Eric Van Boekel was originally a team penner. There was just something about that feeling when a horse gets a hold of a cow. He then started riding with Randy Chartier in 2003 and ventured into the cutting horse scene.
The obvious next step for Van Boekel was to buy his own cutting horse. He tried to do both sports together but it started to get complicated because one sport was offensive and one was defensive. He picked cutting.
He met his wife Katherine in 2010 and they started to get more involved in cutting together. Now, they travel to Texas for the major aged events when they can. Due to COVID, the US-Canada border has been shut down so they haven’t been able to show as much as they would like.
His favorite memories in the sport are winning the 5k novice non-pro at the 2018 Eastern Nationals and he was also top 15 in the 25k nov non-pro on the same horse, Peppys Cashin Checks. One of his other highlights was watching his wife battle it out for the 2017 Amateur Rider of the Year.
His favorite thing about cutting is that when everyone is in the show pen they’ve got winning on the brain but then out of the show pen it’s all about the friendships and the good people he’s met.
His favorite show is the NCHA Futurity.
“Getting to see the young horses coming out and seeing how they progress from the start of the open to the finals and the transition in those horses. The top [horses] you can just see them building and building as the show goes on.” “It’s anybody’s game when it starts because they are all showing three year olds.”
Why Eric Uses CHTO:
“The trainers have candidly set out their programs, they have described what they’re thinking going down to the herd and what they look for in training a horse. I’ve tried to work that [information] into my own program when I’m working my own horses and have those thoughts in my head as I’m working the flag by myself. I try to go back and watch the video two to three times and make sure I understand what the trainer was trying to say. I try to look on CHTO for videos to help my weak spots.”