Member Spotlight – Andy Sutliff – Against All Odds

March 8th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Andy Sutliff and MK Smooth Texas

Submitted and Written by member Shelley Casciato

How can a guy attain what Andy Sutliff has earned with lifetime NCHA earnings of $47,630.00 and USCHA earnings of $17,964.00 while living in an English dominated area with no cows, no walker, just an indoor pen and a flag?

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Trainer’s Corner – John Mitchell – Weatherford, TX

January 12th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $4,468,839

After a childhood spent in the saddle showing in western pleasure, English and cutting, John Mitchell decided early on that dropping the reins was the sport for him.

Originally from Australia, Mitchell began riding horses for Winderadeen, a large quarter horse breeder in New South Wales.

Afterwards, Mitchell went to work for well known trainer Graham Amos to learn how to train cutting horses. Along the way, many others have had a hand in helping develop him into the trainer he is today.

Mitchell came to the States for the first time at 14 years old and celebrated his 15th birthday there.

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Member Spotlight – Christine Perry – Calvert, TX

January 12th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Christine and I Cant Tell You Why

Christine Perry has spent all her life on a ranch, but she didn’t get introduced to cutting until later. She was invited to a local pre-work where she got the bug and then purchased her first cutting horse.

Perry has been cutting since 2011 and shows mostly at weekend shows. She has a big pen she can work her horse in and all the fresh cows she wants on her ranch. Not just any cow, she works Brahmas that have a reputation for being wild.

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Trainer’s Corner – Matt Gaines – Weatherford, TX

December 9th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Most interesting and rewarding journeys are never taken in a straight line. That’s certainly been the case for $8.5 million dollar earner Matt Gaines who took a few side paths on his way to becoming one of the greatest trainers in the sport of cutting.

Despite his father Dick being a successful cutting horse trainer, Gaines decided to go to college and earn an agriculture business degree. He then went on to work for tack manufacturer Dennis Moreland. But eventually, Gaines realized none of those routes were for him so he moved to Mississippi and started training horses.

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Member Spotlight – Shelley Casciato

December 9th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Shelley Casciato and MK Smooth Texas

Three years after doctors told Shelley Casciato she would never compete again, she won the 2020 United States Cutting Horse Association Finals in the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro aboard MK Smooth Texas. She was 70 years old.

She had endured two total hip replacements in 2017 and was out of the saddle for two and a half years, yet she was able to make her dream come true. Casciato’s mental tenacity helped to make her win possible.

“The only failure in life is not trying,” are the words Casciato lives by.

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Member Spotlight – Jed Lawrence – Nancy, KY

October 5th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Photo By Brent Puhl

In 2007,  Jed Lawrence attended a cow horse sale in Indiana. He had grown up on a cattle ranch and thought reined cow horses looked fun. He went to work for Shawn Flarida, focusing on the reining event. Lawrence now has his own training operation in Nancy, KY and he uses Cutting Horse Training Online to improve his herd work.

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Trainer’s Corner – Dustin Gonnet – Cayley, Alberta, Canada

October 5th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Photo By Hudyma Photography

Total Earnings: $1,672,203

Dustin Gonnet bought a horse from a sale that a cutting horse trainer had put some time on and he ended up getting a job with that trainer, Doug Reinhardt, to start colts and later he worked for Scott Amos. He never turned back! Gonnet grew up cowboying and riding colts his whole life in Saskatchewan, Canada. Gonnet was a true student of the sport, spending many hours watching other trainers in the practice pen at shows and applying what he thought would work for him and building on that.

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Member Spotlight – Roberta Rollins – Belle, MO

July 24th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Roberta receiving her Reserve Champion $5000 AM buckle at The Bonanza

Roberta Rollins began her riding career with Western Pleasure Futurity horses. She and her trainer, Jaime Bissell, went to Tom Lyons’ ranch in 1994 where Rollins got a taste of cutting. After a 3 day crash course in the sport, she purchased Doc’s Lord Monty and attended her first cutting show.

“I was terrified at the thought of showing in cutting, when my background was a slow lope around the pen on a pleasure futurity horse,” Rollins remembered.

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Trainer’s Corner – Guy Woods

July 24th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Guy Woods

Total Earnings: $2,729,007

Originally from Australia, Guy Woods grew up in the horse business. His dad was a cutting horse trainer and so he started showing as a youth. At age 18, Guy moved to the States to work for a reining trainer. His boss later suggested he work for cutting horse trainer, Bill Riddle, and the rest is history!

Guy has been working for EE Ranches for an impressive 32 years! He said the key is really good communication with the owners, the Ellards. Several years into working for EE Ranches, Mrs. Ellard started showing a lot. She was the head loper and she was in the trenches with Guy. She saw the good, the bad and the ugly, Guy said. She saw every aspect of the sport, which helped her understand cutting from a trainer’s perspective and the challenges they face. He said this has been the key to their partnership’s success and longevity.

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Creating The Conditions For Success With Michael Cooper Pt2

June 1st, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Michael Cooper talking to clinic participants

As most cutting horse shows start back up in June, it is time to think about your strategy for the rest of the year and get your head in back in the game! Top trainer Michael Cooper offers some great insight into how to do just that!

Set Goals

Michael Cooper spends time with each of his clients on developing their goals. He said setting goals depends on three things: the horse, the rider, and the steps they need to take together to accomplish those goals. For example, what does the client want to do with their horse? Show more themselves or have Cooper show it to try to win the most money on it?

Together, they also decide if it’s an open or a non pro horse or if it can be both at some shows. From there, they work out a plan for the horse. If it’s a horse they just want to show in the non pro or amateur, Cooper will still show it every third show or so at the weekend level to keep it tuned up and increase its money earned.

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Trainer’s Corner: Cullen Chartier

June 1st, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Cullen Chartier Photo by Martin Lengals

Total Earnings: $1,004,761

With two generations of cutters behind him, you could say cutting is in Cullen Chartier’s blood. Before committing to be a trainer, Chartier’s main focus was other sports. At one point, he pursued a sports broadcasting career, but made the switch after watching his brother, RL Chartier make the Futurity finals.

Cullen showed in the youth and worked for his dad, Randy Chartier for two years. He then went to work for RL at Wrigley Ranches. After two years, RL told him it was time to go work for someone else, so Chartier headed off to Paul Hansma. He spent four years with Hansma, before starting his own business training out of Paul’s place.

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Member Spotlight – Garth Bullis, Holcomb, Kansas

June 1st, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Garth Bullis and Reyality Check

Garth Bullis began his horse career in the English world and soon moved into the western disciplines. He tried reining, and roping but still hadn’t found his niche. He came across cutting in a video and thought it was the coolest thing he had seen. After finding a retired cutting horse trainer who helped him learn, he became hooked.

He purchased a mare in 2014, got her started and showed her. She taught Bullis a lot. The pair ended up winning the Minnesota Non Pro Breeder’s Futurity and all three go rounds before that. He really felt like cutting was what he should be doing and after his dad passed away, he decided to really go for it.

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Member Spotlight: Greg Gallagher

March 4th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Greg Riding Better Moonshine

Greg and his family own an equestrian facility in Canada and the trainer there taught him how to ride. She asked him if he wanted to work cows one day and he fell in love with cutting after that.

Greg has been cutting for two years now. He borrowed a horse and says he doesn’t think he marked above a 60 that whole first year.

He then looked for a horse he could buy. He bought Better Moonshine and they have experienced a lot of success together. One of his most memorable moments was when he marked his first 72 with the new horse.

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Trainer’s Corner: Phil Rapp – Weatherford Texas

February 7th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $9,227,718

How did you get started in cutting?

“As a young boy in 1975 I wanted to meet a cowboy, so my parents took me to the Cow Palace and I met Leo Camarillo and his wife. My parents developed a friendship with them and I have always had a love of horses ever since I was born. And my dad was looking for a way to semi-retire to the country…We got introduced to cutting and reined cow horse and went to the Snaffle Bit Futurity but I really had a fondness for cutting so my interest and passion grew from there.”

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Jay Winborn – On A Mission To Revive Cutting

February 7th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Jay Winborn NCHA Executive Director

You could say Jay Winborn is a man with a plan, or two or three. Not only is he brimming over with creative ideas, he has a track record of implementing them, successfully. It’s why the National Cutting Horse Association, plagued by membership decline, lack of leadership and financial strife, was prepared to make a lucrative offer to get Winborn on board. So in December of 2019, the NCHA welcomed Jay Winborn as the new executive director.

Winborn is credited with transforming the National Reined Cow Horse Association. In seven years as executive director, he doubled the membership, breathed new life into their events and increased spectator involvement. His resume also includes being a regional marketing manager for Red Bull, and a marketing director for Hatco.

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