and I hot quit in the first go around,” Crouch said. “It was a walking hot quit. I’ll go to my grave-I did not hot quit the cow, but they got me for it! Anyway, before it was all said and done, Joe had hot quit twice on this horse here at the futurity.”

It wasn’t until the horse was showed again in Batesville, Mississippi, that the whole bottle ordeal began.

Watch the full interview below, or continue reading …

“We get to Batesville and I have a pretty good run the first day and they have an R on one of my runs and it was for a quit and it was good,” Crouch said. “Anyway my wife got a little excited, she’s a big part of this the whole deal, so she got a little excited and we had several questionable quits and about the third day I Hott Quit won, and when I walked out of the arena I could see fire blowing out her ears I knew she was a little upset.”

“Everything settles and I go to work some horses for my amateurs and what not and everybody’s kind of laughing you know, ha ha-ing about it in the practice pen and here she comes and she walks up and everybody gets quiet,” Crouch said. “And we’re sitting there and she says, ‘if any one of you hot quit again I’m going to explode, I’m gonna have it out on you.’ So it becomes a big joke. So then we decided were going to have a hot quit bottle.”

Ever since that day the hot quit bottle is a five-dollar penalty for Crouch and his clients, however, Crouch claims that it isn’t humiliating to pay into the bottle, but actually ‘softens the blow,’ so to speak.  

“We take it very seriously but by the same token you gotta enjoy it,” Crouch said. “You gotta enjoy what you’re doing and one time in particular as the year went if somebody even questioned it they’d come out laughing digging in their pocket, ‘I’m in.’” 

Crouch’s unique way to put a quit on hot quits has touched more people than those just in his program and has made a positive impact on others.

“We were at Dripping Springs, Texas and there was a lady there and she had a pretty nice run and she hot quit, she’s not in my barn but I help her a lot and what not, anyway she hot quit a cow and had a really nice run,” Crouch said. “And this is one time that really stands out, she was very disgusted and really upset with herself and as we’re walking out of the pen I ride up beside her and I told her she owes me five bucks. And she looks at me and she’s not sure what to say at that moment and then about that time she goes to smiling and she says, ‘thank you so much,’ it just softened everything.”

When speaking with Crouch, it was early in the day that they had agreed to open, count and spend the money in the bottle, so what did they spend it on exactly?

“We haven’t decided what we’re going to do with it yet. That’ll come today sometime, but several people have put in several times, myself included,” Crouch said. “We gotta come up with what we’re doing. Maybe a big party, it might be a big one from the looks of the bottle.”


Kobie Wood Victorious In 2018 Super Stakes Derby Championship

April 23rd, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

An emotional Kobie Wood thanked his wife, loper and turnback team with much gratitude, showing the mark of the man, after taking out the Derby Championship at the 2018 Super Stakes. A crowd favorite, Kobie rode Cool N Hot to dominate with a 227, well ahead of the field by 4 and half points. Beau Galyean won Reserve on Rollz Royce with a 222.5 Kobie told CHTO’s Simone Cobb, it took him 40 years to win the Derby title and did it on a horse he bred by Hottish.


Lance Cooper Dominates 2018 Super Stakes Ltd Open Derby Final

April 17th, 2018 by Simone Cobb

At just 17 years old, Lance Cooper has dominated the Limited Open Derby Final at the 2018 Super Stakes. Lance rode Zen And Tonic to mark a 223 first out in the final to win by 6 points! He told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he was thrilled to win his second major title, after the successful pair tied for first in the Limited Non Pro Futurity last December. Garrett Hampton earned Reserve Champ title on Merlott, scoring a 217.


Kellee Clarke – More than a Loper!

April 13th, 2018 by Duncan Steele-Park

More often than not, lopers come and go, but Kellee Clarke has turned loping into a satisfying career thanks to her hard work, willingness to take on new challenges and interestingly, finding an outlet for her creativity.

An Australian native, Clarke moved to the States to work with horses where for the last eight years she has been loping for John Mitchell at the Slate River Ranch. With a passion for learning and a drive for taking on more responsibility, Clarke juggles loping, running the barn and managing the ranch office while starting up her own business.

“I wanted to make leather handbags and do them all by hand,” Clarke said. “When I grew up rodeoing, I made all my own shirts..so I’ve always had this creative thing going on.”

After purchasing all the materials, Clarke found that she never had the time to actually start.

Brumby Necklace

“One week I got so mad at myself because John’s wife, Hope kept asking, ‘have you made a bag yet?’ and it was really frustrating me,” Clarke said. “So one week I got super mad at myself and I said, ‘you have to finish one project by the end of the week.’’”

And since that week, Brumby Goods was born, but not in the way Clarke expected.

“I had kangaroo leather and lace because they were going to be part of my bags and I had some freshwater pearls and I had all this stuff sitting there,” Clarke said. “So I started tinkering around with it and the next thing I made a necklace with it. This long tassel necklace with these pearls on it and I was like, ‘that’s pretty cool.’”

 

Although Clarke hasn’t made any bags yet, she intends to expand the line later to include them.

“I had my logo and my name and everything for my business, Brumby Goods, that was all in place but the product wasn’t coming about,” Clarke said. “For now it’s evolved into jewelry.”

Brumby Earrings

Clarke officially launched Brumby Goods in February this year and is keeping up with working full time for Slate River Ranch while building her jewelry line, which has quickly gained a following.

Clarke says she gets design ideas while loping.

“It’s a matter of utilizing that time loping around and to just take that time to think about something,” Clarke said. “I’m constantly thinking about Brumby and what’s next.”

Brumby Bracelet

Clarke says she wants to stayed tapped into the western world and cutting/rodeo industry from her roots. One of her main materials, kangaroo leather, is used not only for its durability but connects her to her Australian heritage. Her company name, Brumby Goods also was chosen to tell people more about Clarke as a person.

“Brumby was something that came up..here in America,” Clarke said. “It’s a horse, it’s a little wild, free spirited and…it’s pretty catchy.” 

Clarke says she enjoys making the jewelry for women like herself.

“A lot of this stuff I had in mind for the working girl and the girl who rides,” Clarke said. “This was my original idea, to find something feminine but easy to wear.”

Clarke likes to make jewelry that is functional, durable, light and comfortable. She now ships across the country and overseas and also takes custom orders. Clarke initially made sales on social media, but now has her own website to properly display her designs, www.brumbygoods.com.

Although her career is focused on loping, she believes that having Brumby gives her something more to look forward to each day.

“Its given me something for myself,” Clarke said. “I’m accountable, it’s all me. It gives me something, it’s making something and being creative and I like to look at it and be like, ‘I made that.”

 

Watch the full video interview HERE


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