Ascencion Banuelos grew up with horses since his family didn’t have trucks or cars in Mexico. At 13 years of age, he came to California and started working on a dairy farm milking 400 cows twice a day. After five years at the dairy, he kept hoping he would run into horses.
He would get a few days off every six months and he found a horse barn and applied for a job on those days off. He got the job riding pleasure horses and then later the boss’s kids wanted to get into cutting so they bought some trained horses. He was able to hop on some of the cutters and get a feel for it. He even started training some of the pleasure horses to cut.
Jesse Lennox and Spots Hottist at the Summer Spectacular in 2021
At age 10 he was cleaning stalls, by 14 he was breaking in ponies and a few years later he turned a date into his first job training cutting horses. You could say Jesse Lennox creates his own luck. Where others see a difficult path, Lennox sees opportunity. Despite coming from a non-horse background, Lennox discovered early on that horses were his passion. Little did he know he would go onto work for two billionaires and be at the top of the cutting horse game. Keep On Reading!
A lifetime of hard work, passion and perseverance culminated at the NCHA Futurity Final for John Mitchell. He and Janie Wood rode into the history books scoring a 230 to take out the 2021 Open Championship.
Making the win even sweeter, Janie Wood, daughter of the accomplished Junie Wood was home bred by Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch. It was a fitting tribute to the late mare.
Cara Brewer on Tagging collected the Reserve Champion title with a 227.5. She was followed by Austin Shepard aboard Wood She B Magic tying for third place with Adan Banuelos and Hottish Metal who marked 224.
It’s that time of year again! Two year olds are being started and the ever important foundation for the rest of their career is being established.
Reserve NCHA Futurity champion for the second year running, Adan Banuelos has already earned in excess of $3 million in the show-pen. At just 31 years of age, Adan has proven his mastery in the show pen. Now we take a closer look at his skill as a horseman and learn how he handles his two year olds.
Adan is captivating to watch and listen to because he is such a student of the horse. His respect for the horse is admirable. He reiterates all the time how he likes to TEACH his horses something rather than TELL them!
Adan wants to instill a “where’s the cow” mentality in his horses, so that no matter what angle they land or where they end up (past the cow or behind the cow) that they want to find the cow and go with it.
Watch legendary trainer Gary Bellenfant bring the house down with his emotional win in the 2019 Futurity Open.
Gary rode Metallic Rey Mink to score a 226, some three points ahead of Reserve Champion Adan Banuelos and Twice In Santiago.
The horse is owned by Los Jaboncillos Ranch Inc.
It’s Gary’s second Futurity title, he won in 1995 aboard Peptoboonsmal. We included that ride further down as well for you to watch.
To honor Gary, who is one of our featured trainers on CHTO, we are continuing our show special for 24 hours only! Scroll down for details.
Watch Gary’s amazing videos on CHTO where he reveals his secret for creating such cowy horses. Login and watch or become a menmber now. Get your first month for just $1, on any subscription! New members only. Offer only lasts until Dec 15.
Ty Cole got his start riding range colts in Montana. After attending a cutting, Ty’s fascination with horsemanship was sparked. Ten years later, he specializes in yearlings, trains them for a year or two and then sells them mostly to cutting and cow horse competitors.
To learn his craft, he spent 6 months riding with Zane Davis. He said everything changed for him when he worked for Tom Campbell, based in Texas. Tom had a good string of horses and soon Tom said, “Alright, you’re up.” Ty got on his A string horses for the next few days. He said that helped him develop feel and how to cow up a horse. He said he felt those horses think independently about the cow.
With all the recent turmoil in cutting with declining membership, staff turn-over and controversies over how to make the sport fairer and more accessible, it can be hard to stay positive. But two cutters who have optimism to share are Star Roberts and Amy Jones.
When they started out in cutting, both knew that they weren’t going to go buy a six-figure cutting horse, if ever. They each began with a horse that was at their level and gradually moved up in horse power as they developed. Their trainers helped them learn and improve, knowing full well that they were not going to spend a lot of money on a horse. As a result, both riders have thoroughly enjoyed their time in the sport, making great friends.
It was back to back titles for Beau Galyean when he took out the 2018 NCHA Super Stakes Classic Final in Fort Worth. Beau rode 2015 Futurity Champion, Stevie Rey Von and marked a massive 231 to beat Adan Banuelos sitting on a 226. Beau, who won the same event last year, told CHTO’s Simone Cobb he’s only been training the stud for the past month, after Alvin and Becky Fults purchased him.
A 4yr old beat horses up to two years older in the Western Bloodstock and National Cutting Horse Association first Slot Cutting Final in Fort Worth!
Adan Banuelos put on an awesome show to clinch the winning run with a 226 on Pedel To The Metall owned by Faith Mountain Ranch.
A great final on steers, Adan’s four year old defeated 4, 5 and 6 year old horses to take home the coveted $60,000 prize purse in the Showdown in Cowtown event.
Phil Rapp riding Reyzin owned by Gale Force Quarter Horses came second with a 223 earning $39,500. All 12 riders who made the final won very respectable earnings, with the bottom hole still getting $10,000, which was twice their entry fee back.
Watch Adan’s winning run below!
The Amateur Slot Cutting Final is on July 19th, with the winner taking home $20,000.