Austin Shepard grew up around cutting horses and learned the tricks of the trade from his late father, trainer Sam Shepard. He knew very early that cutting was what he wanted to pursue. His parents split up when Shepard was young so he and his mother moved into the city. He was very involved in sports and in the summer he would go ride horses with his dad. He wasn’t around the horses all the time so, he said, that only increased his interest in riding.
An Open Futurity winner as a 21 year-old non-pro, Wesley Galyean had always known he wanted to be a cutting horse trainer. There was no plan B for him. Cutting has been in his family for three generations, both his father Jody and grandfather Kenneth Galyean were trainers. A lot of people tried to convince him to go to college and skip the horse training, but Galyean said it was in his blood. If it’s what you love, keep on fighting, work hard, pray hard and give it everything you have he said.
Scott Amos got his start in the reining and cow horse world. He said his parents had horses and he rode and showed growing up. Tim Denton introduced Amos to cutting and gave him his first job during school summers.
Winston Hansma and John Mitchell offered a lot of help and advice along the way when Colorado based Amos was able to come to Texas. He would bring three or four horses down and ride with the two Hall of Famers.
Amos was originally going to go to school to be a prosthetist (a specialist in prosthetics). He had been interested in making artificial limbs after he lost his lower leg in a tractor accident. Amos had a passion for helping kids dealing with the loss of a limb. While he had a full scholarship to study, the lure of training horses was too great.