- 5 x NCHA World Championship Titles
- Multiple Aged Event Finalist
Top Three Horses Trained
- Tachitas Cat
- Somekinda Highbrow
- High Style Travalin
Gavin was born in Australia and came to the USA in 1993 and has won in excess of $2.7 million. He is a NCHA Hall Of Fame Trainer and has been inducted in to the PCCHA Hall Of Fame. He and his wife Rebecca have recently moved from California to Texas to train for Tom and Hillary Watson at their Weatherford Ranch Blue Heron. Not only has he won five NCHA World Championships but he has also had numerous assistant trainers go on to have very successful careers, such as Chris Johnsrud, Russ Elrod, Jason Taylor, Ben Royal, Ben Neasham and Trent Smith.
How did you get started in cutting?
“Well, I worked for a horse trainer in Australia before I came up [over to the USA] a guy named Craig Emerton. We always…had pleasure horses and reining horses and everything, when we were kids and just did every event we could throw a leg over and it just progressed from there.”
What would you say is the biggest myth in cutting?
“Futurity horses are the be-all end-all, that’s the start of their career not the end of it. And so if your horse doesn’t do well at the futurities it doesn’t mean he’s not going to make a great cutting horse.”
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your cutting career?
“In my career, you know, honestly I would have probably stayed home a little more… but I would have spent more time with my kid and I think at that time, you know, we were very ambitious and we strive hard to be great at what we do, but we sacrifice a lot of family time and if I was to change anything, that would be it.”
What is your most memorable moment in cutting?
“I catch rode a horse for Todd Bimat at the 2002 futurity. I was actually supposed to show one for somebody else and his [Todd’s] wife, Erin had had a car accident. He called me up in a panic and needed somebody to show his horse for him. And thought that I would be the best match for it. And so I showed it. I ended up making the finals on it. So that was just one of those things that was meant to happen. That was pretty big to make Futurity finals on a catch ride.”
What is your favorite quote?
“My favorite quote is ‘a winner never minds seeing another winner win.’ That’s been my motto.”
What is your training philosophy?
“You’ve got to have a good foundation. You know, it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon and if you can just take your time with them and let them build at their own rate, they’ll tell you what they can handle and what they can’t… I found the more you push them the slower your results get, if you just let them build, and let that confidence build they’ll show you a lot and it’ll stay with them for a long time.”
What advice would you give up and coming trainers?
“Show as much as you can. Whenever anybody will let you show their horse, walk to the herd on it. You can’t beat competition reps. The more you walk down there, the easier it becomes for you. It’s never easy, but you’ll be more comfortable and you progress quicker than you will training a horse…We train them at home, we show them for living basically, so that’s what [I would say] show every chance you get.”