Bill Jovenall got his start in the performance horse world riding reined cow horses but decided seven years ago he wanted to focus on cutting. He walked to the herd at the NCHA Futurity for the first time in 2020 and said that memory is the highlight of his time in the sport.
Total Earnings: $91,532
From NFR Bareback rider to top two-year-old cutting horse trainer, JD Garrett has made a name for himself across multiple industries.
Growing up in South Dakota, he has always been involved with horses and ranching. While competing in the rodeo world, Garrett would start colts for Tom Lyons in his down time.
Garrett said many people have helped him along the way but cutting horse trainers Shannon Hall, John Mitchell, Greg Wright, Tom Lyons, and Bob Pecora, a performance horse trainer, have all been instrumental in his career.
Pristine beaches, tropical jungles and exotic wildlife spring to mind at the mention of Costa Rica. But it may surprise you to know this popular tourist destination is home to a budding cutting horse community.
In fact, trainer César Meneses has big plans to fly his horse to Fort Worth and drop his hand in the Will Rogers Coliseum at the NCHA Futurity this fall.
He started cutting eight years ago and spent time in the United States riding with Kenny Knowlton, a horse trainer and AQHA International Committee member and Ascencion Banuelos.
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With fond memories of ranching and roping years ago, Bill Meyers has always enjoyed horses. He always wanted to try cutting and had Florida trainer, Ted Sokol recommended to him. Meyers met Sokol at a cutting show who put him on a horse. He then went to Sokol’s ranch for a lesson and officially caught the cutting bug two years ago.
Total Earnings: $2,238,026
As an NCHA AAAA judge, one of Brett Davis’s favorite things about judging is the finals. Everyone’s goal is to make the finals and hopefully win. As a judge, it is exciting to see what everyone brings to the table when they lay it all on the line to win a coveted buckle. He was of the five judges in the 2019 Futurity that Gary Bellenfant won.
“It’s very humbling to work with someone like Lindy. There’s always something new to learn…That hunger to always get better is one thing I took from it and through Art of the Cowgirl you’re always learning…I hope I can even say that when I’m 65 and 75…And just the fellowship and camaraderie,” not only with Burch, Dwyer said, but others who opened their homes. “They let us come in and work and stay with them and eat with them and get to know their families.”
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Gayle Weber fell in love with horses at a young age. After her kids graduated from school she had free time to fill and some friends introduced her to cutting in 2008. She attended two cutting clinics, one with Lindy Burch one with Faron Hightower. Weber competes in the 25k Novice Non-Pro, and the 50 AM.
One of her goals includes getting her horse out of the 25k NNP. Weber is very dedicated. She lives in Montana so she spends a lot of time traveling to shows. Weber said there is one show in Montana that is two and a half hours away, the rest of them are four to six hours away or further.
Total Earnings: $5,465,497
Kobie Wood grew up in Illinois and his dad had always wanted to get into cutting. In 1957, his father bought a place for horses and cattle. Wood started learning how to cut. He rode his first cutter at five years old.
Colter Klemm had always worked with cow horses but after riding for cutting horse trainer Matt Budge last winter he realized cutting was what he wanted to pursue seriously. It was the horse power and the quality of the horses that attracted him to the sport. He showed for the first time in November where he won his first buckle.
He said he really enjoys the learning process and watching different methods of training horses. Since Klemm has ridden mostly cow horses, learning how to draw back and thinking back has been a new concept he has found challenging.
Total Earnings: $237,828
Cory Deel grew up in Denton, North Carolina and rode bulls. He was encouraged to get a job and with no horse experience at all he started working for a horse trader cleaning stalls. The trader had cutting horses and gave Deel his first experience riding one. Deel went on to work for Eddie Braxton in South Carolina for four years where he worked a lot of horses and gained most of his knowledge. Deel moved to Texas to work for Mike and Tammy Jones in Wichita Falls. He showed horses and rode their colts. He then bought his current facility in Jacksboro, TX two years ago.
Jaylene Eppel was introduced to cutting horses in college. After a few lessons she was hooked. While still in school, Eppel bought a weanling that she eventually put in training to become her first show horse. Eppel currently has that horse’s foal.
Eppel’s most memorable moments in the sport was when she won her first buckles. One was for the 2K limited and then the other was for the high point rider of the day in 2012. Those are the buckles she wears to this day.
She is fortunate to own the 3 Bar C Ranch that raises Wagyu and Angus beef. She has plenty of cows to work and learn on and if she ever needs more she can borrow some from her brother down the road.
Think a bull-headed brahman is intimidating to cut? Then imagine going eye-to-eye with an elephant! Yes, an actual elephant. That is what one enterprising cutter did to solve his cattle crisis.
In fact, cutters around the world are finding creative solutions to their lack of cows that includes an eclectic mix of animals from donkeys, water buffalo and llamas to yes, even elephants.