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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Total Earnings: $878,475
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.
Total Earnings: $979,937
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.
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.
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.
It takes more than a good horse to be successful in cutting. It takes planning, practice and positivity. That’s according to someone who’s had plenty of success of the show pen, $3-million trainer Grant Setnicka. Not only that, Setnicka’s clients also enjoy plenty of success themselves. Setnicka shares his tips on how to set yourself up for a satisfying experience in cutting.
➤ Step one is decide what shows you are going to attend for the year. And then learn what each client or yourself needs and adjust the training, work and practice schedule to suit.
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.
Hall Of Fame trainer, Andrew Coates, started his first horse at 13 years old in Australia and now he and his wife Nicole own and operate Southern Cross Ranch in Esparto, California. A few years ago they chose to change their business model to keep their family together. Coates now trains 2 year olds and shows a few 3 year olds. Coates said they are very blessed to have incredible clients that have stuck with them through the transition as well as great friends like Morgan Cromer and Eric Wisehart. Coates also raises and sells Wagyu Cattle, and runs a feedlot.
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.”
Jade Johnson was introduced to cutting in Oklahoma when she worked for Rick and Dolly Chayer, of Chayer Performance Horses. They had working cow horses and show ropers. This gave her a taste for the way a cow horse felt. When she came back to Australia, she spent weekends at Turpentine Park riding their cutting horses and fell in love with the sport. She has now been cutting for 10 years.
Her favorite thing about the sport is the people she has met and the places the sport has taken her.