He’s a gentle giant making a name for himself in the hallowed Will Rogers Coliseum! Kody Porterfield won his second Limited Open Futurity title in Fort Worth when he rode Cat Gethr and marked a 223.
“It feels great. It feels real good,” he said humbly.
It’s been a big year for trainer Kody Porterfield. He notched up a win in the PCCHA Intermediate Open Classic Challenge, purchased his own training facility near Weatherford TX and of course capped off the year with his Limited Futurity buckle. He also made the Open Futurity Semi Finals on the same horse.
Kody won his first Limited Futurity title in 2015 aboard This Isa Third with a 222. To put Kody’s success into perspective, he more than doubled his earnings with his first win in the Will Rogers three years ago taking home almost $17,000. Since then, the 29 year old trainer has earned approximately $265,000.
He said his training and showing has come a long way in that time. “Definitely getting to show more and have more under my belt since then, so I have a little more confidence under my belt going down there. When I first won it I hadn’t showed very much. We actually watched the video not very long ago and it was two totally different runs. It’s still hard to go down there and show but doing it more now helped, having more experience helps,” he said.
Kody said he always felt good about his mare Cat Gethr despite some challenges times with her training. The mare is owned by Jack and Diane Jackman. “She’s always felt smart about a cow to me and maybe not the easiest to train but always no matter what went back to the cow, so I’ve always liked that about her,” Kody said.
Kody said the most important thing about training a futurity horse is building their confidence to be able to handle the pressure of competition. “I think you have to have those horses confident and trained enough to where they can get through the hard situations in there.”
He said he’s also learned to be strategic. “Just try to advance and try to have as less a penalties as you can have throughout each go round.”
Kody reflected on the difference purchasing his own training facility has made to his program. He and his wife Cheyenne bought John Mitchell’s ranch west of Weatherford, TX earlier this year. “There’s a lot of pressure, you know we have to make the payments and keep it running so we have to win and do good but also the sense of waking up and know that we don’t have to leave and the comfort of that has been by far the most unbelievable thing that I’ve felt. I can do anything I want so that helps,” he said.
Kody said owning his place has also encouraged more owners to send him horses. “Here we can grow to the number [of horses] that I want to be at, you know. So that does help. And it gives our owners more of a mind frame of stability that they know I’m going to be there and I’m not going anywhere,” he added. Kody’s cutting tourney began in 2006 when Georgia Welch put him on his first cutter. “I didn’t even know what it was. We got together for the All-Around High School Rodeos and I was very competitive in the other events and I had a buddy that cut…we pretty much moved out to Buster Welch’s with Dawson Burns his grandson and just loved it.”
In 2011, he moved to North Texas and began working for Cory Pounds and then Tarin Rice before going out on his own.
Kody said while his goal is win any of the major Triple crown titles, he is inspired be in the company of such great trainers he looks up to as great people as well. “Of course winning, but at the same time we all love horses and if I think If I could grow up to be like them and have that reputation of being a winner and also just a great person would be the top of my list,” Kody said.