Gary Kuoppala grew up on a dairy farm so he had plenty of experience working with cows. He went to farrier school and ended up becoming a horse trainer. He was later introduced to cutting and wanted to give it a try.
He typically starts colts in his program but he purchased a filly with the intention of training her into a cutting horse. He spent a little time with a local trainer but he rides by himself and does all of his own training.
This year is the first year that he has been showing seriously. And the first horse he ever showed in cutting was one he trained. He is leading the Big Sky Circuit and he is 18th in the 2k Limit Rider World Standings.
He travels around Minnesota and Nebraska to show. He is able to show a couple times a month. His most memorable moment was the first time he marked a 70 in a run with no penalties. Kuoppala was excited to say he set a goal to go to the water park with his son when he marks his first 73 and he met that goal this year.
His long term goal is to make it to the open futurity finals. He hopes to get another young cutting prospect and bring it along. He hopes it’s a faster process since he has done it once before.
Why Gary Uses CHTO:
“I’ve watched every video on [CHTO] multiple times. I’ll watch a video of me showing and I’ll watch a video of a [CHTO trainer] and watch what is different about their run [versus] mine and why they scored what they did… I’m a visual learner so reading a book wouldn’t work for me. I watch videos every day. It might be daily to refresh my memory daily because I’m not riding with cutters all the time… I love that it’s not just starting the two year olds or not just flag work. And just watching guys show, just helps put the whole picture together.”