Barn Management with Slate River Ranch’s Kellee Clarke

February 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

A well-run barn is the key to any smooth operation. Whether you have one or 50 horses in your care, it’s crucial that you have an organized space, know where everything is and are able to act in any kind of emergency.

Kellee Clarke has been the barn manager for Slate River for nine years and counting. She makes sure everything has its place, and most importantly gets put back in place. Her feed room, vet room, tack room and stalls are clearly labeled so almost anyone can walk in and know just what to do for any of the horses.

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For The Good Of Cutters: Past and Present

January 12th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Buster Welch with the Sculpture in his Honor

From honoring Buster Welch and the King Ranch’s Little Peppy to supporting the next generation of cutters, the NCHA Foundation has been behind cutters of all ages for 40 years. The NCHA Foundation is the charitable branch of the National Cutting Horse Association.

The Foundation was formed in 1982 to raise money, support educational programs and preserve the history and culture of cutting. But interestingly, it’s played a lesser known but crucial and wide-ranging role than just being an archive, by providing funding when they see a need and supporting animal welfare and research.

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Member Spotlight – Garnett Hayes – Cerulean, KY

November 5th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Garnett Hayes and JR Colored Summer Prom

Garnett Hayes has enjoyed the sport of cutting for 38 years. He first saw the sport on TV as a young boy and thought it looked fun. Hayes started out riding a paint and has owned many horses. Hayes enjoys his retirement with his horses on a 400 acre farm in Western Kentucky.

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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 – Geoffrey Sheehan – Weatherford, TX

October 5th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Geoffrey Sheehan

Total Earnings: $1,570,398

Geoffrey Sheehan grew up in Gundagai, New South Wales, Australia. At about 12 years old he started working for renowned trainer Graham Amos on school holidays. When Sheehan was 16, Graham Amos came to the States to compete in cutting. Sheehan decided that was his path too and continued working for him in America.

Amos was Sheehan’s main mentor, but he also credits other trainers for teaching him along the way such as John Mitchell, Roger Wagner, and Clint Allen to name a few.

“The first time I ever walked into Will Rogers I [thought] this is what I want to do,” Sheehan said.

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EPM – Career Ending Or A Brief Setback?

October 5th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Dr. Molly Bellefeuille of Northern Star Equine Speaking with CHTO’s Duncan Steele-Park

Ever had a horse that looked strangely unbalanced, had an abnormal gait or a lameness that you couldn’t put your finger on? It’s possible that horse is suffering from Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis better known as EPM.

It’s a disease that’s probably more common than you may think. Most horses have antibodies but no clinical signs, hence are immune, but many don’t and diagnosing EPM can be challenging because it presents differently in every horse.

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World Cutting Horse Association – Making Cutting Accessible

September 14th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Friendly, fun, and affordable is the mission behind the fast growing World Cutting Horse Association based out of Oklahoma and Texas. Six years ago, Lainie Whitmire founded the WCHA to help cutters with smaller budgets have a place to show. They started with some very small shows but prayed it would work. With the help of friends and their wider network spreading the word, the shows were a success.

With approximately 2,000 members, the WCHA works, Whitmire said, because it is made up of friendly, helpful, salt of the earth people who do the hard work. The goal is to make the association fun, inclusive and easy to get involved with.

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Member Spotlight – Lilly Loraas – Duluth, MN

September 14th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Lilly and Smart Like Pepto Rio

Lilly Loraas first started cutting about a year ago and at 14 years old she has big dreams. She is a regional director for the NYCHA and hopes to one day become president or vice president of the board. She also hopes to compete at the world finals and continue learning about the sport.

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Tiffani Veltri – The Power Of Massage For Cutting Horses

September 14th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Tiffani Veltri assessing a horse

Like any athlete, a cutting horse must be kept comfortable in order to perform to the best of his ability. While this involves a team of people such as the vet, farrier, and equine dentist, another health modality that’s becoming increasingly popular is massage therapy. Nationally Certified Equine Massage Therapist Tiffanie Veltri said massage can have immediate benefits for helping a horse release tension and rehab sore muscles.

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Trainer’s Corner – Wesley Galyean – Claremore, OK

August 4th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Wesley Galyean

Total Earnings: $4,051,497

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.  

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Member Spotlight: Kylie Barnett – Tamworth, NSW, Australia

August 4th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Kylie and Yugilbar Gday Kitty

Kylie Barnett has been around horses her whole life. Her background is in camp drafting (an Australian sport that shares some similarities with reined cow horse) which goes back to her grandfather, but she has always enjoyed watching cutting at the Australian NCHA Futurity. She was watching the Futurity sale and saw a mare she liked that wasn’t going for much so she decided to take a chance and buy her!  Keep On Reading!


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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Jay Winborn – From Polo To Cutting – Life Lessons

July 23rd, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Jay Winborn

NCHA Executive Director Jay Winborn has a background in an equine sport you don’t hear much of in performance horse circles. For 15 years, Winborn was an international, professional polo player!

He started off as a groom in a polo club. As a third generation polo player, it was a natural progression for the young rider. He not only competed in the sport, but trained polo horses and ran polo clubs in the Dallas district.

Playing professionally meant a lot of traveling. He would spend four to five months a year in Florida for the winter training and riding. In the summer, the team would travel to New York, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and other states to play in month-long tournaments.

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Yes! You Can Show During The COVID-19 Shutdown

May 7th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

We are living in a brand new world right now! The current corona virus pandemic has forced all horse shows to be either canceled or postponed for the foreseeable future. But that hasn’t stopped the American Paint Horse Association. They have come up with a way for people to be able to compete from home. Steven Hayes is the APHA’s senior marketing director and he’s the person behind this great idea.

How did you come up with this idea?

“Well, I will say it was a team effort. We have some great people on our team that are very innovative and really thinking for the future. This is a project we’ve been working on for quite a while and it’s been in the queue even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With everything that’s going on, we obviously pushed this to the front of the line to try to help get this released and allow people to still do things with their horses while they’re stuck at home and trying to bear what’s going on in the world.

The whole idea is that we live in a virtual world, right?…We want to be able to touch all the markets and give opportunities for people to do activities with their horses on a lower-cost scale.

In this scenario, it’s a smaller entry fee than most horse shows, but you also have to think that you don’t pay a stall fee, you don’t have to haul your horse, you can do it right from your arena.

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Member Spotlight: Dirceu Grigoletto Jr.

May 7th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

Dirceu and Rodrigo Taboga

Dirceu grew up in Brazil and always rode horses and worked with cattle. He has been interested in cutting horses from a very young age. He learned about the American Quarter Horse from an episode on TV that showed all the different sports you could do with the breed. He saw cutting and decided that was how he wanted to make a living and he began a journey to learn the sport of cutting.

In Brazil, he mainly focused on two year olds. He said his favorite thing to do is to train and ride horses. You can’t beat the thrill of riding a colt for the first time, getting it trained and showing it for the first time, he said.

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