Hilaria Gutierrez and her husband run a ranch of about 300 head of cattle in Arizona. They had a mare that was extremely good at sorting cattle so Gutierrez wanted to take her to a ranch cutting in 2021. She had never done any kind of cutting. Gutierrez didn’t know the rules but she said the horse tried hard for her.
In the cowboy world, once you’re in your spot herding cattle that’s your spot. Gutierrez didn’t realize she could ride in front of the turnback help because that’s a big no when ranching. She lost a cow, but found a new passion. She decided to pursue cutting and a friend recommended a trainer to her. Read the rest of this entry »
You can’t beat that first buckle feeling. Bobby pictured at Right
Bobby Kearney grew up in Nevada and was influenced by his grandfather who would tell him how special a cutting horse was. He would get to ride occasionally as a boy, but after he finished medical school the first thing he did was buy a horse.
He attended the PCCHA cutting shows in Reno and would watch and talk with people. They moved to North Carolina and he put horses to the side after experiencing difficulties finding a trainer. Eventually an employee invited him to come riding and much to his excitement she rode cutting horses!
Kearney said 2021 was his Rookie year and he was able to show a few times. He has met some of his goals already including winning his first buckle and making sure there was a seven in front of his score.Keep on reading!
Gary Kuoppala grew up on a dairy farm so he had plenty of experience working with cows. He went to farrier school and ended up becoming a horse trainer. He was later introduced to cutting and wanted to give it a try.
He typically starts colts in his program but he purchased a filly with the intention of training her into a cutting horse. He spent a little time with a local trainer but he rides by himself and does all of his own training. Keep On Reading!
Jaylene Eppel was introduced to cutting horses in college. After a few lessons she was hooked. While still in school, Eppel bought a weanling that she eventually put in training to become her first show horse. Eppel currently has that horse’s foal.
Eppel’s most memorable moments in the sport was when she won her first buckles. One was for the 2K limited and then the other was for the high point rider of the day in 2012. Those are the buckles she wears to this day.
She is fortunate to own the 3 Bar C Ranch that raises Wagyu and Angus beef. She has plenty of cows to work and learn on and if she ever needs more she can borrow some from her brother down the road.
Brett and Chance To Cat Photo by Diamond Double S Photography
Brett Shayler attended cuttings as a spectator for years when his mom showed. This past year he decided he would give it a try and found he really enjoyed doing the sport with his mother, Billie Aylesworth. They cheer each other on while showing and she uses her experience to coach him and help make a plan for his run.
Eric Van Boekel was originally a team penner. There was just something about that feeling when a horse gets a hold of a cow. He then started riding with Randy Chartier in 2003 and ventured into the cutting horse scene.
The obvious next step for Van Boekel was to buy his own cutting horse. He tried to do both sports together but it started to get complicated because one sport was offensive and one was defensive. He picked cutting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matthew Koenig started out racing motorcycles. His wife was the horse lover. When they got married and wanted a family, racing motorcycles didn’t make sense, so he picked up trail riding. But Matthew still enjoyed competition so he began to look for something to challenge him. A nearby cutting horse trainer got Matthew intrigued and two years later, Matthew is the owner of three cutting horses and going strong in the sport.
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.
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.
Cody Patterson started off with humble beginnings in the horse business cleaning stalls for Phil Hanson Sr, from California (Futurity Champion Phil Hanson in Texas is his son). At the time, Hanson trained cutters but he also trained cow horses and made the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals a few times. Patterson always gravitated to the cow horse side of the performance horse world, appreciating the versatility of the sport.