One day, after watching her daughter cut, Becky Calabria thought, ‘I can’t sit in these stands anymore!’ She had a horse brought to the show so she could ride around and see her daughter compete. She then started going to the barn with her daughter to practice on a cutting horse. From that first time on a flag and cow, she decided cutting was the sport for her.
Total Earnings: $3,181,574
Todd Bimat learned about cutting from his dad. And at 17 years old, he went to work for Leon Harrell for a summer. He always wanted to be a cutting horse trainer and his love for the sport continued to grow as he gained experience. At 18 he went to college briefly but then an opportunity opened up when Harrell’s full time help got hurt. Bimat said he threw all of his stuff in his truck, headed to Harrell’s and never looked back.
Have you ever wanted to host your own local cutting show? It might not be as daunting as you think. But whether it’s big or small, there are definitely some steps you need to take to make a show happen.
“It’s a simultaneous combustion that happens that lets you have a show,” said experienced show producer Dee McLauchlin. McLauchlin is a show secretary for multiple shows in Texas and Oklahoma.
“I have the world’s best sandbox and everybody comes and plays in it,” McLaughlin said laughing.
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Travis Stewart looks at two year olds like an artist looks at a blank canvas.They have limited experience with people so he can mold them into what he thinks they need to be to succeed in their performance careers. While Stewart has been focused on two year olds, he does get to show on occasion to complete the picture. He truly enjoys the day to day process of training at home.
He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, in California where he earned his Animal Science degree. It was there he discovered the performance horse world, which soon replaced his plans for vet school. Stewart is also a talented painter and sculptor in his free time.
It’s been 20 years since Gilson has had a cow horse in the Snaffle Bit Futurity. She is preparing for the Snaffle Bit Futurity this year on a horse named Rebellious Soul. The horse is special to Gilson because the foal is her youth horse’s great-grand-foal. Gilson competed in the reining arena for sometime and is finally ready to go back to the cow horse arena.
Necessity is the mother of invention, so when the 2020 NCHA Kit Kat Sugar Super Stakes was cancelled due to the COVID-19 shutdown, the Association got busy finding a solution.
While cutting is a fun recreation for many, for trainers, breeders and other professionals, it’s a livelihood. So the loss of a major show creates a big financial hole.
NCHA Director of Shows, Shianne Megel, said that the 2020 Super Stakes was the most discussed and researched topic the Association dealt with all year in 2020. After the 2020 cancellation, a portion of the Stallion and Foal funds were still available to be paid out to eligible horses.
Shay Martin grew up on his grandpa’s ranch. Horses and cows have always been his passion. But he didn’t start cutting until 2016, when his mother introduced him to the sport.
“The first time I felt my horse hook onto the cattle, I was hooked ever since then,” he said.
He bought two young horses that he hopes to show and breed with. He competes in the Western Nebraska Cutters club (WNC) in Nebraska and gets help from local trainers as well as Kenny Platt in Colorado when he can make the trip.
Total Earnings: $3,005,912
Two-time NCHA Futurity Champion, Craig Thompson, grew up showing cutting horses in the youth. His grandfather, Thomas Nichols, who was a huge inspiration to him, got him started in cutting.
In 1996, Thompson went to work for Kenny Pew Jr. in Brenham, TX. He then worked for Matt Gaines and with his assistant at the time, Clint Allen. Winston and Paul Hansma were living across the road at Bar H, so Thompson also spent time learning from them. He said the brothers were instrumental in helping his career.
Stretching before a big show or a hard training session is very important to keep muscles flexible, strong and healthy. Many horse owners already stretch their horse’s neck side to side with treats before a ride, but did you know there are more stretches you can do to keep your equine athlete performing at his best?
Equine Massage Therapist, Tiffanie Veltri likes to educate her clients on how to thoroughly stretch their own horses. These techniques help owners maintain their horse’s flexibility and make sure the key muscle groups are getting released.
Total Earnings: $892,000 Aus
At 18 years old Rob Hodgman left home in Australia and traveled to California to ride reined cow horses. He returned home where he said the sport was more popular then and bought a cow horse. That horse did not like reining so a friend suggested he take it to the cutting futurity. He ended up winning the 1983 Australian NCHA Open Futurity on the horse.
Samantha McPherrin rode a cutting horse for the first time in 2010 when she was working for a trainer. She had a blast and her mom, Suzanne Stilwell, also got into cutting at the same time.
Stilwell bought her first horse in 2010. Stilwell said Todd Bimat and Jose Mendez were a big part of how she got started in cutting.
They’re goggled-eyed, mop-headed, unbalanced looking creatures that can seem downright intimidating, but the ungainly bison can be a cutter’s best friend when it comes to tuning your horse.
With constant supplies of fresh cattle a fantasy for most cutters, buffalo are a much more affordable substitute. Unlike cows which sour quickly after being worked, buffalo can be used to train six to eight horses a day for a number of years, provided you handle them right.
Submitted and Written by member Shelley Casciato
How can a guy attain what Andy Sutliff has earned with lifetime NCHA earnings of $47,630.00 and USCHA earnings of $17,964.00 while living in an English dominated area with no cows, no walker, just an indoor pen and a flag?
Total Earnings: $592,458
Originally from Brotas, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Rodrigo Taboga has grown up in the horse industry. He showed his first cutting horse at seven years old, learning from his father. He was 17 years old when he decided he wanted to train professionally.
Jody Galyean has had a huge influence on Taboga. They met in 2011 when Jody would come out to their ranch in Brazil to teach.
While the pandemic saw schools shut down the world over, the challenge for educators who teach an equine curriculum with a largely hands-on practical- based component has been particularly tricky. But instead of going the usual route of books and zoom classes, some professors got creative, did some research and added the expert videos of trainers on Cutting Horse Training Online/Reined Cow Horse Training Online!