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.
What was your most memorable moment in the sport?
“Winning the 2004 Derby on Cat Ichi and having my whole family there.” What is your training philosophy? “Make sure your horse understands what you want and get them hooked to a cow. Get it really broke, be friends with it and make sure you communicate really well with it…It’s a lot easier if the horse really understands what you want.”
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in the sport?
“No matter how good you are, you are still going to make some mistakes…Over the years I think back on the horses I would have liked to retrain. The older I’ve gotten, the more knowledge I’ve gotten… You never quit learning, you learn how to do things easier as you progress with your horsemanship. But there are some horses that I regret that I didn’t have them trained better.”
Do you have any preferences when you’re picking cattle?
“I won’t cut a Limousin. And for quite a few years I’m down on black baldies pretty bad. If I go to a cutting and it’s all black baldies, I might as well pack up and go home. I’ve been burnt bad on Limousins and black baldies…I’ll cut a Hereford any day…people have won a lot of money on Herefords in Fort Worth…Everyone hates Herefords because when you get a Hereford at your house, the very first time you work him he’s awesome and then after that he’s terrible..Everyone remembers that, but forgets the first work is big time money.”
What is the most important quality that you must have in a horse?
“Cow smarts. These days they are all pretty athletic, more so than years gone by… I’ve seen horses over the years and rode some that weren’t that athletic but were so smart about a cow that they were huge winners. It’s not just cow, a lot of horses have cow and just react to the cow but they aren’t smart about it.”
Why do you do what you do?
“I have a passion for a really good horse… I’ve done a lot of training so I don’t get any kick out of riding an average horse. When I feel one that has something special to it, that makes me want to go to the barn and ride it… I’ve always enjoyed riding… Everyday I ride my favorite 3 year old or favorite older horse. I gather cows on them every morning and check cows in the afternoon… Every monday we go pasture ride the 2 year olds… I’ve always enjoyed just trail riding.”
What have you learned or adjusted in your training program in the past year?
“The way competition is now, you have to be more aggressive all the time… It’s more than cut a cow and let your horse work . You have to cut the cow, let your horse work and be aggressive about controlling stuff at the same time.”