Member Spotlight – Levi Price – Porter, OK

September 3rd, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Levi and Miss Cheekacat

Growing up rodeoing, Levi Price has always loved the western lifestyle. The summer before he started high school he got a job with a cutting horse trainer 10 miles from home. It did not take Price long to fall in love with the sport.

Later, he attended college on a rodeo scholarship at Conners State College where he almost finished his Animal Science degree. After college, he worked for Ed Dufurrena’s as his two year old trainer for more than two years in Gainesville, TX.

His favorite memory is the night Stevie Rey Von won the NCHA Futurity in 2015; he had been at Dufurrena’s for about a year. It was a great experience for Price to see the horse work everyday and watch it pay off claiming the coveted title. He said they were all very inspired to get back to work after that big night!

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Trainer’s Corner – Allen Crouch – Naxopater, MS

August 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $1,546,036

When Allen Crouch was seven years old he happened to move across the street from a huge cutting operation in Kentucky owned by non-pro rider, Ronnie Titsworth. He loved hanging out at the barn where Titsworth would give him jobs to do around the ranch. That soon blossomed into a great friendship. Titsworth would take Crouch to cuttings and let Crouch show his horses.

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Member Spotlight – Katy Rosane – Reno, NV

August 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Katy and Kitty Hawks Marie Photo by Ann Mulchay Photography

Katy Rosane participated in the Reno Rodeo cattle drive three years ago and thought chasing cows was a blast. The following year she was preparing to retire and decided she wanted a horse.

She attended a clinic given by a cutting horse trainer. The clinic ended up being cancelled but Rosane was already there and got talking with the clinician. Keep On Reading!


Bringing Out Your Best At The Michael Cooper Clinic

August 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Michael starts his clinics with a classroom session to find out participant’s challenges and goals.

There are really good riders, really good showmen, good trainers and good educators and it’s very rare that you find one that is all four. Michael Cooper is all four.

That’s according to Sheila King, who came from Tennessee to watch Cooper give a two day clinic put on by Cutting Horse Training Online at Weatherford, TX on July 3-4 at Stormy Cutting and Cattle Ranch.

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Trainer’s Corner – Travis Stewart – Grandview, TX

June 14th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Travis Stewart looks at two year olds like an artist looks at a blank canvas.They have limited experience with people so he can mold them into what he thinks they need to be to succeed in their performance careers. While Stewart has been focused on two year olds, he does get to show on occasion to complete the picture. He truly enjoys the day to day process of training at home.

He attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, in California where he earned his Animal Science degree. It was there he discovered the performance horse world, which soon replaced his plans for vet school. Stewart is also a talented painter and sculptor in his free time.

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Craig Thompson – Buffalo, TX

May 10th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $3,005,912

Two-time NCHA Futurity Champion, Craig Thompson, grew up showing cutting horses in the youth. His grandfather, Thomas Nichols, who was a huge inspiration to him, got him started in cutting.

In 1996, Thompson went to work for Kenny Pew Jr. in Brenham, TX. He then worked for Matt Gaines and with his assistant at the time, Clint Allen. Winston and Paul Hansma were living across the road at Bar H, so Thompson also spent time learning from them. He said the brothers were instrumental in helping his career.

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How You Can Stretch Your Equine Athlete For Improved Performance

May 10th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Veltri assessing a horse’s range of motion

Stretching before a big show or a hard training session is very important to keep muscles flexible, strong and healthy. Many horse owners already stretch their horse’s neck side to side with treats before a ride, but did you know there are more stretches you can do to keep your equine athlete performing at his best?

Equine Massage Therapist, Tiffanie Veltri likes to educate her clients on how to thoroughly stretch their own horses. These techniques help owners maintain their horse’s flexibility and make sure the key muscle groups are getting released.

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Trainer’s Corner: Rob Hodgman

April 6th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $892,000 Aus

At 18 years old Rob Hodgman left home in Australia and traveled to California to ride reined cow horses. He returned home where he said the sport was more popular then and bought a cow horse. That horse did not like reining so a friend suggested he take it to the cutting futurity. He ended up winning the 1983 Australian NCHA Open Futurity on the horse.

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Member Spotlight: Samantha McPherrin & Suzanne Stilwell

April 6th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Samantha McPherrin & her mom Suzanne Stilwell

Samantha McPherrin rode a cutting horse for the first time in 2010 when she was working for a trainer. She had a blast and her mom, Suzanne Stilwell, also got into cutting at the same time.

Stilwell bought her first horse in 2010. Stilwell said Todd Bimat and Jose Mendez were a big part of how she got started in cutting.

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Buffalo: The Next Best Thing To Having Cows

April 6th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Buffalo getting a feel for the arena

They’re goggled-eyed, mop-headed, unbalanced looking creatures that can seem downright intimidating, but the ungainly bison can be a cutter’s best friend when it comes to tuning your horse.

With constant supplies of fresh cattle a fantasy for most cutters, buffalo are a much more affordable substitute. Unlike cows which sour quickly after being worked, buffalo can be used to train six to eight horses a day for a number of years, provided you handle them right.

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Member Spotlight – Josh Keimig

February 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Josh riding a 2 year old with his son

What started out as a quest to make the best rope horse has become a journey that has taken Josh Keimig from working on the power line to ridin two year old cutting horses.

A friend with a cattle ranch introduced Josh Keimig to the fast paced sport of cutting with a YouTube video and broke cutters.

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Trainer’s Corner – Russ Westfall – Granbury, TX

February 9th, 2021 by Sophia Skeith

Total Earnings: $3,453,801

As a high schooler, Russ Westfall worked for a cattle ranch that provided cattle at cutting shows in the Northwest. That winter he went to work for a trainer and started colts. Then he got the incredible opportunity to work for Buster Welch in Texas. He was there for three years.

“It was the best time of my life. I learned so much!” said Westfall.

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The Impact of COVID – 19 On Cutting

December 9th, 2020 by Sophia Skeith

A rider at the futurity wearing a mask.

No one could have predicted the year 2020 has been. The cutting horse industry has never experienced something like COVID-19. All equine sports have had to adapt to continue to function in the midst of the pandemic. But how has COVID -19 actually impacted the sport and the community involved with it?

It’s important to recognize that many people have suffered the loss of loved ones and/or endured the illness themselves not to mention dealt with financial hardship. While it’s impossible to know those statistics in the cutting industry, we can investigate other ways it’s been felt.

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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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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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