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By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 24, 2012

Lee Garner, Batesville, Miss., was acquitted of all charges by United States District Judge Neal Biggers on Aug. 23, overturning aprevious jury indictment.


On Sept. 11, 2011, Lee Garner, Batesville, Miss., was found guilty on four counts by a grand jury, that returned a fourteen-count superseding indictment against Garner and co-defendants Raymond Shoemaker and Robert Corkern. The charges involved Tri-States Medical Center in Batesville, Miss. Garner pleaded not guilty on Oct. 7, 2011.

On. Aug. 23, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Mississippi reversed the jury’s decision and acquitted Garner on all counts.

Shoemaker’s motion for acquittal was also granted on Counts One and Four and denied on the remaining counts. For that reason, the court would grant a new trial as to Garner on Counts One, Two, Four and Five, should it be necessary. Shoemaker also would be granted a new trial on Counts One, Three and Four and denied on all remaining account.

Garner is well known in the cutting industry for his success in the cutting arena and for producing the Batesville, Miss., cuttings at his facility.
Click for Judges Order>>
Click for Judges memos>>
Click for article in Clarion Journal>>


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 1, 2012-Aug.13, 2012

Skip and Janet Jacques shown at their Colorado ranch during a cutting event. Skip, a well-known brain surgeon, was recently diagnosed with esophagus cancer.
Photo by Kurtz

Skip Jacques is well-known brain surgeon, but he is also a well-known amateur cutter on the West Coast. The well-liked doctor, who has saved many patients, including several cutters, from the side effects of Parkinson's Disease through brain surgery, was recently diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus.

According to his wife, Janet, "Scans show it has not spread and the doctors are optimistic. Skip has to go through six weeks of intense chemo and radiation. If all goes well with that, they will give him a month off to recoup and get his strength back before they do surgery."

But Skip and Janet do have something good to look forward - the arrival of their first grandchild around the first of August. Their son Stephen and his wife Roseanna are expecting a baby boy and Skip and Janet are excited.

Week two - It seems like I was just sitting down to send you all off a report of how week one went & now it is the end of week two. Thank goodness time is going by fast. Skip had a good week with no major problems or set backs. One chemo & four radiation treatments this week. Got an extra day off due to the holiday. During the week our days are full of Doctors appointments & his treatments. That's really about the only time Skip is away from the ranch since the doctors have told him to stay away from crowds since he cannot afford to get sick with his immune system being compromised by the treatments he is getting.

We still try to get out for a daily walk or ride around the ranch. Skip is getting cabin fever staying in bed most of the time because his energy level is low. The day after he gets his chemo & radiation on the same day (Tuesdays), he is usually wiped out. Aiko gives him his liter of fluids on Thursdays & Skip is his old self again.

I'm sorry if we can't take your calls when they come in. If we don't pick up, Skip is either resting or I am feeding him. We will try to get back to you as soon as we can. Until next week, please keep all those good thoughts & prayers coming.

Week 3 - Skip had a pretty good week except half way through he started getting bouts of nausea. This is to be expected since they are doing the radiation from his neck to his stomach. The meds are helping him get through those times. We are thankful that he isn't experiencing any pain yet. We have a great visiting nurse, Lisa, that comes in once a week to check up on Skip. Not much else to report this week so until next time...

Thank you all again for your calls, cards & emails. They really do lift Skip's spirits.

Week 4 -Two thirds of the way through now. One chemo and five radiation treatments were done this week. Skip is still getting some nausea and the dry heaves that come with it. We are trying everything we can think of to help him get through those times and make him more comfortable. What takes Skip's mind off of everything is the approaching arrival of our grandson within the next couple of weeks. Stephen and Roseanna have a doctor's appointment Tuesday so we should know more by then. We are so excited and can't wait until the dam Liam is born. I will keep you all updated.

Update on Skip – 8-13-12
Wonderful news - Our Grandson, Liam Brunton Jacques, was born on Wednesday, 8/8/12 @ 12:27 a.m. weighing in @ 7 lbs 3 oz. & is 19.25" long. Roseanna & Liam came home from the hospital on Friday & they are both doing great! This is just the boost that Skip needed. He is feeling a little better every day & hopes to get over for a visit later this week so he can meet & hold our Grandson for the first time. We have been watching Liam on the webcam that Stephen set up. Skip is working with hand weights to build up his arms & a mini cycle for his legs.

The treatments really zapped his energy & the weight loss has taken away some of his muscle tone. Skip's voice is slowing coming back (Oh darn) so hopefully soon he might be up for some short phone calls. He still tires easily which is to be expected. We have an appt. tomorrow for a follow up PET/CT Scan so we hope we will have some good news to pass along to you next week.

Again, thanks for all your emails, cards, calls & especially keeping up all the good thoughts & prayers.



Aug. 8, 2012
Colin McTaggart, son of cutting horse trainer Tom McTaggart, was seriously hurt in a bull riding accident Friday, Aug. 3.


Last Friday evening, Colin McTaggart, San Luis Obispo, Calif., the 27-year-old son of cutting horse trainer Tom McTaggart, Gorman, Texas, and his mother Sherry McTaggart, was seriously hurt during a PBR bull riding at the Ross Coleman Invitational in Molala, Ore., on Friday, Aug. 3. Colin is currently in the hospital in Portland, Ore., and according to friends he has had three surgeries with possibly more in the future. However, he is making great improvements and was awakened from an induced coma this afternoon and also taken off the respirator.

According to PBR and PRCA bull rider Shane Proctor, who was at the bull riding, Colin came off the bull and landed face down on the grown sprawled out. The bull continued bucking and landed on Colin on his lower back and buttocks and then pushed off of him with all his weight. Colin was in surgery for 4 ½ hours for a lacerated liver, his aortic artery, damage to his colon and bowel and serious blood loss. The first surgery was just to stabilize him, while the second was to remove part of his intestine.

According to friends, Colin, who is also a member of the the PRCA and qualified for the NFR several times, needs your continued prayer and financial support. Tom has had to leave his training business in Texas to stay with his son while his wife, Debbie, is holding down the fort in Texas. Also, there is no money coming in for Colin and his wife Dawn.
An account has been set up and if you wish to contribute, go to any Bank of America and donate to the: McTaggart Donation Fund, Routing No. 122400724 and Account No. 501013057617.

Also, there is a plan for an on-line auction on Face book which is being put together by Debbie Roberts and Colin’s manager. There is a plan to put 20 really nice items on Colin’s Face book account, ColinMcTaggartUpdates, and auction them off. There will be detailed instructions on how to bid and a starting and ending date. If you have any items you would like to donate, contact Debbie Roberts at (503) 701-5007. Check out Colin’s Face Book account for updates and to check out the auction.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 5, 2012
Friday the 13th has always been considered an unlucky day, but Flynn Stewart, 67, Bowie, Texas, realizes how bad it really can be. It was Friday, July 13th when he had a stroke about midnight. He was taken to the Decatur hospital, then flown to a Plano hospital for a week. When he was doing better, he was taken to therapy in Bowie, and then back to Decatur for therapy. But Flynn has progressed marvelously, as only 21 days later, on Friday, Aug. 3, he is back home.

When I talked to Flynn on Friday, Aug. 4, the day after he arrived at home, his speech and mind seemed back to normal. I would have never guessed he had a stroke only days before. He says he still has some weakness in his right arm and that he is expecting to get more at-home therapy soon, which should help him get back to normal quickly. Flynn is a survivor, as several years ago, he survived a heart attack and open heart surgery, also at the Decatur hospital.

Flynn and his wife, Norma, were agents for three horses in the NCHA Summer Spectacular Sale on Saturday, July 28; however, they were not able to be there and sent the horses with their help. Flynn is a familiar face at horse sales and is a seasoned horse seller, buyer and fitter of horses.

You can send Flynn your “Get Well” wishes to P.O. Box 1793, Bowie, TX 76230-1793.


Article courtesy PRCA
Aug. 5, 2012

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association is deeply saddened to confirm the sudden passing of one of its bright, young stars, two-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo team roper Broc Cresta. Cresta, 25, was found dead this morning of unknown causes in his living quarters trailer at the Cheyenne (Wyo.) Frontier Days Rodeo.

Cresta, the 2007 PRCA/Resistol Rookie Heeler of the Year, roped at the last two NFRs. He and reigning World Champion Header Turtle Powell placed in five of 10 rounds at the 2010 NFR. Cresta heeled for boyhood buddy Spencer Mitchell at last December’s NFR, and after placing in three rounds the lifelong team saved their best for last by sharing the 3.6-second round-10 win with Chad Masters and Jade Corkill.

Cresta, who called Petaluma, Calif., home, is currently ranked 12th in the world team roping heeling standings. Among his many career highlights was the win at the Daddy of ’em All in Cheyenne with Logan Olson in 2008.

“The whole rodeo world is in shock,” said PRCA Director of Communications Kendra Santos. “My phone’s been ringing off the wall all day with calls from Hall of Famers on down to little kids. Broc’s a fourth-generation cowboy in California, and everybody loves him. It’s hard enough to lose a good cowboy when he’s 90, but losing such a talented and genuinely good person at 25 is just about impossible. Our hearts are with Broc’s family and friends. The entire rodeo family hurts right now.”

An autopsy is being conducted on Cresta in Loveland, Colo. The results may take from four to six weeks. Services were held on Friday, Aug. 3 at the Wells Fargo Center in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Editor's note: According to reports from friends, his girlfriend, Brittney Posey, a top WPRA barrel racer and his girlfriend, found Broc in the trailer.


Aug. 3, 2012
On July 24, the U. S. Marshall Services announced that they had awarded a contract to Professional Auction Services, Round Hill, Va., for the U.S. District Court-ordered dispersal of 400 horses and related equipment belonging to former city of Dixon, Ill., comptroller Rita Crundwell. Today Professional Auction Services announced the dates and places of those sales.

An online auction will be held Sept. 11-12, which will be mainly for horses that are not located on the Dixon, Ill., property. The live auction, consisting of horses will be held in Dixon, Ill., on Sept. 23-24. On Sunday, Sept. 23, performance horses and related equipment. Halter horses will sell on Monday, Sept. 24.

A flyer listing all the horses will be available via U.S. mail and sale catalogs will be available for download online and at the live auction only. Horses have not been assigned to auction dates. Furher details will be available at as they become available.

The sale company's performance will be closely monitored by the U.S. Marshalls Service to ensure the highest level of integrity. A buyer's premium is the only authorized fee charaged to a buyer. Private sales will not be allowed.

The horses have been under the care of the U. S. Marshals Service since Crundwell was indicted May 1 on a federal wire fraud charge. Prosecutors say Crundwell, 59, misappropriated more than $53 million in city funds over two decades to pay for her horse operations and "lavish lifestyle."

On June 15, federal Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney OK'd the sale of the horses, along with 21 embryos, 13 saddles and frozen stallion semen from eight horses. A similar request was granted to sell her $2.1 million luxury motor home and five properties. Some of the properties cannot be sold until the horse sale takes place.

Also, yesterday the U.S. Marshals Service has rejected the only bid for a luxury motor home seized from Crundwell because the bid did not meet the minimum $1 million requirement. The 2009 Elegant Lady Series Liberty Coach motor home had a list price of $2.1 million. The Marshalls Service will try to find another way to sell off the RV.


Aug. 3, 2012
The Ford Youth World starts today and goes through Aug. 11 at the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City and features the world’s top youth riders and their Quarter Horses.

The top five classes with the most entries include: 1. Showmanship: 196; 2) Horsemanship: 188; 3) Hunt Seat Equitation: 161; 4) Trail: 159; 5) Ranch Sorting: 136

The top five states with the most entries include: 1) Oklahoma: 234; 2) Ohio: 215; 3) Texas: 202; 4) Colorado: 116; 5) Florida: 110

In addition to the regular Ford Youth World top-10 awards, AQHA will also recognize the top three 13-&-under and top-three Intermediate competitors in each class.

Ford Motor Co. is the title sponsor of the Ford Youth World. AQHA members are eligible for a $500 rebate through Ford on select Ford or Lincoln models, some restrictions apply. In order to qualify, you must be an AQHA member for at least 60 days.

Working Cow Horse: preliminaries Friday, Aug. 10, Finals Saturday, Aug. 11.
Click here for draw>>


Aug. 2, 2012
Scott Myers, the 2012 president of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, has been hired as the new Executive Director of the Association.

Scott Myers, Sharon Center, Ohio, the 2012 President of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association (OQHA), has been hired as the new executive director of the association following a five-month nationwide search that reviewed 14 highly qualified candidates. Myers takes over from Cam Forman who resigned in February following three years of service. Forman, who had previously worked for the AQHA for years, took the job following the untimely death of Denny Hales from a heart attack on March 29, 2009. Hales had held the position of executive vice president for over 20 years.

According to a release from the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Myers has been a member of the OQHA board of directors for 13 years, including being president in 2007, 2008 and 2012. He is also a national director for the American Quarter Horse Association and the National Snaffle Bit Association.

Myers, his wife Leslie, and two daughters, Taylor and Mallory, are avid competitors on the Quarter Horse circuit and between them they have earned five Congress champions and nine AQHA World Champion titles. Most recently, Myers was crowned the jumping and hunter hack world champion and equitation over fences reserve world champion at the 2011 AQHA Adequan Select World Championship Show in Amarillo.

Myers has spent the last 22 years as the owner and manager of Hunting Ridge Animal Hospital and he also owns and operates Ridgewood Stables, a large hunter-jumper training facility. He received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Ohio State University in 1985 and practiced veterinary medicine in Ohio for 24 years before moving to the management side of the practice. He earned a bachelors degree in biology from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1981.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 24, 2012

Crundwell after her April 17 arrest for embezzling more than $53 million as Controller of the City of Dixon, Ill., and spending it on horses and a lavish lifestyle.

Following a hearing held July 24 by the U.S. Marshals service, Professional Auction Service Inc., Round Hill, Va., was awarded a “no-dollar” contract to sell more than 400 horses and related items belonging to ousted Dixon, Ill., comptroller Rita A. Crundwell. A “no-dollar” contract means the payment will come from the buyer’s premium – the commission a winning bidder pays straight to the auctioneer.

The contract runs from Aug. 1-Sept. 30 and a multi-day live auction is planned for mid-September at Crundwell’s farm at 1556 Red Brick Road in Dixon, where most of the over 400 horses are located. According to an article in, Jason Wojdylo, assistant chief inspector of the Marshal’s Asset Forfeiture Division, and he expects Crundwell’s horses at the Meri-J Ranch in Beloit, Wis., also will be sold in Dixon, while the rest of the horses scattered across the country will be sold online. Admission to the auction is free and online bids will be taken. Previews will be by appointment only.

The sale is part of a civil forfeiture case stemming from criminal allegations that Crundwell, 59, stole more than $53 million during her 20-year career from the city of Dixon, Ill., to pay for the horse operations and her “lavish lifestyle.” The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay for the horses’ upkeep since Crundwell’s April 17 arrest. Other parties, including those with liens on the horses are filing claims with the court to recover their funds as well.

The sale company will get the horses ready for sale, coordinate security and traffic control with law enforcement and provide reasonable shelter for bidders and spectators and advertising. U. S. Marshals and company representatives will provide a statement at a news conference Aug. 2 in Dixon.

The U.S. Marshals Service received five proposals following a June 20 notice of the federal business opportunity. Receipt of bids closed on July 5 and proposals were evaluated on technical approach (i.e., the capability to meet the requirements outlined within the Statement of Work), past performance conducting similar requirements and price. The federal procurement process does not permit the release of information about the other companies considered in the contract.

Contractor performance will be closely monitored by the U.S. Marshals Service to ensure the highest level of integrity. A buyer’s premium is the only authorized fee charged to a buyer. Private sales will not be allowed. Representatives from Professional Auction Services Inc., will be introduced on Aug. 2 in Dixon, Ill., where the company will provide a statement.

On June 15, federal Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney OK’d the sale of the horses, along with 21 embryos, 13 saddles and frozen stallion semen from eight horses. A similar request was granted to sell her $2.1 million luxury motor home and five properties. Some of the properties cannot be sold until the horse sale takes place.

According to an article by Pat Raia on July 20 in, six of the horses have died, according to Jason Wojdylo a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service. The deaths occurred between May and July at different locations across the country.

Wojdylo said that most of the horses that died were foals that had died from various causes, even though they were all under veterinary care. “One died of bacteria in the blood, another from pneumonia and the rest from a combination of heat and a heart murmur and renal failure,” said Wojdylo. “Another horse that was not a foal died of colic and a 6-year-old horse died of kidney failure.”

The horses have been under the care of the Marshal’s service since she was indicted May 1 on a federal wire fraud charge. Should the government prevail in its civil and criminal actions against Crundwell, net proceeds (after expenses) from the sale of her forfeited assets will be applied toward restitution to the city of Dixon.

Potential bidders could tour Crundwell’s $2.1 million luxury motor home parked in Milwaukee, Wis., if they have an extra $1 million they would like to spend on a motor home. That’s what the minimum bid is and all bids will be accepted until 2 p.m., Aug. 1. On that day, the number received will be announced, but only the name of the highest bidder will be disclosed. Public viewings were available by appointment on July 23 and they will be held again on July 27 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. CDT.

The motor home is a 2009 Liberty coach and it will be the first of many assets the U.S. marshals Service seized from the former comptroller of Dixon, Ill.

According to a June 11 article by Melissa Jenco of the Chicago, the City of Dixon on June 8, 2012 filed a lawsuit against its auditors for missing the massive, decades-long embezzlement from the small town’s coffers. The suit accused Janis Card Associations, an accounting firm based in Sterling, and its owner, Samuel S. card, of professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation for overlooking the huge thefts since 2006.

Experts have said that they believe numerous safeguards broke down in Dixon – annual audits and local banks didn’t send up red flags, city officials didn’t notice tax dollars disappearing and the city’s lack of checks and balances gave Crundwell almost complete control over the city’s purse strings. According to the suit, the auditors “knew or should have known” of the massive embezzlements.”

The lawsuit also said that Dixon believes the accounting firm of CliftonLarsonAllen and two of its employees as well as Fifth Third Bank and US Bank “has information essential to the determination of who should properly be named as defendants in this action.” Clifton Gunderson provided auditing, accounting and financial services to Dixon since 1988, according to the lawsuit.

According to a July 23, 2012 article by Emily K. Coleman at, the city of Dixon’s proposed budget doesn’t look much different from past years despite the massive fraud. Interim comptrollers Stan Helgerson and David Richardson said that, as far as they could tell, the city’s savings were drained over the years while operating expenses were affected to a much lesser degree.

The city’s proposed budget would spend 9.6 million on the city’s operations, including running the police, fire and public works departments, which is about $2.7 million more than last year, but unlike last year, the proposed budget will easily run a surplus. A few changes will be voted on by the five-member city council. In the budget for the public affairs department, overseen by the mayor, the “miscellaneous” line item jumps to $165,174 from $3,000. The council hadn’t decided what those funds will be used for Mayor Jim Burke said. “It might go for bonuses to city employees who have gone without a raise for three years as the City council straggled with tight budgets and cash flow issues,” Burke said.

The city is also considering doing its accounting completely in-house and by brining in the extra staff to handle the accounting, the city would also be able to spread financial duties around. Experts say a huge problem with the city was that so many responsibilities were concentrated in one person.

A notable elimination is the very last line item in the budget which reads “Transfer Capital Dev. Fund”, which goes from $500,000 in last year’s budget – and the budget for many years before that – to zero dollars. That item was for the accounts and finance department which is headed by the city comptroller and overseen by the finance commissioner.

The new budget will also allow for increases in health insurance that has long been put off and equipment purchases, such as two new dump trucks and putting away another $200,000 so it can buy two more next year, plus a new mower and updating a tractor for snow removal. The city is self insured and is looking into joining a pool of cities like in the past.

Raises are also being proposed for the police chief, fire chief and traffic maintenance coordinator, the public works director and city engineer. Agendas and minutes are available at under the city’s “Citizens Information Center.”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 21, 2012
Ruth Robertson, the mother of Red Steagall passed away at 94 on July 19, 2012 at home in Chickasha, Okla.
Ferguson Funeral Home photo

Funeral services were held yesterday, at 4 p.m. at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Chickasha, Okla., for Juanita "Ruth" Mitchell Steagall Robertson, the mother of the multi-talented musician, singer and poet Red Steagall, Weatherford, Texas. Ruth died on Thursday, July 19, 2012 at her home in Chickasha, Okla.

Ruth Robertson was born Aug. 16, 1917 in Ringgold, Texas and grew up in Bonita, Texas. She received her teaching certificate and bachelor's degree from North Texas State Teachers College and a master's of education from West Texas State College. She was a life-long educator who spent 37 years teaching in the Texas public schools of Forestburg and Stanford-Fritsch ISD. She was named Teacher of the Year for the 1965-66 school year.

Ruth moved to the Chickasha area in 1999. She married George R. Steagall in 1938 and had six children. She later married Leo Holland in 1978 and Jack Robertson in 1993, both of whom preceded her in death.

She was preceded in death by both parents, her husbands, a granddaughter Jana Beth Steagall, great-grandson Scott Steagall, daughter-in-law Linda Steagall and sisters Johnie and Helen.

Survivors included children Russsell Don "Red" Steagall and wife Gail; Carroll Leon Steagall; Barry Fain Steagall; Sue Anne Williams and husband Alan; David Lynn Stegall and wife Nancy and Daniel Mitchell Steagall and wife Sheila; 16 grandchildren, 25 great granchildren, two great-great-granchildren and a host of other family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bluebbonnet Youth Ranch, PO Box 90, Yoakum, TX 77995 ( Interment was in Fairlawn Cemetery under the direction of Ferguson Funeral Home.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 13, 2012

Mediation has been ordered, two lawyers have withdrawn and a Scheduling Order and an Order for Pre-trial Conference has been ordered by Judge Bryan C. Dixon, in the ongoing lawsuit filed by Allen Mitchels, the National Reining Horse Association’s (NRHA) former President against the NRHA. Since their home office is in Oklahoma City, the case is being heard in the District Court of Oklahoma County in the State of Oklahoma. Mitchels, 57, the owner of Allen Mitchels Performance Horses, which includes training, horse sales and certified judging, lives in Michigan City, Ind.

On Feb. 2, 2012, Allen Mitchels, the president of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), filed suit against the NRHA for removing him from President, the Teaching Panel and the Judges Committee, as well as having his judge’s privileges revoked for five years and a lifetime ban on appointment or election to a position of authority within the NRHA. The removals happened during a Jan. 21, 2012 NRHA Board meeting, following a Dec. 19 anonymous letter from a group of concerned NRHA members that was sent to the Board of Directors following the 2011 NRHA Futurity. The concerns were in regard to the actions of Mitchels and other NRHA officials during the event.

On Feb. 21, the NRHA filed a Motion to Dismiss the Case and on March 12 Mitchels filed his response in opposition to the NRHA’s Motion to Dismiss, due to legal insufficiencies and a breach of his contract, stating Mitchels had already secured a Temporary Injunction against NRHA based on his Breach of Contract and Breach of By-law/Regulations claims (even though that Temporary injunction, that came with the posting of a $50,000 bond, was granted but not issued until March 23 and filed in District Court on April 12) to Mitchels by District Judge Swinton but signed by Judge Bryan C. Dixon. The temporary injunction restored all of Mitchels’ privileges to him, aside from the title of President. Mitchels’ response also included a claim for tortuous interference with existing and prospective economic advantage as well as slander.

On March 12, Mitchels filed his Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss and the NRHA’s motion to Dismiss was denied by Judge Dixon on April 12.

On May 2, the NRHA issued an Answer and a Counterclaim to Mitchels allegations, stating that Mitchels intentionally interfered with NRHA’s management, tasks and relationships in the reining horse industry in an attempt to further his personal interests without regard to the interests of the NRHA. The Counterclaim also alleged that Mitchels falsely accused NRHA staff of lying, challenged staff members’ motives, loyalty and honesty and chastised staff members for not being continuously available at all times of the day and night, which created a hostile work environment where staff feared retaliation from Mitchels if they disagreed with his decisions or took time off, even when it was earned.

Mitchels was also accused of micro-managing the NRHA staff and officers, used NRHA funds to pay for personal dinners and/or alcoholic drinks to advance his personal agenda; engaged in conduct that caused members to question the integrity of the NRHA’s judging program at the 2011 NRHA Futurity but contacting judges in an event his horses were competing.

On May 23, Mitchels filed a Motion to Dismiss the Counterclaim for Declaratory Relief and on June 5, the NRHA filed a motion to enter on non-jury docket and for an expedited mediation. On June 11, the NRHA filed for a Dismissal without Prejudice of Counterclaim and for Declaratory Judgment Only and on that same date, they filed a Response to Mitchel’s Motion to Dismiss the Counterclaim for Declaratory Relief. Mitchels responded immediately with a response to Opposition to Defendants Motion to Enter Non-Jury Docket and for Expedited Mediation, stating that he desired that his claims be heard and resolved by a jury, which should prevail over NRHA’s request to enter the court’s non-jury docket. He also stated that his best interests would not be served if expedited mediation was ordered by the Court.

The final document filed to date was filed by Mitchels on July 5, answering the Counterclaim of the NRHA.

Then on June 14, there was a surprise filing, when Spencer F Smith and Jared R. Boyer of McAfee & Taft, also of Oklahoma City, requested to withdraw as counsel for the NRHA for good cause, and were allowed to do so by Judge Dixon. As a result, the NRHA is left with two attorneys, Christopher Combs and Greg Givens of the Edmonds Cole Law Firm of Oklahoma City. Mitchels has four lawyers representing him from the Fellers, Snider, Blankenship, Bailey & Tippens Law Firm, also of Oklahoma City, including Kevin Donelson, J. Blake Patton, C. Eric Shephard and Terry W. Tippens.

On June 15, Judge Dixon ordered a Referral to Mediation to resolve the case. The parties were asked to select a mediator within five (5) business days to make arrangements, with all sessions being private and confidential. Mediation was to be completed by Aug. 15.

However, in case mediation does not work, Judge Dixon filed a “Scheduling Order and an Order for a Pre-Trial Conference, stating that the deadline for additional parties or amendment to pleadings cannot be filed after July 20 and the written witness list must be exchanged by Sept. 26, 2012. The date and time of Dec. 19 at 9:30 a.m. was set for the Pre-Trial conference date and time, after which no discovery would be allowed and no dispositive motions would be considered unless they were filed before the Pretrial conference Order. A pre-trial conference order must be agreed to and delivered to the judge at least one day prior to the date of the pretrial.

Also, the trial date would be set at the Pre-Trial and if a jury trial was requested, the jury fee must be paid before a jury trial will be set at the pre-trial conference. Trial depositions must be completed 30 days prior to the trial.

Unless Mediation is successful, the NRHA and members will not see the end to this lawsuit until, at the earliest, sometime next year.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 3, 2012

Hunter Hightower, 16, Lipan, Texas, won the Boys Cutting at the Texas High School Rodeo Association riding Boo Lou Cat, a 10-year-old gelding by High Brow Cat.

Hunter Hightower, Lipan, Texas, swept the Boys Cutting at the Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals, held June 10-17 in Abilene, Texas, outscoring 27 other entries. Hightower, the 16-year-old son of cutting horse trainer Faron Hightower and his wife Jody, won the event with a total score of 656, five and one-half points over second-place contender Chance Jones, College Station, Texas, who had a total score of 650.5

Hunter scored a 217 in the first go, 219 in the second and a whopping 220 in the short go. He was riding Boo Lou Cat, a 10-year-old gelding, owned by John Littlejohn, Houston, Texas, and sired by High Brow Cat out of Smile Ima Lena by Doc O'Lena. He had only ridden the gelding one time previously. The gelding, bred by Roni Tanner, Salinas, Calif., has over $81,000 in lifetime NCHA earnings.

"We picked him up a week before the state show from Jeremy Barwick," said Hunter. Littlejohn had purchased the gelding in February, following the death of his previous owner Brody Beaver. "He had originally been trained by Richard Anderson from California," said Hunter. "I showed him at Brenham the week before the Texas High School Finals, winning the first day and finishing second the second day."

Asked if he had ever won the Texas High School Finals before, Hunter said that in 2011, he went to the Finals and was leading going into the short go when he lost a cow. He finished fourth - which qualified him to go to the National High School Finals, which he won. He's headed to this year's National High School Rodeo Finals again, which will be held in Rocksprings, Wyo., July 15-21.

At last year's Texas and National Finals, Hunter was riding Ginas Cat, a gelding by High Brow Cat out of Gina Badger by Peppy San Badger, also owned by Beaver, but purchased by Littlejohn in March 2012 and by Faron in April 2012. The gelding had been bred by Rancho Petersen, Gardena, Calif., and currently is owned by Daniel Jaeggi, Weatherford, Texas, who purchased the gelding on June 4 of this year.

Ginas Cat, with over $177,600 in lifetime NCHA earnings, qualified for the Senior Open Cutting at the 2011 AQHA World Show and also received his Open Performance Register of Merit that year.

Some of his victories in the past include the Youth at the Houston Stock Show and the NCHA Derby Scholarship Cutting. Hunter has an older half sister, Hillary, 25, of Weatherford, Texas, and a younger brother, Hayden, who is 10. His grandparents are the legendary cutter Olan Hightower and his wife, Chappell Hill, Texas.

Asked what he plans to do once he graduates from high school, Hunter said he is planning on going to college and then law school. When asked why law school, he said, "I've always been told that I have an opinion (on a lot of subjects) and have a knack for winning an argument. Besides that, with the corruption in the world today, a job as a lawyer would always guarantee me a good financial future."
Click here for results of Boys Cutting>>


June 27, 2012
Carol Rose and her mother Elizabeth McCabe shown in 2001 when Carol was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame.
AQHA photo

Elizabeth McCabe, co-publisher of the Jackson Hole News & Guide (Wyo) and the mother of horse breeder Carol Rose, Gainesville, Texas, died Friday, June 22, at the age of 101.

According to news reports, McCabe had suffered regular bouts with pneumonia the last year of her life and died at her home in Moose, Wyo. According to Carol Rose, in recent months her mother had said, “I came into the party early and decided to stay late,” referring to her premature birth. She suffered from polio early in her life and spinal stenosis late but continued to take photos, a hobby she started in the 1930s when she got her first Kodak Brownie camera. During the last weeks of her life, she continued to take photos for the cover of the News & Guide’s Valley section, something she started with the Jackson Hole Guide in the 1970s.

Her children included Carol Alison Ramsey, born in 1941, Anne Milne Ramsey, born in 1944 and Barrie Ramsay, born in 1945. McCabe lived to become a grandmother and great-grandmother.
Click for more on her life>>



By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 19, 2012

Rita Crundwell leaving the United States District court room after she was accused of stealing $53 million from the City of Dixon, Illinois, after serving as the city’s Comptroller since the early 1980s.

Following a court hearing on June 15, 2012, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Western Division, prosecutors in the case of Rita Crundwell, the former Dixon (Ill) Comptroller accused of stealing $53 million from the City of Dixon, were in court with a plan to sell assets, including over 400 horses.

When all was said and done, the court, along with Crundwell, agreed to a Protective Order which allowed the sale of the defendant properties by the United States Marshalls Service and that the proceeds from the sale, after costs, be retained in an escrow account maintained by the United States Marshals Service pending further order of the court. Due to the variety and volume of Crundwell’s properties, more than one sale by various methods may be necessary in order to dispose of all the defendant properties.

Due to the high expenses to keep up the horses, the court ordered the sale of 401 Quarter Horses, unborn foals, 21 embryos, 13 saddles and frozen stallion semen from eight horses. It also gave the United States Marshals Service the right to retain professionals familiar with the Quarter Horse industry and with other properties, such as appraisers, veterinarians, breeders and auctioneers. Upon the advice of these professionals, they will determine the most appropriate disposal method for the properties which will be sold in the most “commercially feasible” manner, including online auctions. The Marshals Service will be authorized to sign transfer of ownership on all the properties and costs will be deducted from the proceeds.

According to news reports, the proceeds from the sale are expected to reimburse the company and the U.S. Marshalls for money previously spent on the care of the horses and the remainder would be given back to the city of Dixon to cover its losses. It could take two or three months before the horses can be sold.

Crundwell, 58, had served as the City of Dixon Comptroller since the early 1980s. She also was the American Quarter Horse Association’s leading owner of annual World Show exhibitors each of the past eight years. She was charged in April after she took 12 weeks of vacation in 2011 and another employee filling in for her discovered unknown city bank accounts she was taking money from. With an annual salary of $80,000 she had accumulated over 400 horses, a $2.1 million motor home, seven trucks and trailers, three pickup trucks and a Ford thunderbird convertible and well over $300,000 in jewelry, which were allegedly purchased with illegal proceeds from a city whose entire annual budget this year was only $7 million. She also paid off personal credit card charges of more than $2.5 million.

The next hearing in the case against Crundwell is scheduled for July 23.
Click here for copy of Protective Order>>


May 30, 2012
David McCarroll, DVM, 62, Bridge Creek, Okla., passed away unexpectedly on May 25.


David McCarroll, DVM, DACVIM, 62, Bridge Creek, Okla., a brother to well-known Pilot Point, Texas, veterinarian John McCarroll, passed away Friday, May 25 at Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City. He was the oldest of four sons born to George Fentress McCarroll and Patricia Anne (Mackey) McCarroll, who resides in San Antonio, Texas. Besides his mother, David is survived by his wife Trina McCarroll, five children, three brothers, an uncle and aunt and seven grandchildren.

His children include Kimberlyn Hall and husband Charlie of Oklahoma City, Emily Baer and husband Jeff of Superior, Colo.; Jesilyn McCarroll of Bridge Creek, Seth McCarroll of Oklahoma City and Cole Maggard of Bridge Creek. His brother, James Dennis McCarroll and wife Karen reside in Deer Park, Texas; Duncan McCarroll, MD and his wife Karis live in San Antonio, while John McCarroll DVM and his wife Jeanne live in Pilot Point.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30 at the First Baptist church in Newcastle, Okla. Interment followed at the Newcastle Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Memorials may be made to your loal American Red Cross. Arrangements were made by Wilson-Little funeral Home, Newcastle, Okla., and you can click on the following link to read the full obituary and offer your condolences to his family.
Click here for the link>>


By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 23, 2012

On May 16, 2012, the day following the AQHA’s May 15 response to the cloning lawsuit filed April 23, 2012, by rancher Jason Abraham, Canadian, Texas, and Amarillo veterinarian Dr. Gregg Veneklasen, United States District Judge Mary Lou Robinson of the Northern District of Texas Court filed an “Original Rule 16 Scheduling Order.” The order provides a trial date of Jan. 22, 2013; however, the document states it is not a trial setting and will be set on an actual trial docket later by the Court.

The court ruled that the parties should confer to develop a discovery plan which should lead to “meaningful settlement negotiations” and for mediation. The status of settlement negotiations will be filed in a joint report by Aug. 27, 2012. If the case has not settled, it will be subject to mandatory mediation.

All discovery procedures shall be initiated in time to complete discovery by Nov. 19; parties seeking affirmative relief must file a designation of expert witnesses by July 23, 2012 and provide disclosures to other parties by Aug. 20. Parties opposing affirmative relief must file expert witnesses by Aug. 13 and provide disclosures to other parties by Sept. 10.

Motion deadlines include: July 2 to join parties; Nov. 13 to amend pleadings, Nov. 19 for summary judgment. All other motions are due Dec. 17. Deadline for filing disclosures is Jan. 7, 2013.

Judge Robinson stated that all scheduling deadlines were firm and shall not be modified except as specifically provided or by leave of court upon a detailed factual showing of good cause and due diligence in compliance with this order.
Click for copy of Scheduling Orders>>

Jason Abraham, Abraham & Veneklasen Joint Venture and Abraham Equine Inc., filed suit against the NCHA for relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act, which is the watchdog over monopolies, due to their denial to register clones of registered Quarter Horses or their offspring that are sired by and out of registered Quarter horses.

In 2000, the AQHA was sued for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Texas Business and Commerce Code by a group of cutting horse stallion owners, seeking to register multiple embryo foals out of the same mare in a single year. This had never been questioned until multiple embryos were registered by the AQHA “by mistake” out of a great cutting mare named Miss Silver Pistol. The lawsuit, labeled Floyd v AQHA, argued that the AQHA rule violated the Texas Constitution and the state’s antitrust laws. Plaintiffs included Kay Floyd, Kobie and Paula Wood, Dan Churchill, Lanie Mecom, Kit Moncrief and Bill Freeman. Later Mecom, Moncrief and Freeman opted out of the suit.

In that case, the AQHA rejected a settlement offer on the $19.5 million dollar suit on Aug. 25, 2000 and then on June 11, 2001, when it became obvious that during a jury trial, the AQHA was more than likely going to lose, the lawsuit was settled. As requested, the plaintiffs received their papers, their lawyer fees and the embryo transfer rule was changed so that all of the embryo-transfer foals could be registered. The settlement did not include any damages, even though if the plaintiffs would have asked for damages, they would have been tripled and could have been in the millions.

The Abrahamson lawsuit contends that the AQHA has changed their registration rules several times, including allowing horses with excessive white and cremello and other double-dilute colored horses to be registered, as well as multiple embryos out of a single mare in a single year. The association has also approved and allows the registration of identical twins and horses that are the result of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), which it claims utilizes the same procedure and equipment as used in Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer technology (also referred to as “cloning” or “nuclear transfer,”) which has been accepted in the industry and approved by the AQHA.

However, in 2004, the AQHA implemented rule 227(a), which says horses are not eligible for registration if they are “produced by any cloning process. Cloning is defined as any method by which the genetic material of an unfertilized egg or an embryo is removed and replaced by genetic material taken from another organism, added to/with genetic material from another organism or otherwise modified by any means in order to produce a live foal.”

The Abraham lawsuit claims that Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer is the most recent evolution of selective breeding, providing owners with a powerful tool for breeding their best stock. Cloning is the ONLY assisted reproductive technique that can minimize or eliminate genetic disease, a problem that has plagued Quarter Horses.

It also claims that Rule 227 and the Defendant’ enforcement of it ) is an abuse of Defendant’s monopoly in the market for high-quality registered Quarter Horses; b) has an adverse effect on competition; c) is without reasonable business justification and d) has caused and continues to cause damages to Plaintiffs. Abraham claims cloning is “nothing more than an assisted reproductive technique.” The plaintiffs claim that the market value of their horses has been diminished between 70-80 percent because of the AQHA’s refusal to register them and exclude them and their offspring from competitions sanctioned by the AQHA.
Click for plaintiffs original complaint>>

Nancy J. Stone, Amarillo, Texas, is the attorney for plaintiff Abraham Veneklasen Joint Venture; Ronald Nickum, Amarillo, Texas, is the attorney for plaintiff Jason Abraham and Sam L. Stein, Amarillo, Texas, is the attorney for Abraham Equine, Inc. Stein was also one of the attorneys, along with Robert Garner, who represented the plaintiffs in the Floyd v AQHA anti-trust lawsuit. Stone, who has won some major anti-trust cases, also at one time was associated with Garner and Stein.

On May 15, the AQHA answered the lawsuit by filing a Motion to Dismiss due to “lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.” In their claim, the AQHA stated that 1) the plaintiffs failed to establish circumstances sufficient to overcome the doctrine on non-intervention in the affairs of private organizations and 2) the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under Section 2 of the Sherman Act and under Section 15.05 of the Texas Business and Commerce Code, stating the “possession of monopoly power will not be found unlawful unless it is accompanied by an element of anticompetitive conduct.”
Click for defendant’s Motion to Dismiss>>
Click for brief in support of Motion>>

Although AQHA General Counsel Chad Pierce responded to the lawsuit in an April 11, 2012 letter, stating that the cloned horses and their offspring that the plaintiffs were attempting to register with the AQHA, the Motion to Dismiss from the AQHA came from Amarillo lawyers W. Wade Arnold and Mike H. Loftin, and Autumn L. White, registered with the Colorado State Bar and has experience in anti-trust cases, for the Underwood Law Firm, P.C., Amarillo, Texas. Pierce is a former partner in the Underwood Law Firm.

According to an article in the June 2012 issue of “America’s Horse,” the AQHA stated that at the most recent convention, which took place in March 2012, the most recent rule change request offered by Dr. Veneklasen was presented to the 33-member Stud Book and Registration Committee. Mr. Abraham and Dr. Veneklasen spoke to the committee and voiced their support for the rule change and presented their arguments in favor of registering cloned horses and their offspring. Following the presentation of the rule change, the Stud Book and Registration Committee voted against the proposed rule change.

“At this time, we are reviewing the lawsuit and have informed the AQHA Executive Committee, the Stud Book and Registration Committee and the board of directors,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “These committees and the AQHA members who sit on them have charged the staff with defending the rules of the Association. During this process we will work to keep our members informed as new information becomes available.”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 7, 2012

She’s always the one that tells everyone else who died, who got married, who’s in the hospital, who had a baby and who did something wonderful. Now it’s her turn. Gala Nettles, who has written Gala’s Gab in every issue of Quarter Horse News for more years than I like to remember – as I was the first one to hire her to write the column, has some major issues going on – as has her husband, NCHA Futurity Champion, Ronnie Nettles. The Nettles live in Madisonville, Texas, where they own Nettles Stirrups and have a booth at major NCHA events, Ronnie trains cutting horses and Gala writes books, articles and columns for various publications.

At 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, Gala will undergo a brain MRI and two neck MRAs to help doctors to diagnose the jaw pain she is experiencing and that has grown to cover the left side of her face. The pain has left her on powerful medications that she would just as soon not take. However, more than likely whatever is causing the pain also has caused her left eye to no longer dilate and her left side to have some weakness. Gala, in her upbeat attitude, says, “I hated it when I couldn’t do the nose/finger touch.”

Gala says her fifth doctor, a neurologist, is looking for something pressing on the cranial nerves: something inflamed, an aneurism or even, heaven forbid, a tumor. “I really don’t want to find out that it’s anything,” said Gala, who has been to five doctors since Feb. 15, “but we do need an answer.”

To make matters worse, Ronnie will go in Wednesday, May 9, for a heart catheter, so doctors can hopefully insert stents to “get him going again.” Ronnie passed all of the other tests; however, the cardiologist said he showed “mild abnormality” in his stress test.

The past year has been a tough one for the Nettles family and Gala admits they are “weary,” saying, “Ronnie had two surgeries, Mother has had numerous problems, my oldest sister had a mastectomy and Friday will have a full body PET scan, I had a breast cancer scare and now we face the week ahead of us. We believe in the power of prayer and we humbly request that you pray for us. I’m claustrophobic so pray that we even get the tests accomplished, as well as successful outcomes and serenity for Mom while I am out of pocket.”

You can send Gala and Ronnie your Get Well wishes at 1087 Nettles Lane, Madisonville, Texas 77864 or e-mail Gala at



Article and photos by Glory Ann Kurtz
April 23, 2012

David, shown with Stacie on the stage, thanking his many friends for helping him celebrate his 70th Birthday.

It wasn’t really his 70th birthday – that was in February – and even though it was David and Stacie McDavid’s 29th wedding anniversary, it was called David’s Birthday Party. (David explained that they were hesitant to have the party in February as it could have been really cold.)

Stacie shown with their friend Meridon Moayrei, originally from Iran, but who has lived in Dallas for 40 years.

But whatever it was, it was the social event of the decade that took place at the McDavid Ranch in Weatherford, Texas, in the cutting arena on Saturday evening, April 21.


Ronnie Millsap was the main event in the entertainment line-up. Below Collin Ray.

Not since the days of Bobby Shelton’s extravagant parties during the formative years of the NCHA Derby, held at his Kerrville, Texas, ranch, has the cutting industry seen such an elegant and opulent celebration.

Shelton’s entertainment was dancing to the music of Ray Price; the McDavids tripled up on name entertainment with the Chris Gray Band, Collin Ray and Ronnie Millsap.

Melvin and Jeri Dale, neighbors at the McDavid's Weatherford ranch.


Those in attendance guessed that there were between 800 and 1,000 guests, and I heard estimates that the party cost close to $1 million. The walls were lined with tables of food, and it wasn’t chips and salsa. Although there was some high-quality Mexican food, there was also steak and prime rib, along with bars all around the inside of the arena.

The largest bar had a Las Vegas-type showgirl swinging overhead. Huge wide screens were hung around the arena, with a constant slide show of photos of the McDavid family throughout the years and their many travels as well as videos of David, Stacie, Sterling and David’s two sons.

Bill Jordan and his wife from Weatherford, Texas. McDavid's childhood friend has tended to the McDavid's paving needs for years.


Invitees, who were allowed to bring a number of guests, ranged from Weatherford cutters, to Fort Worth friends and neighbors of the McDavid family, to many out-of-state guests who were completely not part of the cutting horse circle, and from there included invited friends from several foreign countries, including Lebanon, Italy and Iran – and those were just the ones I managed to talk to.

Joe Harden, Fort Worth, built the arena the party was held in. He is shown with his wife Katy.

At the party, I met the McDavid family pilot, barn builder, grounds keeper, road paver, past employees, horse trainers, neighbors in Fort Worth and Weatherford and even Stacie’s hairdresser.

Nancy Buschel, Irving, shown with Roger Westwood. Nancy is Stacie's hairdresser.


During a talk to his guests, David made a comment about how his arena made a really good party barn. “Maybe that would bring in more money than the horses,” said McDavid, following it with, “but we love the horses.”

Tom Taylor has been the McDavid's pilot for 25 years.

The McDavid family established automobile dealerships in the 1960’s, which soon included dealerships in Irving, Frisco, Plano and Houston, as well as repair and collision centers and body shops.



Trey and Randy Schmoker, Burleson, Texas. Trey works for David as a computer tech.

Although several new-car dealerships in the Dallas area still bear McDavid’s name, he sold his dealerships to Asbury Automotive Group of Pennsylvania in August 1997. David’s now-deceased brother, Bill, was also involved in the automobile business.

Hala and Foin Jeha from Lebanon now live in Arlington. Stacie has Lebanese ancestry.


In 2003, McDavid, who was a former Dallas Mavericks co-owner, signed a letter of intent to buy the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers, pro-basketball and hockey teams, from Ted Turner’s Turner Broadcasting System.

Robert and Rebecca Powers, Irving, Texas.


The letter, which gave him exclusive negotiating rights, expired, but both sides continued to negotiate. Later that same year, Turner announced that the Atlanta Spirit ownership group, consisting of eight investors, including his son and son-in-law, had cemented a deal to buy the teams and the arena rights.

Jill Pryor, Atlanta, Ga., was one of David McDavid's lawyers in his lawsuit in his breach-of-contract lawsuit against Ted Turner. She is shown with Edward Krugman.


McDavid filed a $450 million breach-of-contract lawsuit, with a jury subsequently awarding him $281 million in December 2008, nearly three times the $96 million he agreed to pay for the teams and the arena rights. Georgia courts upheld the award twice during a seven-year-long legal battle that ensued, with Turner finally appealing to the Supreme Court in April 2010.

Billy Bob Harris and his wife Peg from Dallas.




Velma and Anzozo Varios with Ascencion Banuelos. The Varios are from Italy but currently live in Panama.



However in August 2010, prior to the Supreme Court’s decision as to whether they would hear the case, the tug of war was settled, with terms not being disclosed. McDavid’s lawyers in that lawsuit were present at the birthday party and were publicly thanked by David.

Ray and Jennifer Baldwin shown with Gayle Karanges and Denny Vest of Missouri. Gayle and Denny are planning a trip to Las Vegas where they will be married on June 30.


After David and Stacie, along with their daughter Sterling, became infatuated with cutting horses and competing on them, it wasn’t long before they got involved in the breeding end of the business - in a big way.

Grant Setnicka shown with his fiance Tiffany Harms and Joe Giacolone.


In 2001 they purchased a beautiful, red-roan stallion, sired by a prominent sire Peptoboonsmal out of Miss Smarty Rey by Smart Little Lena, named Hes A Peptospoonful.

Mary Jo Reno and Bobby Hawkins shown with Carolyn and Pat Gully.

They paid a reported $1.5 million to owner David Wayne Miller, Bend., Ore., for the stallion during the 2001 NCHA Futurity. Ridden by Brad Vaughan, the stallion became the first horse in 30 years to win both go-rounds and the semifinals of the Open division.

Ed and Shona Dufurrena, Gainesville, Texas, and Dan and Karen Hansen, Weatherford, Texas. Front left is Sharon Baker Fallbrook, Calif.


To date, he has lifetime earnings of close to $73,000. The purchase turned out to be a good investment, as in 2006, his first foals from a crop of 79, made an impressive showing at the Futurity.

Dennis Moreland shown with Jackie Cavendar of Laramie, Wyo.

It was then that the McDavids created the “Spoonful Million Dollars bonus, where offspring of the stallion could win a $1 million bonus if they won the NCHA Futurity in the years 2009 through 2013.

James Bankston and Nick Karanges shown with Tony Langdon who runs the Spoonful Million Dollars bonus program.

Tony Langdon, a former cutting horse sale producer, became the McDavid spokesman for the venture, which soon included Widows Freckles, another stallion the McDavids purchased.

Ben Emison shown with Bob Kingsley of Weatherford.

They agreed to match the NCHA payout if the stallion’s offspring won the non-pro, limited non-pro and amateur divisions of the NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes and Derby.

Leon and Alex Harrel shown with Jack Hightower of Fort Worth.


Unfortunately, this February, Hes A Peptospoonful, at age 14, was discovered dead in a stall at McDavid’s Tin Top Stallion Station in Weatherford, after spending the day in good health. McDavid was devastated, saying he loved the stallion “as part of the family.”

J. B. and Ginny McLamb, Stephenville, Texas. J.B. just had both his knees replace and ginny recently got kicked in the knee by a horse and came to the party on crutches.


The stallion had sired six crops of foals through 2011, with offspring earnings of close to $3.5 million in NCHA competition and close to $133,800 in National Reined Cow Horse competition, including four who had won more than $200,000 each and seven earning $100,000 or more. Their success made him the 2006 AQHA leading NCHA Freshman Sire.

Paul Crumpler, Jason and Becky Clark with their daughter Cameron and Stacie McDavid.


According to AQHA records, Hes A Peptospoonful has 1,027 foals through the 2011 foal crop, with 263 being performers. According to AQHA records, 48 offspring have earned 615 AQHA points and $17,858 at the AQHA World Show.

Kit Moncrief, Fort Worth, Texas, and her daughter Gloria.

David McDavid’s life has been filled with far more pluses than minuses, and his 70th birthday party was an obvious “thank-you” to his many friends who helped him along the way. One of the videos shown on the overhead screen included David’s induction into the Fort Worth Press Club, with a sign under his photo saying, “Lots of Mileage; almost out of warranty!” But it’s obvious from his past that he’ll never be out of ideas, success and determination.

Abby and Jon Winkelried with Tom and Barbara Shulte and Jennifer Winkelried.



Tom and Jan Merryman, Baird, Texas, with Chet and Ede Burrows, Olney, Texas.



(Left) Bucky Wharton, Vernon, Texas of the famed Waggoner Ranch. (Below) Mica Motes, Winston Hansma and Mary Ann Rapp.

(right) Glenn and Ann Beck, Bowie, Texas.

Milt Bradford, Weatherford, Texas.

If I took a photo of you at the McDavid party, and whether I used it in this article or not, and if you would like a free copy of it, call me at 940-433-5232 or e-mail me at

Joe Pounds, son of Kory and Jessica Pounds, Lipan. Texas,took over the dance floor while dancing to the music.





March 3, 2012
Top cowgirl Jerry Ann Portwood-Taylor passes away at 81.
Fort Worth Star Telegram photo



Jerry Ann Portwood Taylor, 81, Graham, Texas, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 at her home. Jerry Ann was described by her husband, 86-year-old Dutch Taylor, “as a hell of a cowgirl.” She was a true cowgirl, who when she wasn’t ranching, competed in barrel racing, roping and trick riding. Before age 23, she went to England with Tex Ritter, who got her a rodeo gig in New York City with Gene Autry and Everett Colborn. She was described by Pam Minick, co-owner of Billy bob’s Texas and a rodeo world veteran, in her obituary in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, as “very glamorous but tough as nails.

Jerry Ann, who was born July 26, 1930 in Seymour, Texas, to a well-known North Texas ranching family: Bill and Jozelle Prichard Portwood. At age 8, she was the youngest ranch girl at the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo and at 15, she became the youngest ranch girl, hired to do publicity, at the Madison Square Garden Rodeo. In 1952, she was trick riding in “Texas,” a stage production performed for four months at the London Palladium. She was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in 1986. She won her first cutting horse contest in 1947 and the first NCHA Tournament of Champions in 1958 in Weatherford.

She was preceded in death by her father Bill Portwood and stepfather, Judge Byron Matthews, a founder of the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). Survivors, besides her husband, include her mother, Jozelle Matthews, both of Graham; half brother Harley Portwood and wife, Babe, of Seymour; cousins Dannie Mary Shawyer, Sammie Morris and husband Bobby and Margaret Bond.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m Saturday at Morrison Funeral Home, 700 Oak St., in Graham. Interment will be at 3 p.m. at Greenwood Mausoleum, 3100 White Settlement Road, Fort Worth, Texas. Memorials may be sent to the national Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, 1720 Gendy St., Fort Worth 76107; Humane Society of Young County, 120 Craig St., Graham 76450 and the First Presbyterian church, 1400 Randy Drive, Graham 76450.
Above information taken from Fort Worth Star Telegram


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 21, 2012

Playgun, owned by Dick and Brenda Pieper, will be standing the 2012 breeding season at Hartman Equine Reproduction Center (HERC), the former Polo Ranch located a few miles south of the Pieper Ranch on Highway 77, Marietta, Okla.

Dr. David Hartman will continue to collect Playgun on the same schedule as the Piepers did in the past and all paperwork will continue to be processed at the Pieper Ranch, Inc office. However, the move will allow the Piepers to take advantage of HERC’s state-of-the-art facilities and experienced staff.
Click here for breeding schedule>>

This year, frozen semen from Playgun will be offered for exporting to Canada, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela and Columbia. The various and changing requirements monitored by USDA to freeze and export semen to these countries has made it impossible for the small breeder to comply at their individual ranches. The move will allow Playgun to continue his normal lifestyle while providing him with all of the same “perks” he had at home, plus the advantage of the most modern breeding capabilities.

The 1992 gray stallion is a son of legendary Freckles Playboy, whose offspring have won over $28.5 million, and out of Miss Silver Pistol, the 1985 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity Champion and dam of offspring earning $480,703, by Doc’s Hickory.

Playgun has lifetime earnings of $185,000, and in 1996 was the high money-earning 4-year-old cutting horse, with championships of both the Open and Non-Pro Divisions of the Augusta Futurity, Non-Pro Champion of the Bonanza Derby, Steamboat Springs Derby Open Derby Champion, El Cid Classic Open Champion and Open Derby Reserve Champion, plus many other titles.

Playgun is third on the list of All-Time Leading Sires of Cutting Horses, with his offspring earning over $28.5 million. His high money earner is Mr Beamon, $315,411, followed by Peppy Plays For Cash, $304,713; PRF Playguns Pep, $281,883; Straightshot Playgun, $252,455 and Playin Tag, $235,819. He is also the maternal grandsire of earners of $1.3 million. His stud fee for 2012 is $6,000 which includes the booking fee.

For more information, call the Pieper Ranch at 580-276-9397, contact them at, or go to their web site at Fax to 580-276-2398.


Feb. 20, 2012
Dave Husby, a Canadian businessman, NCHA member and an owner, breeder and Non-Pro competitor, died suddenly on Feb. 10, his 66th birthday, following surgery on his leg due to diabetes.

Born on Feb. 10, 1925 in Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada, David started his business in 1970 as a single trucking contractor. After several years of building his contracting business David formed Husby Forest Products Ltd. David acquired his first forest operation in 1985 and built it into the largest independent forest company on British Columbia's rugged coast. Along the way, he set the standard for innovative forest practices, commitment and performance.

Today, his formula for a forest company remains the envy of many who hope to emulate its success. Many other businesses developed along the way, including Peregrine Lodge, a sport fishing lodge, custom value-added lumber manufacturing, steel fabrication shops, and forest consulting services. His business sent logs and lumber to global markets and Peregrine Lodge attracted global patronage to the wild water of the Queen Charlotte Islands. David had a passion for life. His many days of fishing at Peregrine Lodge with his wife, Georgia, and friends created many a tall tale, most even true.

But most of the cutting industry knew Dave asa passionate cutting horse lover, breeder, owner and competitor. He and his wife, Georgia, owned such outstanding cutting horses as Flickacat (High Brow Cat x Flickaretta x Beretta San), the 2004 NCHA Open World Champion; Hydrive Cat (High Brow Cat x Ruby Tuesday DNA x Peppy San Badger), a 2003 stallion who earned the Open Reserve title at the 2006 NCHA Futurity and Blue One Time (One Time Pepto x Quintan Blue x Mecom Blue), with lifetime earnings topping $102,800 and a finalist at the 2010 NCHA Futurity. According to Equi-Stat, as a competitor, Dave earned over $184,000.

He is survived by his wife, Georgia; mother Edna; children Todd (Vickie), Alana, Nicole (Quinn), Courtney (Mike), and Tyler, his grandchildren Camille and Carson along with his siblings Colleen (Barry), Nick and a large extended family.

A Celebration of Life was held for friends and family on Saturday, Feb 18, 2012 in Kelowna, B.C. Donations honoring his life can be sent to the Canadian Diabetes Association. For information go to:


Austria Arnold, Terrell, Texas, a Hockaday student, was named the AQHA's Youth High Point Cutter for 2011.

Jan. 31, 2012
Austria Arnold, Terrell, Texas, has been named the American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) Youth High-Point Cutter for 2011. Located in Amarillo, Texas, AQHA is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization in the world. Austria, who competes on multiple horses, rode her 2004 AQHA gelding Haidas Heritage to win the AQHA Youth High-Point Cutting Horse title over the 12-months of competition.

“Heri (Haidas Heritage) is a tremendously athletic Quarter Horse gelding that has very sharp moves when working a cow. We bought Heri in the summer of 2010 after researching him a bit,” says Austria. “He and I have always worked well together. I won on him the first time I showed him.”

The young Hockaday studen views 2011 as a year of great success as she has also been named the 2011 Texas Quarter Horse Association’s Youth High Point Cutter. During the 2011 show season Austria won the 2011 American Cutting Horse Association Red Randolph Youth Scholarship and the McDonald Shoot-Out Saddle aboard her gelding Justa Lena 1997. Last August she also placed 6th at the prestigious AQHA Youth World Show in Oklahoma City on her gelding Twist Olena Doc.

“It is the best feeling is when you are in-sync with your horse and the cow,” says Austria. I could not do this thought without the Lord who I praise for giving me the courage and confidence to compete. My parents have taught me to push to be the best I can but to praise Him for the strength to do it.” Austria is also quick to credit a long list of trainers and helpers who have made her success in the cutting pen possible.

"Winning the AQHA High-Point is especially sweet for several reasons. I have been around horses and competition all of my life, so this was certainly a dream for me and my parents. But it is such a great win because I had so much support to get it done. My parents and I hauled hard. Last May we tried to get a firm grip on the title. I left school early and headed to Gainesville (Texas) and showed in the middle of the night with plans to head to Belton and try to pick up the Red Randolph Scholarship on the way to another AQHA Show in San Antonio. The scholarship was a one-shot deal and I really needed to get to San Antonio in order to have a chance to win the High-Point title. It was one of those deals where my parents took turns sleeping and driving to get me and my horses where we need to go,” Austria says with a laugh.

“Well we showed up in Gainesville, did our job and as we were pulling out about midnight our truck broke down. We haul a big 40-foot trailer so it is major when your hauling rig is broke down. We went to sleep with hopes of getting the truck fixed early in the morning and getting on down the road in time to show the rest of the weekend. Well the short version is our truck was in the shop for several weeks and we were stranded. Teddy Johnson and his wife Lynn told my folks to take their big rig and get going. I definitely would not have won that scholarship or this AQHA High-Point title without the Johnson’s help.”

Austria Arnold is the daughter of equine veterinarian Dr. Kenton H. Arnold and Carroll Brown Arnold of Terrell. Texas. Competing in equine events for more than seven years, Arnold is a 4-time World Champion with the American Cutting Horse Association where she also took Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. Prior to her career with cutting horses, Austria competed in speed events including barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying and roping. In 2009, she was the Lone Star High School Rodeo Associations Junior All-Around Cowgirl. An 8th grade student at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Austria also competes in field hockey, soccer and lacrosse. She is an editor for her middle school newspaper and attends Lake Point Church in Rockwall where she is active in the AWANAS program. Austria is co-president of the American Cutting Horse Youth Association and an Area Director for the National Cutting Horse Association.

Austria hopes to continue to improve her showing skills over the coming year with particular emphasis on learning more about cattle and how to pick the best cow for the horse she is riding.


By Glory Ann Kurtz with information from Bill Lefty
Dec. 22, 2011

Leonard R. Brooks, Jamestown, Calif.,a legend in the horse and cattle industry, left this life on his terms at the age of 86.

Leonard R. Brooks, 86, Jamestown, Calif., left behind a life full of major accomplishments in the horse and cattle industry, when he passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, Dec. 9. According to his son, Lee, “Every morning he awoke at 5 a.m. This morning he peacefully departed at 5 a.m. with all his dignity intact.”

The first time that I heard of Leonard Brooks was in 1984 when Bob and I were at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev., and his horse Plumb Dry won the Snaffle Bit Futurity. It was my first snaffle bit futurity and I was impressed by the quality of the versatile horses – especially Plumb Dry. When I returned to my job at Quarter Horse News, the headline I wrote for the event was, “It was Plumb Dry in Reno this year.” At that time, Brooks was not yet 60 – but he was already a legend on the West Coast for his cattle and Quarter Horse accomplishments.

Leonard served in the Marine Corps during World War II and worked for the Rudnick family at their feed yards and Piute packing houses in Bakersfield and Modesto, Calif. In 1960, he married Patricia Price Brooks and in 1967, Leonard’s father-in-law, Louis Price, provided Leonard and Patty the opportunity to return to Jamestown, Calif., and run the family ranch, formerly known as the Price Ranch. The over 7,000 acres has been in Patty’s family for over 100 years.

According to his youngest son, Lee, an NCHA Non-Pro Futurity finalist, Leonard had an attraction to horses since boyhood and he always had a few mares. Later, horses became a necessary part of their cattle operations, as well as his lifelong passion. At one time, he purchased the AQHA race horse Bar The Door, a son of Three Bars. Later, he bought the stallion Plumb Dry, a 1981 son of Dry Doc out of Pantera Chex by King Fritz, that was bred by Neil and Linda Mussallem, Gilroy, Calif., and went on to win the 1984 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity. Plumb Dry sired over 500 foals, including Lee Brooks’ cutting horse Plumbs Sensation, with earnings of $80,000. Leonard also owned sons of Smart Little Lena, Dash For Cash, Peppy San Badger (Little Peppy), and most recently Playgun, that were used in the Brooks Ranch’s unique pasture breeding operation.

In 1979, the Brooks family built a large, on-the-ranch enclosed horse complex consisting of stalls, pens and an indoor training facility. They hosted cuttings and cow horse events as well as holding their production sales and daily training in the buildings.

Over the years, Leonard has since received the AQHA Cumulative Breeder Award following 50-plus years of breeding at his Brooks Quarter Horses facility, which at one time included over 250 registered Quarter Horses. He was also a well known cattle buyer and feeder, cow-calf producer and stocker-feeder operator. He also became a butcher shop owner when in 1964, the fed-cattle market threatened to end their cattle feeding business, so he successfully opened his own butcher shop to retail cattle he had on feed.

However, not long after Plumb Dry won the 1984 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Leonard experienced a major health scare, prompting Patty to encourage a rapid downsizing of their cattle operations.

According to his son, Ronnie, and long-time friend Bob Barrett, “Leonard was 20 years ahead of the times. He had the advantage of having observed many successful ranches, packing companies and feed yards throughout the United States and took the best and innovated the practical application to the changing times.”

He preached to his family friends and employees that information was a very valuable asset. For the first 78 years of his life, he knew who was buying what and for how much. What stallions were getting the job done, where the best quality horses were and where hay was plentiful. He knew where cull cows would bring the most, which ranches had the best feed and water, where to buy cows as good or better than his and Patty’s, what to charge for pasture gains, what the exchange was on the Canadian dollar and what was happening on the Southern border.

Some of the first Charlois bulls and Brangus super baldies wore the Brooks Ranch’s I HEART brand and by the middle 1970s, Leonard and Patty had over 4,000 cow-calf pairs and 135 mares. Even by 2011 standards, that was a sizeable operation. In order to accommodate their increased cow herd and broodmare band, they leased several ranches, including the Double Diamond Ranch in Reno, Nev..; the Simpson Ranch in Bridgeport, Calif. (most recently owned by John Ascuaga), the Kelsey Ranch, Merced, Calif., and Rodden’s Circle Bar Ranch, in Oakdale, Calif.

In 2002, he discovered the Internet and doubled his “information data bank” from his own computers. He promoted Brooks Ranch Quarter Horses, tracked the markets for horses and cattle and with his daughter-in-law, Miriam’s help, he did some effective marketing. He was not intimidated by the “new information age.”

Last September he began to aggressively implement his “bucket list” on his terms. He negotiated and documented one of the best grass leases in the West and witnessed the start of a promising grass year. He was able to enjoy Thanksgiving at home with his family and watched the NCHA Futurity on his computer during his short stay in the hospital. He methodically said “goodbye” to those he treasured most, reiterated his exit plan on his terms and on his peaceful way out, his parting words to his loved ones were, “That’s the way it is supposed to be done.”

He is survived by his wife, Patricia Price Brooks; sons Ron (Gerry) Brooks, Lee (Miriam) Brooks; daughter Eileene Dambacher (Jim); stepson Price Mailloux (Barbara); stepdaughter Deniece Mailloux (Audi Rice), and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his parents: Munsel Brooks, mother Jesse Jackson and sons Rod Brooks and Robert Brooks.

The family requests that friends wishing to make donations in memory of Leonard, contact their favorite charity, cancer organizations, AQHA Youth Foundation, NCHA Charities Foundation, Andy Peek Memorial (c/o Red Bluff Bull & Gelding Sale) or Small Miracles Foundation Of Oregon (for kids with cancer) at


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 29, 2011

Toni Warvell, Weatherford, Texas, has always loved action. She’s been a trick rider, a cutter and more recently has been taking flying lessons. However, in the afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 26, flying took an almost deadly turn when the twin-engine Beech 76 she was riding in crash-landed near Hicks field, located approximately 12 miles north of Fort Worth near Saginaw. When responders arrived, they were amazed that the three individuals had escaped the small plane that had burned completely, with only its tail section being intact.

But Toni didn’t escape unscathed as she was careflighted to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where she had surgery, including two rods being inserted in her back. According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, others in the plane, owned by Pro Aircraft flight Training based at Hicks airfield in Fort Worth, were Gerald Wayne McCombs and Gary Wayne Chasteen. One was a flight instructor and the others were students. Authorities don’t expect to know the crash’s cause for months. According to Toni, she was seated in the back of the plane between the two men and doesn’t remember how she got out.

It is unknown when Toni will be able to leave the hospital and if she will have to go into rehab; however, you can send your get well wishes to Toni at PO Box 1001, Weatherford, TX 76086.


Oct. 23, 2011
Eddie Stewart shown with Paula Gaughan at the South Point Futurity. Eddie, a past mmber of the NCHA Board of Directors and a Non-Pro Hall of Famer, died at age 74 on Oct. 21.


NCHA member and Non-Pro Hall of Famer Eddie Gail Stewart, 74, Andrews, Texas, passed away at his home Friday, Oct., 21, from an apparant self-inflicted gunshot wound. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Cutting Horse Association and was inducted into the NCHA Non-Professional Hall of Fame. According to NCHA records, he won lifetime earnings of $286,370.61 in NCHA cutting competition.

Eddie was born Sept. 20, 1937 in Peacock, Texas, to James Edward and Elene Boydstun Stewart. They moved to Andrews in 1944. He married the love of his life, Joan Pawley, who was born in Graybull, Wyo., on Sept. 8, 1957 in Cody, Wyo., and the couple had three children.

Eddie was a 1956 graduate of AHS and where he was the 1955 A.J.R.A. Champion Bull Rider. He attended Sul Ross University. He raised and had a passion for Quarter Horses, and more specifically cutting horses, for many years.

Eddie never met a Stranger and never forgot a name. He had a big heart and loved his family, friends and grandchildren. He also loved the outdoors and ranching. His love for Stewarts Welding and the growth it produced for Andrews along with the many employees through the years was very important and special to him and will never be forgotten.

"Eddie Stewart was the kind of man who did not stand behind you, he stood next to ou," said Paula Gaughan when she heard the news of Eddie's death. "He was a man of his word. A cowboy. I valued his friendship. It is so sad."

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan in 2006.She had been the office manager for Stewart Welding in Andrews for many years and was a published author. He is survived by his daughter, Kelly Stewart Chiles and husband, Kevin of Laredo, Texas; two sons, James Eddie Stewart and wife, Kathy of Andrews, Bob Stewart and wife, Denise of Andrews; brother, Jim Mac Stewart of Del Rio, Texas; Sister, Arlene Hollowell of Seminole, Texas; three grandchildren, Christopher Edward Chiles of Houston, Texas, Sara Jo Chiles of San Antonio, Texas and Cody Gail Stewart of Tulsa, Okla.

Visitation will be held Monday Oct. 24, 2011 between 6-8:00 PM at McNett Funeral Home in Andrews, Texas. Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in Andrews with Rev. Bob Zap officiating. Burial will follow in Andrews Old Cemetery under the Direction of McNett Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to the Joan P. Stewart Memorial Scholarship Fund at NBA, 1501 N. Main St., Andrews, Texas 79714.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 18, 2011

On Tuesday, Dec. 16, a vehicle carrying three teenagers went out of control along a curve on County Rd. 970 , five miles north of Weatherford, Okla., about 3 a.m. The two passengers who were killed included Aaron James Custer, 18, Elk City, the oldest son of Professional Bull Riders (PBR) co-founder Cody Custer and his wife Stacy of Sayre, Okla. Also killed was Edgar Drury, 18, of Olustee, while the driver, Shane Howard Frey, 19, was injured.

According to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma State Troopers said Frey was southbound along the county road and lost control on a curve. The vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway, down a 30-foot embankment, coming to rest on its top in a creek. Both Custer and Drury were pinned inside the vehicle for about an hour and 10 minutes and were pronounced dead at the scene.

The funeral services will be held Friday, Aug. 19, at 10 a.m. at Trinity Fellowship Church in Sayre, Okla. Aaron was scheduled to attend Southwest Oklahome State University in Weatherford, Okla., and the Custers request that memorials be made in lieu of flowers to the Merritt Athletic Association or Southwestern Oklahoma State University Rodeo Team through the Bank of Western Oklahoma in Elk City, Okla.


Aug. 10, 2011
One Time Royalty, the 2007 stallion by One Time Pepto out of Royal Serena Belle by Shorty Lena, who was the 2010 NCHA Futurity Champion with Lloyd Cox in the saddle, recently sold to SDM Quarter Horses of Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia. The beautiful bay stallion, from the first foal crop of One Time Pepto, scored a 230, the highest scoring run in the history of the NCHA Futurity. One Time Pepto made history at the 2010 NCHA Futurity by siring both the Open and Non-Pro Futurity Champions, something no other sire has accomplished in the same year. The sale was announced by Matthews Cutting Horses, Warsaw, N.C. and Weatherford, Texas, who owned the stallion as well as his sire.

According to Susan Marchant, owner of SDM Quarter Horses, whe intends to have Cox continue showing One Time Royalty in the United States for at least the remainder of his 4-year-old year, the stallion will stand to a limited book of mares in Australia during the 2011 Australian breeding season, which commences on Sept. 1. It is also expected that SDM Quarter Horses will also stand One Time Royalty in the United States in 2012 to a limited book of approved mares; however, the details have not yet been released.
Click here for the complete press release>>


June 8, 2011 – Fort Worth, Texas
Barbara Brooks, Nashville, Tenn., was recently elected Vice President of the NCHA. She will take her office during the NCHA Convention, June 17-19 in Oklahoma City, Okla.


Barbara Brooks, Nashville, Tenn., will be taking the office of Vice President at the NCHA Convention, June 17-19 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Brooks was elected by an over-whelming majority of membership ballots.

According to a release on the NCHA website, a total of 3,532 ballots were received and tabulated by the accounting firm of Whitley Penn LLP. Brooks received 2,528 of those votes, while Randy Chartier, Cottrellville, Mich., received 1,004 votes.

Also, during the Convention, Keith Deaville, Covington, La., will succeed Chris Benedict as NCHA President; Ernie Beutenmiller Jr., Union City, Mo., will become President Elect. Brooks will become the President Elect in June 2012 and the NCHA President in June 2013.

In her campaign brochure, Brooks said she was running because she believed that even though the NCHA faces economic challenges, good leadership and a strong business background can make a difference and help plan for a successful future. Brooks, the wife of Country Music star Kix Brooks, has a degree in psychology from Wellesley College and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University. She owned a small retail business for five years, then went back to school and got a position developing and marketing continuing professional education programs at Vanderbilt University.

She also worked with a strategic planning consulting firm where they helped businesses manage their futures. When her husband began traveling almost full time for his career, she cut back on her own professional life and discovered cutting. The couple have two children: Molly, age 24, and Eric, 22, who live close by.

She was most recently endorsed by the PCCHA and in April, NCHA Executive Committee members Edley Hixson, Keith Deaville and Bruce Richerson, in a letter to NCHA Directors, said that due to the financial position that the NCHA has found themselves in, the traditional ways of running NCHA were no longer acceptable and they needed financial leadership. Also they needed an active problem solver who understands the necessity and demands discussion on issues that may lead to disruptive and expensive litigation. The letter was obviously directed toward the election of Brooks.

Also according to the NCHA website, Brooks had said during her campaign, “I believe that the NCHA exists to serve the membership and provide ways for you to participate in your chosen sport. I will make it a priority to get your feedback on how we are doing.”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 9, 2011

Kenneth Paul, 35, Estancia, N.M., an NCHA trainer, passed away on Saturday after he had competed and placed in two classes at the Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah. According to reports, he got sick on Thursday and died Saturday morning. There are reports that doctors are thinking it was the swine flu and an autopsy has been done; however, the results have not yet been received.

Paul, worked for Cyle Sharp on a ranch in New Mexico. Sharp is the same man that June Mitchell worked for while he was alive. In Ogden, he finished third in the Open Division riding Badger Poo for Stephen Harrington, Estancia, N.M., earning $3,507. He was also a finalist in the $3,000 Novice Horse riding Catsblue Boon, owned by him and his wife Shauna, where he took home an additional $750.

According to the NCHA web site, funeral services will be held Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. in Moriarty, N.M. at Lonnie Wright’s Rockin K Arena, located six miles north of Moriarty on NM 41, on the east side of the road.

Send your condolences to Shauna Paul, PO Box 26, Estancia, NM 87016 or call 505-384-6019.



April 23, 2011
Jess Jackson, 81, lost his long battle with cancer on April 21. His life in the Thoroughbred business was one that would exemplify what a successful and honest horseman should be.


Jess Jackson, 81, lost his long battle with cancer at his home in Geyserville, Calif., on April 21. His death was not only a loss to the business community and the Thoroughbred business, but a loss to the entire horse industry. His life in the horse business was one that would exemplify what a successful and honest horseman should be

Jackson was best known in the horse industry as the owner of top Thoroughbreds – such as Curlin, the 2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic who was named the 2007-2008 Horse Of The Year, as well as Rachel Alexandra, the first filly to win the Preakness in 85 years, and Horse Of The Year.

He was also known as hard-nosed and litigious, a trait he used to require transparency in the sale of horses after he was duped by several agents while purchasing horses. In 2005, Jackson filed a suit accusing former advisers of fraud for inflating prices that he paid for horses. He eventually reached settlements with several of the parties, including Emmanuel de Serous who agreed to pay Jackson $3.5 million. However, that experience prompted Jackson to push legislation in Kentucky to protect horse owners by preventing agents from profiting from undisclosed payments and commissions. It prohibited a bloodstock agent from representing both the buyer and the seller in the purchase of a horse. It was signed into law in March 2006.

An article in Bloodhorse Magazine quoted Nick Nicholson, Keeneland president and CEO, as saying, “I admired his willingness to challenge the status quo. But most of all, I admired him as a person. Our sport is better because of his participation in it.”

Walt Robertson, Keeneland vice president of sales, added, “When I think of Jess Jackson, I think of tenacity. He demanded excellence of himself and everyone around him and would not settle for anything else. He was a success-driven man whose accomplishments are staggeringly impressive. He often told us as an industry not what we wanted to hear, but what we needed to hear. It takes a strong man to do that. We will miss him.”

Raised in San Francisco during the Great Depression, Jackson had three careers during his long life, with his work history starting as a lowly longshoreman and police officer: 1) a law practice with a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley and specializing in land-use and property rights; 2) the building of a highly successful wine company starting with Kendall-Jackson Winery in 1982 (Jane Kendall was his first wife) and later Jackson Family Wines with his second wife, Barbara Banke, which included such high-end brands as Cardinale and Lokoya; and 3) Thoroughbred racing. As a result of his successes, he was a fixture on Forbes magazine’s list of richest Americans.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara Banke, and five children: Jennifer Hartford, Laura Giron, Ktie Jackson, Julia Jackson and Christopher Jackson, and two grandchildren.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 9, 2011

Joyce Lee, a well-known Western artist, lost her battle with cancer on March 25 in Billings, Mont.

Joyce Lee, 61, Billings, Mont., a talented and well-known Western artist, with her artwork often on display at the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame & Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, lost her battle with cancer on March 25 at the Riverstone Horizon Hospice Home. Her loss was not only a great loss to the Western art world but a loss for me personally.

The former Joyce Ann Brock was born to Charles William Brock and Helen Elizabeth Pfeifer in Douglas, Wyo., on Sept. 26, 1950. She grew up on remote ranches in Wyoming, where she helped her father with the ranchwork.

According to an article in the Billings Gazette, Joyce's painting career began at an early age - when she was only 3 or 4 years old - when her older sister Barb discovered Joyce finger-painting over one of Barb's paint-by-number sets. Her love of horses also began early, as she'd often spent time playing with a bit in her mouth, pretending to be a horse. These early beginnings led to her becoming renowned as an artist of horses, ranching and the West.

In 1965, she moved to Billings, Mont., where she attended college and married Charles Lee in 1972, becoming part of Pearlie and Helen Lee's farming, ranching, horse-training and rodeo family. The couple had two children - son C.P. and daughter Olivia. Charles and C. P. currently run the Lee Ranch on Pryor Creek. Since I was personal friends with the Lee family at their farm in Minot, N.D., I met Joyce when the family moved to a large ranch off of Pryor Road outside of Billings, Mont.

Joyce spent much of her life drawing and painting horses. Her artwork has been spotlighted at the Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.


Joyce spent much of her life drawing and painting horses and was basically a self-taught artist, although she credits Clyde Aspevig as a big influence on her work. She didn't take professional arts classes until the 1980's, when she studied under Ben Steele at Eastern Montana College. She also attended Zemsky-Hines Pro Art Workshops and Scottsdale Artists School. In 1990, she moved into a quiet log studio she and her husband built on their ranch.

"I feel very fortunate that I'm a Western artist who has done more than just visit a ranch to take some photos of cowboys," Joyce once said. "I still feel very connected to my many years of ranch life, ensuring that I bring authenticity to my Western landscapes and representation of the horse."

Joyce's paintings continue to be shown in prestigious galleries throughout the West, including the Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Museum, where her painting "Communion" won the Patron's Choice Award of $1500 at the "Hearts of the Wests" Exhibition and Sale in 2010. Her work is highly prized by collectors and admired by artists. She was represented by the Claggett/Rey Gallery in Vail, Colo., and her work was featured in several books including "Cowgirl Up! Art from the Other Half of the West," "The Artists Bluebook (34,000 North American Artists to March 2005)," "Art of the West Guidebook" and the "Red Book Price Guide-1997 (Western American Art)".

She has also been featured in several magazine articles, including "Art Events-Coast to Coast," "Art Events-Colorado," "Showcase of Eight Talented Artists" and "Best of the West."

A reminder of Joyce on a daily basis is this painting, which was a gift from Joyce, of my daughter Wendy and her horse "Tac" winning the year-end barrel racing title at the Mesquite (Texas) rodeo. This was one of her first paintings.


Joyce was small in stature, quiet, humble, and always to the point. Her legacy will live on in her paintings and in her students whom she inspired and encouraged to paint from the heart, not for recognition or accolades. Personally, I am reminded of Joyce's talent on a daily basis, as one of her earliest paintings was a gift from Joyce and is hanging on my office wall. It's of my daughter Wendy riding her barrel horse "Tac," while winning the barrel racing year-end title at the famed Mesquite (Texas) Rodeo when she was 12 years old.

Joyce was preceded in death by her parents and half-sister Donna Simonson. She is survived by mother-in-law Helen Lee, who still lives on the home ranch on Pryor Road; former husband Charles Lee, who farms and ranches, son C.P. Lee; daughter Olivia Lee; half-sister Barbara Heinz; brother-in-laws Dennis (a horse trainer living in Texas) and Jay; sistesr-in law Sheri Kikowski and Teri Lee (Managing Editor of Quarter Horse News); nephews Nathan and Mike Lee, a top PBR bull rider, and cousins Shirley Forgey and Cheri Forgey Smith (Wayne); as well as too many friends to count.

A celebration of Joyce's life took place at Cremation and Funeral Gallery in Billings on April 2.
Some information in the above article was published in the Billings Gazette.


March 27, 2011
Joey Schlegel, 61, a cutting horse trainer on the East Coast, lost his battle with leukemia on March 8.


We lost a great friend, East Coast professional cutting horse trainer “Joey” Schlegel, 61, lost his battle with Leukemia on March 8. He was diagnosed with Acute Mylelogenous Leukemia Oct. 13 and began a roller coaster ride of treatment. Cowboy tough, he fought to the end.

Born in Pennsylvania Dutch country, Joey grew up with horses. His family owned, raised and showed pleasure, reining, halter and cutting horses. His older brother “Sonny” showed cutters before there were herd holders. The Schlegel farm was well known for its open shows and quarter horse shows in the 60’s and 70’s. After high school, a job at Willowbrook Farms in Catasauqua Pa., working with Bob Anthony solidified his professional horse training career. He teamed up with his wife, Karlene, to train, show and sell Quarter Horses at Featherhill Farm in Lenhartsville Pa. They hosted AQHA and open shows, then later team penning and cuttings.

Joey became a friend to many while traveling across the country trading horses and showing horses and helping Karlene set up and tear down Featherhill Western Shop at all the major shows. His love of a good time made his job as “entertainment director for the store customers” a natural occurrence. In the 90’s, his focus became cutting horses, and he was instrumental in creating more cuttings and cutting horse enthusiasm on the East Coast. Winters were spent with a string of cutting horses in the Florida sun, working, showing and enjoying the camaraderie.

For the past three years, Joey worked as the cutting horse trainer at Rainbow Run Farm in New Jersey. He was always helping everyone at the cuttings, from the first competitor to the last rider, with words of encouragement and a joke or a prank to keep everyone smiling.

This past Christmas, while hospitalized, he stated, "The most wonderful gift I have ever received is the caring and concern of all the people I call my friends." Joey was overwhelmed.

Joey’s final “celebration of life” was a tribute to a well-loved man. An old friend gave him his last ride to his resting place in a magnificent horse-drawn hearse. That day was filled with laughter and tears as everyone told Joey stories and then remembered how much his zest for life would be missed.

Contributions for funeral and medical expenses may be sent to Karlene Schlegel, 86 Rainbow Hill Rd, Hillsborough NJ 08844. Karlene can be reached at her e-mail


March 4, 2011
Joan Davis, the first woman to compete in a cutting contest in Flroida, passed away at 81.


Joan Davis, the first woman to compete in a cutting horse contest in Florida passed away early Friday morning, Feb. 11. She was 81. She and her husband, Willard, were influential in establishing the Florida Cutting Horse Association and Joan was the first woman to show a cutting horse in the state of Florida.

Joan, born November 5, 1929 to Dr. F. A. and Maurine Dunaway Greene, was reared in Crosbyton, Texas. In 1946 at the age of 17 she met and married Willard Davis, Jr. Quite the cowgirl, she and Davis became a team, doing day-work together on west Texas ranches during the week and rodeoing on the weekends.

During that era Joan competed in barrel racing, halter, reining and western pleasure. Willard Davis was a well-known calf roper until he began working for R.C. Wood. Wood introduced him to cutting and that became Davis’ passion.

In 1956 the couple moved to Florida where cutting was virtually unknown and together they worked tirelessly to help establish the sport in the state.

In an NCHA “Chatter” online article detailing Willard Davis’ success, good friend Billie McCallon stated, "When the Davises moved to Florida, there were no NCHA-approved cutting horse contests there. They were constantly promoting cutting horse contests and getting new people interested in cutting horses.”

The Davises moved back to Texas in 1964, settling in Waxahachie. Joan became active as a 4-H Adult Leader and for 13 years she taught showmanship, western pleasure, reining, and judging. In December 2006, she and her daughter, Joan, accepted her husband’s NCHA Hall of Fame Certificate when he was inducted into the NCHA Member Hall of Fame, as shortly before the presentation, he contracted pneumonia.

The following month, at the age of 83, Willard Davis Jr., passed away. He and Joan had been married 60 years. Joan Davis is survived by her two daughters: Juan Davis and Monica Davis of Waxahachie, two grandsons Dusty Autrey and his wife Kristi of Waxahachie, Cody Autrey and his wife Terra of Kentucky, one great granddaughter Lani Autrey of Waxahachie, one great grandson Coy Autrey of Kentucky, sister Ann Bynum of Maypearl and many nieces and nephews.


Asher, Okla. - Feb. 20, 2011
Jerry Graham, 69, Asher, Okla., the owner of several high-profile horses sales, breeder and owner of AQHA and APHA World Champions and a talented musician who played at the Grand Ole Opry, passed away on Feb. 16 at his home.

Jerry F. Graham, 69, Asher, Okla., who over the years owned several high-profile horse sales, was active in the AQHA and APHA horse industries and had a Country Western band that performed at the Grand Ole Opry, passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at his home.

Services for Mr. Graham will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church of Asher. The Revs. DeWayne Johnson, David Gray, and Steve Friskup will officiate. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery in Ada. The family received friends from 6-8 p.m. Sunday at Criswell Funeral Home in Ada.

Mr. Graham was born April 20, 1941, in Springfield, Mo., to Frank and Emma Jean Thornton Graham. He attended grade school at Huntsdale, Mo., and graduated from Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., in 1958. In 1959, he graduated from auctioneering school in Mason City, Iowa. He worked with his uncle, Tony Thornton in the auction business and then went on to sell automobile auctions in Indianapolis, Louisville and Chicago. He married Deborah McKnight on Dec. 23, 1979, in Sedalia, Mo.

Mr. Graham and his dad, Frank Graham, owned Melody Acres , a horse ranch located in Rocheport, Mo. There with his children, he raised, owned and showed 12 AQHA and APHA world champions and many show horses. One of his daughters won the AQHA Youth World Championship on Sabrina Lee

The father-son team also owned and operated 4 Square Livestock Markets at Marshall Junction, Mo., from 1977 to 1985. Jerry started the Heart of America Sales, a horse sales company that operated in Atlanta, Ga., Kearney, Neb., and Albuquerque, N.M. In 1983, Mr. Graham purchased Ada Horse Sales in Ada. In 2002, he was general manager of the Oklahoma Braves, a summer league collegiate baseball team.

In 1981, Mr. Graham recorded his first album in Marty Robbins Studios in Nashville, Tenn.. He and his band went on tour and was the opening act for many country and western singers such as Merle Haggard, Marty Robbins, Jeanne Pruitt and Willie Nelson. He also performed at the Grand Ole Opry.

Mr. Graham was a member of First Baptist Church in Asher since 2000. He was president and founder of Men of Big Creek, a member of the American Legion Ada Post 72, the Missouri State Auction Association and a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association. He was a member of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association.

Survivors include his wife, Deborah Graham, of the home; 10 children, Destiny Graham, Shawnee, Travis Graham and wife Breanna, Ada, Justin Graham and wife Jami, Byars, Les Graham and wife Amy, Ada, Melissa McCoy and husband Keith, Texarkana, Ark., Melody Plants, Oak Island, N.C., Lori Graham, Benson, N.C., Shelly Quinney, Raleigh, N.C., Jerry Graham Jr., Conway, Mo., and Sabrina Silverman and husband Phil, Columbia, Mo., and 17 grandchildren.

Mr. Graham was preceded in death by his mother; grandparents, George and Wilma Graham and C.R. and Juanita Thornton. pallbearers will be Sonny Humphrey, Eddie Bottom, Ross Williams, Ronnie Zorger, Rob Patrick, Jim Walton, Kyle King, Tom Gillum and Daniel Wood. Honorary pallbearers will be Jim Reynolds, Harold Brown, Joel White, L. J. Powell, Kenneth Sherrill, Ed Bottom, Don Green and Randy Davidson.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 16, 2011

Jimmie Randals, 84, a three-term president and director of the NCHA passed away this morning.

Jimmie Randals, 84, a three-term president (1973-1975) and director of the NCHA and a member of the NCHA Members Hall of Fame, as well as the AQHA Hall of Fame, passed away this morning at the Ware Center, Amarillo, Texas.

He is best known by the “old-timers” as the owner of Poco Dell, an AQHA Champion, and Quo Vadis, who was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame. But in more recent years, Randals was known for Smooth Herman, a 1973 son of Jet Smooth out of Carol’s Ethel by King. A semifinalist in the 1976 NCHA Open Futurity, the stallion sired the great 1988 gelding Work Smooth, a $315,233 money earner in the cutting arena, out of Skeeters Miss by King Skeet. He was also the sire of the great black mare Soft And Smooth out of King Koy’s Queen by King Koy, owned and shown by Debbie Worrell.

Jimmie and his wife, Dorothy, bought their ranch in Montoya, N.M., in 1949. He was a veteran of World War II where he was an infantry rifleman.

According to Nelson Nye in “The Complete Book of the Quarter Horse,” Jimmie always was interested in good ranch-type Quarter Horses, with his No. 1 interest being cutting horses. His first big purchase was in 1952 when he went to E. Paul Waggoner’s Three D’s Ranch Sale, where he first saw Poco Dell.

“Soon as I saw Dell, I knew he was the one I wanted,”said Randals. nothing else stirred my interest after I’d looked at him. During the sale, Dell was the second horse in the ring and the first had brought a considerable amount of money. It really let the air out of me,” said Randals, “I knew I couldn’t afford to pay so much; I felt sure enough sick. I bid a spell and then dropped out. I figured I’d gone as high as I should. I wanted that colt so bad I could taste it. What the hell, I thought, was a few more dollars on a horse like him! I screwed my nerve up again and got back in the bidding and ended up buying him for $2,800. I have stopped and looked back many and many a time, but I have never regretted bidding on Poco Dell.” Phil Williams, Tokio, Texas, trained the stallion for cutting and the stallion won his AQHA Championship in cutting.

Even though during the past few years, Jimmie was suffering from Alzheimers, his son, Richard, decided to bring him to the 2010 NCHA Futurity. “A friend had a King Air and we landed at Meacham Field and took him to the Futurity,” said Richard. “He didn’t remember being there but he never forgot cutting. During the cutting, he was sitting next to my wife, Linda, and he was explaining to her what the horses were doing – saying, ‘He’s going too fast,’ about one contestant.

One personal memory I have of Jimmie was when Bob and I stopped at his ranch to visit him one day. Before we went into the house, I saw several stones with Poco Dell and Quo Vadis on them. There was another grave between them and I asked Jimmie if that was another famous horse. “That’s my wife’s poodle,” said Jimmie with a big grin.

Jimmie will be cremated with memorial services being held at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 23 at the Presbyterian Church in Tucumcari, N.M., with Reverand Don Shephard officiating. at 10:30 a.m. Lunch will follow in the Education Complex for all attendees.

He leaves behind Dorothy, his wife of 61 years; their son Richard Randals (Linda), who lives on the Randals Ranch in Tucumcari and a daughter Jina Randals Vikc (Jerry), also of Tucumcar, plus grandchildren Anna Randals, Misty and John Vick and great grandson Cameron Hendrix and one sister Marianne Randals.i. Jimmie would have been 85 on March 14.

The family recommends that donations be made to Helping Hands Hospice (624 S 2nd St., Tucumcari, NM 88401) or to a charity of your choice. Send your condolences to 5427-A Quay Rd B K, Tucumcari, NM 88401. For more information, contact Dunn's Funeral Home in Tucumcari (575) 461-3815.



Feb. 3, 2011
Tragedy struck the Jason Forby family from Goreville, Ill., in the wee hours Monday morning Jan. 31, 2011. The Forby’s lost their entire cutting horse operation to a devastating barn fire. Horses, tack and Jason’s livelihood perished in the fire. Jason, an ordained minister; his wife, Sarah, and their two daughters, ages 5 and 11, have their faith, love and hope and are starting the rebuilding process.

Fellow cutters, friends, family and the business community can only imagine all that they are dealing with now and will deal with in the near future as they start the process to rebuild. As a result, many area cutting horse associations have brainstormed and have come up with ideas to assist them in this very difficult time. The first will be a Benefit Auction to be held at the Murfreesboro Tenn., Show and Professional Auction held Feb.11-12. If you have items you would like to donate, contact Devlyn Drake at (217) 737-7754 or Monetary donations and checks can be made payable to and sent to the "Forby Family Benefit Account, Southerntrust Bank, Attn: Heather P.O. BOX 9, Goreville, Ill. 62939 (618) 995-9999.

All help, suggestions and donations will be appreciated from other clubs, organizations, friends, family and the business community as they try to come up with ways to help this family.

For additional information contact: Elaine Jackson (618) 499-0606 or; Vanessa Shaw (618) 204-1681 or; Devlyn Drake (217) 737-7754 or or; Judy Love ((812) 525-0210 or or Sherra Kapfhammer (502) 550-4858 or


Dec. 30, 2010
Dan Evans, Canal Winchester, Ohio, a long-time cutter, died on Christmas Eve at age 74.


Dan Evans, Canal Winchester, Ohio, a long-time cutter and NCHA member died on Christmas Eve, Friday Dec. 24, 2010, at Riverside Methodist Hospital. He was 74. Dan was well-known as the chairman of the board and chief executive Officer of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. a job he took over in 1971 from his father Emerson Evans, the founding chairman and CEO.

Dan retired as chief executive officer in 2000, from chairman of the board in 2001 and from the board in 2006, following 50 years of service.

According to a press release issued by the company, during Dan’s tenure as chairman and chief executive officer, the company reached $1 billion in annual sales and the Bob Evans Restaurant footprint expanded from four restaurants in Ohio to 450 restaurants in 20 states. He also oversaw expansion of the company’s retail sausage market from six states to 30.He also served on the boards of several other companies.

Anyone who ever attended the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, knew about the Bob Evans Restaurants and ate there often.

Dan got his start in cutting 25 years ago with NCHA director Chuck Smith and built the facility that Smith trained out of. In 1991, he won the Congress Non-Pro Futurity. Throughout his retirement, he and his wife, Temmy, were able to pursue their love of riding cutting horses from their homes in both Ohio and Arizona while competing throughout the United States.

He is survived by his wife; children, Larry (Anita) Evans, Lancaster, Janie (John) Kantner, Canal Winchester, Stacy (Joel) Lilly, Upper Arlington, Ryan Pressel-Evans, Cincinnati, Lynn Michael Steinberg, Chapel Hill, N.C. Erica (Michael) Wendt, Chandler, Ariz., and Tyler Mossor, Scottsdale, Ariz. A public memorial service was held at 2 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 30 at Meadow Park Church of God, Columbus, Ohio, with the Rev. Dr. Robert I. Mathis officiating. In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to CS Cutters, the Dan Evans Fund, PO Box 23, Canal Winchester, OH 43110


Dec. 13, 2010
Roger Peters and his horse Especial Playboy. Roger lost his battle with a brain tumor on Sunday, Dec. 12.
Peters Family photo

Roger Peters, South Sioux City, Neb., lost his battle with a brain tumor on Sunday, Dec. 12. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in February and had surgery and later radiation.

Roger was an ardent non-pro cutter and NCHA member with over $280,000 in lifetime earnings. He and his daughter Conni owned Roger Peters Insurance.

Memorial services for Roger Peters will be held Friday, Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. at Bev's On The River (Exit I-29 at Hamilton Blvd., turn left and go under overpass. Bev's ON The River is located on the right, next to the beautiful river that Roger loved so much.)

Visitation begains at 10 a.m. with family present. The family is asking everyone to wear their jeans and boots with cowboy hats being optional - but horses are to be left at home.

In lieu of flowers, Roger requested that donations be made to Hospice of Siouxland, 4300 Hamilton Blvd., Soux City, Ia 51104 and S.T.A.R.S. (Thereapeutic Riding For The Handicapped), 33148 K22, Sioux City, Ia. 51108 or at

You can send your condolences to his wife Lisa and family at 1545 Fairmeadows, South Sioux City, NE 68776-0219



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 16, 2010 – Gill, Colo.

Clarence Tye, who was respected nationwide in the sports and cutting industry, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 14, at his home in Gill, Colo., with his wife, Judy, and daughter by his side.

He was well-known and loved nationwide – both in the sports world and the cutting horse world. Clarence Tye, 81, Gill Colo., lived his life with passion and passed away Tuesday morning, Sept. 14, by his choice at his home with his wife, Judy, and daughter following a two and one-half year battle with bile duct and lung cancer.

While most of those in the cutting industry knew Clarence as a horse lover, trainer and breeder, before his retirement, he was one of the most successful coaches in Napa Valley, Calif. He was Napa High’s head baseball coach from 1967-1972 and also coached at Napa Valley College and American Legion baseball in the Napa Valley. He coached Vintage High School’s baseball team to five straight Monticello Empire League championships (1980-84) and six league titles over a seven-year stretch until his resignation following the 1984 season.

According to the Napa Valley Register, Tye won 272 games while coaching at Napa Valley College, Napa High and Vintage. The Vintage Crushers owned the best record in the EL through the first eight years of the league (66-30). But most of you reading this know Clarence best from his interest in the cutting horse industry.

But while living in California, he was a close friend of cutting horse enthusiast and breeder Jerry Rapp, who died in 1994, the father of Phil Rapp, today’s leading money earning rider. He helped the Rapp family with Phil when he was a teenager, going through some rough times by hauling him to cuttings.

According to a Dec. 1, 2007 article in Quarter Horse News, Clarence recognized that Phil was an exceptional human being with talent when he was 15. “He had superb ability on a horse, could compete and I knew full well he could improve,” said Clarence. “I always encouraged him saying, ‘Phil, you can be anything you want to be.’ Phil could watch the best in the business, pick up their little subtleties and then go and duplicate them. He had the uncanny ability to apply what he saw.”

According to Judy, she talked to Phil on Tuesday, telling him that Clarence would want him to do his best at the Music City Futurity. Later, Phil called back to tell her that he “had an extra rider when he made his run to win the event.”

In 1986, after 27 years of teaching and coaching, Clarence retired and began a new life in Gill, Colo., with his wife, Judy, on an 80-acre spread known as the Tye Ranch. Gill is located nine miles north of Greeley, Colo., where Clarence was born on March 25, 1929 and attended school. He attended college at CSU and UNC until entering the U.S. Air Force in January 1951. He was stationed overseas in England and was discharged at Travis AFB California as a staff sergeant in 1954. At that time, he went back to college and pursued a degree in education. During his last two years of college, he had a part-time job at the California State Legislature, guiding student tours through the state capitol in Sacramento.

He spent the next 22 years in the cutting horse business. During that period, he served two years as President of the Western States Cutting Horse Association and was inducted into the Western States Cutting Horse Hall of Fame in 2009.

Signed by Tommy Lasorda, this photo shows Clarence (second from right) with Bill Buckner (left) and Jim Buckner (right).
Napa Valley Register photo


In February 2009, Clarence helped organize festivities for the 22nd annual Friends of Baseball Breakfast of Champions at the Island Grove Events Center in Greeley, which turned out to be a reunion for three Napa High School graduates: Warren Brusstar from California, Bill Buckner from Idaho and Jim Buckner from Arizona, and Clarence, who was their coach. The speaker was former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, a Hall of Famer. They were all there to thank Tye for all he had done to shape their lives and to offer their support as he fought his battle with cancer. In today’s Napa Valley Register, Judy was quoted as saying, “He set out and accomplished every one of his goals in life. He was very proud of all of his ccomplishments. He was very proud of the ranch.”

Clarence is survived by his wife, Judy, and his three children: Eric Tye, Napa, Calif.; Rhonda Roberts, Rocklin, Calif., and Kurt Tye, Reno, Nev. He had five step-children: Ken McKinney, Maui, Hawaii; Dana Wood, Oceanside, Calif.; Dawn McKinney, Loveland, Colo.; Ember McKinney, Oceanside, Calif., and Kacy McKinney of Wisconsin. Clarence and Judy have a combined total of 11 grandchildren.

A celebration of Clarence Tye’s life will be Oct. 9 at the Clarion Hotel in Greeley, Colo., at 12 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Northern Colorodo in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 702 13th Street, Greeley, CO 80631.Send your condolences to Judy Tye at 27124 WCR 70, Gill, CO 80624.
Click to view memorial and sign guestbook>>



By Steve Warren
Aug. 23, 2010 – Grandview, Texas

Grant Setnicka has leased Tom Lyons training facility in Grandview, Texas, where he has set up his own training company, GS Cutting Horses LLC.

Grant Setnicka, who has trained cutting horses for the past several years for Marshall Chesrown, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is hanging out his public training shingle – GS Cutting Horses LLC – located in Grandview, Texas, a small bedroom community about 40 miles south of Fort Worth on Highway 35. Setnicka, who just last week won the West Texas Cutting Futurity in Amarillo, Texas, riding his mare Nitros Little Sally, leased Tom Lyons’ Grandview training facility about three months ago.

Setnicka, who came to the cutting arena from the reined cow horse industry, and has since won close to $377,000 in lifetime earnings, brought his “crew” to Texas with him, including his 2-year old specialist Travis Stewart. His “crew” is also made up of his “very serious girlfriend,” Jennifer Bartel. “She and I will be getting married in the future,” said Setnicka.

Nitros Little Sally, a daughter of Nitro Dual Doc, is out of Smart Little Sally, a daughter of Smart Little Lena out of Alice Walton’s great mare Boon San Sally. Nitro Dual Doc, a 1998 stallion sired by PeptoBoonsmal and who has won close to $54,000, is also owned by Setnicka. Both horses were purchased from Chesrown in January 2010.

Even though he owns Nitros Little Sally, Setnicka says, “I feel that when a trainer owns and shows his own horse and trains for the public, it can create a conflict of interest. I try not to show horses that I own. However, horses are slow to sell right now and the best way to get them sold is to go out and prove them in the show pen.”

Setnicka is currently riding 30 horses including about six horses he owns in partnership with Chesrown. He said that Paul Hansma came to his training facility in Idaho last winter and bought several 4-year-olds and tried many of his 3-year-old prospects. Setnicka said, with a chuckle, “I hid my best 3-year- old while Paul was here.”

Asked where he trains his cutting horses, Lyons said, “Oh Grant lets me hang out at the ranch.”

Setnicka is currently charging $1,100 for 2-year-olds and $1,350 for 3-year-olds and show horses on cattle. You can contact him by e-mail at or call him at 805-320-8782.

The move of Setnicka to Grandview, plus the fact that three other trainers (Ronnie Rice, Jaimie Beamer and Tag Rice) are listed in the Trainer’s Directory as being from Grandview, precipitated the question, “Is Grandview supplanting Weatherford as the “cutting horse capitol of the world?” However, a closer look showed only Setnicka and Ronnie Rice actually being in Grandview, with Rice training out of Monte Strusiner’s facility. Jamie Beamer is located in Weatherford, next to Tom and Colleen Holt, while Tag Rice is 10 miles down the road from Grandview in Crowley, Texas.



By Steve Warren
Aug. 20, 2010

Frank "Scoop" Vessels III died on Aug. 11 in a small plane crash, leaving a void in the Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred industries.
AQHA photo

Frank “Scoop” Vessels, III, 58, who had the unique distinction of being the Past President of the AQHA and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, died in a small plane accident in Eastern Oregon on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 at approximately 9 a.m. PDT. He was on a fishing trip with good friend and fellow Thoroughbred horse breeder Sam Cannell, 73.

“Scoop," as he was known since he earned the nickname as a boy when he was handed a shovel in the stockyards at the track with which to clean up, was apparently piloting his twin engine 1962 twin engine Aero Commander Model 500-B when it encountered problems thought to be icing of the wings.The plane went down approximately 80 miles south of Burns, Ore. No definitive cause of the accident will be known until an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is complete.

Scoop is the third generation of the Vessels to be involved in the daily operation of a Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred breeding operation. His grandfather Frank Vessels, Sr. kicked off the business in 1949 when he purchased a half interest in Clabber (good friend Huntley Gordon purchased the other half), a great AQHA race horse and sire of running Quarter Horses. To complement this purchase, he then purchased property in California to establish a breeding farm, part of which eventually became Los Alamitos Race Course.

Clabber was the first in a long line of illustrious horses owned or bred by the Vessels. Among other notable horses who resided on the Vessels Stallion Farm were Go Man Go, Chicado V, First Down Dash. Alamitos Bar, Timeto Thinkrich, Tiny Charger, and Beduino (TB). These were exceptional race and/or breeding horses. First Down Dash, under the management of Scoop, surpassed his famous sire, Dash for Cash as a leading sire of racing Quarter Horses. Chicado V was a prodigious producing mare who foaled five offspring that had a huge impact on the American Quarter Horse that is still evident today. These horses were Triple Chick, Three Chicks, The Ole Man, Table Tennis, and War Chick.

Scoop’s impact was not limited to Quarter Horses. In 1992, after the death of his mother, Scoop bought a half interest in the Thoroughbred sire In Excess for $250,000 and expanded into the Thoroughbred market. This led to the expansion of the roster of Thoroughbred stallions standing at the Vessels Stallion Farm. Besides being a past President of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Scoop was a member of The Jockey Club

Scoop’s mother, Millie Vessels, who ran Vessels Stallion Farm after the death of Frank Vessels, Jr., sold the Los Alamitos property in 1984. In the early 1980’s, Millie and Scoop began buying property north of San Diego near Bonsall where Scoop was instrumental in the design and construction of the current Vessels Farms. He wanted to build a place to allow the horses to be horses and have access to larger pastures. The old farm was constrained to five acres. Upon the death of his mother, Scoop took over total management of Vessels Stallion Farm.

Scoop, not content racing horses with big ‘motors,’ also had a passion for other sports with big motors. He was the off-road racing Rookie of the Year in 1974 and was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007. In the 1990s he was involved with a group that developed NASCAR’s Supertruck Series.

Scoop is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and sons Bryan, Colt, and Kash.


Article and photo by Glory Ann Kurtz
July 15, 2010

Elizabeth Booth shown with her son David.

Elizabeth Mary Booth, 48, Acton, Calif., passed away in the early morning hours of Monday, July 12, after a short battle with colon cancer. The tough NCHA cutting competitor won the Amateur 5/6-Year-Old at the South Point in February and was hauling for the World Championship in the $50,000 Amateur Division. In fact, according to her friend Barbi Madgwick, she will still more than likely end the year as the $50,000 Amateur Champion of the PCCHA. She was also a finalist in last year’s Amateur division of the NCHA Derby.

Liz, who has lifetime NCHA earnings of $92,602, was part of an entire family of cutters, including her husband, Roger, who recently won the $50,000 Amateur division at the Western Nationals at Ogden and has lifetime earnings of $124,375.28. Her son, David, who turned 22 only two days before his mother’s death, has $185,094 in lifetime earnings and is presently hauling for the NCHA Non-Pro Championship. Another son, Matt, 17, with $32,954 in lifetime NCHA earnings, hauled for the Junior Youth title in 2006 and in 2007 hauled for the $2,000 and $10,000 Amateur titles.

Liz and Roger own an excavating business on the west side of Los Angeles and worked for many well-known actors and actresses living in the area. David works for the excavation company when he’s not taking college courses or cutting – which is what he enjoys the most in life.

According to Madgwick, who along with her husband, Lance, are also in the excavating business, the Booths got involved in cutting since the early 1980s, but then they took a long hiatus while their children were growing up by getting into dirt bikes and boats. “They returned to cutting as a family sport in 2005 and have been “smoken’ ‘em” ever since,” said Barbi. Lance is the president of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association.

One of six children, Liz was born in California on March 19, 1962 and grew up in Chino. Funeral services will be held this Saturday, July 17, at 1 p.m. at the Eternal Valley memorial park, located at 23287 Sierra Highway, Newhall, CA 91321-4099. Visitation will be Friday, July 16, from 4-8 p.m. Anyone wishing to order flowers or send their condolences, can go to or call 818-365-3292. Cards and notes can be sent to 2149 Carson Mesa Rd., Acton, CA 93510-1829.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 23, 2007

Preston Carter, Jr., Weatherford, Texas, a member of the NCHA; a Texas Horse Racing Hall of Famer; co-owner of On A High, the 1983 winner of the All-American Futurity; a top polo player; prominent real estate developer; co-developer of Trinity Meadows Race Track and an original principal of Lone Star Park, passed away on June 21 following a year-long battle with cancer.

Formerly president and chairman of the Board of the Texas Horse Racing Association, Preston was a life member of the American Quarter Horse Assoiciation, the Texas Thoroughbred Association and the Texas Quarter Horse Association, where he was an honorary vice president. He was one of the key figures in the passage of pari-mutuel legislation in Texas in the 1980s. After the successful passage of pari-mutuel wagering in 1987, he embarked on his dream of building a racetrack in North Texas: The track was Lone Star Park located located between Dallas and Fort Worth.

He formed a partnership of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse owners known as Lone Star Jockey Club and in 1992, was awarded the license to build Lone Star Park. He sold his interest just prior to the track opening in 1997.He was inducted into the Texas Racing Hall of Fame in 2007. He was also a top polo player, and at one time won the U. S Open in Polo.

In 1993 Carter became involved in the National Cutting Horse Association and although most cutters have known him over the years as a real estate developer and cutter, few realize his background in the real estate business included the revitalization of the West End Historic District in downtown Dallas in 1976. Old warehouses and other brick buildings were converted to restaurants and shops and the West End became one of the better urban areas in Dallas. In the 1980s, he was involved in the real estate boom in Dallas.

A memorial service for Carter will be held at the Carter Ranch, located at Silverado on the Brazos, Weatherford, on Sunday, June 27 at 4 p.m.


Feb. 13, 2009 – Fort Worth, Texas
Zack T Wood

Zack T. Wood, Jr., the executive director of the NCHA for 28 years, passed away this morning. Services will be held Saturday, Feb. 20.

Wood, referred to by many as “Mr NCHA” became the Executive Director of the NCHA in 1962, when the association had only 1,200 members and Cutter Bill was the World Champion Cutting Horse. He was inducted into the NCHA Hall of Fame in 1986.

He retired in 1991 and in 2002 received the Charles Goodnight Award. In 2003, he was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame during their Convention and in 2005 received the Bill King Award. He was inducted into the Atlantic Coast CHA Hall of Fame in 2008.

He was an original member of the committee that established the Hall of Fame in 1975 to honor people and horses instrumental in the development of the Quarter Horse breed and AQHA. Coincidently, Cuttter Bill was also posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

He was also an honorary lifetime vice president of AQHA and chaired the Hall of Fame selection committee in 1999 and 2000. He was a director of the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show and a member of the Equine Advisory Committee for the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. The great stallion Zack T Wood was even named after him. The son of Doc Tari is owned by Dick Gaines – who bred and named him after his friend.

Wood was born in Little Rock, Ark., in 1926 to Zachary T Wood Sr. and Frederica Rutland Wood. His father was a successful banker and his grandfather was a farmer. He would go to his grandfather’s farm every summer, where he learned to love horses. Wood served in the Navy during World War II (1945-1946) and then attended Louisiana State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in Animal husbandry. He returned to his grandfather’s farm in the 50’s to help run it. In 1960, he went to work for the Arkansas Extension Service.

In 1955, he helped charter the Delta Cutting Horse Association and in 1961, J. D. Craft offered him a job as secretary-treasurer of the NCHA for $600 a month. Later his title changed to NCHA Executive Director.

Wood married Gloria June Reid on Jan. 19, 1959 and was preceded in death by her. The couple had five children: Frederica Wood, Montrose, W.V., Roy Wood, Arlington, Tracey Mince and Candy Harwell, Fort Worth, and Shelley Walker, Rockfville, Md., a sister, Julie Truemper, Little Rock, Ark., and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. at the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church, 3900 Longvue Ave., Fort Worth. A reception will follow at the church. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Holy Apostles Memorial Fund (a church that he and his wife were charter members) or the foundations of the American Quarter Horse Association or National Cutting Horse Association.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 14, 2010

Ross Churman, 59, Burleson, Texas, a former cutter who was a successful trainer of rope horses and young ropers, died Thursday, Jan. 14, of a massive stroke.

Ross Churman, 59, Burleson, Texas, died today of massive stroke at his home. Ross was an excellent horseman and had been a cutting horse trainer several years ago. He was also a trainer of top rope horses – but best of all, he was known as one of the best trainers of young ropers.

Ross trained horses his whole life and he was happiest at his home in the barn – or with his friends at the coffee shop. His life was fulfilled and enriched by those whose lives he touched, especially his precious granddaughter Olivia Li.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Lari Williams Churman; sons, Sloan and Sarah Churman; grandchild Olivia and soon-to-be-born Elise; mother, Louise Sloan Churman; siblings, Andy and Frances Churman, Jean and Allen Beach and Earl and Gail Churman; brothers-in-law, Kirby and Lilnda Williams and Shawn and Leigh Williams and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Andrew Churman.

An additional tragedy is that Ross’s father-in-law Charles Allen Williams died only eight days earlier and was buried last Saturday, Jan. 9. Williams was also a horse trainer who retired 15 years ago and then raised and showed border collies and stock dogs.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Retta Baptist Church in Burleson. Burial will be private in Hawkins Cemetery. There will be no visitation. Ross’ heart would be to support the precious orphans in Kenya through Living World Outreach-African Missions, 107 N. Main, Mansfield, Texas, 76063.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 23, 2010– Fort Worth, Texas

According to the NCHA web site, on Nov. 17, 2009, Fort Worth’s 67th District Court Judge Don Cosby entered a Judgment in favor of the NCHA in the case filed by Paula Gaughan and Dean Sanders against the NCHA, requesting NCHA records.

In May 2008, Gaughan filed a motion in Fort Worth’s 67th District Court seeking a wide range of NCHA financial information, including bank account and payroll records, money paid to NCHA administrators and to all vendors and attorneys who had worked with the association within the prior three years.

According to Gaughan’s attorney, Jim Walker of the Dallas firm of Walker Sewell LLP, she is entitled to all NCHA financial information with “no strings attached,” under provisions of a Texas Business Organization Code. However, in a 2008 hearing, the judge signed a temporary restraining order preventing Gaughan from sharing records with others that the NCHA labeled “confidential.” Even though the NCHA turned over 89,214 pages of financial information to Gaughan, they designated 36,556, or about 41 percent, as “confidential.” Gaughan previously said that she also wanted the membership to have the right to view all the records without having to go to court to do so.

Ironically, Judge Cosby revealed several times during the trial that he served on the board of four non-profit organizations. Also, during the final hearing, he asked Walker to give him a copy of the new and relatively untested Texas state law that he said applies in this case. Also, in his closing statements, Cosby forewarned the plaintiffs of his upcoming decision when he said, “Another judge might eventually rule that all non-profit organization financial records are public records in Texas – but I probably won’t.”

The hearing ended with Judge Cosby asking both attorneys to file new motions restating summary judgments on why they should win the case. At that time, it was expected that the case would proceed to a trial; however, the judge still retained the option to give his Summary Judgment to one side or the other.

According to the NCHA article, Judge Cosby found that the NCHA fully complied with Plaintiffs’ requests and legal requirements relating to the review of the Association’s records. The Court further found that the records designated as confidential by the NCHA are entitled to be treated as confidential and awarded attorney’s fees to the NCHA.

Gaughan has the option to take the case to an appeals court; however, when reached, Walker said he had no comment.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 3, 2009

It was 1986 and the NCHA World Finals was being held in Houston. Bob and I watched as Greg Welch showed a then 6-year-old Haidas Little Pep in the final go-round. The result was history-in-the making. When the pair walked out of the herd, they had scored a 230 – the highest score ever earned by a cutting horse – winning the Open Finals.

The run gave Haidas Little Pep the Reserve title for the year with $90,542.41 in year-long earnings behind Jazzote, ridden by Sonny Rice and George Glover to $102,096. He was also named World Champion Stallion. For me, it made the hair stand up on the back of my neck as I realized I had just witnessed a “historical happening.”

But that was only one of the accolades earned by the 1980 legendary stallion sired by Peppy San Badger out of Doc’s Haida by Doc Bar. According to horse trainer Billy Pinion, Stanford, N.C., the 29-year-old stallion died on Monday, Oct. 26 in his 10-acre pasture where the stallion happily spent the past nine months of his life with a gelding as company.

Bred by Norman Bruce, Rutledge, Ga., Haidas Little Pep was syndicated in June 1983 after he won $264,397 as the Reserve Champion of the NCHA Open Futurity, owned by Helen Groves’ Silverbrook Farms and ridden by another legend – Buster Welch.

In 1984, the pair finished fifth at the 1984 Atlantic Coast Open 4-Year-Old Futurity, 15th in the NCHA Open Derby, and split 11th at the NCHA Open Super Stakes. Before his aged event career was over, he had racked up lifetime earnings of $425,174. At the time of his death, he was owned by John Walker, Pinson, Ala., who purchased him in December of 2000.

But after his cutting career, the stallion’s next calling began – as a sire. During his breeding career, Haidas Little Pep sired 1,389 AQHA foals, with 620 foals earning over $9.5 million – averaging $15,986 per money earner. His largest breeding year was 1988 when he had 113 foals registered with the AQHA. According to AQHA, his final crop of foals were born in 2007, although Pinion said he thought there was some frozen semen still available.

His highest money earner was Snack Box, a 1991 stallion out of Brudders Sunday Best by Docs Sugs Brudder, owned by Jerry Durant and ridden by Craig Morris to over $202,829 in earnings, including being the 1998 World Champion Stallion and placing third in the NCHA Top 10, earning $46,168.18.

There was also Haidas Jan, a 1994 mare out of Lemac Jan by Dan’s Sugar Bars, who earned over $171,808 with Greg Welch in the saddle, including the Reserve Championship of the NCHA Open Super Stakes Classic, earning $39,465. Sporty Little Pep, a 1988 gelding out of Warm Up Sport by Sport Model Nick, won over $168,547, owned and ridden by Kelly Welch, and Haidas Becky, a 1986 gelding out of Becky Lynx by Doc’s Lynx, collected $101,426, owned by Mrs. Buster Welch and ridden by Buster.

Haidas Dude, a 1989 gelding out of Miss Dry by Dry Doc was owned by Silverbrook Ranches and ridden by Rodney Schumann to over $158,271.53, and Little Moonpie, a 1989 mare out of Sujo’s Sunshine by Captain Joker, owned by Dan and Sallee Craine was ridden by Greg Welch to over $153,231.

Other high money earners included Our Little Haida, a 1987 mare out of Our Little Lena by Hesa Doc O’Lena, $138,049.03, who finished second in the 1994 NCHA Top 10 Non-Pro, earning $61,763; Smart Smokin Pep, a 1990 stallion out of Smart Smokin Lena by Smart Little Lena, who was third in the 2000 NCHA Top 10 Open, with $47,694 in earnings and was World Champion Stallion. Lintons San Badger, a 1990 stallion out of Ms Linton by Mr Linton earned $114,167 and Peps Southernthunder, a 1988 mare out of Fondacandybar by Ima Dandee, earned $113,427.34.

During 2009, there were 80 offspring of Haidas Little Pep still competing in the performance arena in various disciplines. He was buried at Pinion’s ranch.


Oct. 11, 2009
Joe Heim, Thackerville, Okla., an NCHA Triple Crown Champion and a member of the NCHA Rider Hall Of Fame, will be offering custom-designed training and showing courses at his ranch specifically geared for intermediate to advanced riders, non-pros and trainers.

Courses will be offered in 1-3 days, 4-5 days or a week-long course. Unlike other clinics or workshops, there are no prescribed formats, schedules or categories you must fit along with others. These courses are customized to meet your needs. You will be able to ride a variety of horses, learn various styles and methods. Groups will be of no more than three (semi-private) or you can have private lessons.

The intensive one-on-one, individually planned and customized course costs $500 per day per person and includes a catered lunch, stalls for your horses and the use of cattle, a mechanical cow and a variety of horses personally owned and trained by Joe. Lodging accommodations on the ranch are also available for an additional fee.

Heim, who is the only Triple Crown Champion to ever breed, train and win riding his own horse – Docs Okie Quixote. His accolades are not restricted to cutting, as he has also been a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) World Champion. Currently training and showing outside horses as well as his own, Heim is adept at recognizing and bringing out the best in a horse and its rider. Currently he and his wife Holly have a nice son of High Brow Cat out of a money-earning Smart Little Lena mare that Joe plans to show in the 2009 NCHA Futurity.

For more information or applications for his individual courses, contact Joe or Holly at 580-276-5147, check out his web site at or e-mail him at


Article and photos by Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 12, 2009

Jimmy Kemp is closing in on the $1 million mark in NCHA earnings.


Jimmy Kemp, Eastland, Texas, who will turn 65 on his next birthday, was born into the horse industry. His father, James E. Kemp, owned such great cow horses as Commander King, Hollywood Bill and Leo San, and though he didn’t cut himself, he knew good cow horses when he saw them - and didn’t shirk from buying them. If he were alive today, he'd be proud of his son who has won close to $1 million in the cutting arena.

Terrye Kemp, an amateur, was the 1999 NCHA Rookie Of The Year and has won close to $100,000 in NCHA lifetime earnings.


Today Jimmy doesn't shirk from buying a good cow horse either. He started riding cutting horses when he was a teenager – but didn’t get serious until he was 40 – during the fall of 1984 - when he took lessons from George Combs and Sonny Rice.

Currently, the Kemps’ trainer Neil Roger is training 38 horses at Jimmy’s Texas ranch – and only five are outside horses. Jimmy spends most of the year on the aged-event cutting circuit with Terrye, his wife of 13 years who has won close to $100,000 in Amateur competition and was the 1999 NCHA Rookie Of The Year.

Currently the couple, Neil and his family are following the West Coast aged-event circuit with approximately 20 horses in five rigs, which includes five that Neil is getting ready for the NCHA Futurity, plus turn-back horses. I caught up with Jimmy as he was leaving Idaho headed for Rancho Murieta which starts on Wednesday, Sept. 16. From there, they will head to Texas but Jimmy and Terrye will again head west for the October South Point and MillionHeir Show in Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, they will head for the PCCHA Futurity in Paso Robles, where Neil and his wife, Allie, and two sons, will meet them – bringing 3- and 4-year olds entered in the show.

Asked why he spends so much of the summer on the West Coast, Jimmy said, “Aside from the great cuttings, we’ve got four or five really close friends on the West Coast.”

Also, the Kemps have another trainer in Idaho - Jody Cada. “She doesn’t ride many outside horses,” said Jimmy. “She takes a lot of time and patience with them. Last September, I sent a TR Dual Rey gelding – a 3-year-old that we weren’t getting along with very good. She called me the first of March and said that he would make Terrye a nice Amateur horse. So she sent him to us and now he’s won about $40,000 in the Amateur. Neil has made the Open finals on him a couple of times; I’ve made some Non-Pro finals and Terrye’s made four Amateur finals on him. It doesn’t matter who gets on him, he just goes and cuts.” Jimmy was talking about SDP Ute Man, the 4-year-old gelding that Neil just won over $3240 riding in the Idaho Open Derby.

The Kemps hired Neil to work on their ranch and ride for them full time in March of this year and gives the trainer credit for much of their success. “In January and February, we won a little money. However, since the first of March when Neil moved to the ranch, we’re at $200,000 in winnings,” said Jimmy. “Also, when he came to work, Terrye was still eligible for the $50,000 Amateur in weekend and aged events. She has over $100,000 in earnings now – she’s had a fabulous year.

“I give a lot of credit to Neil and Allie,” said Jimmy. “Like Neil says, ‘I’m not one to go to all of these shows. When I came to work out there, I was riding two horses for you – the next thing I know, we’ve got 12 horses ready to go haul. I like staying home with my wife and kids – I really don’t want to take them on the road, but I’ve never had an opportunity to go on the road like this.’ He’s right. None of us want to be gone as much as we are, but like Neil says, ‘I never believed we would do what we’ve done. All we’ve done is cut one cow at a time.’

Asked how he determines which horses to purchase, Jimmy responded, “I’m pretty much what you would call a 'garbage feeder.' I look around at what other people aren’t getting along with. I’m patient – everyone else wants results immediately. If I have to spend six to eight months with a horse, I’m happy. I have a Petoboonsmal gelding that I gave $12,000 for that had belonged to another trainer and had been started by another .. and he never won anything. This year, we won about $70,000 on him.”

But Jimmy gives credit to his trainer. ““He very seldom works a horse in a bit – he works him in a hackamore,” says Jimmy. “A correction bit is a monster bit for Neil. He gets away from the bridle, he doesn’t handle them. You go left and stop – right and stop. Keep it soft, keep it simple. Everything we’ve done this year, we owe to Neil and Allie.”

In October, they purchased a 6-year-old gelding by Soula Jule Star from Andrew Coates. “Sandy Bonelli trained and showed him and gave him to Andrew for his wife, Nicole. They decided they would have a family and wanted to sell him. I think the world of Andrew and Nicole and last year in Paso Robles, I tried the horse, thinking he would be a great non-pro horse for Terrye. I showed him a couple of times and then Neil came. All of a sudden, he’s the Open and Non-Pro finalist at nearly everything we go to.

“I’ve got a couple of nice Futurity horses for Fort Worth – a TR Dual Rey and three Dual Reys. I went up to Linda Holmes to look at the horses she had for sale. Paul Hansma had been there with some customers , as well as some other trainers. They decided they were going to wait a little. When I saw what the horses did, knowing that I had Neil at home, I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll buy them.’ I spent a day at Linda’s and bought a yearling, a 2-year-old and three 3-year-olds. She said – ‘You want to come back Jimmy!’

In that transaction, there was one mare and the rest were geldings. “Geldings are solid every morning when you get on them,” said Jimmy. “Mares and studs have attitude adjustments. They have other things on their minds. Also, you can compete in the gelding classes – and then I can also have a shot at the ‘old-man’s’ class.

“I love this,” said Jimmy. “This has been good to us. Give me two or three more years and I’ll be old enough that .I won’t be as competitive as I am now. I hope that when I’m Billy Martin’s age, I can do what he’s done. He’s done such a great job and I’m so proud that he won the Non-Pro Derby this year – it was unreal. That made me think, ‘Hey, there’s some more of us old coots who can do it too.’ There’s a lot of young people out there right now who are unbelievable – they’re hard to beat.”

We’re having a lot of fun with it and having Neil, Allie and their boys with us is great. Their two boys are 2 and 4 years old. They are the cutest things in the world – especially the 2-year-old. He’s a hoot. They wear their boots and hats but they’re not quite old enough to ride. The oldest boy is a John Deere Tractor man – he just loves equipment, but it must be painted green. If it’s any other color, he ways it’s not as good as a John Deere.”

Asked which shows were his best, Jimmy said, “Three or four years ago at the MillionHeir, I had two 4-year-olds and when we left there, they had both won about $75,000. Tom Long showed them and I showed in the Non-Pro. Tom won both of the first go-rounds on one of them and wound up third and fourth in the finals. I wound up second and fourth in the Non-Pro finals. The other best show would have to be this year’s Bonanza. I won two divisions.”

Jimmy has two children and seven grandkids. His son owns an electric company in Midlothian, Texas, and his daughter is married to a Tractor Supply manager in Brownwood, Texas.

Jimmy met Terrye when she was working for a ranch near Fort Worth, where he helped with the cattle a couple of times. “We knew each other for three or four years, then we both were at a party one night and sat down and started talking. That was it. She’s a sweetheart. I couldn’t have been more proud of what she has accomplished. She’s the one that organizes everything and does all the entering. She has two computers that she is working on all the time. I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for her.”


Aug. 26, 2009 – Jacksboro, Texas
Services for Carlos Banuelos will be held Friday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Ascencion and Tiffany Banuelos’ ranch in Jacksboro, Texas, where he will be buried. All friends, customers and acquaintances are invited to attend.

Carlos, 34, was a top cutting horse trainer with lifetime earnings topping $600,000. He was a brother to cutting horse trainers Ascencion, Diego and Cookie Banuelos, and an uncle to non-pro rider, Adan, who is Ascencion and Tiffany’s son. He has four other brothers and two sisters in Mexico, and a son Jhett.

He was born in Zacatecas, Valparaiso, Mexico, coming to the United States with his brothers to train horses. His life was one of “rags to riches” when he started training cutting horses in 1994 and soon owned his own training facility and ranch outside of Jacksboro. He died of an apparent gunshot wound on the morning of Aug. 25, when he was found in the barn on his ranch.

Jack County Sheriff Danny Nash said there would be no official ruling on the death until results come back from the medical examiners’ office; however, he said evidence showed he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to Nash it will take at least three weeks before there will be a final determination of death.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 25, 2009 – Jacksboro, Texas

Cutting horse trainer, Carlos Banuelos, 34, was found deceased at 7 a.m. this morning at his ranch outside of Jacksboro, Texas. According to Sheriff Nash of Jack County, Texas, current evidence shows that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and that there will be no further rulings or inquiries until they receive results from the medical examiner’s office.

Further information and funeral arrangments will be posted as they are received.


Aug. 16, 2009
On Friday, Aug. 14, Raley Mae Radomske, the 18-year-old daughter of Harland and Jody Radomske, Ellensburg, Wash., had a second surgery to take out the rest of her brain tumor. During the surgery, there were some problems with a blood clot, bleeding and her brain swelling.

She came through the surgery with the doctors feeling that they got all of the tumor removed; however, as predicted by the doctors, all of her language skills have not come back to her. She can only say a few words and it is very frustrating for her. Also, her right side is still not showing any movement. The family is asking for prayers during this trying time.
To send a note and receive updates, click here>>


Aug. 12, 2009
The surgery to remove a tumor from the skull of Raley Mae Radomske was completed on Monday, Aug. 10; however, the doctors informed Raley’s parents, Harland and Jody Radomske, Ellensburg, Wash., that the surgery was more intertwined within the brain than the scans had shown.

“The doctor removed a large portion of it (the tumor), but ended up leaving some that was too entangled, for fear of damaging her motor skills,” said Jody, following the surgery. “He thinks that there is a good chance the tumor will end up being cancerous based on the tissue and nature of it. The pathology report in a couple of days will indicate the next course of actions.”

Raley Mae, 18, who during the 2008 National High School Rodeo Association Finals was the All-Around Cowgirl, the Girls Cutting Champion for the second time in three years and the current student president of the national association, had strong vitals when she came out of surgery, and it was decided to skip intensive care and let her stay in the intermediate zone where her family could see her. “She was able to respond to the doctors very shortly after surgery and her strength surprised them,” said Jody. “She also responded to us and even made a joke about her ‘head-wrap.’ It was very reassuring to us that our little girl was still Raley.”

However, Jody and Harland are understandably stressed and ask that no one mention to Raley, via phone or card, what has been said so far, until they get the full details from the pathology report. The Radamskes have a page on CareBridge, where you can leave your messages and read ones written by others.
Click here for CareBridge link>>


Aug. 6, 2009
Raley Mae Radomske, 18, the daughter of Harland and Jody Radomske, Ellensburg, Wash., has been diagnosed with a brain tumor too large to radiate, that must be surgically removed. The top youth cutter and honor student has a fully paid scholarship to college in New Mexico for next year and is currently the president of the National High School Rodeo Association.

According to an e-mail sent out by Harland, an NCHA director, the surgical approach will be fairly tough as the tumor is basically in the middle of the brain – but more on the left side – and could affect her language and speech, which may require some additional recovery time. She will have part of her head shaved but will keep a “comb over” piece to hide the shaved part.

“I doubt most of you know this, but Raley donated her long hair to “Locks for Love” two weeks ago at the National High School Finals before she even knew she had a
tumor,” said Harland. “Her hair is only shoulder long now. Bless her heart!

“She has four or five cysts next to the tumor; one is very large, bigger than the tumor itself. That is a blessing as they will take the fluid out and then there will be a nice large cavity for the surgeon to work in to remove the tumor without too much trauma to the brain.

“Depending on how the recovery goes, she may not be able to start college this fall. For sure, there will be no riding horses for two months and no competition for four months, which more than likely means no college rodeo this fall. At first she was pretty upset about that.

“We have had three doctors evaluate the tumor from the MRI's and all three feel the tumor is non-cancerous. Praise the Lord!! However, the pathology report will be the final judge on that.

“Following the Aug. 10 surgery, she will be in the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix for two to five days, depending on her recovery rate. We will then bring her back to Las Cruces to her new place and I will stay with her until Aug. 23 or as long as she needs her Mommy!”

Jody is currently in Ellensburg, but will be flying back to Phoenix on Sunday, Aug. 9. Harland is currently staying with Raley in Phoenix.

“We are all scared as there are risks,” said Harland, “but we do feel the peace from your prayers. We love and thank you all for all you have and continue to do for us. We could not make it without all of your love and support.”

Harland will report on Raley Mae’s progress following the surgery. You can e-mail Harland or Jody at, send cards to 1850 Venture Rd., Ellensburg, WA 98926-7052.



July 30, 2009 – Amarillo, Texas
Carol Rose, a three-time NCHA Non-Pro World Champion, the first woman to make it into the NCHA Futurity finals and a top breeder of World Champion horses, will be one of three individuals and three horses inducted into the 2010 AQHA Hall of Fame scheduled to be held with the AQHA Convention, March 5-8 in Kissimmee, Fla. One of the horses inducted is Rose’s famous Zan Parr Bar.

The Hall of Fame, established in 1975 to honor people and horses instrumental in the development of the breed, is one of the highest honors bestowed by the AQHA. The three individuals and three horses will join the other 215 human and equine members of the Hall of Fame.

Rose, who bred horses winning 25 world championships and 30 reserve world championships, also bred 14 year-end high-point winners, three year-end all-around winners and two year-end reserve all-around winners. Her stallions Shining Spark, Genuine Doc, Zans Diamond Sun and Zan Parr Bar, that is also being inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame this year, have extensive show, performance and sire records. Her mare Diamonds Sparkle is also in the Hall of Fame.

Besides Rose, Bailey “Stretch” Bradley, was among the small group who in 1967 founded what turned out to be the world’s largest Quarter Horse Show, the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, where he took on the ground work for 20 years. The highly successful horse trainer was the second president of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, which put on the Congress, and executive vice president of the NRHA. In 1988, he was named to the NRHA Hall of Fame just months after his death at age 66. That same year, he was inducted into the Congress Hall of Fame.

Frank “Scoop” Vessels III, served as AQHA president in 2004 and is an AQHA life member. His grandfather, Frank Vessels, Sr., who started both Los Alamitos Race Course and the Vessels Stallion Farm, was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1989. Scoop was the recipient of the 1999 AQHA Champion Breeder of the Year and the 2000 Gordon Crone Special Achievement Award. He was first appointed to the AQHA Racing Committee in 1992 and was awarded the John W. Galbreath Award for Outstanding Entrepreneurship in the Equine Industry from the University of Louisville’s equine industry program in 2003.

Zan Parr Bar, a 1974 foal, was World Champion Halter Stallion three times – the first horse to achieve that mark in the AQHA. He earned 114 grand champions and 13 reserve champions and in 1977 was Grand Champion of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress. He was also a great rope horse and rope horse sire. He was the AQHA High-Point steer roping horse in 1979, the same year he was World Champion Aged Stallion. In 1980, he was third at the AQHA World Championship Show in senior heeling – the same show he defended his World Championship in aged stallions. He also placed in the top 10 at the World Show in heading and heeling. He also earned points in reining and western pleasure, acquiring 602 total lifetime points.

Zan Parr Bar retired from the show ring after the 1980 World Show. His foals had 43 year-end High-Point wins, five year-end All-Around High-Point wins and three Reserve Year-end All-Around wins. In all divisions, his foals have earned 25,593.5 points. Of 653 foals, 236 have been point earners. He died Nov. 27, 1987 of colitis . At the time of his death, he was AQHA’s leading sire of performance horses. Currently, he is sixth on the list of sires of all-time leading point earners and 17th on the list of sires of AQHA Champions. He was owned by Rose from the time he was a 2-year-old.

Poco Pine, named after his trainer Pine Johnson, was purchased by Paul Curtner (who incidentally is NCHA Vice Presidential candidate Brady Bowen’s grandfather) during the Paul Waggoner’s 3D Stock Farm dispersal in 1954. Curtner purchased Pretty Rosalie, with a long-haired Poco Pine by her side. The stallion won AQHA grand championships and 7 reserve, and 135 AQHA points at halter. He earned 115 cutting points and two Western pleasure. His first foal crop included two AQHA champions and his get earned $14,794 in NCHA competition. Of 464 offspring, 199 earned 10,949.5 points, with 41 becoming AQHA Champions.

Rocket Wrangler, a 1968 stallion, won seven of his 13 starts as a 2-year-old, including the Rainbow and All-American futurities. He was the year’s high-money-earning horse and was named World Champion 2-Year-Old Colt. As a 3-year-old, his owner J. R. Adams, Guymon, Okla., sold half interest in him to B. F. Phillips, who retired him to stud at his ranch for two years, before Adams bought back is half interest and returned the stallion to the track. He was retired in February 1973 and was syndicated in 1980. He sired 1,629 foals, with 1,221 starters and 762 winners. He is 30th on the AQHA list of all-time leading sires by earnings and eighth on the list of all-time leading sires by winners. He is 14th on the list of all-time leading broodmare sires by earnings and fifth all-time leading broodmare sire by winners. He was euthanized Nov. 28, 1992, after suffering from colic and was buried at Royal Vista Equine in Fort Collins, Colo., where he was standing.


July 24, 2009
Dennis Lester, son of Don and Netha Lester of the Southridge Ranch, Canby, Ore., passed away after an extended illness on June 29, 2009. Dennis was the ranch manager for the Southridge Ranch where he handled daily ranch operations.

His favorite part of the job was working with broodmares and foaling out babies. He truly loved his job as the one thing he cherished most in life was horses. Dennis grew up riding, showing and training horses aned was a natural horseman and accomplishyed rider. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Send your condolences to Don and Netha Lester at 26825 S Elisha Rd., Canby, OR 97013-9307


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 13, 2009

Preston Carter, Jr., Weatherford, Texas, well known in cutting horse circles, was recently diagnosed with cancer and will soon be headed to M. D. Anderson in Houston, Texas.

Carter is an active member of the National Cutting Horse Association, a Texas Horse Racing Hall of Famer, a co-owner of On A High, the 1983 winner of the All-American Futurity, a top polo player, a prominent real estate developer, a co-developer of Trinity Meadows Race Track and an original principal of Lone Star Park.

Carter and his lovely wife, Amy, live at Silverado on the Brazos, a popular housing and cutting-horse facility west of Weatherford, that he was also involved in developing.

Although many cutters have known him over the years as a real estate developer, few realize his background in the real estate business, which included the revitalization of the West End Historic District in downtown Dallas in 1976. Old warehouses and other brick buildings were converted to restaurants and shops and the West End became one of the better urban areas in Dallas. Today, over seven million people visit the West End annually. He was involved in the 1980s real estate boom in Dallas.

A top polo player, Carter at one time won the U.S. Open in Polo. He was also intensely involved with horse racing, being a co-owner of On The High, the `1983 winner of the All-American Futurity. He was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2007, along with Carl Nafzger, and was later on the advisory board of the Museum and Hall of Fame. He was one of the main forces behind Trinity Meadows Race Track outside of Weatherford, and from there became one of the original principals in Lone Star Park, the popular race track in Grand Prairie, Texas.

I will try to keep you posted on his prognosis and progress; however, if you wish to send cards of encouragement, they can be mailed to Preston and Amy at 100 Carter Ranch Trail, Weatherford, TX 76087.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 7, 2009

On Thursday, July 2, 11 horses were found dead in a pasture near Dicey, Texas, located some 25 miles north of Weatherford, Texas, which was leased by Joe Landers.

According to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, a Txdot (Texas Department of Transportation) worker had spotted a horse struggling to get up and called Fowler’s office. From there, the animal control officers got involved and then the media. The horses, which had died from lack of water during a period of time when the temperature rose above 100 degrees, were buried in a mass grave, with many questions left unanswered.

Landers, the co-owner of a breeding operation in Weatherford, and admittedly the responsible party for the horses, is now speaking out about the unfortunate incident, and trying to get the facts straight.

“I’m not trying to sweep anything under the carpet, I just want people to know the facts,” said Landers in a recent interview. “The bottom line is, these were my mares and they were my responsibility. But I had contracted with a trusted employee, who has been with me for four years. I have never had a problem with him taking care of or feeding and watering my mares. And although he had never once given me a reason to believe that he wasn’t doing his job – this one time, he flat didn’t check the water supply for these horses – and the consequences were deadly.”

Landers said that he had leased the 500 acres, located approximately 25 miles from his breeding facility in Weatherford, for the past four years that the 35 horses were on. (Some reports had said that the horses were found in a 3000-acre pasture and 40 horses were involved) He said that the mares had been purchased from a sale barn in Wyoming two and one-half weeks ago.

“They were not pregnant and were not surrogate mares carrying embryos sired by cutting stallions,” said Landers, referring the articles published about the incident. One article also said that the horses were co-owned by David McDavid, a partner with Landers in his breeding operation. However, according to Landers, McDavid had nothing to do with the mares or the pasture.

Landers said that even though he had had the mares for two and one-half weeks, he had not even paid for them. “I hadn’t even bought those mares yet,” said Landers. “They were just delivered to me and I hadn’t even looked at them. We were going to leave them out in the pasture for a few weeks to make sure there wasn’t anything sick before I brought them here. The deal I have with the seller is that once I bring them here and make sure they are OK, then I pay for them. Obviously, I have to pay for what was lost.”

“The man that I trusted to take care of the horses was not someone I put out there by the seat of my pants,” said Landers. “Honestly, he has done a wonderful job. At times I have had 250 mares out there at a time and he would go out there and if a mare had a cut or something, he would spend all day trying to get that one horse and bring her in for us to look at. However, for whatever reason, this time he didn’t check the water supply – and when you assume something like that is OK, that’s when you get in trouble. Obviously he dropped the ball on the deal; however, ultimately at the end of the day, I’m the one who is responsible. Asked if the employee had been let go, Landers said he had.

“Who would have thought there would be a malfunction on the breaker and it would flip off,” said Landers, “According to the well people, this is very common for this time of the year – that the heat did something to one of the breakers and it popped.

“When you deal with animals in the numbers I deal with, all it takes is one little bobble like this – and you’re not talking about one – you’re talking about 11 horses. It’s very sad, very unfortunate. I’ve said to myself a hundred times, ‘What can I do to make it right?’ and I don’t know the answer to that.

“Maybe something good will come out of this and I, as well as other people, will learn from this unfortunate experience: You better check your waterers and your employees – and anything else you need to check – when you put animals in other people’s hands. I’m not passing this off on the help, it’s my responsibility and I take the blame. I’m sure most horse people have hired someone to care for their horses while they go away on vacation. If that someone doesn’t do what they’re supposed to do, ultimately, the animal and you pay the price.”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 29, 2009

Karen Franklin, mother of Justin Franklin, is gravely ill; The rodeo family of David Key and Tammy Key-Fischer, lost their son in a single-vehicle accident and the Clem McSpadden NFSR dates have been changed to Nov. 13-24.

Karen Franklin, 50, the mother of Justin Franklin, who works for Louis Noto at Back Fence Video, is gravely ill. She was put in ICU on Friday morning (June 26) suffering from pneumonia. Within a couple of hours, they transferred her to a larger, better-equipped hospital and they almost lost her three times. She is heavily sedated and on a respirator and today the doctors say the outlook is grim. Presently she is in the University Hospital in Columbia, Mo. Karen is married to Harold Franklin, who has strong NCHA ties, having been a judge. You can send your cards to Harold Franklin, 1395 Sandhill Ave., Baldwyn, MS 38824-8571 or e-mail Justin at

Riley Key, the 18-year-old son of veteran PRCA team roper David Key and barrel racer Tammy Key-Fischer, was among three teenagers who died in the early hours of June 27 from injuries suffered in a single-vehicle accident in Washington County, Texas.

A prayer service was held the evening of June 28 at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Carmine, Texas, and the funeral service was held earlier today at the Dube Family Cemetery in Giddings, Texas, with the Rev. Paul Bohot officiating.

Riley Cole Key was born on April 15, 1991, in Brenham, Texas.He graduated last month from Round Top-Carmine High School and intended to enroll at Blinn College in College Station, Texas, this fall. He loved hunting and was an accomplished team roper.

Riley is survived by his parents, Tammy (Brian) Fischer of Ledbetter, Texas, and David (Josey) Key of Caldwell, Texas; brothers, Kooper Key of Caldwell and Jack Fischer of Ledbetter; grandparents, Peggy Dube of Giddings, Texas, Kenneth and Linda Key of Caldwell, and Paul and Jolene Fischer of Giddings, along with many other relatives and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Riley Key Scholarship Fund at Classic Bank, P.O. Box 820, Giddings, Texas 78942.

The dates for the Clem McSpadden National Finals Steer Roping at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Okla., have been moved back one week from what they were previously announced, to Nov. 13-14. “After discussions with officials of the state of Oklahoma and the PRCA it was decided that the Nov. 13-14 dates would work better for everybody concerned,” said Tim Lanier, general manager and chief operating officer of the Lazy E Arena.

The year-end championship features the 15 best steer ropers in the world as determined by the PRCA World Standings.A record $255,000 in prize money will be offered for the 51st annual NFSR, including an $18,972 payoff to the winner of the average title.

It had been earlier announced that the event would have a new name – the Clem McSpadden NFSR, to honor one of the event’s greatest supporters – for its return to its old home at the Lazy E Arena, after a decade at other venues. McSpadden worked the NFSR as the event announcer a record 27 times, taking his last turn in 2000, the last year the event was held in Guthrie.
Information for the rodeo articles above were provided by the PRCA.


June 25, 2009
Ryan Motes (right) Caleb Mitchelll (left) with Bob Feist and awards.

Photo by Kirt Steinke


Ryan Motes, riding a CD Olena gelding, and his partner won the BFI, taking home $149,410 plus bonuses; Pat Earnheart awaits lung transplant; PCCHA hires new Executive Director and Cathy Cook starts new business; NCHA weekend highly successful; NCHA Summer Spectacular sale features 243 horses – to date, and Welfare of the Horse forum can be seen on

Ryan Motes and Caleb Mitchell, both from Texas, had only been team roping partners for two weeks, when the pair won the prestigious 32nd Bob Feist Invitational (BFI) Team Roping Classic, earning $149,410 plus $15,000 in bonuses. The richest one-day open roping paid out over $700,000 overall.

However, the biggest news to the cutting industry about the team’s win was the fact that Ryan, 28, is the son of cutting horse enthusiast Danny Motes, Weatherford, Texas, who raises top cutting horses. Ryan’s sister, Mica, is a top NCHA Non-Pro competitor and her new husband, R.L. Chartier, is a well-known, up-and-coming cutting horse trainer who trains for Julie Wrigley.

Ryan’s father is David Motes, the 1977 PRCA World Champion Team Roper and the 1981 champion of the BFI. The event is held annually in conjunction with the $1 million Reno Rodeo, held June 18-27.

Ryan, who lives in Weatherford with his wife Courtney, was riding CD Starbucks sired by CD Olena. The gelding was also named the BFI top heeling horse. Danny and Winston Hansma also own a stallion sired by CD Olena named CD Lights.

Mitchell, 26, from Charlotte, Texas, was experiencing his first BFI roping. The pair topped the 100-team field with 7.15, 7.95, 7.66, 7.40, 7.34 and 7.99, for a total of 45.49 seconds on six head.

“I’ve been coming here since I was little said Motes, who cut off his thumb last October while roping. “This has been the big once since I was born. Bob does a great job of putting it on and the cattle were great this year. Everybody dreams of winning the world and the BFI. One down, one to go.”

For full results go to:

Some of the above information was taken from an article written by Kendra Santos. Photo by Kirt Steinke.

While Pat Earnheart, Hernando, Miss., was being inducted into the Members Hall of Fame during the NCHA Convention, he was lying in a hospital bed awaiting a lung transplant. Pat trained and showed some of the great horses in the industry, including Dual Pep. You can reach Pat at 901-277-4583

Phil Benadum, Banos, Calif., was hired as the new Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association, as of June 15. Benadum, a cutting horse trainer and past member of the Board of Directors of the Association who replaces Cathy Cook, was hired following a recommendation by a search committee to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors..

Cook has started a new company called Corporate Cowgirls, a “Virtual Business and Event Production” company offering a wide variety of services. Her web site is currently under construction; however, a cover page is currently posted that provides an outline of services available. You can contact Cathy at 916-870-8788 (cell) or

According to the NCHA, NCHA Weekend, held the first weekend in June, set an all-time record, with entries being up at over half of the 25 Area shows..The events paid out $614,024, an increase of nearly 20 percent over 2008 and broke the 2007 record payout of $604,793. Entries totaled 6,461, an increase of more than 10 percent over the 5,842 entries that showed in 2008.

The Summer Spectacular Sale held during the NCHA Summer Spectacular at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, will take place Saturday, Aug. 1 in the John Justin Sale arena. On Friday, July 31 will be live demonstrations of show horses, 3-year-olds and 2-year-olds in the Watt arena.

The 32 Slate River horses will include two of their stallions: Playdox, a 1995 stallion by Freckles Playboy out of Dox Come Back by Bob Acre Doc and Bobs Freckle, also a 1995 stallion, sired by Bob Acre Doc out of War Of Freckles by War Leo.

Videos will be taken of the horses during their demonstration on July 31 and the video will be shown while the horse is selling in the John Justin Arena on Aug. 1. The catalog will be posted on line and will be available at the Western Bloodstock booth during the trade show. Check out their web site at

The 2009 American Horse Council held “The Welfare Of The Horse” forum in Washington, D. C., on June 16. The forum was part of AHC’s National Issues Forum and featured speakers from segments of the horse community as varied as competition, sport, work and entertainment. Speakers and panelists discussed the many welfare and safety initiatives that various segments of the horse industry have in place or are instituting.

The forumn is available for on-demand viewing on H-SPAN is a digital channel providing coverage of industry symposiums, meetings, educational presentations and more on its equestrian television portal You can go to and click on the H-SPAN icon.



June 15, 2009
For years, cutters in North Texas were treated to Gloria and Pete Rehm, Weatherford, Texas, at the cuttings. They were inseparable - Gloria watched and visited while Pete showed his cutting horses.

However, on Saturday, June 13, Gloria passed away from the ravages of cancer, which started as breast cancer and spread to her pancreas. Her death came shortly after Pete was diagnosed with prostrate cancer.

Gloria's funeral will be Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., at the Methodist Church on Garner Road. Send your condolences to Pete at 2505 FM 113N. Weatherford, TX 76088-3401.

Bill McDavid, Aledo, Texas, a former car dealer and cutting horse enthusiast, died Friday, June 5, at his home from lung cancer. He was 69.

Bill McDavid was the brother of another well-known cutting horse enthusiast, David McDavid, the owner of the popular cutting sire Hes A Peptospoonful. Both brothers were born into the car dealership business, with their father, Bill Sr., who opened his first car dealership in 1946. They both opened car dealerships around the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolex over the years, with Bill opening his first General Motors dealership when he was ony 19.

However, in 1992, Bill McDavid suffered a heart attack, and that along with financial problems prompted him to get out of the car business, as well as the cuttin horse business. From there he dove into other interests including music, motorcycles and airplanes.

Survivors include his wife, Sherry McDavid of Aledo; sons Bill McDavid of Fort Worth and Brad McDavid; daughter Michele Napier of Colorado Springs, Colo.; stepson Ian Stewart of Georgetown; mother Dawn Queen McDavid of Weatherford; brother David MDavid of Fort Worth; sisters Deddy Dawn Srimavin and Toni Williams of Aledo and Kandy Lamb of Irving, plus numerous grandchildren.

Information for the above article and photo from the Fort Worth Star Telegram.


RUTH-ELLEN STRAIN, Colorado Springs, Colo., passed away on Friday, June 12. Ruth-Ellen was a familiar sight at most of the cuttings held in the Western States Cutting Horse Association area, as she is the mother of Jon Strain, Elbert, Colo. the President of the Western States Cutting Horse Ass'n; Randy Strain, Ault, Colo., and Stacey Warren, Peyton, Colo. The family is planning a "life Celebration" gathering on Thursday, June 18 from 4 to 9 p.m. at Ruth-Ellen's home, located at 7015 McFarren Rd., in the Black Forest. There will be no formal funeral service.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, Ruth-Ellen wanted donations be made to either the Pikes Peak Hospice or the Western States Youth Scholarship Fund. Donatioins may be left at the gathering. Send your cards to Jon at 16947 Eastonville Rd., Elbert, CO 80106; Randy at 44033 WR 49, Ault, CO 80610 or Stacy at 10890 Indian Paint Tr., Peyton, CO 80831-6852.

PAT EARNHEART, Hernando, Miss., a top NCHA trainer with over $1.8 million in lifetime earnings, is currently on the waiting list for a heart transplant. You can send him an encouraging card or letter at 4346 Hwy 304, Hernando, MS 38632-8434 or give him a call at 662-429-4583.

WAYNE LONG, Decatur, Texas, hopes 2009 will be a better year than 2008. Last year he suffered from terrible headaches, and then found he had a tumor on the back of his neck at the base of his spine. After many tests, he found out that the tumor was non-malignant; however, they couldn't remove it because it was too close to his spine. He returned to the cutting arena, only to have knee problems and consequently had knee surgery. However, his parts are now up to par and he was showing his cutting horse at the weekend show at Salt Creek arena this weekend. You can't keep a good cowboy off his horse!



June 11, 2009 – Fort Worth, Texas
When the votes were counted at the NCHA office on June 11, Keith Deaville, Covington, La., had received 1,784 of the 3,526 ballots, to take his place as the new Vice President of the NCHA. Brady Bowen, Jacksboro, Texas, was only 42 votes behind – at 1,742. According to a release put out by the NCHA, the votes were tabulated under the oversight of accounting firm Whitley Penn, LLP. Deaville will take over his new duties at the NCHA Convention, June 19-21 in Denver, Colo.


June 9, 2009 - Thackerville, Okla.
An upscale, Western resale shop has been opened by Holly Reed-Heim, at the Joe Heim training facility and ranch outside of Thackerville, Okla.

"I decided to open a Western resale shop to both stimulate the economy and put some cash in the pockets of those who need it most," said Holly. "There's nothing like this around for miles and I've had a great response and interest already."

Called "The Second Go-Round," the shop is located at Exit 5 and I-35, Thackerville, Okla., at the corner of the ranch. With plenty of parking, the shop is easily accessed from I-35. The grand opening is set for this Thursday, June 11, at 10 a.m.

"After careful consideration and planning, I decided that since there isn't much to offer in this area I will also be carrying new items such as gifts, jewelry, and home decor as well as a wide selection of unique western things," said Holly.Consignments are limited to Western related items.

"I will be accepting consignments daily but the hours of operation of the shop will be Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.," said Holly. There will also be an experienced saddlemaker setting up shop in front of the building in August, who will be specializing in repir work and taking orders for new saddles.

Consign your western wear, furniture, saddles, tack, jewelry, art, home decor, and other items - and make some extra cash. Contact Holly at RR1, Box 2300, Thackerville, OK 73459 (580-276-4646 (shop) or (817) 675-2989 (cell phone).


By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 28, 2009 – Fort Worth, Texas

Silent screen star William S. Hart, shown with Rex Cauble. The saddle Hart had commissioned and was later presented to Rex Cauble by Bugsy Siegel, is shown between them. It is now for sale for a cool half a million dollars.


If you’ve been to the Texas Classic Horse Show, held at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, you may have seen the booth for the Herd Collection, featuring a saddle worth a half million dollars.

“That’s what we’re asking for it,” said Tommy Herd, who is selling the saddle that was commissioned by William S. Hart, one of the first silent screen stars and was so well liked that when he died, Wyatt Earp was a pallbearer at his funeral. After Hart’s death, the saddle sold in 1946 to Bugsy Siegel and was displayed in the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., when he first opened it.

History has it that in 1962, the saddle was awarded by the Flamingo Hotel to Rex Cauble when he won the NCHA World Championship, held in Las Vegas, riding Cutter Bill. Cauble was a flamboyant Denton, Texas, rancher and businessman who went to prison for his part in an international smuggling operation known as the Cowboy Mafia. After he got out of prison, he died of natural causes at a hospital in Durant, Okla., in June 2003 at the age of 89.

For years, the saddle was displayed in the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco, which had possession of the saddle until about a month ago. Herd, Cleveland, Tenn., whose main business is fine equestrian jewelry, has been commissioned by Cauble’s ex-wife, Anna, to sell the saddle – for a cool half million dollars. Should you be interested, you can contact Herd at 423-650-1515 or e-mail him at



By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 7, 2009

It was the end of an era when Sweet Lil Lena, a 25-year-old daughter of Smart Little Lena out of Sonscoot by Son O Sugar was put down at Rick and Shelly Mowery’s cutting horse operation in Weatherford, Texas, on Tuesday, May 5. “Sweetie will forever be missed but never forgotten,” said a distraught Shelly, who, along with Rick, had cared for the more for almost 10 years. “We loved her.”

Nicknamed “Sweetie,” Sweet Lil Lena has suffered from Cushings disease for many years, causing her to founder. The blood flow to her right foot worsened, making her left front foot bear all the weight. The staff and vets did everything humanely possible to prevent the unavoidable.

“The mare looked great, was still happy to eat her three meals and still had conversations with her buddies right up to the end,” said Shelly. “She was especially fond of two cats, Baker and Elton John, and border collies Susie and Bear. Rick should have been a vet because he truly provided most of the care – especially toward the end of her days. Sweetie knew it too!”

Shelly and Rick Mowery shown with Sweet Lil Lena, better known as "Sweetie."



The gritty, little chestnut mare, owned by Dana Harrah, Frisco, Texas, was considered by many as royalty in the cutting horse industry. She earned over $125,000 in the 1980s, when the purses weren’t near the size they are today. She is also the dam of 18 foals, with 16 of them being of money-earning age. Eleven of the 16, or 69 percent, of all her foals were performers who earned $744,595 – an unbelievable average of $67,690 per offspring. Two of her offspring are today’s popular sires, including Dana Harrah’s Sweet Lil Pepto and Pepto Taz, owned by Don Lester, Canby, Ore. Both are sired by Peptoboonsmal.

Sweet Lil Pepto, a 1999 stallion with earnings of $228,340, won the 2003 Breeders Invitational Open Derby for $101,030 and was fourth in the 2002 NCHA Open Futurity, earning $97,797. He has sired offspring with earnings of over $693,110, earned by 48 offspring – an average of $14,439. A total of $114,300 of that money has been earned this year by his offspring.

Pepto Taz has earned $132,224, winning several major aged events, and has offspring earning over $765,359 – an average of $11,092 for the 69 performing foals.

Sweet Lil Lena is also a full sister to Smart Lil Scoot, another one of today’s popular stallions who won the 2002 NCHA Super Stakes Open Classic and has earned over $266,425 and has sired offspring earning over $1,762,556. A total of 134 of his money-earning foals have averaged $13,454 per offspring; $162,973 of that total amount was earned by his offspring this year.

The “Magic Cross” for Sweet Lil Lena was with Peptoboonsmal. Six offspring were born of that cross, earning $473,911 for a $78,985 average. She also had two offspring by Doc’s Oak, earning $97,626 for a $48,813 average; two by High Brow Cat, earning $66,971 for a $33,486 average and one by CD Olena – the great mare Sweet Little CD, earning $106,085.

Bred by Diamond M Cutting Horses, Houston, Texas, she was owned by six other owners, including Eli Shitabsky, Paradise Valley, Ariz., who owned and showed the great mare from October 1987 until December 1989, when she won most of her money in Open and Non-Pro competition. Jack Waggoner, the owner of High Brow Cat, purchased her in 1989.

Sweet Lil Lena was laid to rest next to her best friend, Some Kinda Playgirl, who was put down on July 6, 2005. Her special friends at the ranch included Jae Bar Maisie, Special Freckles, Sport Model Lynx and Missin Minerva – all old famous mares living out their days at the Mowery’s.

“It got pretty quiet in and around our barn that afternoon,” said Shelly. “May we all remember the greats and how fortunate we are for the time we had to make memories with them.”


May 1, 2009
Usually when horse people are sporting splints, casts and crutches, they came from a skiing trip or from falling down a flight of stairs, rather than a horse accident. However, that’s not the case with horse breeder and real estate agent Corwin Collins, Harrison, Ark. On Thursday evening, April 23, he was riding a friend’s mare and while playing with cattle, he got bucked off.

“As wrecks go, it wasn't… or should not have been… much. The mare was not bucking hard and, for most of my life, I'd have ridden her through the episode,” said Collins. “However… even though it should not have been much of a wreck… I was injured more badly than I ever have been in my life. I guess that age has caught up with me and slowed my reflexes, though, because I left the saddle and hit the ground shoulder first with my feet and legs up in the air.”

The result was 10 fractured ribs (some broken in more than one place), a punctured lung and a separated shoulder. Collins got out of intensive care on Wednesday, April 29, and the doctors say it will probably be months before he heals – and have no idea about when, if ever, he’ll be able to ride again.

Corwin is feeling pretty depressed and has given some of his horses to his grandkids because he doesn’t think he’ll be able to continue to care for and enjoy them. You can cheer him up with a card sent to 2414 Hwy 43 S., Harrison, AR 72601, or e-mail him at


April 20, 2009
Donald Darwin Hollar, 72, better known as Polly Hollar, Brenham, Texas, passed away on April 18 at the Trinity Medical Center in Brenham, Texas. Although details of Polly’s death are still sketchy, we were told that he more than likely died of a heart attack while at the hospital; however, an autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.

According to NCHA records, Polly had $513,879 in lifetime earnings. He was ranch manager and trainer for Lannie Mecom’s Wichita Ranch, Brenham, Texas, He also held an annual horse sale in Brenham. Just over a year ago, he and Lannie Mecom were involved in an accident when a truck hit them. Both of them were injured; however, Polly was injured the worst and hospitalized and in rehab for a good part of the year.

Following is the obituary posted by the Memorial Oaks Chapel:


Polly was born in Guthrie, Texas to E. W. (Dub) and Vera Dove Flippin Hollar on Sept. 8, 1936. He was baptized in the South Wichita River in Guthrie. In 1959, he received a B.S. in Animal Husbandry from Texas Tech University. Polly was a rancher and horse trainer, and horses were truly his passion. From 1957 to 1959 he was The Texas Tech Masked Rider, and in 1974 and 1994, he was the American Quarter Horse Association Senior Cutting World Champion. Polly was active in the National Cutting Horse Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, and was the founder and first president of the Bluebonnet Cutting Horse Association, as well as the former president of the Washington County Horse Committee. His favorite hobbies included hunting and working cattle, but a treasured pastime was working on his tractor.

Survivors include his children, Mike Hollar and Tami Sayko and daughter Kelsey Sayko of Brenham, Mark Hollar of Katy, Texas, Julie Hollar Carr and David Carr, of Brenham, his partner in life, Lannie Mecom, Sally Hollar, the mother of his children, brothers Douglas Hollar of Muldoon, Texas, and Wesley Hollar and his wife Faye of Seymour, Texas, sisters and brothers-in-law Gloria Belle and Allan Morton and Gail and James Gilmore, all of Athens, Texas. An anticipated event is the arrival of a grandchild to be named Sara Nicole Hollar in the near future. Other surviving relatives are Cutter and Betsy Jones, Blake Jones and Ashley Ribbon Jones, Steve and Nancy Martin, and Bobby and Erin Moses. He was preceded in death by his parents, E. W. (Dub) Hollar and Vera Dove Hollar, and by his brothers Luther Ray Hollar, Carlton Hollar, Billy Joe Hollar, and Jimmy Keith Hollar.

The funeral service for Donald Darwin "Polly" Hollar will be held Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church with Pastor Gary Oliver and Joe Howard Williamson officiating. Burial will follow in Prairie Lea Cemetery. Visitation will take place Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Chapel.

Serving as pallbearers are Cutter Jones, Bobby Moses, Bernie Kirkland, Jon White, Richard Sims, Steve Martin, Pete Branch and Ken Flippin. Honorary pallbearers are Bud Smith, Paul Kenjura, Mike East, Johnny East, Bill Masterson, Mark Lavender, Tooter Waites, George Chappell, Keith Slover, Billy Klapper, and Bobby Glover.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Washington County Boys and Girls Club or to the charity choice.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main, Brenham. To view the obitutary online or to post a tribute to the family, visit



Article and photo by Glory Ann Kurtz
March 12, 2009 – Weatherford, Texas

Compared to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Oscar Black Ponzi scheme played out in Weatherford, Texas, may seem very insignificant. However, to the innocent people whose lives and savings it shattered, it’s pretty important. But it may take longer to resolve the Black scheme than it did the Madoff’s scheme, as Madoff is already in prison.

Black, 58, a Weatherford mortgage banker, cattleman and investor in cutting horses, was arraigned and plead guilty to one count of federal mail fraud on May 20, 2008 and was released on his own recognizance after agreeing to restitution to his victims. Sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 2, Nov. 17, Dec. 15, 2008 and finally Feb. 17, 2009 - and now has not been rescheduled. The reason for the continuance is that Black is concerned about the amount of loss which had been reported to the U.S. Probation Officer.

The scheme, which took place from 2004-2006, when Black offered investment opportunities to his acquaintances, including trainers and owners in the cutting horse industry. The investment scheme guaranteed a 12 percent annual rate of return. He mailed investors fictitious monthly account statements and falsely represented their investments, when in fact his OB Cattle Company was going broke. It was later discovered that Black allegedly owed the First National Bank of Weatherford, where he was a member of the Board of Directors, $590,016.03; the Wells Fargo Bank, $3 million and his investors a total of $3,137,230.78.
However, Black became concerned when the probation officer had filed an Addendum that raised the amount of loss by approximately $3.6 million, significantly raising Black’s sentencing exposure. Black is now seeking an itemized list of assets and the money received from their liquidation. In his “Unopposed Motion for Continuance of Sentencing Hearing” which was filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, on Dec. 3, 2008, Black said he filed his objections on Nov. 3, setting out concerns about the accuracy of the information given to the government as to the amount of loss. One concern was the amount owed the Wes-Tex Feed Yard, which submitted additional information to the government that doubled the amount of their loss from the previously reported $3 million to over $6 million.

Assistant United States Attorney Jay Weimer had requested more specific supporting documentation from Wes-Tex Feed Yard, yet had not received it prior to the current filing. Tim Evans, Black’s attorney called Vic Anderson, a Fort Worth attorney representing Wes-Texas Feed Yard and asked if he could get the supporting documents. He was first told that Anderson was out of the office. He later was told Anderson had suffered a stroke and had been out of the office for three weeks and it was unknown when or if he would return. Later, Evans learned that another lawyer had been assigned to the Wes-Tex case – but he was on vacation. Evans called again on Dec. 1, 2008 and the replacement lawyer confirmed that he had the file but didn’t know what the documents were and had not familiarized himself with the case. He said he was supposed to have lunch with Mr. Anderson, who was improving, and would ask whether or not he had received the documents. Black and Evans claim that the documents are critical to determining a significant amount of the actual loss in this case – as feed yards, which are in the business of feeding buying and selling cattle keep very specific records of cattle transactions and these records should be available.

In the filing, Evans also noted Black’s serious concerns about whether or not the First National Bank of Weatherford had accurately reported their loss of $590,016. Since the date of filing his objections, Black has retained a forensic investigator and both Black and Evans have been interviewing witnesses who helped round up and load Black’s cattle, which were collateral for Black’s loans, on behalf of the bank.

Evans obtained a spreadsheet submitted to attorneys for parties who have sued the First National Bank of Weatherford alleging that the Bank sold some of Black’s cattle that they either owned or had an interest in. Evans believes that this spreadsheet was also submitted to the government by the Bank. Recently, Evans also received an inventory sheet showing the number and location of Oscar Black Cattle on ranches operated by cutting horse trainers. Comparing the spreadsheet of the Oscar Black cattle sold, to the inventory sheet of the number of cattle on the ranches, it was found that there were approximately $2.2 million dollars worth of cattle on those ranches that were not separated as being sold on the spreadsheet, which they believe was used to support the loss amount submitted to the government by the Bank.

In the Motion, Black and Evans said they have spoken to cowhands who helped round up and load the Oscar Black cattle, located on the cutting horse ranches for shipment and sale by the Bank. Evans has also obtained documents from the plaintiff’s attorneys that the bank paid the rancher for weight gain on the cattle, indicating that the Bank shipped them - thus, showing the $2.2 million that is unexplained at this time.

According to the Motion, there is much work to be done to obtain a reliable loss amount. If Black’s concerns are accurate, not only would this affect Black’s sentencing guidelines, but it would also affect the amount of restitution money that should be, or should have been, made available to victims – other than the First National Bank of Weatherford.

Black claims he has limited resources and since Evans has other clients and commitments, investigation has been slow. Black had hoped that the FBI Case Agent would be available to do some investigation on his own, which would have not only been more efficient and productive, but would have produced credibility to his results. However, ironically, the original FBI Case Agent on the case resigned from the FBI and this case was added to an already heavy case load of the current Case Agent.

Now, with the increased demand for investigation of the Bank and mortgage fraud, coupled with the fact that Black has already plead guilty and his case is essentially over, it has fallen on the resources of Black to get to the truth as to the disposition of his collateral.

According to an article in the Weatherford Democrat, on Feb. 6, 2009, U. S. District Judge Sam Lindsey approved a motion seeking documentation to clarify Black’s financial standing. According to Black’s attorney, the motion will not affect the sentencing, but could significantly change Black’s ability to pay restitution to victims. Evans also asked Judge Lindsey for a subpoena in the case, which Evans feels is necessary to determine how much restitution to the victims should be and how much money will be available to repay those victims.

As of this writing, sentencing of Black has not been rescheduled.


Feb. 21, 2009
Georgette Hawkins, 64, Seguin, Texas, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 17, following complications from a lung transplant. Although Georgette was a graduate of Texas Tech University and a life-long rancher in Guadalupe County, most cutters will remember her and her husband, Bobby, as the founders of the D&D Farm and Ranch store in Sequin.

Bobby Hawkins had a double tragedy during the month of February, as his son, Richard, 42, was killed Saturday, Feb. 7 in a motorcycle accident. Richard Hawkins was buried on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in the Dugger Cemetery in Seguin, while Georgette died the following Tuesday. Visitation for Georgette is Feb. 22 from 12 to 6 p.m. at Tres Hewell Mortuary. Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. at Emanuel’s Luthern Church. Interment will follow in San Geronimo Cemetery. A reception will follow at Nolte Island.

Pallbearers will be Brandon Baker, Gary Hefllin, Ronnie Morrow, Dr. Richard Nelson, Bob Marcellus and Mark Dietz. Honorary pallbearers will be Richard Hawkins, James Dietz, Edward Cassin, Jon White, Hugh Sprott, Dr. Carlos Menendez, Louis Pearce, Jr., Robert Julian, Ronald Jackson and Bob Walker.

Survivors of Georgette include her children: Audra Hawkins and wife, Shawn; Dale Hawkins and wife, Beverly; Christy Hawkins and Jamie Hawkins; daughter-in-law Rhonda Hawkins; stepmother Flo Dietz; brother,James Dietz and wife, Linda and many grandchildren. She also left behind her special friends Susan Hubbert, Wendy Marcellus and Ellen White – along with her beloved Corgi Mugsey. She was preceded in death by her parents Jesse Dietz, Jr. and Alma Anderson Bartels Dietz. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to to the Seguin Outdoor Learning Center, 1865 East US hwy 90, Seguin, Texas 78155. You can sign the guestbook at

Richard was born March 11, 1966 in Seguin to Bobby Hawkins and Linda Smith Martinez. He was preceded in death by his mother. He is survived by his wife Rhonda Hawkins, his father Bobby; siblings Audra Hawkins, Dale Hawkins, Christy Hawkins, Jamie Hawkins and Susan Evans. Pallbearers were Frank Pooley, Matt Engbrock, Lance Siltmann, Larry Williams, Marc French, Austin Ridgeway, Clay DeLaney and Ron Swartz. Honorary pallbearers were Dale Hawkins, Kenny Boeder, Ed Cassin and Hugh Sprott.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any children’s charity of choice and you can sign the guest book at

Send your condolences to Bobby Hawkins at PO Box 1839, Seguin, Texas 78155 or call (830) 305-3124.


Article and photo by Glory Ann Kurtz
Dec. 2, 2008 – Fort Worth, Texas

Ray and Lainie Whitmire


A three-judge panel with The Fort Worth Court of Appeals heard arguments for 40 minutes on Tuesday, Dec. 2, from James W. Walker, of the Walker Sewell firm in Dallas, attorney for Lainie Whitmire, Sallisaw, Okla., and James Morris, representing the NCHA in Whitmire’s lawsuit against the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA). Throughout the proceedings the judges, which included the court’s Chief Justice and two female justices, asked several questions and were an active panel.

Walker presented his case first as to why the appellate court should allow a new trial. Walker stressed that the summary judgment rulings issued on April 9, 2008 by Judge Tom Lowe, of the 236th District Court, Fort Worth, Texas, should be reversed for three major reasons: 1) the evidence contradicts the NCHA’s claim that it complied with its rules; 2) the NCHA failed to establish as a matter of law that their lawyer, Eldridge Goins, lacked authority to enter into the oral agreement with Whitmire’s lawyer Clark Brewster and 3) judgment should not have been made on Whitmire’s fraud and misrepresentation claims relating to the assurances provided by Mr. Goins of her Non-pro status because the NCHA did not seek Summary Judgment on those claims.

He stressed that the NCHA violated its own rules because there was never a written complaint against Whitmire, which is required by the rules. The summary judgment motion filed by the NCHA claimed in Hooper’s supporting affidavit that a complaint was received by his office. Hooper testified about three weeks after signing the affidavit that there was no such complaint. Also, NCHA Rule 38 requires the NCHA to prove a rule violation by a preponderance of the evidence. This means the NCHA has the burden of proving such a rule violation. However, Walker pointed out that Hooper and other NCHA witnesses admitted that the NCHA placed the burden of proof on Lainie to prove she was not a trainer. Walker asked the court, “How do you prove a negative?”

Morris used a chronological exhibit of the case, stressing that it has been decided by the courts in several cases that they should not interfere with the internal management of a non-profit association. The only exception would be 1) if there was no notice given to the accused and 2) if they did not have an opportunity to be heard. He claims the NCHA went above and beyond the law by sending several letters to Whitmire and scheduling hearings for Nov. 15, 2004, Aug. 21, 2006 and Nov. 19, 2007.

One judge questioned the two separate suspensions given Whitmire: a six-month suspension in 2005 and a one-year suspension in 2006 and also what happened to the promised membership reinstatement.

Morris said that the six-month suspension was the revocation of her membership privileges as well as her non-pro and amateur status. After six months, her membership privileges would be reinstated but she still would not obtain her non-pro or amateur status. The second suspension came after Whitmire’s membership privileges were restored and she requested to compete in the Open class. She said she would apply for her Non-Pro Card again if there was a rule change. In the spring 2006, which she did and was told she did not qualify as a non-pro or an amateur because she had made false statements on her new application – saying she had never trained horses for remuneration. She was then given an additional one-year suspension.

Walker emphasized that an agreement made in an oral agreement between Whitmire’s previous lawyer Clark Brewster and NCHA lawyer, Eldridge Goins, had not been complied with which included the fact that if Whitmire’s membership was suspended for six months but her non-pro status was left intact.

He also said that Whitmire had taken a lie detector test and passed and then offered to take another one by an examiner of the NCHA's own chosing, but they declined to require a second such exam.

Morris said that during an Aug. 21 hearing, there was nothing said about a “special deal” and in Whitmire’s deposition, she only said that if the rule changed, she would reapply for her Non-Pro card. She did not plead anything on the “special deal” made between Goins and Brewster.

Walker said the case did not fall under any of the cases referred to by NCHA counsel – in one case, they sued a non-profit association, but admitted that “they just didn’t like the rules.” In the other case, they failed to disclose that a psychologist had a relationship with the client.” In both cases relied upon by the NCHA, Walker pointed out that the member admitted to violating the rule and that the rule was correctly applied, but that the rule was unfair. In this case, he argued, Whitmire has never admitted to being a professional trainer, has offered other testimony supporting this and believes the NCHA has not complied with its own rules in its treatment of her case. He continued that NCHA Executive Director Jeff Hooper even contradicted himself in his testimony as to what rule Whitmire had violated. Walker said he felt the issue was a due process problem because there was no complaint and the entire process it initiated was based on a lie.

Whitmire filed suit against the NCHA on Oct. 10, 2006 and also through an amended petition filed on Nov. 29, 2006 following a dispute about her amateur/non-pro status that had been going on since 2004. The former barrel racer-turned cutter and her husband Ray were lifetime members of the NCHA. She has not competed in an NCHA cutting event since the 2005 suspension of her non-pro and amateur status, followed by the eventual revocation of her NCHA membership. Ray started competing in 2005 and earned the NCHA Aged Event Rookie-of-the-Year award that year. He remained an active cutter until mid-December 2007 when the NCHA suspended his membership. He filed suit against the NCHA and still has that single claim pending that asks for his membership back. This claim was not included in the Summary Judgment and was kept by Judge Lowe.

Walker said that the Court will not announce the result or issue an opinion for at least a couple of months. Also, if the appellate court overrules the Summary Judgment given the NCHA, the case will go back to Judge Lowe’s 230th District Court in Tarrant County.

Click here for the Whitmire Appellate brief
Click here for NCHA responding brief>>


Article and photo b y Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 16, 2008

George Combs and his wife Nancy during George's induction into the ACHA Hall of Fame.

George Combs, 75, Tolar, Texas, was a horseman all his life. However, he lost the battle for his life this morning following five years of being on dialysis. Also, he recently was diagnosed with colon cancer.

George was an NCHA member for over 40 years and he was one of the original founders of the American Cutting Horse Association over 24 years ago, serving as the first Vice President when Don Carr was the first President.

George’s entire life was spent on horseback. His parents divorced when he was young and his cowboy career began at age 8 when he grew up on the ranch of Edgar Norton, who raised him on his ranch in Quanah, Texas. It was there he honed his skills in the horse business and where he learned to be a man. He started roping and continued roping through the years; however, when he was introduced to cutting, he fell in love with the sport.

He loved to teach newcomers about the sport of cutting and according to his son, Mike, he never turned anyone down who needed help learning about cutting. Many of them are still cutting today.

In fact, just weeks ago, Mike met Wayne Long from Decatur, Texas, in Boyd, Texas. Wayne told Mike that George had cost him a half million dollars. George had sold him his first cutting horse, which Wayne’s son, Wayland, hauled for an NCHA Youth Championship title. That was the beginning for the entire Long family to be involved in the cutting industry.

George made the finals of the 1975 NCHA Futurity and also won the Open Championship of the Area Work-offs in Jackson, Miss., in the 1970s. Although he had earned over $45,000 in NCHA lifetime earnings, showing was not George’s passion; he enjoyed helping others most of all. His son, Mike, remembers warming up his rope horse when he was only 7 years old.

George and Nancy Henson went to school together in Quanah, where they were born and raised and later married. The couple have been married for 58 years and have five sons: Grady, who lives in El Paso, Texas, with his wife Juanita; Mike, an NCHA judge’s monitor, who lives with his wife, Judy, in Tolar, Texas; Gary, who lives with his wife, Pam, of Eddy, Texas; Larry and his wife, Linda of Cleburne, Texas and Doug and his wife, Nancy, of Cleburne, Texas.

Other survivors include their grandchildren: Kim Cummings, Tolar; Ryan and Misty Combs, Tolar; Jeremy and Lisa Combs, Granbury; Joy Laurie Stewart, Whitney; Sheri Johnston, Tolar; Kerri and Steve Tuggle, Granbury; Terri and Kris Schuett, Prescott Valley, Ariz.; Leah and Pete Rios, Waxahachie; Chance and Britney Combs, Granbury and Zachary Combs also of Granbury. They also have 18 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

In a recent interview, George said, “I’ve had a good life and I’m very proud of my family.”

A viewing will be held Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 6-8 p.m. at the Wiley Funeral Home in Granbury. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the Triple Cross Cowboy Church, located between Granbury and Lipan on Hwy 4. Send your cards to Nancy Combs, PO Box 54, Tolar, Texas 76476.

Article and photo by Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 2, 2008 - Kerrville, Texas

Jim Reno (left) and Roger Anderson, shown during the 2007 NCHA Futurity.

Jim Reno, 79, Kerrville, Texas, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 1 after being in bad health for at least three months. He had been in a coma following a couple of strokes and a very serious infection in his foot.

Jim was a famed artist and sculptor, creating the statue of a horse and rider in front of the National Cutting Horse Association in Fort Worth. He also was commissioned to create the statue of Secretariat that greets people at Kentucky Horse Park; Dash For Cash, standing in front of the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas; Robert Justus Kleberg Jr., the founder of the King Ranch; Quanah Parker in San Antonio’s Sea World and Charles Goodnight on the park’s Walk of Texas Heroes. Reno was known as the “horseman’s sculptor” and was nationally and internationally recognized.

A horseman all his life, he trained cutting horses for 30 years before he retired in 1995. Jim and his wife, Mary Jo, showed cutting horses successfully over the years and they co-owned the stallion Shorty Lena. His experience with the horse and his knowledge of the anatomy of the horse contributed to his immense success as a sculptor of horses.

Jim was President of the NCHA six times, serving a total of seven years and was also on the Executive Committee. He also was awarded the 2005 Zane Schulte Trainer of the Year Award.

Survivors include his wife Mary Jo and three children: Jimmy Reno, Kerrville; Kathy (Mrs. Don) Boone, W. Columbia, Texas and Johnny Reno, Houston. Mary Jo also had two sons that Jim raised. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 600 Jefferson, Kerrville, Texas.



Oct. 23, 2008

Joe Heim, Holly and Dudley at their Sept. 19 wedding.

NCHA Triple Crown winner Joe Heim married Holly Reed during a beautiful fall day during an intimate ceremony befitting the quiet understated personalities of both, on Sept. 19. The couple were married in the Fuller Garden at the beautiful Fort Worth Botanic Gardens among their families and close friends. The couple are living at their horse ranch in Thackerville, Okla. Send your cards to them at PO Box 100, Thackerville, OK 73459-0100

Bob Freeman, a well-known cutter and judges’ monitor, will be undergoing surgery, Friday, Oct. 24, from a badly torn ligament in his shoulder. He will be given a cadaver ligament in its place. Freeman, who was the monitor at the South Point aged event, was sporting his right arm in a sling. After the event, he went to the doctor for more tests and it was then when they discovered the torn ligament. He said that he was riding a “dead-gentle” horse, when he stepped on a board, which flew up and hit the horse in the belly. You can send him a Get Well card to: Rt 1, Box 154A, Arnett, OK 73832.

Two-time reigning PBR World Champion Justin McBride, Elk City, Okla., announced yesterday that he will retire from the sport of bull riding at a press conference held at the Silverton Casino Lodge in Las Vegas, Nev. No reason was given for the sudden announcement, even though he has not been entered in the last couple of weekly events.

Justin is one of the most decorated bull riders in PBR history and is the defending World Champion. He recently crossed the $5 million mark in career earnings, making him the richest cowboy in history. During his 10-year career, he has an extensive list of records including 32 career event wins, the most money earned in a single season ($1,835,321) and eight single season event wins. He will be competing in his last PBR Finals this year in Las Vegas Oct. 31-Nov 2 and Nov. 6-9.

Benny Binion’s history in Fort Worth is legendary – as is his history in Las Vegas, Nev. He is the man who moved the National Finals Rodeo from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas – getting free housing for the contestants, as well as an unheard-of free entry fees. A statue of him on horseback first showed up at Billy Bob’s, a nightclub in Fort Worth. However, later a gapping hole was all that was left, and the statue mysteriously showed up in front of Binion’s Horse Shoe Casino in Las Vegas. With that casino being bought out, the statue is now gracing one of the halls in the South Point Hotel & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, which is owned by Paula and Michael Gaughan, who are huge cutting and rodeo fans. The statue is in front of the many halters of famous bucking horses from the NFR.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 13, 2008

A Settlement Agreement has been drawn up by lawyers on both sides of a number of lawsuits between Bill Freeman, Jill Freeman and Bill Freeman Inc., and Tommy Manion and Hanes Chatham as representatives of the “class of owners” of the Smart Little Lena Syndicate (SLLS).

All parties involved are expected to sign the Settlement Agreement prior to an Oct. 16 hearing scheduled for 3 p.m., in the 181st Judicial District Court of Potter County, Amarillo, Texas, for “class” settlement of all lawsuits between the two sides. The “class” owners involved in several lawsuits with the Freeman parties include a dozen of the 80 Smart Little Lena Syndicate members.

The Settlement Agreement, filed on Oct. 8, 2008, is the result of extensive negotiations conducted among the various parties’ attorneys over several days regarding a variety of lawsuits and claims by both sides and individuals. If signed, all settlement funds are being provided by several insurance carriers, including $350,000 of Bill Freeman’s personal claims for libel and slander by his estate from Manion’s, Karen Freeman’s and Ron Ward’s insurance companies. The money will go to Jill Freeman, as the executrix of the Bill Freeman estate. Bill Freeman, the NCHA’s first Triple Crown winner, passed away on July 29, 2008 at the age of 58..

The SLLS members in the suit will be receiving $447,500, with $310,000 of the settlement amount going to the members of the class to pay all of its attorney’s fees – equaling $3,750 to each of the 64 shares of the SLLS. The amount slightly exceeds the damages to each share as calculated by Alix Partners LLP, the forensic firm hired by the SLLS members to calculate those damages.

The remaining amount of $137,500 will be distributed to Manion for the release of his libel/slander claim against the Freeman parties. The Freemans also hired a firm to do a forensic audit, which the Freeman parties say exonerates the Freemans from any wrong doing. Both forensic audits can be found by clicking below.

If all of the signatures are not received, both sides will have to go into the Oct. 16 mediation hearing and if agreement cannot be reached at that time, a court date of Oct. 20 is scheduled.

Members of the SLLS class suit include: Tommy Manion of Texas, Inc.; Kyle Manion; Duncan Investment Fund Ltd. Partnership; Elaine Hall Barclay; Mark Kendall d/b/a Kendall Farms; Phil Rapp; Ronald M. Ward individually; Ronald M. Ward Irrevocable Trust; Judy Zurbriggen; Karen Freeman; Karen Claycomb; Arcese Quarter Horses USA and Antoinette Chatham.

A last-minute addition to the releases in the settlement is that the SLLS parties will be released from any claims arising from any transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the claims in the lawsuit or “wrongful death and survival claims causes of action arising from the purported or actual wrongful death of Bill Freeman.” The SLLS also releases the Freeman parties from all future claims and lawsuits.

The following links include the forensic audits done by both sides - including the SLLS audit done and the Freeman audit. Also, there is a link to a complete copy of the Settlement Agreement.
Click here for complete Settlement Agreement>>
Click here for SLLS forensic audit>>
Click here for Freeman forensic audit>>



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 9, 2008

When High Brow CD won the Brazos Bash Open Derby finals and the $21,000 paycheck, Jack and Susan Waggoner, Bridgeport, Texas, were elated. Not only because the most-talked-about horse of the year is a son of their great sire High Brow Cat, but because he pushed the stallion over the $30 million mark in offspring earnings. He is currently the sire of offspring earning $30,501,671.

According to Robin Glenn Pedigrees, High Brow Cat is only topped by Smart Little Lena with $37,411,472 earned by his offspring and the now-deceased 1973 stallion, Freckles Playboy, has moved to third with $27,967,554.

Owned by Jack and Susan Waggoner, Bridgeport, Texas, High Brow Cat, a 20-year-old son of High Brow Hickory out of Smart Little Kitty by Smart Little Lena, earned $110,800 during his lifetime, with his largest paycheck of $19,746 being won for the championship of the 1993 Augusta Open Classic. Most of his money was won with Bill Freeman in the saddle.

High Brow Cat became the first stallion to sire three consecutive NCHA Futurity Champions when High Brow CD won the 2007 NCHA Futurity. He also tied Doc Bar’s record for siring four NCHA Futurity Champions. Both High Brow Cat and Doc Bar have also sired two NCHA Futurity Reserve Champions. His highest money-earning offspring is Boon San Kitty, an 8-year-old mare out of Boon San Sally by Boon Bar, with $565,504 in lifetime earnings.

The highest money-earning stallion by High Brow Cat is Tommy Manion’s Smooth As A Cat, a 1999 stallion out of Shes Pretty Smooth by Wheeling Peppy, with $501,873.81 in lifetime earnings. The stallion earned checks in 48 aged events, with the highest paycheck of $59,884.59 coming from a third place in the 2003 Breeder’s Invitational Open Derby. He earned three paychecks over $20,000 and the last year the stallion showed was 2006.

Closing in fast is High Brow CD, a 2004 stallion out of Sweet Little CD by CD Olena, who has now earned $489,845.23 in only six aged events. Showing the rise in cutting purses within the past few years, his largest paycheck of $250,000 came from the championship of the 2007 NCHA Open Futurity, followed by $107,922 won for a first-place tie in the 2008 NCHA Open Super Stakes plus $39,899 in sire and dam awards. Four of those paychecks were over $20,000. With only $12,029 separating the two stallions, you can bet that High Brow CD will remain on the road so he can become the leading money-earning stallion sired by High Brow Cat. High Brow CD is owned by Chris and Staci Thibodoux’s Grace Ranch, Jennings, La., and was ridden by Austin Shepard to all his paychecks.

Another stallion by High Brow Cat that is still showing is Hydrive Cat, is a 2003 stallion out of Ruby Tuesday DNA by Peppy San Badger. With money earned from 22 events, the stallion owned by Buffalo Ranch, Farmington, Utah, and Weatherford, Texas, has $394,564 in lifetime earnings. Five of those paychecks were over $20,000, with his largest check of $184,023 coming from his Reserve Championship title of the 2006 NCHA Futurity.


Sept. 24, 2008
Dana Wise Rideout, Baird, Texas, lost her battle with cancer on Sept. 23. She had been diagnosed two years ago. Dana had worked with and supported the Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association, National Reined Cow Horse Association American Quarter Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, as well as many other groups.

Survivors include husband Teryl, son Colby, daughter Danyelle Hemphill and husband Heath, grandchildren Ethan and Hadley Hemphill, mother Janice Martin, and sister Darla McLeod. Memorials may be made in honor of Dana Rideout to the Ben Richey Boys Ranch, 501 Ben Richey Drive, Abilene, Texas 79602 or to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1682 Hickory Street, Abilene, TX 79601.

Also, the Texas Quarter Horse Foundation has set up a fund to help with expenses. They can be written to: Dana Rideout Fund, 1101 W Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757


Sept. 24, 2008
Jason Humphrey, 33, Stillwater, Okla., was killed Sept. 21 in a tragic car accident near Gordon, Neb. The funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, at the Highland Church of Christ, Tecumseh, Okla. The funeral home is the Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh.

Humphrey was working in Nebraska, but most friends remember him for his help at Waurika, Okla., when he was always turning back or holding herd. "He was such a good person and will be missed," said one friend. "It's just a shame such a young life and good person was taken from this earth."

A 1993 graduate of Tecumseh High School, the graduated from OSU with a degree in Animal Science. He began showing cutting horses under the guidance of his grandfather Fred Humphrey and Uncle Randy. He had success in both NCHA and the Oklahoma High School Rodeo Association, riding Ollies Sallie and Rondos Lynx. He was also an NCHA judge and the newphew of cutting horse trainer Greg Hillerman, Tecumseh, and his wife, Della, who is a popular show secretary.

He worked for the Walking F Ranch in Stillwater, and more currently was training cutting horses at the Whitstone Krebbs Ranch in Gordon, Neb.

Survivors include his parents, Toni & Debbie Humphrey, Tecumseh, a sister Allison Humphrey and brother Carson Humphrey, both of Stillwater. In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund for Jason has been set up and contributions can be sent to: Jason Humphrey Memorial Fund, Banc First, PO BOX 1608, Shawnee, OK. 74802.

The Highland Baptist Church is located on the east end of town on Hwy 9, just before you reach Hwy 177.


Sept. 20, 2008 – Reno, Nev.
While the National Reined Cow Horse Association is readying for their big Snaffle Bit Futurity and sales, scheduled to be held Sunday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 5, the death of two members has dimmed the usually buoyant mood.

NRCHA member Rod Wiemers, age 55, of Galt, Calif., died on Sept. 13, 2008, in Acampo due to a motorcycle accident. He was born on April 29, 1953, in Eugene, Ore., graduating from Lowell High School in 1971. After graduation Rod began his life long career of training horses. He was a successful horse trainer and NRCHA judge, and was the 2004 Magnificent 7 Champion.

Rod was a resident of the Sacramento area for 22 years. He enjoyed his horses and was a Harley Davidson enthusiast. He enjoyed his life and lived it to the fullest. Rodney is survived by his wife Denise Wiemers; daughters Jennifer Brushia of Oregon and Jennifer Fernandes of Fresno; grandson Korbin Perkins of Fresno; mother Betty Wiemers of Oregon; sister and brother-in-law Susan and Wayne Evans of Oregon; sister and brother-in-law Connie and Mat Perlot of Arizona; niece Kelsie and Mick Miller of Oregon. Preceding him in death was his father Jim Wiemers.

Funeral services were held Friday, Sept.19, 2008, at the Lodi Funeral Home in Lodi. Another service will be held Oct. 25, at Rancho Murrietta.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday, September 28, at 6 am at the Snaffle Bit Futurity. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the National Reined Cow Horse Foundation Crisis Fund, 13181 US Hwy 177, Byars, OK 74826.

Also, this week, the NRCHA experienced another loss. On Sept. 16, longtime NRCHA supporter and patron, Jack Cooke, Paso Robles, Calif., passed away. Cooke, who among other duties served as the President of the Cow Palace Board 20, was 83 when he died. Jack was also the Chairman of the Board of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Okla., and he and his wife, Phoebe, were longtime supporters of the Western horse industry.

The NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity begins on Sunday, September 21, with the Open Herd Work, and runs through October 5. There will be a live feed of the Futurity, beginning September 21 at 8 am. The live feed can be accessed through the NRCHA web site,


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 18, 2008 – Weatherford, Texas

On May 20, Oscar Black, 58, was arraigned and pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud; however, he was released on his own recognizance after agreeing to restitution to his victims and sentencing was scheduled for Sept. 2. However, the sentencing, which could include a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, plus restitution, has been put off until Nov. 17.

During the course of a scheme, which took place from 2004-2006, where Black offered investment opportunities to his acquaintances – including several individuals in the cutting horse industry – a guaranteed 12 percent annual rate of return. Black mailed investors fictitious monthly account statements that falsely represented their investments were appreciated, when, in fact, he and his OB Cattle Company, were going broke. It was later discovered that Black owed the First National Bank of Weatherford $590,016.03, the Wells Fargo Bank, $3 million and his investors a total of $3,137,230.78. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay S. Weimer is prosecuting the case.

Restitution requires Black to pay $3.6 million to 17 individuals, including $590,000 to the First National Bank Weatherford, where he was a member of the Board of Directors. However, since the arraignment there have been additional developments in the case.

In May, an article was published by Galen Scott in the Weatherford Democrat in which several of Black’s victims expressed their frustrations, saying that they felt Black was hiding some of their money. They also expressed hope that the presiding judge in the case will take Black’s bankruptcy in Mississippi more than 25 years ago into consideration when issuing a sentence. In a sad ending to that scheme, a Mississippi investor, who reportedly lost $400,000, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiring to have Black killed and that investor died in prison.

The article said that one investor, William Atwood, a Mississippi native and a newcomer to Parker County, claims he lost more than any other individual and is intervening in a Parker County District Court case between the First National Bank of Weatherford and Wes Tex Feed Yards, Inc./Wells Fargo Bank N.A.

The two parties are wrangling for the legal ownership of cattle that Black purchased with money he borrowed from the banks, while Atwood claims $3 million of his money from a July 2006 partnership with Black (called the Blackwood Cattle Company), also funded the purchase of the cattle. He claims the cattle were co-mingled and falsely misbranded, so the rightful owners could not be identified.

Atwood also introduced a conspiracy claim alleging that the First National Bank intentionally defrauded him by accepting cattle as collateral for the repayment of Black’s loans – even though the bank knew the cattle were not Black’s to be used as collateral for several loans.

According to Atwood’s attorney, in a statement published in the May 24 issue of the Weatherford Democrat, he said that even if First National Bank didn’t know Black was pledging cattle he didn’t own outright, the bank should have investigated Black’s money transfers, including $3 million he removed from the Blackwood partnership account and placed in his own personal accounts shortly after the partnership was formed. The bank has formally denied all of Atwood’s allegations.

Another victim, who lost $150,000, feels that the First National shouldn’t be paid restitution before individual victims – especially since Black was a director of the bank and was involved in the bank’s business and decisions. Black’s directorship was terminated when the First National learned Black had bounced checks to the investors
The only comment from Black came through his lawyer, Tim Lewis of Fort Worth, who said his client was sorry for his crime. “He really feels bad about this and he knows he hurt a lot of people that he respects and likes.”



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 17, 2008

Non-pro cutting competitors Megan Merrill and Matt Miller, Weatherford, Texas, were married on Sept. 6 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Also, an upcoming wedding is NCHA Triple Crown winner Joe Heim, Marietta, Okla., and Holly Reed, who will be getting married on Friday, Sept. 19, at the Botanical Gardens in Fort Worth at 6 p.m. Joe has also won national honors in reining and was a finalist at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev. Holly was a civil trial paralegal for many years and also a marketing director for a couple of large law firms. She is now helping to promote Joe’s cutting program. She has already developed a beautiful web site for him – you can check out the site at

The Moncrief Ranch, Weatherford, Texas, has placed a $10,000 reward for the capture and arrest of the culprits who shot and killed four cattle and two valuable cutting horses Sunday night, Sept. 14, at their Parker County ranch located just east of Hwy. 171 in Parker County. According to Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler, the animals were shot at the Reid Ranch and the Moncrief Ranch and were likely shot with a high-powered rifle from a vehicle as the animals were found about 150 yards from the road. But the weird detail was that the tongues were missing from two of the heifers. One heifer shot in the jaw is expected to survive.

There were reports of a newer model gray or silver SUV speed away shortly after the shootings. Anyone with information should contact investigators at (817) 594-8845 or 596-3131.

Tomcat Chex finished third in the 5/6-Year-old Open at the Mebane Ranch Festival in spite of having a 16-penny nail in his hoof the day before.


The young stallion Tomcat Chex, owned by Jalinda Covey, Dixon, Calif., recently showed he's one of those special ones with "heart."

Last month at the Mebane Ranch Festival, the stallion and Gavin Jordan were entered in the 5/6-Year-Old Open Classic. Two horses before they were to cut in the second go-round, Tomcat Chex stepped on a 16-penny nail in the loping arena. Luckily, a vet happened to be in the stands, and he pulled the nail out which had gone into the hoof a full inch.

"We put his show bridle on and he and Gavin Jordan marked a 217 and made the finals," said Jalinda. "We immediately starting the doctoring process because the finals were the next day and We didn't know if he would be sound enough to show.

"We gave him 10cc of banamine at 10:00 a.m. and checked his progress every hour, saying that if he can warm him up without him limping, we would show him."

At 3 p.m., the son of Highbrow Cat out of Miss Reed Chex by Bueno Chex, trotted out sound. There was not time to practice - just time to lope and show.

"He and Gavin were awesome," said Jalinda. "They marked a 219.5 in the finals and ended up third. Many of those who saw him work told me that he should have been the Reserve Champion. But I'm just so thankful that he recovered and is doing great. I think this horse has a heart as big as Texas. I know he does."

Tomcat Chex currently has over $54,700 in lifetime earnings, according to Robin Glenn Pedigrees.

Premium Lists for the 113th Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show, a 24-day event in Fort Worth, were recently mailed to more than 5,500 potential exhibitors for the 2009 Show, scheduled for Jan.16-Feb. 8.

The deadline for entering livestock and horses is Nov. 15. Entries for horses received between Nov.16 and Dec.30 will be accepted with applicable late fees. The Premium List is a complete exhibitor’s guidebook containing judging schedules, rules, classifications and prize monies. The Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show will also host 17 auctions.

Celebrating 50 years of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the Wrangler Gold Buckle Gala also will pay homage to the late Clem McSpadden as the 2008 Wrangler Legend in festivities in Las Vegas.

The Gala gets underway at 7 p.m. PT on Dec. 1 at the South Point Hotel and Casino’s Grand Ballroom. Entertainment will be provided by Grammy Award- winning country music recording band Asleep at the Wheel.

McSpadden, a PRCA announcer for 60 years who also served as longtime Oklahoma state senator and former general manager of the National Finals Rodeo, died July 7 after a battle with cancer. All proceeds benefit the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy. For details, call 719.528.4728.


Aug. 20, 2008
Buffalo Ranch, one of the most high-profile stallion stations in the industry, is transitioning its headquarters to its Fort Worth, Texas, facility, located just 11 miiles from the Will Rogers Equetrian Center.

Accoding to Shane Plummer, President of Buffalo Ranch, construction is underway, making the Fort Worth facility ready for the breeding season next year. The entire stallion roster, training division, broodmare band and yearling division will all be moved.

"The move is being made to facilitate the needs of Buffalo Ranch's customers and expand operations where it will be the most effective," said Plummer. "Buffalo Ranch's Fort Worth Facility has a location that is second to none. Besides being located just 11 miles from the Will Rogers Equestrian Center, we are also only 35 miles from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. The move will minimize expense passed onto customers as well as allow other top industry stallions to stand along with the Buffalo Ranch stallion roster."

Nick Plummer, General Manger of Buffalo Ranch, will remain in Utah to manage the magnificent Utah facilities and work with the local customers in this transition. The near 300-acre piece of property, once farmland, has been developed into the crown jewel of more than three decades worth of experience in the horse business.
The property is currently surrounded by residential housing and a view of the Wasatch Mountains that is second to none. With over 400 horses on the facility, operations there will continue until that facility is sold.

"The goals and mission of Buffalo Ranch is still the same - to enhance the performance horse Industry and further equine standards while achieving the highest level of cistomer satisfaction," said Plummer. Buffalo Ranch is dedicated to building long-term relationships and is working toward being an integrity leader in the performance horse industry.

"Moving to Texas is something I and my Family are looking forward to. We are eager to start a new chapter in our business. This has not been the first move and you never know, it just might be its last. But one thing is for sure, horses have been our only business for more than 35 years and we know how to take care of our customers. This is just a natural progression as we expand our business. We will continue to take care of those that take care of us. Our Customers are key, we are committed to them and the industry."


By Janet Jaques
Aug. 4, 2008 – Granby, Colo.

We had just wrapped up our four day show in Granby, Colorado, when we helped our trainer, Rex Rossoll and his assistant Dottie Brinkley, load six horses up for the trip back to California. Within a couple of hours, we got a call from Rex that his truck and trailer had burnt to the ground. (Rex had his truck repaired in Colorado Springs the week before.)

Rex indicated that they were okay and that they got all of the horses out of the trailer safely. However, our 5-year-old gelding had injured himself in the trailer before the fire started. He is still in Colorado at the Littleton Large Animal Clinic and is doing well. They were also able to salvage some items from the truck and some tack from the trailer.

By the time we got Rex’s call, everyone at the show was on their way home or had put their horses up and were at dinner. Two cutters that were still on the grounds were Cookie Banuelos and Katie Gaughan. After they heard about our situation, they offered to hook up their six horse trailer to help us pick up the horses and bring them back to Granby.

Also jumping in to help us out were Ron, Sue and Sedar Thurston, our neighbors in Granby. Sue and Sedar are cutters that had been riding that day and they are big supporters of our show. Ron drove his dually while Sue drove an SUV to help bring back all the gear that they saved. This group didn’t get back into town until after midnight. Sedar met the group down the road with another truck and trailer to transport our gelding to the clinic in Littleton. They didn’t back until 3 a.m. Ruben Mageno hauled two of the horses back to California while Sedar and Dottie hauled the remaining three. Here is another example of cutters helping cutters. We will be forever grateful.

God Bless Cookie, Katie & the Thurstons!
Skip & Janet Jacques



By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 29, 2008

Bill Freeman having fun during the 2007 NCHA Futurity.
Photo by Glory Ann Kurtz

While the NCHA Summer Spectacular was being held in Fort Worth, Bill Freeman, 58, Rosston, Texas, should have been celebrating his 25th Anniversary win of the first NCHA Triple Crown aboard Smart Little Lena. Instead, he was in the hospital fighting for his life. Today at 1:36 p.m. CDT., he lost that fight.

Freeman was originally hospitalized in the Denton (Texas) Regional Hospital due to complications from chronic asthma. With the need for more specialized care, on July 17, he was moved to Baylor Hospital in Dallas. He had been on a respirator for over three weeks and was heavily sedated. His oldest daughters, Tina, Erica and Kim Freeman arrived last night to be by his side, along with other family members.

Bill has fought the battle of chronic asthma for years, most currently aggravated by fungal pneumonia. Ironically his famous father, Shorty Freeman, died in 1990 from chronic asthma. In fact, during Shorty Freeman’s dispersal sale, he sat by the sale ring, breathing with the help of an oxygen tank and smoking a cigarette.. Shorty was made famous by the stallion Doc O’Lena, while Doc O’Lena’s son, Smart Little Lena, made Bill a household word in the cutting industry. He was not only a great individual; Smart Little Lena is currently the leading sire of cutting horses.

As the No. 1 Open Cutting Horse Rider of all time and the No. 2 overall rider, Bill has earned more than $5.4 million in the cutting arena, including three NCHA World Championship Futurity titles. He was the first rider to win the Triple Crown riding Smart Little Lena to the championship of the1982 Futurity and the 1983 Super Stakes and Derby. His Futurity titles are only surpassed by Buster Welch, who has won five. (The second Triple Crown winner took place the following years when Docs Okie Quixote and Joe Heim won the Futurity in 1983 and the Super Stakes and Derby in 1984. Chiquita Pistol ridden by Tag Rice took the title by winning the Futurity in 2002 and the Futurity and Derby in 2003).

According to the NCHA web site, services will be held at 10 a.m. Sunday in Will Rogers Coliseum. Memorial contributions may be made to NCHA Charities Foundation, 260 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107.

Private funeral arrangements for friends and family are pending; however, cards can be sent to Bill’s wife, Jill, and daughter Elayna, to PO Box 27, Rosston, TX 76263. You can mail cards to his sister, Sharon, and her husband, Terry Riddle, to RR 2, Box 112, Wynnewood, OK 73098. Cards to his three daughters with his previous wife, Karen, can be sent to Karen at 3432 Clearwater Dr., Clarksville, TN 37042.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 18, 2008

J. W. Lindley, a horse trainer for over 35 years, and credited by Shannon Hall for starting NCHA‘s 1999 NCHA Futurity Champion Shania Cee, died Wednesday, July 16. Lindley, Memphis, Texas, was 75. Officiating at his funeral, held Saturday, July 19, will be his son, Scott Lindley, as well as Dr. Alberta Helton. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery.

Lindley, a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, also was a member of the Arabian Cutting Horse Association, where he was a three-time National Champion. He was also a member of the National Cutting Horse Association and a past director of the Panhandle Cutting Horse Association.

He was preceded in death by a son, Jay Preston Lindley in 1971 and a brother. Survivors include his wife, Darlene; two daughters, Jayne Sweatt and husband Greg of Cochise, Ariz., and Chlo Brdecko and husband Kenny of Wheeler; a son, Scott and wife Summer of Madisonville; six grandchildren; a brother, Thollie Lindley and wife Patti of Lakeview and a sister Nancy Montgomery and husband Lacy of Memphis.

Online condolences can be left at The family suggests memorials be sent to the Westview Boys’ Home, P.O. Box 533, Hollis, OK 73550.

Bill Freeman, who has been hospitalized for almost three weeks in Denton Regional Hospital, while suffering from pneumonia and a blood clot in his leg,, was transferred yesterday, July 17, to Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth and is again in ICU with pneumonia. You can send your cards to Bill at P.O. Box 27, Rosston, TX 76263.

Have a desire to ride reining horses? NRHA’s all-time leading money earner, Shawn Flarida, will be holding a week-long clinic at his Springfield, Ohio, facility Aug. 4-8. The cost will be $2,500 per rider, with a limit of 10. The price includes a stall and, shavings for one horse at the Springfield fairgrounds, breakfast and lunch each day, a dinner on the final night and a video of the rider’s first and last day. Accommodations are at the rider’s expense. A $1,000 deposit is required. Contact Michele Flarida at 937-631-2033 or e-mail

Michael Orr, Dickinson, Texas, recently made a proposal to NCHA President Bronc Willoughby to establish a “trainers fund.” The purpose of the fund is to give support to any NCHA trainer in good standing, for any type of medical or catastrophic event in their life. The fund would also serve as a one-time retirement fund.

The proposal would add $5 to every entry fee, weekend or aged event. The money would be invested in a mutual fund account. Orr said that the $5 fee would accumulate to approximately $750,000 per year and if compounded at 12.1 percent, would total $50 million in 20 years before capital gain taxes. This figure takes into account that 20 percent would be withdrawn per year for those particular medical or catastrophic events.

Orr also suggests that a qualifying trainer must have won a minimum of $40,000 in Open NCHA events, with a penalty if a trainer is suspended or put on probation. He suggests that a trainer would be able to withdraw funds for any member of his/her immediate family and would also have a right to declare a one-time full draw for retirement – if retiring.
Click here for full Trainers Fund Proposal>>

Chuck and Mary Crago, Belle Fourche, S.D., are planning a private -reaty Performance Quarter Horse sale. The couple has been selling proven performance-bred horses for 32 years and has had a production sale for 29 years. For the last few years, they have been selling at private treaty from their ranch.

They are offering 19 weanlings plus several yearlings, 2-year-olds and started prospects, along with a few proven broodmares and seasoned barrel horses. “These horses are trainable, athletic and have the minds to continue to be successful in the arena and on the ranch,” said Chuck. “In today’s world, a sound horse with bone, conformation and try are the ones winning. They are the kind of horses we like to ride and enjoy.”

The horses can be viewed on their new, updated website or you can call them at 605-892-4297.

Pete Branch was the big winner at the Calgary Stampede Cutting held July 13. Riding Ms Peppy Cat, a 6-year-old daughter of High Brow Cat out of Ms Peppy Doc by Peppy San Badger, owned by Lonnie and Barbara Allsup, Branch scored a total of 149, taking home $9,129.

The large paycheck will help Branch on his quest for the 2008 NCHA Open World Championship title. He currently has a huge lead with $52,179 in earnings. His closest competitor, Robert Rust, has ridden Cattins Lil Darling to $13,172. Branch and the great mare have gone to 70 shows, while Cattins Lil Darling, owned by Ron Jones, Lexington, Texas, has gone to 23 shows.

Reserve Champion at Calgary was Peppy San Zack ridden by Brad Pedersen, Lacombe, Alberta, Can. The 7-year-old stallion by Zack T Wood out of Peppy Sue Lena by Peponita, is owned by Maureen Stewart. The pair took home $5,165 for a 148. Third went to My Own San Lena, a 6-year-old daughter of My Own League out of Pepinics San Badger by Pepinics Master, owned by Ria and Al Gerta, and ridden by Loren Christianson, Stony Plain, Alberta, to a 145.5. The pair took home $3,323.

The Non-Pro champion was Canadian Kevin Baumann riding Lectric Shock, an 8-year-old daughter of Lectric Playboy out of Smart Trouble Wilson by Smart Little Lena. His whopping 151 score netted him $6,048. The Reserve title went to Mary Jo Milner, Southlake, Texas, riding DMAC Dandy Devine, a 7-year-old daughter of Smart Little Abner out of Miss Toot N Shoot by Young Gun, owned by Mary Jo and her husband, Jim. The pair scored a 148, taking home $5,436.
Mary Jo is currently third in the NCHA Non-Pro World standings with $20,536 won in 33 shows.

Third went to Dan Hansen, Weatherford, Texas, riding Woody Be Lucky, an 8-year-old gelding by Nitas Wood out of Playboys Ladyluck by Freckles Playboy, owned by Dan and his wife Karen. Because of go-round scores, their 147.5 score netted them the larges paycheck of $6,252. Hansen, who was the 2007 Non-Pro World Champion, is currently in 14th place with $8,186 won in 19 shows.
Above results from Robin Glenn Pedigrees


July 8, 2008 - Colorado Springs, Colo.
Clem McSpadden, a member of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame and an immensely popular political figure in his native Oklahoma, died at 10:51 p.m. July 7 at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

McSpadden, of Chelsea, Okla., was general manager of the National Finals Rodeo for 18 years in Oklahoma City (1967-84), a past president of the Rodeo Cowboys Association and one of the sport's legendary announcers for more than half a century. He was inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame in 1990.

"The entire Western world has lost a friend with the passing of Clem McSpadden," said Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Chairman of the Board Keith Martin. "I’ve known Clem all my life, and no one knew rodeo better or loved it more than he did. This is a sad day for our sport, but the legacy of Clem McSpadden will live on forever."

As an announcer, McSpadden worked the National Finals Steer Roping (NFSR) a record 27 times from 1963 to 2000. He announced rodeos in 41 states, Mexico and Canada, where he became the first American to serve as the voice of the Calagary Stampede and the Canadian Finals Rodeo.

McSpadden conducted the opening for the "Command Performance" Rodeo for President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and was the American announcer chosen for the U.S. versus Canada Rodeo during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary.

In 1986, McSpadden was named PRCA Announcer of the Year and Cowboy Hall of Fame Man of the Year.

"Clem was the godfather of all of ’em," said fellow ProRodeo Hall of Fame inductee Roy Cooper. "He was the voice of rodeo. He loved roping, and he saw them all -- from Toots Mansfield, Jim Bob Altizer and Dean Oliver to Joe Beaver, Fred Whitfield and Cody Ohl. Clem McSpadden has done more for our sport than any other individual. He always worked hard, and he always made a difference in everything he did. Clem was a man who got things done. He was a good friend to all cowboys, and was a real blessing in my life. Now Clem’s up there where the great ones roam, with Sonny Davis, Freckles Brown and Jim Shoulders."

A tribute to McSpadden was already being discussed for the 50th annual Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, Dec. 4-13 in Las Vegas, and WNFR general manager Shawn Davis is going ahead with plans for honoring a man Davis describes as "an icon in our sport."

"This is definitely a loss," Davis said. "There are very few people who you can say really made rodeo, and he is one of them. The NFR is the most stable thing in rodeo, and he played a very instrumental role in getting the NFR up to that next plateau, carrying the sport with it."

A graduate of Oklahoma State University, McSpadden served in the U.S. Navy (1944-46) before launching himself into the dual careers of politician and rodeo announcer. He was elected to the Oklahoma Senate in 1954 and served until 1972, twice being elected president pro tempore; he was the first to serve consecutive terms.

In 1972, McSpadden was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and became the first freshman to serve on the prestigious Rules Committee before launching an unsuccessful campaign for the governorship of Oklahoma, losing to David Boren. The Chelsea post office was named in McSpadden's honor in January.

"Clem McSpadden was a cherished mentor and adviser to me and so many other elected leaders across Oklahoma," U.S. Representative Dan Boren (D-Okla.) told the Tulsa World. "He was a state legislator, U.S. congressman, businessman, rancher, long-time rodeo announcer and always remained a devoted public servant to his community, state and country."

A moment of silence for McSpadden will be observed tonight (July 8) on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Chelsea Funeral Home and Crematory ( McSpadden is survived by his wife, Donna, his daughter, Kay and his sons, Bart and Paul.
Above information courtesy PRCA


June 26, 2008

The members of the new NCHA Animal Welfare Committee members include Lindy Burch, Flynn Stewart, Wylie Gustafson, Gail Holmes, Janet Bowen, Lynn Satalino, Kristen York and Tim Frasier.
The NCHA and Augusta Futurity have “agreed to disagree” and as a result, the Western Horseman Cup will no longer be held with the Augusta Futurity. The five-year-old event initially was funded basically by the NCHA for three years; however, the past two years has been funded mainly by the Augusta Futurity. The event, which has paid out over $1 million to cutters, was held during the Augusta Futurity for qualifying Open and Non-Pro riders.
Following 16 years of the American Quart Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Show being held in Fort Worth, the show will be held in Oklahoma City, Aug. 1-9. The new 'superbarn' and improvements to the stalls and warm-up arenas was mentioned as one of the reasons for the move.
Raymond Sigler, President of Wall Street Detectives Inc. and developer Equine CODIS (Combined DNA Information Systems) and the EDNA test, said, "We are on the cutting edge of technology now applied to the Horse, enabling an Equine Identification number (EIN) to track, trace and provide absolute identification. The proven low-cost tool of identification is based on the same process as the FBI's own CODIS crime lab. It identifies a horse to an accuracy of 99.999999999999 percent and is now available. Dr. Gus Cothran supervises the Equine CODIS program for Wall Street Detectives at Texas A&M College. For more information, go to
Everett Salley, 73, horseman, cattleman and Tulsa Stockyards owner, died Friday June 13. Graveside service 11 a.m. Tuesday, Calvary Cemetery. Moore's Eastlawn.

Dean Reeves, the father of future ProRodeo Hall of Fame saddle bronc rider Tom Reeves, died May 25 from head injuries suffered when an all-terrain vehicle he was driving near his Eagle Butte, S.D., ranch overturned. Reeves, 71, operated Reeves Quarter Horses on the Dean Reeves Family Ranch in Eagle Butte. Tom Reeves, who won the 2001 World Championship, qualified for 18 National Finals Rodeos and will be inducted into the ProRodeo Hall of Fame on July 12, has always credited his father as being the inspiration for pursuing a career in rodeo and for his knowledge of livestock. Dean Reeves is survived by his wife, Emma Lu; his sons Tom (Carmin) and Jim (Janna); and daughter Mary Reeves.

Memorial Services for Barney Hinds, 75, were held June 3 at the ranch of longtime friend Dale Tingle in Corning, Calif. Hinds was born Dec. 1, 1932, in Driggs, Idaho, and died May 18 in Red Bluff, Calif. Hinds, who showed Leonard Milligan to the AQHA Superhorse award trained horses in Idaho and Montana and for the Shelton ranches in Kerrville, Texas and was a judge for 18 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
Kathie and John Taylor's grandbabies have arrived! Yes - it's plural - grandbabies. Gabriel and Jenna arrived - first a boy - then the girl. According to Kathie, Gabriel, who got bruised a bit on the pull out, looks like a boy and weighed in at 6 lbs, 5 oz. Little Jenna came next, with lots of dark hair and weighing a little less at 5 lbs, 1 oz. The proud parents are Scott and Erin Libby, Yelm, Wash. The twins are the first grandbabies for grandparents are John and Kathie Taylor, Chehallis, Wash.
After a whirlwind romance that took place following a meeting Dec. 1, 2007 in Barnes & Noble in Fort Worth, Kristina Hedrick, 43, and Alan Wilson, 38, got married in April, 2008. Kristina, who owns an equestrian insurance firm, and Alan, a project manager for an electrical contractor, discovered they both had blue heelers and the connection was on.
The couple was married at Fort Worth Botanic Garden in mid-April, with friends and family from around the country attending – and Alan encouraged Kristina to don white boots and show spurs beneath her beautiful white wedding gown.


June 19, 2008 – Weatherford, Texas
Memorial services will be held Saturday, June 21 at the Slate River Ranch in Weatherford, Texas, for Chris Atkins who died Wednesday morning, June 18. There will be a funeral service at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 301 S Main Street at 4 p.m. and then a memorial service will be held at Glade Knight’s Slate River Ranch from 5:30 to 8 p.m.. The ranch is located at 4903 FM 113, Weatherford, Texas 76088.


By Glory Ann Kurtz

June 18, 2008
Spearman, Texas

Mark and Anne Marie Pearson, Spearman, Texas, lost their 4-year-old daughter Georgia in a drowning accident on Monday, June 16. The accident happened at the home of Anne Marie’s parents in an above-ground swimming pool. They also have a son, Charles, age 6.

Georgia has had a lifetime of health issues, including seizures that she has had most of her life. “She has been at death’s door many times,” said Dan Pearson, Mark’s father. “We have held her through the night many times, thinking she wasn’t going to make it. We took her to all kinds of doctors and they never could figure out what caused the seizures.”

Mark's mother, Charolotte said that friends Kory Pounds and Phil and Mary Ann Rapp drove from Weatherford after finding out about the accident and were there for the families on Tuesday morning.

Mark is a top NCHA non-pro competitor with NCHA lifetime earnings topping $668,160. His largest paychecks came from winning the Non-Pro division of the MillionHeir Classic two years in a row. Dan, a Non-Pro/Amateur has $27,384 in lifetime earnings and Anne Marie, also a Non-Pro Amateur has $10,026.

A couple of years ago, Mark had a terrible horse accident, when he got bucked off and drug. Ironically, during this year’s MillionHeir Classic, the horse fell with Mark while they were cutting. However, this time, he was uninjured.

Services will be held Thursday, June 19 at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ, 121 Haney Street, Spearman, Texas (806) 659-3244. Send your condolences to Mark and Anne Marie at PO Box 766, Spearman, Texas 79081-0766,



By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 14, 2008 – Thornton, Wash.

“Celebrating the cutting horse in the Northwest,” is the theme of a new area cutting horse publication called “2-1/2 Minutes.” Published by Rick and Carolyn Kiesz of the Promised Land Ranch, Thornton, Wash., the mission statement of the new publication is “to promote Northwest cow cutters and the horses that bring them so much joy.”

The spine-bound booklet printed on high-quality paper, includes color photos, clever cartoons created by Carolyn, news from NCHA affiliates located in the Northwest, guest editorials, general news bits, opinion pieces, and trainer, judges and non-pro articles. Top-three division standings for each of the affiliates are also printed. Also included is an interesting, and sometimes controversial, opinion piece by Rick, which he claims are “occasional strong opinions on life, politics, religion and sometimes even the cow cutting deal.”

“2-1/2 Minutes is a labor of love that has been a long time in the making,” said Carolyn in the introductory publication. “On every trip to the Northwest to visit our grandsons, we would pack along a pencil and notepad, brain-storming ideas that we would use someday in a publication for fellow cutters.”

"The NCHA affiliates included in the publication are the Northwest Cutting Horse Association, Washington Cutting Horse Association, Cascade Cow Cutters and Southern Oregon Cutting Horse Association. Also included are the following local clubs: Blue Mountain Cutting Horse Club, Clearwater Cutting Horse Club, Kaniksu Cutting and Cow Horse Association, Okanogan Valley Cutters and Central Oregon Cutting Horse Association. The publication is open to all Region 1 NCHA affiliates.

Advertising rates are available, or if you have news about something going on in your area of the country, send it to For subscriptions, send $14 to “2-1/2 Minutes”, 1132 Trestle Creek Road, Thornton, WA 99176. There will be eight issues mailed this year and nine next year. (Subscriptions are $8 if an association subscribes for all members as a group) The telephone number is (509) 478-3043.



June 7, 2008 – Boston, Mass

Richard T. Fields, the largest shareholder of Suffolk Downs and the owner of Peptoboonsmal, has put up additional purse money through Coastal Development LLC if Curlin and Big Brown start in the Massachusetts Handicap, held Sept. 20, at Suffolk Downs in Boston.

The story broke today in an on-line article in the June 7 issue of Thoroughbred Times Today. Coastal Development LLC is a company controlled by Fields. Curlin is the Horse Of The Year and the industry’s highest money earner. Big Brown won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and will make his bid today to win the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont.

The purse, originally set a $500,000, would rise to $5 million if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both horses remain undefeated in 2008. The $5 million would include a $1-million participation bonus for each horse. The purse would be $3 million if Big Brown wins the Triple Crown and both he and Curlin start the race, but one or both horses suffer a defeat in 2008. The $3 million would include a $500,000 participation fee.

The 66th Massachusetts Handicap (MassCap) will be held at Suffolk Downs, a track in which Fields became the largest shareholder when he purchased his interest in March of last year. He was responsible for reviving the MassCap last September after a two-year absence.

Fields, 62, purchased the Jackson Land & Cattle Co. of Jackson, Wyo., and then purchased Peptoboonsmal in 2007 from Elaine Hall, Weatherford, Texas. A native New Yorker, Fields is a successful businessman involved in the entertainment business and casino gambling. He was also the driving force in the development of the Seminole Hard Rock Resort and Casino, with locations in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla.

Jackson Land & Cattle Co. is located on 2,000-plus acres in the historic spring Gulch corridor of Jackson Hole, Wyo. The cutting operation is run by Al Dunning, Scottsale, Ariz., and Jackson, Wyo. The stallion stands at Carol Rose Quarter Horses, Gainesville, Texas.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 5, 2008

Jerry and Betty Wells shown when Jerry became a member of the Oklahoma QHA Hall of Fame.

He showed Quarter Horses for over 40 years and garnered more World Champion halter horses than any other competitor. Horses were his passion, his livelihood , his life and he was one of the first people to make a career and living showing horses. He was Jerry Wells and the industry lost a legend on May 3 when at 67, he lost his battle with cancer. He died at the Baptist Medical Center in Sulphur, Okla., with his family at his side.

Wells owned some of the most famous stallions of our time: Te N Te, Windchester, Sonny Go Lucky, Conclusive, Impressive, The Investor, Boston Mac and Merganser, the winner of the All American Futurity. He made Kid Meyers the first AQHA Supr4eme champion and showed such greats as Obvious Conclusion, Im A Cool Skip, Barn Burner, Cluiton and The Money Broker – making them legends along the way. He had 59 World Championships at Halter, one in Senior Calf Roping and one AQHA race horse.

At halter, he showed the industry’s greatest horses to 597 grands, 371 reserves, and 1,364 halter points at 2,079 shows. But he didn’t just show halter horses – he was also a real cowboy, earning 17 wins with rope horses at 165 shows, garnering 130 AQHA points. He was also a founding member of the World Conformation Horse Association. Ironically, he died just days after his friend Orren Mixer.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday May 7 at the First Baptist Church in Sulphur, Okla., at 2 p.m. Viewing will be at Havenbrook Funeral Home, Norman, Okla., Monday and Tuesday, May 5-6. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to: The Jerry Wells Memorial Youth Scholarship Fund c/o First American Bank & Trust, Attn: Tom Cooper, 570 24th Ave. N. W., Norman, OK 73069.

Wells leaves behind his wife Betty; children Nancy Wells Barr of Ada, Okla., and son Marty Wells of San Juan Capistrano, Calif., and three younger brothers, Jerold and Joe, Sulphur, Okla., and Jim, Lexington, Ky..


April 25, 2008
An NCHA cutting horse trainer and an Amateur – both running stallion stations – are trying their hands at vying for NCHA Vice President. The two candidates come from far different backgrounds and have a different outlook on their future as Vice President. Benedict is a Californian-turned-Texan, while Black is a Texan-turned-Californian.

Ballots to members were mailed Wednesday, April 30, and the winner will be announced just prior to the NCHA Convention, scheduled for June 20-22 at the Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas, and will take office at the Convention. To eliminate my showing any favoritism, I will address the qualifications and mindsets of these two candidates in alphabetical order.

Chris Benedict

With a highly controversial proposal by incoming NCHA President Bronc Willoughby on the table that would eliminate the Amateur Division and divide the Non-Pro into money-earned divisions, Chris Benedict, owner of DLR Ranch and a trainer from Weatherford, Texas, is in favor of the proposal. Benedict claims that it will generate more members, more entries in the classes and more sales of horses. He said that during the NCHA Super Stakes, he had several people come up to him asking about the proposal. “Ninety-nine percent of them never saw the proposal,” said Benedict. “They just heard about it but hadn’t seen it. Once they have the facts and get informed, they are for it.”

Benedict also feels there should be more horse trainers on the Executive Committee. “We’ve gotten in trouble before when we didn’t have horses trainers on the Executive Committee,” says Benedict. This industry creates so much emotion – you can’t run it like a car dealership. To me, people who do this for a living need to run it. It’s our way of life. We need to make decisions that benefit a majority of the members.”

Benedict claims he has no personal agenda and says, “What is best for the Non-Pro and Amateur is better for me.” He plans on listening to the general membership and what a majority of them want – not what a small group of financial people want.

Jerry Black, DVM

Although Jerry Black, a veterinarian and owner of Valley Oak Ranch and Stallion Station, and an amateur cutter from Oakdale, Calif., hasn’t said he is opposed to the Willoughby proposal, he did say he is running a campaign which says that any proposal significantly affecting the Amateur division must have the approval of the Amateur Committee and a majority of the 7,500 amateurs it represents.

Black, who is currently a member of the NCHA Executive Committee, says he is in favor of the current structure of the NCHA through the regions, areas and committees. “It’s important that this discussion and planning continue at the committee level with the input of the NCHA members to assure the continual growth and stability of our Association,” says Black.

Black says that if he is elected Vice President, he promises to use the organizational experience he has obtained through the years to assist the Executive Committee and Board of Directors to effectively manage the business of the NCHA during this period of declining economic conditions. “I am committed to represent all the members fairly and to personally be available to the NCHA membership,” says Black.

Chris Benedict has been married to his wife, Vickie, a non-pro cutter, for 28 years. They have a son, Cole, and a daughter-in-law, Crystal, who both show in weekend and aged-event competition. Originally from California, he is a life member of the NCHA for over 30 years and served as president of the California Cutting Horse Association, an NCHA Director for both California and Texas, and served on the NCHA Stallion Committee for six years – being chairman for three of those years. He is currently on the Judge’s Rules Committee and the Limited Age Event Committee. He has also been an NCHA judge for over 30 years.

He has been President of the North Texas Cutting Horse Association, one of the largest NCHA affiliates, for the past three years. The association produced one of the largest weekend cuttings in NCHA history at will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. He is currently show manager for the Brazos Bash in Weatherford, one of the largest limited age events not produced by the NCHA. While in California, he produced some of the largest cuttings on the West Coast at the DLR Ranch in Temecula.

He and Vickie currently own and operate the DLR Ranch and Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas, standing some of the industry’s finest stallions, including High Brow Cat – the No. 1 stallion in the industry.

Jerry Black majored in animal science at Texas Tech University after being born and raised on a farm in West Texas. He then graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in veterinary medicine after which he moved to California and started his practice. “As soon as my practice grew to the point to allow a little time off, I began riding cutting horses and since that time my family has actively participated in weekend and aged event cuttings in the amateur and non-pro divisions.

Black is currently serving his third year on the Executive Committee, and has been chairman of the NCHA Long Range Planning committee, as well as the Information Technology Task Force. An NCHA Director since 1994, he served four terms as President of the Pacific Coast cutting Horse Association and was on the Board of Directors for 15 years. He is also past president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and on the Executive Committee of the American Horse Council (AHC).

Benedict feels that his experience and knowledge would be beneficial to the membership in the leadership and promotion of the NCHA. “Cutting is a way of life and not just a hobby for me and my family,” said Benedict. “I am willing to put forth the time and effort that this position requires to make it a success.”

Black said, “I understand the commitment and am prepared to dedicate the time necessary to be an effective officer.”



By Glory Ann Kurtz
April 21, 2008

Congratulations to Sean Ryon and Dixie Murphy who became engaged during the NCHA Super Stakes. Sean owns Sean Ryon Western Enterprises on North Main in Fort Worth and is a sponsor of the NCHA. Dixie, is the daughter of Stephanie Murphy and Bill Murphy and works for Justin Insurance in Justin, Texas. A wedding date has not yet been set.

Condolences go out to Ron and Gary Gonsalves on the loss of their mother, Rosie Gonsalves. Rosie, an ad and graphics-design artist that worked in the magazine department of the Pacific Coast Journal, died unexpectedly. Serevices will be held April 24 at 2 p.m. at the Celebration Church, 5736 North Ave., Carmichael, CA 95608 (916) 484-6700 for directions. Send your condolences to Ron at 515 North Lake Dr., Weatherford, Tx 76085 and Gary & Jessica at 1901 FM 3028, Millsap, TX 76066.

Send your get-well wishes to Randy Witte, the former publisher of the Western Horseman Magazine. Randy was diagnosed with colon cancer in mid-March and underwent immediate surgery. Currently, he has a very positive outlook and is starting chemo and radiation soon. Send your cards to randy at 15525 Sweet Road, Peyton, CO 80831.

Talking about past employees of Western Horseman, I recently talked with Pat Close, the long-time Editor. She is currently chairman of the magazine committee for the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association, a job she accepted in 2006. Since then, she has turned the magazine around financially and made it such a good publication that they placed second to Germany nationally in the affiliate magazine category of AQHA media awards. Pat still rides and participates in the Rocky Mountain QHN and the AQHA trail rides.


April 14, 2008

Jutta Heller, the wife of Uwe Roeschmann, Gainesville, Texas, lost her valiant battle with cancer in a hospital in Germany following a bone marrow transplant on March 31. Jutta was cremated and Uwe has brought her ashes back to the United States and services will be held Monday, April 21 at 2 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Church in Muenster, Texas. The last time she cut in the United States was the middle of March. Send your condolences to Uwe at PO Box 1485, Gainesville, TX 76241.

Dave Hybarger, Fallon, Nev., passed away on Wednesday evening, April 9th. Dave, who was very instrumental in a lot of large cuttings for years on the West Coast, will be missed by many. He leaves behind his wife, Gayle of Fallon and daughter Gaylene Hybarger, Fernley, Nev. Services will be Wednesday, April 16 with viewing at 11 a.m. and services at 1 p.m. They will be held at the Smiths Family Funeral Home, 505 Rio Vista, Fallon, Nev., directly across the street from Churchill county cemetery on the east end of Fallon. Send your condolences to Gayle at 7007 Leter Rd., Fallon, Nev. 89406-6424

Also, Shynia Renae Randles, Syracuse, Kan., died in a horrific four-wheeler/dune buggy accident on April 6. Services were held April 9 at the Shelton Memorial Christian Church, Ulysses, Kan. Survivors include her parents, Todd and Susie (White) Randles, Ulysses, Kan. (she was an only child) , and grandparents Gene and Linda White and Verna Randles, all of Ulysses.

Shynia, a seventh grader at the Elkhart Cyber School in Elkhart, was a member of the National Cutting Horse Association, Kansas Cutting Horse Association, National Youth Cutting Horse Association, Beef Empire Cutting Horse Association and the Panhandle Cutting Horse Association. She was also active in the Little Britches Rodeo Association, the American Quarter Horse Association and the Pony Club. Memorials may be given to the National Youth Cutting Horse Association Scholarship Fund in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant, Ulysses, KS 67880.

To help with expenses, send contributions to Kris Davis, PO Box 290, Holcomb, KS 67851 (316) 993-2783.

Bobbi Pullin, Conroe, Texas, died March 30 as a result of a blood clot. She leaves behind her husband, Doug Pullin, an AQHA professional horseman, and her daughters Wendy and Stephanie, who have been part of the AQHA show circuit all of their lives. Services were held April 4 at the Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, located 30 miles north of Houston. Donations may be made in the name of Bobbi Pullin through AQHA for the Therapeutic Riding Program at the AQHA website. Send your condolences to the Pullin Ranch, 14165 Horseshoe Bend, Conroe, Texas 77384.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 28, 2008

Carol Dewrell, Holt, Fla., was bucked off a horse at her home and fractured her back in three places. “I was very fortunate,” said Carol. “I have frull movement of all of my limbs and hopefully will not have a lot of residual pain.” Carol’s doctors say she should expect the pain to subside in four to six weeks; however, she is more optimistic because “I am very determined to get better,” said Carol, who has close to $222,000 in lifetime earnings.

“My cutting friends have been so concerned and have really rallied to comfort me with their friendship, cards and flowers,” says Carol. “There are so many challenges in our sport. It is difficult, it is expensive, it is humbling, but the people I have been honored to associate with in it are pure gold and worth it all.”

You can Carol an email at or send her a note or card at 4094 Cooper Lane, Holt, FL 32564.

NRHA Hall of Famer Bill Horn, Valley View, Texas, has had complications following surgery on March 19 for the removal of a benign tumor near his lungs. Horn was the first NRHA member reach million-dollar rider status. He is currently in intensive care at the Altoona Regional Medical Center, Altoona, Penn., with his wife, Kim, by his side.

NRHA Futurity Champion Larry Rose is back on horseback at his home at Greenbriar Farms in Ohio. His friends feared they would never see him on horseback after a 2006 accident in which the saddle slid back on a horse he was riding and the horse went over backwards on him. He had nerve damage and surgery on his neck.

pat jacobsPat Jacobs, Burleson, Texas, had hip surgery on March 3 and he was assured he’d be on horseback in two months. However, a few days after he got home, he started to feel pain. He felt he had overdone it; however, it got so bad, he had to go to the emergency room. It was determined he had a staph infection and they had to redo the whole hip replacement, flushing everything out. Pat is home now with a “fanny pack” that he will have to wear for awhile, but he thinks he’s getting better. Jacobs recently had a CD produced by the NCHA, where he plays bass, plus Red Steagall, Leon Rausch, Barry Corbin, Dave Alexander and others. The CD is available for purchase from Pat Jacobs for $15 plus $2.95 shipping and handling. Contact Jacobs at or 2825 Brookhollow Drive, Burleson, Texas.

With the retirement of Don Shugart, the NCHA has hired an in-house photographer for the association. Dave Atteberry’s first introduction to the NCHA major aged events will be taking photos at the upcoming NCHA Super Stakes.

NCHA Triple Crown winner, Joe Heim, Thackerville, Okla., and Holly Reed will be tying the knot on Saturday, Sept. 19, at a ceremony planned for the Botanic Gardens in Fort Worth. There will be a dinner for close friends and family members immediately following the wedding. The Botanic Gardens, located on University Ave. in Fort Worth is usually passed by cutters headed to Will Rogers coliseum. Holly was a civil trial paralegal for many years and also a marketing director for a couple of large law firms, She is now helping to promote Heim’s cutting program. She has already developed a beautiful web site for him – you can check out the site at Heim has also won national honors in reining and was a finalist at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev.

Roy Huffaker, Kerrville, Texas, best known for riding Jose Uno to the 1969 NCHA World title, died on Friday , March 14. He placed Jose Uno in the NCHA Hall of Fame.

While not transferring your horse isn't a federal offense, we’re offering a limited-time amnesty program: Have your American Quarter Horse’s ownership paperwork updated for only $15 per horse, regardless of how many times he or she has been sold.

Normally, there would be a $15 charge for every time the horse changed hands and the transfer paperwork wasn’t completed. That charge would be $50 for nonmembers.

With this limited-time offer, completed and signed transfer forms from each previous owner are still needed, but the fee is a one-time charge of $15 for members. Nonmembers can take advantage of the $15 transfer offer by joining AQHA for only $35.

Cowboy artist Justin Wells is renowned for giving back to his community. But on Feb. 29, a fire destroyed his home and art gallery in Amarillo – and now it’s time for his community to give back to him.
Justin's artwork includes pencil, watercolor, oils and acrylics, and are realistic depictions of a cowboy’s life. He also has painted several life-size Fiberglas horses that are part of the “Hoof Prints of the American Quarter Horse” public art display in Amarillo.

Sadly, all of the art in his private collection was destroyed in the fire, along with his art supplies and personal belongings. In the “cowboy circle” of friends, that kind of devastation can’t go unanswered.

Horsemanship clinician Brent Graef of Canyon, Texas, and legendary reining-horse man Jack Brainard of Tioga, Texas, have joined forces to put on a benefit clinic May 17-18 at the Cowboy Church arena in Amarillo.

Fees to ride both days (with one clinician) are a minimum donation of $150. Auditors are also welcome, for a donation. The benefit clinic will also feature a silent auction, with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to Wells.

Jack's clinic, which will be held in the afternoons, will focus on lead changes. As he says, “If you can’t change leads, you don’t know Jack!” … and this is your chance to change that. Brent's clinic, which will be during the morning sessions, is geared toward helping riders come to a better understanding of their horses. He always looks at things from the horse’s perspective and tries to teach his students to do the same.

For more on the clinicians, visit their Web sites, and For more on Wells, and to see a gallery of his art, visit For more information on the clinic or to reserve your rider spot, e-mail or call Brent at (806) 499-3239. If you can’t make it to Amarillo in May but would still like to help out, a fund has been set up at Wells Fargo under the name “Justin Wells Catastrophe Fund.” Any Wells Fargo location nationwide will accept donations. Visit to find a branch.



March 24, 2008
Wylie Gustafson, a cutter from Lacrosse, Wash., who is also a great entertainer and has retained and perfected the lost art of yodeling, will appear on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Tuesday, April 1. He will be yodeling and yowling with Conan to promote his new book, “How to Yodel: Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils” published by Gibbs-Smith Publishing. Gustafson gained fame as the yodeler on the Yahoo commercial.

The show is at 11:37 p.m on CDT & MDT. or 12:37 a.m. EDT & PDT. If you can’t stay awake, you can watch the full episode on Wylie’s clip at: Night with Conan O’Brien/video/episodes.shtml#vid=230992&plt=1f.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 10, 2008

Billy Baker, 69, Hernando, Miss., died on March 6 in Augusta, Ga., following a courageous battle with cancer. Baker was a member of the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame, an NCHa judge, director and a member of the Executive Board. Baker was preceded in death by his wife, Verlie Boyd House Baker; a son Dr. Lee Baker and his wife Susie Morris Baker; a daughter Wende Rachels and her husband Bill; brothers James Lee Baker and wife Thelma, Ralph Edwin Baker and wife Corrine, Jerry Savage Baker and wife Nanette, and one sister Martha Baker McKay, Leaksville, Miss.

On Monday, March 3, Pat Jacobs, Burleson, Texas, went into the hospital and got a new right hip. “The doctor said it was too many years horse back,” said Pat, “but he assures me I will be horseback within two months. You can send get-wel cards to Pat at 2825 Brookhollow Dr., Burleson, TX 76028-1954.

Joy DeHaan, 74, the wife of famed Western artist Chuck Dehaan, passed away on Friday, March 7 in Graford, Texas. Survivors include her husband and their children Connie Davis, Cindy Gale and Gary McCoy, Dee Dee Clark, Cindy Lou Burns, and Sandy and Diane DeHaan. The funeral will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, in White’s Mineral Wells Chapel.

Pat Curry, Crawford, Texas, the owner of EQ Solutions and other business ventures, will be tying the knot on april 12 with Jami Symank, McGregor, Texas. Pat, who had six horses in the finals at the MillionHeir/South Point show said that John McClaren introduced them. Pat is also a partner in the Color Me Smart Syndicate.

Pat Taylor, Pilot Point, Texas, had a great time in Las Vegas. Pat won the $200,000 MillionHeir Amateur class at Las Vegas, collecting a $50,000 paycheck, but that was eclipsed by the $100,000 he won earlier in the week when he won a slot machine tournament at the Mirage. Pat runs a wholesale/retail saddle and tack supply company, founded by his father, Paul Taylor.

Carl Gerwien, Nanton, Alberta, Canada, is back on the cutting scene. It has been four years since Carl was unable to come to the United States due to a mark on his record when he was a teenager. But he's just as tough as he was - making two finals at the South Point on two different horses. Some call him the "Phil Rapp of Canada."

However, Carl and his wife, Julia, have decided to have a complete dispersal sale of their horses on May 31 at their ranch. They are offering 85 head of performance horses. They have leased out their ranch and will be leasing out the indoor arena and are going to spend some time traveling - they're even thinking of a trip to Australia. But you may see Carl buying an aged-event horse later on if he can't stand to be away from the competition. You can find the horses that are for sale on his web site or call them at (403) 850-0617. Online bidding is available.

Jon Winkelried, 48, a Co-President of Goldman Sachs made news in the Wall Street Journal on March 9. The publication said that the owner of Marvine Ranch in Meeker, Colo., and a new facility taking shape in Weatherford, Texas, received total compensation of $67.5 million during fiscal 2007. It stressed that the $66.9 million bonus to Winkelried was a sign that Goldman Sachs Group had avoided much of the m ortgage-related misery that hurt its rivals last year. Winkelried and his family compete in NCHA Non-Pro and Amateur competition.

You may have noticed that during the past few months, Color Me Smart (P), a Paint son of Smart Little Lena, has been advertised by two different entities for two different stud fees. According to Craig Morris of the Color Me Smart Syndicate, they have satisfied all claims and are sole owners of the stallion, which was listed as the 10th leading sire on the all-time leading sire list. Syndicate members are Morris, Pat Curry, Jerry Durant and John McClaren. The stallion stand the 2008 breeding season at Equine Sports Reproduction in Weatherford, Texas, for a $1,500 stud fee.

Also, Craig is the commentator on the “Road To The Winners’ Circle” which is shown on RFD-TV on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Highlighted this year will be 13 or 14 finals of NCHA aged events, human interest pieces and preludes to events. Morris said that this year, the show will involve more people and horses, using the same concept as NASCAR and PBR started with.

The Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby is off an running in beautiful Paso Robles, Calif. The event includes a $50,000 added Open and Non-pro Derby, $50,000 added Open and Non-Pro Classic/Challenge, a $3,000 added $50,000 Amateur Derby and Classic Challenge and the new $200,000 Non-Pro Purina Series and 7-Up Open, Non-Pro and Amateur divisions.

Also the show will debut the 3-year-old Gelding Stakes Qualifying Sale on March 15. Geldings sold through the sale will automatically be eligible for the Gelding Stakes purse at the 2008 PCCHA Futurity this fall. A performance horse sale will follow the gelding sale. For more information, go to

The Eastern Nationals start today in Jackson, Miss., and will go through March 21. The Bonanza Cutting in Abilene, Texas, with $110,000 in added money, will start tomorrow, March 11 and go through March 18. It's a busy time for cutting horses.

Ken Mumy was elected by the AQHA Board of Directors as president of the Association on March 3. From Metamora, Mich., Mumy has served on the Executive Committee for four years. He owns FEA Management, an environmental engineering consulting firm. A long-term director of the Association, Mumy and his wife, Maryellen, have been involved in multiple facets of the American Quarter Horse breed from cutting to Western pleasure.

Joining Mumy on the Executive Committee are first vice president Jim Helzer, Arlington, Texas; second vice president Johannes Orgeldinger, Groswallstadt, Germany; and member Dick Monahan of Walla Walla, Wash. Also elected to the Executive Committee was Peter J. Cofrancesco III. From Sparta, N.J

The American Quarter Horse Association will distribute a record $4,000,447 of Incentive Fund money for the 2007 show season. More than 10,000 checks were mailed to recipients of Incentive Fund nominated horses, proving that it pays to show with AQHA.

In 2007, more than 7,200 foals and 2,700 stallions were nominated into the program. Enrolled horses earned 137,798 points during the year, with the top horse, Vital Signs Are Good, earning 605 points. The value of each point was $29.03, which is an increase of $2.54 from last year. Vital Signs Are Good is owned by Kristen N. Glover of Bixby, Okla. The 8-year-old red roan mare earned $17,563.15 through the Incentive Fund.

The Incentive Fund is a multimillion-dollar program involving stallion and foal nominations with paybacks to the stallion nominators, foal nominators and owners of the competing horses. The program is owned, managed and operated by AQHA. In 23 years of existence, the program has paid almost $60 million.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 25, 2008

The Women’s Spa Cutting Retreat, previously scheduled to be held March 14-16 in Weatherford, Texas, has been postponed. If you think you might be interested in joining a group of women, who are interested in learning more about their cutting skills, contact Alexandria Harrel (352) 361-9172. Your weekend will include a stay in a restored Victorian mansion, dinner, educational speakers, gourmet food, spa treatments, massages and yes – cutting lessons and critiques from World Champion and NCHA Hall of Famer Leon Harrel. New dates have not yet been determined.

Smart Sugar Badger, a 1998 stallion with $185,000 in lifetime earnings, sired by Smart Little Lena out of Badger San Doc, will be standing the 2008 breeding season at Mowery Cutting Horses & Mare Care Inc., Weatherford, Texas. Subscribed to the Breeders Invitational and NCHA Super Stakes, his fee is $2,000, which includes the chute fee. Owned by S. E. Montgomery, Lake Panasoffke, Fla., Smart Sugar Badger sired 12 Open and two Non-Pro entries in the 2007 NCHA Futurity. From his limited age money earners from his first crop, he sired eight that were champions, reserve champions or finalists a number of the major aged events, including the NCHA Futurity, Augusta, Music City, South Point, PCCHA Derby, El Rancho, Memphis, WCTCHA, Brazos Bash and Texas Futurity. For more information, contact Shelly Mowery at (817) 596-4479 or go to

We’re happy to report that SMART LITTLE LENA is back to breeding and his sperm count is back to the point it was before his surgery to remove a testicle because of a growth.

Lisa Johnson, a cutting horse trainer from Angier, N.C., who was hurt in a horse-related accident in January, is making progress. Although she is still in a coma, she is following commands and has facial expressions – smiling, frowning and raising her eyebrows. The Circle M Ranch in Pelzer, S.C., held a fundraiser on Feb. 23, where they raised upwards of $85,000 to cover every-day expenses and hospital and doctor bills.

Katie Gaughan and Cookie Banuelos, Las Vegas, Nev., have become engaged. With their busy cutting schedule, plans are for a possible June wedding. Katie is the daughter of Michael and Paula Gaughan, owners of the South Point Hotel & Equestrian Center in Las Vegas. The Gaughans produce the South Point Futurity and Winter Championship shows held in the South Point Equestrian Center.

The first two days of the South Point Winter Classic & MillionHeir Classic are over. Winning the first go-round of the 33-entry MillionHeir Open Classic is MH San Tules Dually, owned by Austin and Stacy Shepard, ridden by Austin to a 216 and $4,641.86 paycheck. Second was Jae Bars Tule, owned by Ron Knutson and ridden by Matt Sargood, while third went to MH Dyno Peppy, owned by James or Margareta Patrick, ridden by Tommy Marvin.

The first go of the 82-entry South Point Open Classic was Alexa Stent’s Bowmans Cat ridden by Eddie Flynn, scoring a 219. Following close with a 218 were Reydiculous, owned by ATL Cutting Horses and ridden by Lloyd Cox and Sophisticated Catt, owned by Keith Feister, ridden by Phil Hanson.

Baby horses – that is! I’d love to have you e-mail your colt photos to me and I will put them up on this site. Be sure and include the sire, dam, maternal grandsire, sex, date of birth, and your name, city and state. Send them to

Do you have some news – stallions moving, trainers moving, horse sales, a cutter who is ill? Send them to me at



Feb. 18, 2008 – Weatherford, Texas

If you’re a lady interested in cutting – and love to be pampered - set aside the dates of March 14-16. Taking place that weekend will be a Women’s Spa Cutting Retreat held in the luxuriously restored Victorian mansion in Weatherford, Texas, and the Pat Taylor arena. The weekend will be produced by NCHA World Champion and Hall of Famer Leon Harrel.

On Friday night, there will be happy hour and you will be entertained, educated and enlightened by speakers discussing innovative ways to simplify your life, improve your health and improve every relationship in your personal and professional life. You will be fed with healthy gourmet food served on real china, silver and crystal – along with healthy desserts. You will also receive spa treatments in your room, a complimentary massage, facial or a purifying and detoxifying ionic footbath. You can sip on complimentary wine and nibble on delectable munchies in your room. You can also relax in a soothing, aromatic hot bath, then cuddle in a cozy robe.

On Saturday, you will be served a fresh, hot, healthy breakfast in your room – then taken by a ranch shuttle to your cutting lessons, where beautiful, yet safe and fun horses will be furnished. There will be a cutting session followed by a video review, as well as lots of social interfacing with the other women during the session. A Sunday brunch will be served, followed by a team cutting competition for those who dare. There will also be an awards ceremony.

Rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-choice basis and there are two rooms which have double king beds for those wishing to bunk together. Due to the number of rooms available at the inn, the space is limited to 12 total participants. No exceptions. For information and reservatons contact Alexandria Harrel (352) 361-9172 or go to



By Glory Ann Kurtz


Feb. 8, 2008
John Mitchell, the trainer at Slate River Ranch in Weatherford, Texas, and his wife, Hope, are expecting a baby boy the end of March. Send your congrats to them at 301 Docs Road, Weatherford, TX 76088.

Sue Ryan, who has been in very serious condition following complications from a simple gall bladder surgery, is not only out of intensive care, but is at home and is “up and around.” Sue went downhill following the surgery when her blood didn’t clot. “She looks terrific. We’ve got her back again,” said Nancy Rapp who is a frequent visitor. They are still doing tests to see why her blood doesn’t clot correctly. Send your get wells wishes to Sue and Tom at 112 Arapahoe Ridge, Weatherford, TX 76087.

Charlotte Ames, Sacramento, Calif., recently suffered a stroke. According to her friend Gaylene Hybarger-Lowry, Charlotte, who has been a supporter of the horse industry for many years, is unable to work and make ends meet. Any contributions would be greatly appreciated to help with rent, food and medical expenses. There has been a benefit account set up on her behalf. Anyone wanting to contribute, contact Gaylene at

Kathleen Taylor, Chehallis, Wash., has been on a roller coaster. She was on a high when her 3-year-old colt made the finals of the NRHA Futurity in November. However, shortly thereafter, a bad weather system moved in. “We had a perfect storm,” said Kathleen. “First a dump of snow, then a pineapple express, high tides, etc. Levees broke and places that had never flooded experienced 8-10 feet of water. Countless dairies lost their cattle or the owners destroyed them so they wouldn’t have to suffer. I-5 was closed between Centralia and Chehalis.”

Kathleen’s son had two businesses under one roof and even though he was told, he’d be OK, he got about a foot or more of water. It was a big clean-up but thanks to friends and family he’ll come through OK – but with great financial loss. Floods, blizzards and fires – they’ve affected a lot of us. It’s a strange year.

Flynn and Norma Stewart, Bowie, Texas, are just having a great time with their kids and grandbaby. However, Norma’s son, Vic Morrison, is making news. He has built a web site called, which is a service to all rodeo kids - to help them find colleges, rodeo schools and scholarships. Morrison says in the mission statement on the site that is is dedicated to bridging the gap between rodeo kids of today and a college education of tomorrow. There's even a listing of every high school rodeo association in the country. You can sign up on the site if you would l ike to apply for a scholarship. Give the site a visit - it will be well worth your time if you have kids. You can call Vic at (940) 366-0790.

Lisa Johnson from North Carolina, who was hurt in a horse accident while unloading a 2-year-old stud from a horse trailer, is still in a coma. Reports are that she is opening her eyes; however, the belief of the doctors is that it is due to over stimulation."When she opens her eys as a result of being asked to or follows other commands - then we will know that her body is doing what she intends for it to do. Until then we have to understand that most of what we see is reflextive," said a niece.
Listed above is a link to Lisa Johnson's fundraiser web page at Circle M Ranch in Pelzer, SC on Feb 23. Pass it on. Encourage people to attend. Email or phone bids accepted. As auction items are received they will be posted. For you that have vacation properties, a donation of a long weekend is great. The only limit is your imagination and encouraging your friends to attend and bid.

Public horse auctions and sales have been cancelled in Virginia through Monday, March 5 due to a continuing effort to stop the spread of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) currently present in Northern Virginia. While virus is not harmful to humans, people can spread it on their shoes or with their vehicles and an infected horse at an event could infect other horses, which would then carry the disease back to their points of origin.

GOT A NEW FOAL YOU'RE PROUD OF? E-mail us photos of your new babies. We we be publishing a "new-baby" section. Be sure to include your name, city and state and the pedigree of the foal. E-mail them to

A big thank you to everyone who has sent news to me - it's really appreciated. If you have news, send it to

Jan. 31, 2008
There's lots of new news - some very sad. Bruce Dugas, Aubrey, Texas, died from suspicious circumstances in Scottsville, Ky., on Jan. 25, when they found him in his burned-out car. Lisa Johnson, Algier, N.C., is still in a coma following a terrible horse accident; Lannie Mecom and Polly Hollar are in Methodist Hospital in Houston following getting hit by a run-away truck in Laredo and Susie Wilson is home after having a liver transplant.

William “Bruce” Dugas, 46, with homes in Scottsville, Ky., and Aubrey, Texas, was found dead in a burning vehicle on Friday, Jan. 25. According to Kentucky State Police, he was identified Saturday morning through dental records.

Dugas, who built a cutting facility in Aubrey, was the grandson of Dollar General founder Cal Turner. The family still owns Dollar General Corporation. He was a native of White Castle, La., and the son of Wayne and Laura Jo Turner Dugas of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.

According to an article in the Bowling Green Daily News, the burning vehicle was reported at 11:08 p.m. at a rest area at the 29-mile marker of Interstate 65 South,” said Trooper Todd Holder, spokesman for the state police. “When the police arrived, the vehicle was fully engulfed and people were telling responders there was a person inside.”

Warren county Corner Kevin Kirby removed the body from the vehicle but was initially unable to identify Dugas. According to Holder, the police haven’t determined why the vehicle caught fire or what caused Dugas’ death, and they have not yet determined whether foul play was suspected in his death. An initial autopsy performed Saturday morning in Louisville didn’t provide a conclusive cause of death and the medical examiner’s office was still awaiting the results of a toxicology report.

Dugas was the stepfather of Lucas Goodrum who has been living in Aubrey, Texas, on Dugas’ ranch and riding cutting horses, since he was acquitted in 2005 of the murder of Western Kentucky University student Melissa “Katie” Autry, 18, who killed and set on fire in her dorm room in May 2003. Another man, Steven L. Soules of Scottsville, pled guilty to murder and other charges in the case in March 2004, part of a plea bargain for his testimony against Goodrum.

Other survivers include his wife, Donna Dugas and a daughter, Laura Nicole Dugas, both of Aubrey; a son, Will Dugas, Corinth, Texas and two brothers, Foster and Steve Dugas, both of Santa Rosa.

Lisa Johnson, 53, Angier, N.C., is still in a coma following a horse accident Sunday, Jan. 27 at her home.

According to a neighbor, Buck Kerns, the East Coast cutting horse trainer and NCHA Director from Area 18 was unloading a 2-year-old stud she had purchased at the Augusta Futurity sale. No one saw the accident, however some heard her scream and found her under the horse, bleeding from the nose and mouth. They called an ambulance, and someone else insisted that she be sent to the trauma unit in Raleigh, where they operated on her that evening, removing a blood clot in her brain. They were told the next day that if they hadn’t brought her to the trauma unit, there would have been a 90 percent chance she would not have survived.

According to Kerns, she is now breathing on her own, her pupils are responding to light and she has no fractures in her neck or spine. However, she has not regained consciousness. A report from her niece today revealed that a CAT scan was not what they had hoped for - she has fluid on the bran and has suffered some setbacks as a result.

The single horse trainer has several non-pro customers and is highly thought of. Her niece is updating a page on, where you can go to hear about her progress and leave comments. Put in your name and password and then for the carepage name insert “lisajohnsoncutting” – all lower case. You can send notes or donations to Lisa at 1427 Young Rd., Angier, N.C. 27501; however, they are working on some benefits and fund raising situations.

Lannie Mecom and Polly Hollar have been moved to Methodist Hospital in Houston, following an accident late Jan. 7 near Laredo, Texas, when an out-of-control truck hit them head on. They were initially taken to the Laredo Hospital but several days later transferred to Houston. Both Lannie and Polly have sustained some serious injuries but are expected to be OK. Lannie owns the Wichita Ranch and the great stallion Mecom Blue. Polly Hollar is her long-time ranch manage, trainer and companion. Send your encouragements to them at 4007 Hwy 290 E., Brenham, Tx 77833-9012.

Susie Wilson, wife of Sam Wilson, a world champion who rode Bob Acre Doc to the NCHA World Champion Open horse in 1991, is home in Pattison, Texas, following a liver transplant. You can send her your get-well wishes at Po Box 59, Pattison, Txs 77466-0059 or call her at (281) 375-5367.

Matt Miller, Poolville, Texas, who recently won the Non-Pro Classic Challenge at the Augusta futurity, proposed to Megan Merrill, Weatherford, Texas, the daughter of Frank and Robin Merrill, Purcell, Okla., on Dec. 9. The two cutters plan to wed in September in Colorado.

Oasis Ranch, Herald, Calif., has become the managing partner in Great Inspiration, earner of over $33,000 and a full brother to Smart Lil Ricochet and Smart Equalizer. Sired by Smart Little Lena and out of Moria Sugar, earner of $112,893 and producer of foals earning over $897,68, the 1997 stallion is owned by Great Inspiration LLC of Idaho and was shown by Dave Glaser and Mike Giannini. Tested N/N for HERDA, he will be standing for $1,500 and will be subscribed to the stallion incentives as his foals become eligible.

Don’t miss the close to 30 stallions included on this site under No. 1 Stallion Place on the main page. There are some really nice stallions and some of them are definitely real bargains. New stallions include Sophisticated Catt, which is currently leading following two go-rounds at the Tunica show; Abrakadabracre, Bobs Hickory Rio, Neat Little Cat, WR Smart N Hickory, Hesa Smarty Pants, Jasons Peptolena, Little Bit Of Smarts and Tomcat Chex.

AQHA life member Shelly Nielsen of Dewinton, Alberta, was the winning bidder in the auction of AQHA Registration No. 5 Million at the end of December.

"My husband, Steve Brown, was the one that really wanted the 5 millionth registration number," Shelly says. "He was really excited and followed the bidding until it closed."

For $8,750, Steve and Shelly have reserved the right to use No. 5,000,000 for a foal they expect in 2008. "When our foals arrive this spring, we will determine which one will be the best to have the number," says the AQHA Professional Horsewoman, who trains reiners, and pleasure and working cow horses. "We are probably going to name the foal Wynns Five Million, after our 21-month-old son, Wynn. Besides, 'Wynn' also sounds like 'win.' "

Jan. 25, 2008

News about how NCHA cutter Linden Blackmon is coping with cancer, a cutting retreat just for women, a barnfire that takes the lives of 43 horses, a possibility of NRCHA-sanctioned events at AQHA shows, Bill Miller to return to cattle pen for Super Stakes and Wendy Allen designs a bronc saddle for the PRCA's first woman saddle bronc rider.

NCHA cutter Linden Blackmon, Fort Worth, Texas, competed in the amateur cutting competition during the Fort Worth Stock Show Rodeo on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The night was dedicated to cancer research in connection with the “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” campaign, taken up by rodeos nationwide, including the NFR. Half of the proceeds from the event’s rodeo went to the Tarrant County affiliate of Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Blackmon, 53, was especially happy to be part of the cutting that evening, as the environmental scientist for Bimbo Bakeries USA has breast cancer. She signed up last summer before she knew she had breast cancer and chose Jan. 22 for the night she wanted to compete – not knowing it was the night dedicated to cancer research. Today, she is halfway through her chemotherapy, which will be followed by surgery and radiation.

March 14-16 will be the days for a “ladies only” program in Weatherford, Texas, sponsored by Alex and Leon Harrel. The program, which is designed to pamper ladies interested in cutting, is geared toward female entrepreneurs and business owners as a way to get away, brainstorm on business matters, as well as enjoy a break from their all-consuming lives. And there will be plenty of riding cutting horses also, as well as videos, feed-back and guest speakers. You’ll hear more about this later, but to make a reservation call Alex Harrel (352) 361-9172 or go to

Eddie and Donna Willis and their family from Atoka, Okla., have trained racehorses for over 30 years. Late during the night on Jan. 19, the Willlis family, including Eddie’s sons Kevin, Kasey and Eddie Lee, had a fire in their barn and before they realized what was going on, they had lost their barn and 43 horses.

“It’s unimaginable what that family must be going through,” said neighbor and friend Kathy Hall, who along with her husband, raise and show cutting horses. “That was their whole life – I mean financially and emotionally. The entire family made up that business. They are good people and only the ‘horse world’ can understand what they must be going through.”

According to Kathy, the community is doing what they can to help, but it would be nice to hear from some fellow horse lovers. Their address is 1031 S Buckholt Rd, Caney, Okla 74533.

Pete Bowling of the Oasis Ranch is promoting NRCHA-approved events at AQHA shows this summer. “Currently, we have two classes within classes: Junior Cutting and Junior Working Cow Horse,” says Pete. He suggests that the 3-year-old event (combined cutting and cowhorse) could be NRCHA approved. At least one judge would also be NRCHA approved and the NRCHA judge or judges would have two score sheets in the herd work in the Junior Cutting. For example, in the cutting, the 3-year-olds in the snallfle might be 60 on the AQHA card, but score higher on the NRCHA card because of scoring differences and not being disqualified for using two hands. Or maybe they can designate they are in the 3-year-old event when they walk into the herd to simplify the scoring. They may be able to place in both AQHA and the NRCHA event if their horse is good enough to get through the entire run one handed.”

According to Pete, the NRCHA doesn’t have any conflicts so one score sheet could be used. However, in order to be in the event, you would have to enter the AQHA show too, unless breed restrictions prevent it (ie) Paints or Appaloosas.

Pete feels that the main advantage of this partnership would be that cowhorse trainers will be able to try their 3-year-olds in a big pen with good ground and usually good cattle in 70+ degree weather at the Watsonville, Calif., show or any other July show in “cowhorse country.” Also, AQHA trainers and Amateurs will get more entries in a show right at World Show qualifying time. PCCHA will get a much larger show as well as the AQHA.

Pete says plusses include bigger AQHA classes and an NRCHA 3-year-old event at low cost. “It seems like it will be a win-win for all involved,” said Pete, who has also talked with Bob Avila, Benny Guitron, Doug Williamson, Al Dunning, Jimmy Stickler about the idea. Anyone interested in this concept, give Pete a call or e-mail him at

Bill Miller, Tolar, Texas, who missed working at the NCHA Futurity due to knee surgery, will be back as the cowman for the NCHA at the NCHA super Stakes, scheduled for April 1-20 in Fort Worth. Miller has never competed as a cutter, but has worked the cattle for the NCHA for 25 years.

Kaila Mussell, the first and only professional female saddle bronc rider and member of the PRCA, proved she’s a cowgirl, by entering the saddle bronc event at the Fort Worth Stock Show. She was the first female to compete against male bronc riders in the show’s 90-year history.

Kaila, 29, a native of Canada living in Stephenville, Texas, didn’t hae a lot of luck with her Fort Worth Stock Show bronc, bucking off in 3.6 seconds. She joined the PRCA in 2000 and earned her first PRCA check two years later. She moved to Texas in 2005. When asked why she chose to ride broncs, she said she loves it.

With the help of saddlemaker Wendy Allen, Dublin, Texas, Kaila recently came up with a saddle bronc saddle built specifically for her because “women have special needs according to their body structure.” Wendy Allen also makes cutting horse saddles.

Kaila has already seen the difference in riding in a saddle that fits perfectly and is confident that it will allow her to make the world-class rides she so greatly wants to achieve – and possibly even qualify for the prestigious National Finals Rodeo. For more information, contact Kaila at (254) 977-3328 or


Jan. 18, 2008
Young Gun, the 1988 son of Freckles Playboy out of the legendary mare, Lenaette, the winner of the 1975 NCHA Futurity sired by Doc O’Lena, died in a tragic accident on Dec. 18 when he broke his leg while he was cast in his stall and had to be euthanized. The stallion was bred and owned by Terry and Sharon Riddle, Wynnewood, Okla.

Ridden by Terry, the stallion had $34,750 in lifetime earnings. His largest paycheck of $15,437 came from the championship of the 1992 Bonanza 4-Year-Old Open. However, showing the signs of a great sire, he outbred himself, siring 210 money earners, which won close to $3 million. His offspring winning the most money was a 1994 Paint gelding, Big Gun (P), out of Ladys Son Ofa Doc by Son Ofa Doc, with earnings of $229,219 (according to He also sired Young Gun Classic, a 1994 gelding out of Juanitas Classic by Docs Classic, with $162,715 in lifetime earnings.

Young Guns Babe, a 1997 daughter of Lizzielena by Doc O’Lena, won $146,664 and Miss Kitty Wilson, a 1994 mare out of Wilsons Gay Jewel by Doc Wilson, won $116,779. Other greats include Malenas Gun,$97,374, Hesa Magnum PI, $87,214, Young Rey Gun, $86,490, Young N Freckless, $83,691 and Miss Toot N Shoot, $81,426.

Young Gun is also a leading maternal grandsire. In 2006, he was listed 23rd by Equi-Stat for maternal grandsires, with grandbabies earning over $250,000. He was the sire of the dams of Woody B Gun Shy, $207,334 and Livin Lavida Loca, $83,482. QHN rated him the 31st leading cutting sire over the past five years, with 126 offspring earning over $1,164,147.

Young Gun was buried on the Riddle Ranch, alongside his dam, Lenaette.


Jan. 14, 2008


It's been 10 months and although Oscar Black owes over $18 million and 32 head of cattle to the First National Bank in Weatherfod and Wells Fargo, he is still a free man with no criminal charges filed against him. He has also has had over $4.7 million in judgments filed against him in Parker County district court since March.

According to a Jan. 7 article by Galen Scott in the Weatherford Democrat, following the seizure of financial records from Black's Mortgage Company in March, Weatherford Police indicated one or more arrests in the case were likely. However, due to the possible violation of federal law, the local authorities turned the Black investigation over to the FBI.

According to Assistant Parker County District Attorney Jeff Swain, the FBI officials have been working with the United States Attorney's Office for the Northn District of Texas to determine the direction of a possible federal prosecution. That case is still pending.

A number of local citizens and businesses are suing Black separately, including several members of the cutting community, who invested funds with Black, who promised them abnormally high returns. No one seeems to know here Black is living at the present time.

An Oklahoma "Swing" CD, celebrating Western Swing, has been produced by NCHA member Pat Jacobs. The CD features Jacobs on the bass, plus Red Steagall, Leon Rausch, Barry Corbin, Dave Alexander and several others.

From 1957-58, Jacobs played bass on Hurshul Clothiers "Oklahoma Travelers Road Band." Later, the renowned writer and playwright Thomas McGuane introduced Jacobs to Jimmy Guresco, who owned Caribou Studios, one of the leading studios in the world. A mutual friendship formed and as a result of some "horse trading,, Jacobs acquired three days of recording time. He contacted Hurshul Clotheir and they put their headsd together and selected the very best Western swing musicians available. Ironically, they were all from Oklahoma or had Oklahoma ties.

In 1982, they made a recording; however, they let it die in the can. Shortly before Hurshul's death in 2006, he gave Jacobs the original tapes and told him to "do something with this." jacobs teamed up with Dave Alexander, whose father, Ashley Alexander, played trumpet and trombone on the original recording. In a labor of love, they produced the Oklahoma Swing Project.

The CD is available for purchase from Pat Jacobs for $15 plus $2.95 shipping and handling. Contact Jacobs at or 2825 Brookhollow Drive, Burleson, Texas. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. Jacobs said that all e-mail orders will be mailed promptly and billed later.

Bill Baldwin, who took some of the most famous photographs of Doc Bar, will be continuing his photography business as The Image Maker in North Texas. Bill, who now lives in Peaster, Texas, can be reached at (817) 594-1672 or (951) 837-1551. He can be e-mailed at

Don and Jan Shugart with NCHA President Bob Mayfield (left)

Talking about photographers, Don Shugart made his last appearance as the official photographer of the NCHA during the 2007 NCHA Futurity.However, Don will continue making farm calls, taking photos.The new official photographer of the NCHA has not yet been announced.

The Thoroughbred Times has reported that for the third consecutive year, the Jockey Club will send representatives to inspect broodmares with early 2007 breeding or foaling dates. They will visit numerous farms in six states and one Canadian province, prompted by the increasing number of Thoroughbred foals reported as being born in the first several days of January and a concern as to whether the foaling dates were being reported accurately.

Besides playing host to the most lucrative event during the ProRodeo regular season, RodeoHouston also puts on quite a show. The roster of 21 entertainers scheduled to perform during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, March 3-22, represents a wide variety of musical tastes with a combined 18 Grammy awards, 73 Country Music Association awards and 90 Academy of Country Music Awards.

Country music superstar Tim McGraw opens the event on March 3, while his wife, Faith Hill, follows on March 4. The top names in country music, including Brooks & Dunn, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Rascal Flatts, among others, are scheduled to perform, as is legendary rocker John Fogerty and Miley Cyrus, the daughter of former chart-topper Billy Ray Cyrus and star of the hit Disney Channel show Hannah Montana.

Ray Baldin, 28, Fort Worth, Texas, recently took the NCHA Limited Age Rookie Of The year award which was presented during the 2007 NCHA Futurity. Baldwin was the Amateur Reserve Champion at three aged events.

Other winning rookies include the Senior Rookie Hunter Williams; Junor Rookie of the Year Travis Barton, and the Weekend Rookie of the Year Kathy Morrison.

Chris Benedict, Weatherford, Texas, was awarded the Zane Schulte Award during the NCHA Futurity, which is awarded annuallly in honor of Zane Schulte, the son of Tom and Barbra Schulte, Brenham, Texas, who died at age 17. The award is presented to a professional trainer who exemplifies the character Zane is remembered by including integrity, respect of peers, contributions to the industry, service values and excellence in the arena.

Copaspepto, a gelding by Peptoboonmsal out of Miss Martin Play by Freckles Playboy, was awarded the NCHA Horse of The Year Award. He is owned by the Jon Winkelreid's Marvine Ranch, Meeker, Colo., and was ridden by Tag ride to the championship of five aged events during 2007.

Linda Holmes, Longmont, Colo., was also inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame.

Tom Lyons, Grandview, Texas, was inducted into the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame on Jan. 10 at their museum in the Fort Worth Stockyards, Fort Worth, Texas. Lyons is a former president of the NCHA, was two-time NCHA World Champion and conducted 80 cutting schools for over 2000 students, both here and abroad.

Also inducted was PRCA All-Around Cowboy Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas; George Doak, Katy, Texas, and Carl Nafzger, Plainview, Texas. Don Edwards received the Spirit of Texas Award.

Remember for the 2008 breeding season, the EE Ranches and the horses that stand at that facility, which have offspring eligible for the 2008 NCHA Futurity, are offering a $100,000 Gelding Incentive for Amateurs and non-Pros in the 2008 NCHA Futurity. In 2007, the Incentive paid off $80,000 and in the Amateur class, the winnere of the incentive award received more than the class winner.

Brad and Anna Mitchell are the proud parents of Jayden Ian Mitchell, who was born Thursday, Jan. 3, weighing in at 9 pounds, 7 ounces. You can send your congratulations to 3625 Bear Creek Rd., Thompsons Station, TN 37179.


Jan. 6, 2008 – Van, Texas
Matlock Rose, a legendary five-time World Champion during four decades, died Saturday evening, Jan. 5, at his home in Van, Texas, with his wife Laverne at his side. He was 83.

Matlock was born in Little Elm, Texas, in 1924 and was riding horses before he could walk. He said that his dad was a pretty good horseman and taught him a lot. By the time, he was in his 20's, he was already a legend. He could rope and cut with the best rodeo cowboys as well as break and train horses for several different disciplines, including roping and cutting.

Matlock was an NCHA and AQHA World Champion five times on four different horses. He was one of those rare “cowboys' cowboy.”

He was not yet 30 when he started winning World Championships. In 1951, he was NCHA Reserve World Champion riding the great Jessie James. In 1962, he was Reserve Champion of the NCHA Futurity riding Peppy San and in 1965, he was again Reserve Futurity Champion riding Christmas Four.

In 1966 and 1967 he earned back-to-back World Championships on two different horses owned by Douglas Lake Cattle Co, Douglas Lake, B.C., Canada.. In 1966, he rode Stardust Desire and in 1967 he was aboard Peppy San. In 1969 he won his first NCHA Futurity championship riding Cee Bars Joan.

In 1971, Rose won his first NCHA Derby title riding Holly Bobby and was the NCHA National Champion riding McCue Sam. That same year, he was again Reserve Champion of the NCHA Futurity riding Cutter's Cee Bar. In 1974, Matlock rode Chunky's Monkey to the co-championship of the NCHA Derby and the following year, 1975, he was the NCHA World Champion riding Peppy's Desire. He was again NCHA World Champion in 1977 riding his stallion Peponita. That same year he won the NCHA Derby riding Tip It San.

In 1978, Matlock was Reserve Champion of the NCHA Derby riding Doc A'Lock. Riding Peponita in 1979 he again won the NCHA World Championship as well as the AQHA World Championship title.

His latest World title came in 1991 when he won the ACHA World title riding Deans Lucky Rose. He was also a member of the NCHA Riders and Members Halls of Fame, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and was the trainer of multiple NCHA and AQHA champion horses.

He has had hundreds of articles written about him, including a book “Matlock Rose The Horseman,” written by Sally Harrison and published by Fifth Leg Publishing, Arlington, Texas.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Covenant Church-Crossroads, 8690 Liberty Drive, Aubrey, Texas. Visitation will be Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. At the DeBerry Funeral Home, 2025 W. University, Denton, Texas. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Cutters In Action, the American Heart Association or the AQHA Foundation.

Pallbearers will be Dr. Charles Graham, Bubba Cascio, Mike East, Mark chestnut, Larry Sullivant and Frank Merrill. Burial will be in the Little Elm Cemetery.

Send cards to Verne at 6741 FM 16, Van, TX 75790 or Sam Rose, 10221 cole Rd, Pilot Point, TX 76258.





Jim and Carolyn Ware shown at an NCHA Convention.
Photo by Kurtz

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, Jim Ware, a partner in Western Bloodstock for nearly two decades, announced that he has resigned from Western Bloodstock, the National Cutting Horse Association's official sale company located in Weatherford, Texas, which is now owned by partners Milt Bradford and Ben Emison.

According to Bradford, "Jim resigned from Western Bloodstock to pursue other interests. It was an amicable departure and we wish him well."

A press release received by All About Cutting, reiterated how Ware was known for his uncanny ability to vividly describe the good qualities in sale horses and to recite multiple generations of their pedigrees by memory to packed auction crowds and he is also well known for his knowledge and implementation of stallion syndications.

“I am putting together a syndicate right now on one of the best 3-year-olds I have ever seen. Austin and Stacy Shepard own this dynamite young stallion whose name is Bamacat. He is by High Brow Cat and out of their great mare, MH San Tules Dually.

Ware began his auction career as a graduate of the legendary Superior Auction School in Decatur, Ill., in 1975, the same year he graduated from high school. He literally grew up in the stockyards owned by his father and was than 7. His relationship with Hall of Fame Auctioneer Ike Hamilton resembled that of father-son more than the master and student.

“My association with Western Bloodstock has been a great ride" said Ware; however, as they say, all good things must come to an end and I have decided this is the right time for me to make a personal change. Ben Emison and Milt Bradford have been fabulous partners and as a team, we broke every sale record imaginable in the cutting horse business. I wish them and the NCHA nothing but the best in the future.”

He says he has that particular syndication in motion at this time and is going to be focusing more on his personal properties in Texas and Louisiana and the development and sale of others.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 8, 2012

Professional Auction Services, who have received the contract to sell more than 400 horses previously owned by Rita Crundwell, who is accused of embezzling over $53 million during her 20-year-career as controller of the city of Dixon, Ill., has published the days of the sales and the horses that will be sold by the U.S. District Court.

There will be an online Auction held Sept. 11-12, containing mainly halter horses, a few performance horses and frozen semen. Horses offered online are at locations other than Dixon, Ill., and Beloit, Wis. There will be a preview for online auction horses at Allen Quarter Horses for two days. Dates will be announced upon approval. Inspection of the horses at any other time is by appointment only and requires approval of the U.S. Marshals Service. Horses at other locations will be by appointment through Professional Auction Services Inc. ( or call (800) 240-7900.
Click here for horses in online auction>>

The live auction of horses will be held at 1556 Red Brick Rd., Dixon, Ill., on Sept. 23-24 Online bidding for those horses will be available during the Live Auction. There will be no parking at the far; cars and trailers will be parked at a removed location and visitors will be shuttled to and from the farm.

Saddles and performance horses will be sold Sunday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23. Part 2 of the Performance Horses and halter horses will be held Monday, Sept. 24. A preview for the live auction horses will be held Thursday, Sept. 20-Saturday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment through Professional Auction Services, No. There will be no inspection at any other times.
Click here for horses in Live Auction>>
Click for tack>>

A “buyers premium” will apply to both the live and online auctions and not like a regular sale, the buyer will pay the sale costs which will be 10 percent for horses selling up to $250,000 and 8 percent will be charged for horses selling above $250,000. This Buyers Premium is added to the last bid price of each horse and has become an accepted manner to compensate the auctioneer in most types of auctions, including real estate. The U.S. Marshals Service requires that all compensation to the auctioneer be derived from the Buyer’s Premium. The U.S. Marshalls Service receives the full bid price amount.

It is the intent of the U.S. Marshalls Service to sell every horse. By regulation the USMS must maintain the right to approve or disapprove any sale. There will be a low minimum opening bid amount for all horses of $400.

A flyer listing all horses will be available via mail and sales catalogs will be available for download online and at the live auction only. Further details are available at
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Aug. 5, 2012
Keith Bradley, 79, the "Voice of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, died on Friday, July 20, at Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green, following complications due to diabetes, heart disease, and pneumonia. Bradley’s booming voice became familiar to many horse show exhibitors and spectators over the years, especially during reining events, when audiences would hang in anticipation of his announcement of “the score.”

He was inducted into the National Reining Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2007 and the All American Quarter Horse Congress Hall of Fame in 1996. Bradley had served as a horse show announcer at such events as the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the National Reining Horse Association’s NRHA Futurity. He was also a successful auctioneer and owner of Bradley Real Estate and Auction Service.

As an auctioneer, Bradley was active in the Ohio Auctioneers Association, where he had served as president. He was named to the group’s Hall of Fame in 2006. Bradley was also inducted into the Wood County Board of Realtors Hall of Fame in 2004, and was voted Wood County’s Best Auctioneer for 17 consecutive years.

In recent years, Bradley’s health forced him to move out of the horse show spotlight, and he suffered a stroke in 2011. “We have lost one of the greatest men in the world,” said Peggy Brigham, his office manager and constant companion.

A memorial visitation for Keith took place Tuesday, July 24, 2012 from 2–8 p.m. at the Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home and Crematory in Bowling Green. A Celebration of Life Service took place on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at the Remembrance Chapel of the funeral home. Burial services was in the Plain Township Cemetery.Memorial contributions may be gifted in Mr. Bradley’s honor to the Make-a-Wish Foundation or to the donor’s choice.
Online condolences, as well as fond memories, may be shared at


Aug. 4, 2012
George Wallen, Clermont, Fla., passed away on Friday, July 27 at the age of 74. George, a long-time rancher on Wadmalaw Island, bred and raised Quarter Horses, especially cutting horses, and Santa Gertrudis cattle. Most cutters knew him as a founding member of the Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity, serving actively as president since 1992. He competed in and won cutting competitions all over the southeastern United States. In 2011, he was voted into the Atlantic Coast Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame.

He was born on Jan. 30, 1938 in West Palm Beach, Fla., to Anne and Gunny Wallen long-time ranchers on Wadmalaw Island. He was educated at Porter Military Academy, Phelps Academy, attended The Citadel and served in the United States Air Force. He loved to dance and raced sports cars.

He is survived by his wife Freddie Adams, of Folly Beach. She was a long-time veterinarian assistant and an exceptional equestrian who shared George’s love of all animals. The couple were married for 18 ½ years. George is also survived by his younger brother Gump, Charleston, S.C., and younger sister, Anne Adair, Merritt Island, Fla. He also has four nephews, Gunny, Nat and Michael Wallen.

George’s lightning wit, relentless sense of humor and his unabashed twinkle were his signature traits. All who knew and loved him will feel a huge hole where this cowboy once walked.

A celebration of George’s life will be held in Charleston, S.C., and will be announced a week to 10 days before the event. Anyone wishing to send a gift in George’s name can send it to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. or the Augusta Futurity Youth Scholarship Fund. You can visit his guestbook at


Aug. 2, 2012
Freckles Playboy is one of five horses being inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame at the associations 2013 convention in Houston, Texas. Five individuals will also be inducted.

Five horses, including three horses who are part of the foundation of today’s cutting horses, and five individuals will be inducted into next year’s AQHA Hall of Fame, during ceremonies at the 2013 AQHA Convention to be held March 8-11, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, Texas. They will join the 144 people and 89 horses currently in the AQHA Hall of Fame.

The horses include three stallions and two mares, all deceased. Three of them have helped form the cutting horse industry: Freckles Playboy, Fillinic, Poco Tivio, Lady Bug’s Moon and Miss Olene. The individual, all men, include: Bill Brewer, Amarillo, Texas; Kenny Hart, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.; Frank Merrill, Purcell, Okla.; the late Guy Ray Rutland, Independences Kansas and Greg Whalen, Clements, Calif.

According to the AQHA, the Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors available within the American Quarter Horse community and reserved to those who have made an exceptional contribution to the American Quarter Horse.

Freckles Playboy, a 1973 stallion by Jewel’s Leo Bars by Sugar Bars out of Gay Jay by Rey Jay, was a leading sire and maternal grandsire of some of the best athletes in the cutting and performance horse industry. Bred by Marion Flynt, Midland, Texas, he was Co-Reserve Champion of the 1976 NCHA Futurity. Following Flynt’s death, he was owned by Kay Floyd, Stephenville, Texas. He sired offspring who earned $24.56 million in NCHA competition, $125,696 in NRHA competition, $285,596 in NRCHA competition and $176,970 at the AQHA World Championship Show. Even today, he is a leading maternal grandsire and shows up in the pedigrees of most of the industry’s successful cutting horses.

Fillinic, owned by Greg Ward, Tulare, Calif., who rode her to many championships in the NRCHA, was a 1957 mare by Arizona Junie out of Alouette by Master Boss (TB). She produced 10 foals who earned $130,834, including Reminic, a 1978 stallion by Doc’s Remedy who earned more than $90,000 and then sired offspring who won nearly $4 million in reining, cutting and reined cow horse competition. She was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Fame in 2003.

Poco Tivio, a 1947 stallion foaled on the Waggoner Ranch in Texas, was owned by Floyd Boss, Fresno, Calif. He was sired by AQHA Hall of Famer Poco Bueno and out of Sheilwin by Pretty Boy. He was a full brother to AQHA Hall of Famer Poco Lena. He began cutting when it was just taking off as a sport and in 1952, he headed the list of AQHA Champions. He was shown by legendary trainers such as Milt Bennett, Don Dodge and Charley Araujo before siring horses that showed in halter as well as performance events. He sired 10 AQHA Champions. He is remembered by many horsemen as the broodmare sire who made Doc Bar legendary, as many of his best offspring were out of Poco Tivio daughters.

Lady Bug’s Moon was best known as a broodmare sire of top racehorses and barrel horses. Foaled in 1966, he was the son of Top Moon out of FL Lady Bug by Sergeant. Owned by his breeder Marvin Barnes, Ada, Okla., he earned $191,536 on the track and sired earners of more than $4 million, including one World Champion Chicory Moon. He also sired Shawne Bug, a leading barrel horse sire. At the time of his death in 1995, he was the fifth all-time leading broodmare sire of money earners.

Miss Olene, a 1957 daughter of Leo out of Barbara L by Patriotic (TB) – both AQHA Hall of Famers - was a winning Quarter Horse with earnings of $31,022 and had a record of 11-3-3 in 33 starts. She produced 17 foals who earned $700,673 on the track in the 1960s and 1970s. Her 1972 daughter was the World Champion Aged Mare twice. She was bred by the late Bruce Green, Purcell, Okla., and was last owned by Herbert Dillon and Myron Palermo of Houston.

Bill Brewer was executive vice president of the AQHA from 1992 to 2009. During his tenure, the Association registered its 5 millionth horse and grew to a membership high of more than 350,000. His career with the AQHA lasted 40 years. Although retired, he recently served as the interim Executive Director of the National Cutting Horse Association.

Frank Merrill co-founded Windward Stud, a stallion station that bred more than 25,000 mares and stood 92 stallions. He joined the AQHA Board of Directors in 1980 and became an AQHA Executive Committee member in 2003. He served as AQHA president in 2007-08. Frank, his wife Robin and children are currently involved in the cutting horse industry.

Kenny Hart was a winning jockey of the AQHA for 35 years. In 1977, he became the first jockey to exceed $1 million in annual earnings. In 1985, he was the AQHA champion jockey, as well as the leading jockey by money earned and races won. Hart now serves as a steward of Ruidoso Downs, where he was inducted into the track’s Hall of Fame.

The late Guy Ray Rutland was a leading breeder of racehorses, along with his wife, Mildred, breeding horses who earned over $1.9 million in AQHA racing. They included Pacific Dan, the 1974 champion racing 3-year-old gelding who set six track records, and his sire, Pacific Bailey, one of the leading sires of racing ROM earners in the 1970s and 1980s.

Greg Whalen, a longtime breeder and world champion exhibitor of Quarter Horses, celebrated his first world championship with Opie’s Pride in the 1974 AQHA World Championship Show. He was also an AQHA judge for 14 years. He and his wife, Mary, have bred foals earning 7,821 halter points and 700.5 performance points in all divisions, with more than $210,000 in AQHA incentive Fund earnings. He was also known for training amateur and youth competitors and mentoring young trainers.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 21, 2012

"Midnight" was one of the most famous sculptures created by Jack Bryant, who died Saturday, July 14, at age 83.

Whenever cutters go through the West front doors of the Amon Carter Exhibit Hall at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, they can’t miss the huge bronze of Midnight, the famous bucking horse, which was sculpted by Western artist Jack Bryant. The 83-year-old artist’s talented hands were stilled on Saturday, July 14 when he died from complications related to dementia at his home in Springtown, Texas. According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram by Bill Hanna, quoting Bryant’s son Jack Bryant Jr., of Azle, he had continued to work until the last few weeks.

Born in 1929, Bryant was a self-taught artist who dropped out of school after the sixth grade, never learning to read or write, and soon became known for both his realistic and bronze work – generally of animals, landscapes and historic cowboy themes. Midnight was a fixture on the rodeo circuit in the 1920s and early 1930s and is possibly one of Bryant’s most famous sculptures.

Bryant was born on April 1, 1929 to Al Thomas and Evie Lucy Bryant. He became a jack-of-all-trades, including being a rock mason, plumber, farmer and an artist. In 1952, he married Clarice Ronsley at the North Side Church of Christ and, fortunate for all of us who love the old West, became a full-time artist.

In addition to his wife and son, survivors include daughters Cynthia Bryant, Springtown and Sherry Peters-Anderson and Trudenia Shaw, both of Azle; a sister Brenda Bryant also of Azle; 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

His funeral was Tuesday, July 17 at the Briar Church of Christ and he was buried in Azeland Cemetery.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 17, 2012?

Tom Tofell, 66, Millsap, Texas, died unexpctedly on Friday, July 13. Services will be held during the NCHA Summer Spectacular at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 18 at the Amon Carter Building at Will Rogers Memorial Center.

It’s not often that an NCHA major aged-event class is delayed due to someone’s death. However, that is going to happen Wednesday, July 18, when the first go of the Amateur Classic/Challenge will be delayed one hour for an 11 a.m. memorial service for Tom Tofell in the South Texas Room in the Amon Carter Building of the Will Rogers Memorial Center. The services will be officiated by Joe Howard Williamson and Dr. Jim Sanders.

According to reports, Tom Tofell, 66, from Millsap, Texas, well known and well liked in the cutting horse and race horse industry, had been spraying weeds, without wearing a mask, at the Jim Ware Ranch when suddenly he started feeling bad. It wasn’t long before he was exhibiting violent, flu-like symptoms and became overheated, possibly suffering a heat stroke.

He was transported to Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he became incoherent and after several tests and even an operation for kidney stones, his body finally just stopped functioning. He passed away Friday, July 13. Visitation is today at Whites Funeral Home in Weatherford, Texas.

Tom is survived by Jan, his wife of 27 years, daughter Lisa, Weatherford, brother and sister-in-law James and Kathy Tofell, Roseburg, Ore. He was well liked by everyone and according to friends, “never met a stranger.”

When Wayland Long found out about Tom’s death, he posted on All About Cutting’s Face book: “Tom Tofell is in heaven right now, stealing the Huffaker leg wraps out of Bobby Finger’s trailer to wrap Jae Bar Fletch with. For those of you who did not know him, Tom took care of the legendary Jae Bar Fletch until the day the stud passed away. You never saw that stud with a speck of dirt on him, he was always waist deep in shavings, and I think Tommy loved him more than Kenny (Patterson) or Ernest (Cannon) did. Fletch won the Open the same year I won the non-Pro and Tommy was as good a friend as I ever had in cutting. The NCHA has lost a good one.”

Wayland’s sister, Lisa, said, “Stanley and Kenny are telling stories with Tom today. Tom always had a positive word during those down times while we were all hauling. Such a gentle spirit. God bless his family.”

Nanci Holtsford said, “Tom was such a gentleman, quiet, observant, kind and helpful. We were all blessed to know him.”

Tom also helped many other horsemen and breeders, including Leon Harrel, Dan Lufkin and his Oxbow Ranch and Texas Congressman Tom Loeffler. According to an article by NCHA’s Sally Harrison, he was a Quarter Horse racing partner and long-time associate of Jim Ware of the Western Bloodstock Auction Company, who will serve as one of his pallbearers.

Other pallbearers will be Vin Betenbough, Todd Bimat, Mike Haack, Eddie Howard, Joe Landers, Bruce Lusk, Dennis Moreland, Chris Ray DVM and Bart Tofell. Honorary pallbearers will be Ernest Cannon, Leon Harrel, D. Wayne Gilbreath, Gary Halousek, Neal Halousek, Wayne Hodges, Gordon Johnson, Gary Kennell, Dan Lufkin, Robert Lewis DVM, Bobby Nelson, Gayle Trotter DVM and Sam Wilson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Tom’s honor to the National Youth Cutting Horse Association Scholarship Fund, c/o NCHA, 260 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 8, 2012

Taylor Langdon has become a force to be reckoned in both the cutting and barrel racing events. Taylor is shown riding One Stylish Dude to the semifinals of the Amateur during the 2007 NCHA Futurity.
Photo by Forrrest

Taylor Langdon, now 21 years old, started out her interest in horses as a cutter; however, when she was a junior in high school, she got interested in barrel racing. But the daughter of Tony and Lisa Langdon, Aubrey, Texas, has been a “force to be reckoned with” in both disciplines.

Her first major cutting competition was in 2007 at the age of 16 when she rode One Stylish Dude a gelding by Docs Stylish Oak out of Master Tari by Master Merada in the Amateur Division of the NCHA Cutting Futurity. Following two go-rounds, the pair were the high-scoring horse and rider; however, according to Tony, “she ‘got smoked’ at the tail end of her run in the semifinals. The pair also made the Amateur finals in the NCHA Super Stakes Classic and Derby during the following years before he was sold in 2009.

She then became interested in barrel racing and trained her first barrel horse, Young Sidekick (nicknamed Sidekick), a 4-year-old Young Gun gelding that had been taken out of cutting training. When she graduated from high school, she received another horse, BB Frenchgirl (nicknamed Frenchy) from her parents for her high school graduation present.

When she left for college at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and as a new member of the the rodeo team, she had two 5-year-old horses in tow: Frenchy, a daughter of PC Frenchman out of a Thoroughbred mare and Sidekick.

Since Frenchy was a started barrel horse - but not fully trained, Taylor’s main horse was Sidekick while she trained Frenchy, with the plan being to run Frenchy the following summer. However, Sidekick got sick in the middle of the year and she had to replace him with Frenchy.

Taylor shown with her two top barrel horses, Sidekick and Frenchy, during the 2010 AQHA World Show where she won the Amateur Barrel Racing title and was Reserve in the Senior Barrels.

After a month or so, Taylor and Frenchy clicked, but due to the lost time, Taylor finished fifth for the year, not quite enough to qualify for the top three in the Southwest Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) that went to the College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR). But the pair was obviously on their way to the winner’s circle as they had won seven to nine wins in a row, including Stephenville, Texas, the last rodeo of the season. But what they did accomplish was winning the AQHA World Champion Amateur Barrel Racing title that year, which was the first year she was eligible to compete in the AQHA World Show. The mare also took her to the Reserve World Championship in Senior Barrel Racing.

In 2011, Taylor was again the AQHA World Champion in Amateur Barrels riding Frenchy and was Reserve Champion of the AQHA’s Battle in The Saddle Better Barrel Racing (BBR) event. The pair also won the Southwest Region in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), with Frenchy being named "The Horse Of The Year," and finished fifth at the College National Finals Rodeo. She was part of the Women’s Team from Texas Tech, which was named the 2011 NIRA Southwest Region Champions. She was also the 2011 Texas Cowboys Rodeo Association Rookie of the Year and was a Finals qualifier. She also qualified for the Finals of the United Professional Rodeo Association.

Taylor and her barrel horse Frenchy, an 8-year-old daughter of PC Frenchman out of a Thoroughbred mare, that she received as a graduation present from her parents, Tony and Lisa Langdon.

So far this year, Taylor was Reserve Champion Barrel Racer in the NIRA Southwest Region, with the Women’s Team being named the NIRA Southwest Region Champions. Her most recent success was finishing fifth in the barrel racing event at the 64th College National Finals Rodeo (CNFR), held June 10-16 in Casper, Wyo. As one of the top barrel racing contestants from the Southwest Region, Taylor also helped the Women’s Team become the College National Finals Rodeo Champions – for the first time in the Southwest Region’s history.

Commenting on her run at this year’s College National Finals, Tony, who is well-known in the cutting horse sales and auction industry, said, "She didn't have a great run during her first go-round," said "but finished second in the second go-round with a 14.07." Her 14.09 in the finals gave the pair a total of 57.38 in the average, good enough for fifth place. The total winning time on three runs, made by Liz Combs, from Sam Houston State University, was 56.47, only nine-tenths of a second faster than Taylor’s three runs.

The top three students in each event and top two men's and women's team from the NIRA's 11 regions compete all year to qualify for the CNFR. The events are all rodeo events and include saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying. Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges compete in Casper each year.

Her latest accolades also include the AQHA event, Battle In The Saddle, held this week in Oklahoma City, Okla., with Taylor winning one day of the AQHA Open Barrels with a 15.519 and finishing second another day, running a 15.458, garnering enough points to qualify Frenchy for the Senior Barrels at the upcoming AQHA World Show. She had already qualified him in the Amateur

The pair also finished fourth in the finals with a 15.480 in the $6,000-added Better Barrel Racing (BBR) 2012 Regional Challenge Tour, taking home a paycheck of $1,370.35, including her second-place finish one day (15.519) and third another day (15.458). Her younger gelding Da Fast Lane Ta Fame also made the finals of the BBR, after running a 2D time of 15.866 in the first go-round and 1D time (15.814) in the second go-round. In the finals, he ran a 16.028, which was in 2D time.

Commenting on why she enjoys her switch to barrel racing. Taylor recently said, "To be successful at cutting, you have to have a trainer and cows," said Taylor. "For barrel racing, I train my horses and all I need is three barrels and an arena. It's so much simpler and I can do it at home - just me and my horse."

She attributes the horsemanship skills she gathered through riding and showing cutting horses to her success on the barrel pattern. “It’s unbelievably helpful with a barrel horse because you have to be athletic to show in both of those events,” said Taylor.

Aside from her horsemanship skills and athleticism, Tony also feels that Taylor’s competitive spirit is another reason for her success. “She never seems to get nervous,” says Tony. “She just stays focused and trusts her mare."

Asked about her future plans for her the rest of 2012, Taylor said, “I'll being doing mostly AQHA stuff now and maybe a rodeo or two. I just don't want to wear out my horses in this heat."

And what about a future in professional barrel racing with the Women's Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA)? Responding to that question, Tony said , "Not until she graduates from college, which will be next year. That way, if all goes as planned, she will become a member on Oct. 1, 2013 and will have a chance to qualify for the NFR and become the Rookie of the Year in 2014.

Although she's majoring in exercise sports science and taking science classes at Texas Tech, Taylor says she is really interested in radiology; however, she said Tech doesn't teach radiology for people. "That’s what I want to do for a job," said Taylor, "because I realize it will not be cheap to be hauling up and down the road barrel racing."


June 3, 2012
Released by Ward River Ranch
Kingsburg, Calif.

Mister Smart Remedy, onwed by Larry and Sharon Rose, Lindsay, Calif., died unexpectedly June 30, 2012.

Mister Smart Remedy died unexpectedly on Saturday, June 30, 2012 at the age of 11. Larry and Sharon Rose of Lindsay, Calif., were the owners of the beloved stallion, often referred to as "Jack".

Mister Smart Remedy, born in 2001, was by Mister Dual Pep and out of Ima Smart Remedy; An NRCHA All-Time Leading Producer. The stallion was shown by Jon Roeser. As a three year old, the black stallion split 4th in the NRCHA Open Futurity (Champion of the Herd Work) and was the Fresno Open Snaffle Bit Futurity Reserve Champion. At four and five, he was NRCHA Open Derby top 10 in 2005 and top 15 finalist in 2006; top 10, 2006 NRCHA Open Stakes and 2006 NRCHA Open Hackamore Classic; 2006 Klamath Open Reined Cowhorse Derby Champion; 2006 Idaho RCHA Open Derby Co-Champion (Champion of the Herd Work); top 10, 2005 PCCHA Open Derby and Open Herd Champion at the 2005 NRCHA Hackamore Classic.

As an aged horse, he was the Open Bridle Spectacular Reserve Champion at the 2010 NRCHA Derby; 3rd in the Open Bridle at the 2010 NRCHA Stakes; 4th at the 2010 NSHA Stockhorse Classic Open Bridle Sweepstakes; Open Bridle Champion at the 2010 Salinas Rodeo; 4th at the 2009 NRCHA Magnificent 7; Open Bridle Reserve Champion at the 2007 NRCHA Hackamore Classic; 6th at the 2009 NSHA World's Richest Stockhorse Competition and 2007 PCCHA Spring Open Classic finalist. Mister Smart Remedy's lifetime earnings (LTE) exceeded $134,156.

Although way too brief, Mister Smart Remedy had an impressive breeding career. With only 26 foals of performance age, 10 being 3-year-olds of 2012, he sired Mo Mister Blue; 8th at the NRCHA Intermediate Open Futurity (Fence Work Co-Champion); South Dakota RCHA Open Futurity Reserve Champion; Black Hills NRCHA Open Hackamore Class 2 Champion; Black Hills NRCHA Open Hackamore Class 1 Reserve Champion; 9th at the Sagebrush Reined Cow Horse Open Futurity and earner of $8,998.82 as well as Mister Giggles; earner of $2,348. The stallion's largest foal crop will be born next year.

There is comfort in knowing that he has some outstanding performers and prospects.
Larry and Sharon would like to thank all of the mare owners who supported Jack by entrusting their mares to him, and his many fans.
For more information on Mister Smart Remedy, visit or call (559) 897-8616.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 28, 2012

The legendary sire Smart Chic Olena was humanely euthanized on June 24 at the age of 27.

When Bill Richardson, Whitesboro, Texas, purchased all of the Babcock horses from James Bond, who had purchased them from the Bankruptcy court last year, he sold most of them during the Babcock Ranch Dispersal Sale, held March 17-18, at the JL Cow Horse Arena in Whitesboro, Texas. One of the high-profile horses that he kept out of the sale was the 27-year-old Smart Chic Olena, the sire of performance horses who have earned close to $12 million. With respect to the legendary stallion, Richardson turned him out on a beautiful pasture at Carlton Crowe’s facility to spend the rest of his days with his favorite mare Brooksinic. However, those days ended on June 24 when Smart Chic Olena had to be euthanized.

The son of Smart Little Lena out of Gay Sugar Chic by Gay Bar King, was bred by Emily Woodall, New Caney, Texas. Other owners included the Venturous Five Partnership, Arlington, Texas in 1985; The Smart Ones, Valley View, Texas in 1989; D. Patrick Curran, Whitesboro, Texas, December 1996 and following a huge lawsuit over the ownership of the horse, Jim Babcock, Valley View, Texas in April 1998.

Smart Chic Olena earned $113,600 in lifetime earnings in cutting and reining events, including a third place in the 1989 NCHA Super Stakes, where he won close to $32,800. But his greatest accomplishment was his ability to sire great performance horses in the cutting, reining and reined cowhorse arenas. The Hall of Fame stallion sired offspring who won Championships in the NRHA Futurity plus AQHA, NRCHA and NCHA Champions.

According to Equi-Stat, he had 896 money-earning offspring, including one foal who earned in excess of $400,000, four that won more than $300, 000, six with more than $200,000 and 22 with over $100,000. His No. 1 performer was Smart Spook out of Sugarplum Spook by Grays Starlight, with reining earnings of $405,650.


June 27, 2012
George R. Hearst Jr., 84, passed away on Monday, Jun 25 from complicatons following a stroke he had the first weekend in June at a club cutting.


George R. Hearst, Jr., 84, Paso Robles, Calif., passed away on Monday, June 25 at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, Calif., of complications following a stroke he had the first weekend in June while attending a club cutting at the Sundance Feed Lot in Bakersfield, Calif. He had attended the cutting to watch his trainer, Bonnie Johnson, show some of his horses. Hearst was chairman of the board of the Hearst Corporation.

Hearst is the billionaire grandson of media baron William Randolph Hearst and today his family’s media empire includes newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and stakes in cable networks ESPN, Lifetime and A&E. The family owns the 90,000-square-goot Hearst Castle in San Simeon, Calif. He and his wife, Susan, own the great Paint stallion Like A Diamond, a son of Grays Starlight out of Diamond Jewel Wood by Diamond Jim, who currently stands at Oswood Stallion Station in Weatherford, Texas.

According to local cutters Hearst was a very generous man and had done a lot for the community and the cutting industry.

He is survived by his twin sister Phoebe Hearst Cooke, Woodside; wife Susan and her daughter, Jessica Gonsalves, and her two children; his three children: George R. Hearst III, Stephen T. Hearst and Erin Hearst Knudsen; six grandchildren and five great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his oldest child Mary “Buny” Hearst Ives, who died in 2004. Services will be private and a celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
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By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 7, 2012

Rita Crundwell pleaded not guilty today to stealing more than $53 million from the city of Dixon, Ill.
Chicago Tribune photo

Represented by a public defender, Rita Crundwell, who had formally been indicted on Tuesday, May 1 for stealing more than $53 million from the city of Dixon, Ill., appeared in a Rockford, Ill., courtroom this morning, pleading not guilty. The city’s chief financial officer, as comptroller and treasurer, is accused of transferring money to a secret account since 1990 and using the money to create one of the nation’s leading horse-breeding operations and buying luxury homes, a $2.1 million motor home, several trucks cars and jewelry.
Click here for copy of indictment>>

Also, on Friday, May 12, U. S. District Judge Philip Reinhard ordered the forfeiture of Crundwell’s Dixon ranch to the U. S. Marshall Service, , including 311 horses across the country. Reinhard had granted Crundwell a restraining order giving the U.S. Marshals Service responsibility to oversee the horses’ care until Friday’s hearing.
Click here for Complaint For Forfeiture>>

Crundwell was arrested on April 17, 2012 by the FBI in Dixon, Ill., and was formally indicted on Tuesday May 1. When she was arrested, she stated that all of her horses had identification chips in their necks and she kept a list of horses on a “thumbdrive” storage device and that she used wrongfully obtained proceeds from the embezzled RSCDA account to pay for the upkeep of all the horses and purchase of others.

During a search of her city office, an electronic storage device, known as the “thumb drive” was seized. The records on the thumbdrive, as well as records from the American Quarter Horse Association, show Rita Crundwell as owner of the horses and their locations.

At Friday’s hearing, U.S. Attorney Joseph Pedersen told Reinhard that he wanted to preserve the value of the horses with an eye toward eventually putting them up for auction, stating that if they were not properly cared for and trained, their value would quickly diminish. Marshalls have said they will hire professionals to feed and care for the horses and inventory them to assess their value, as well as submit a request to sell them. Crundwell had been released from custody and was helping inventory the horses, but was not directly taking part in their care.


May 2, 2012
According to the Associated Press, Rita Crundwell, 58, the chief financial officer of the city of Dixon, Illinois, actually embezzled $53 million since 1990, rather than the $30 million the prosecutors originally thought she had siphoned since 2006 from the city of 16,000 residents, whose annual budget averaged less than $9 million. The $53 million goes back an additional 16 years.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday, April 26 against Crundwell for one count of wire fraud for placing the money into a secret account that she owned. Prosecutors have announced plans to try to seize her 311 registered Quarter Horses and dozens of foals that are expected to be born this spring, as well as more than a dozen trucks, trailers, motorized farm equipment, a $2.1 million motor home, a pontoon boat and cars, as well as $224,000 in cash from two bank accounts. They are also seeking criminal forfeiture of two residences: a horse farm in Dixon and a home in Florida.

Crundwell, a nationally well-known breeder and exhibitor of American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) World Champion horses, has bred horses that have earned 52 AQHA World championships, 52 AQHA All-Around Awards, 57 Superior Awards, 243 Register of Merit Awards plus won $490,056 in AQHA Incentive Fund money – plus AQHA World Show and NSBA earnings. For eight years in a row, she was the AAHA leading owner and was even on the cover of the Quarter Horse Journal.

It is alleged that over the years, she created phony invoices that she characterized as being from the state of Illinois and then put that money from a city account into another account, which she repeatedly used for personal use. She reportedly used the state’s much-publicized dire financial straits to her advantage, telling city officials that the state was late in payments as a way to conceal her transfers of funds and her spending.

Crundwell will be arraigned May 7 in U. S. District Court in Rockford, Ill. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 28, 2012

Marilyn Harris, Cave Creek, Ariz., is an accomplished horsewoman, but a newcomer to cutting. She loves the sport and has figured out a short cut to success!

When Marilyn Harris showed up at the February Las Vegas Cutting Horse Association Show at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas, Nev., she knew she didn’t have a lifetime to learn how to become a successful cutter. It was only her third show to compete in and she was just learning about the sport of cutting.

But that didn’t deter the 63-year-old Cave Creek, Ariz., horsewoman, who had ridden most of her life, but never experienced competing in the cutting arena. She set out her plan, which included 1) finding, buying and riding the horse power that would take her to the winner’s circle and 2) make up for the lack of experience and her age by converting the five years of experience she was told it would take to be successful, into four classes at each show.

Her first show was in January, an AQHA cutting at the Sun Circuit. From there, she went to a five-day NCHA show in Queen Creek, Ariz. Following the Queen Creek show, Marilyn went to a club cutting prior to hauling to South Point.
“I showed in 18 classes,” said Marilyn. “As I told someone, every time the gate opened, I was walking in. But I really needed to do that to just get that experience. The riding is not the difficult part, it’s everything else. They told me it took five years to learn how to cut and I said, ‘No, No. I don’t have five years. I’ve got to do this fast forward.’"

“So I went in the $15,000 Amateur, the $35,000 Non-Pro, the $2,000 Limited Rider and the $1,000 Limited rider. I had some moments of brilliance and some just, ‘Oh my gosh, that was the longest two-and-a-half-minutes of my life.’ But I did learn every penalty and what it feels like because I did them all at one time or another. But I ended up winning four or five classes and got checks in a third of them. I got a fair amount of 60s and my high was a 73 – and I scored everything in between”

The 73 1/2 that Marilyn scored in the $2,000 Limited Rider class at South Point, was her highest score, she said, "I could have won the NCHA Futurity Non-Pro and I wouldn't have been any happier."
Photo by Midge Ames

At the South Point show, the 73 ½ Marilyn scored in the $2,000 Limited rider class, finishing second and was the highest score she had ever made. “I love it but it’s very humbling,” said Marilyn, putting in a nutshell what she thought of cutting. “After scoring that 73 1/2 , I could have won the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity and I wouldn’t have been any happier because just the class before, I was terrible.” At the time of the South Point show, Marilyn said she had won from $1,200 to $1,500 in lifetime cutting earnings.

“I have a positive approach to it and the people have been so welcoming and so nice to me. I have a wonderful teacher in Tom Lyons; I think he’s taught half of the people in the arena. He’s demanding because he wants his students to do well, but that’s what I need. It is a great learning experience. I even rode Tom’s horse Tassa Cat in the $2,000 Limited Rider class. That’s been awesome, just cutting and sitting back and letting the horse do the work. He’s a lot of fun.”

Marilyn was raised in Arizona with her family owning a cattle ranch that her grandfather bought in 1917 and has been in the family ever since. Today she is the owner/manager of the ranch for the family, as they also have an on-site manager. She grew up in Phoenix riding horses most of her life, starting with old ranch horses that were “in semi-retirement” from the Southeast Arizona cattle ranch to the family cotton farm in Glendale, Ariz., located near Phoenix.

“I grew up riding an old, crippled ranch horse and other war horses bareback after they had been put to pasture. These horses were so smart; they’d get me out in the cotton fields, far from the barn, and then they’d buck me off. So I was determined I wasn’t going to get bucked off – so I did learn how to ride bareback. I started showing when I was about 10. I showed in pleasure, trail, equitation, stock horse, all-around and horsemanship in American Horse Show Association (AHSA) shows in Arizona and California.”

Marilyn grew up with Al Dunning and they showed horses together when they were 12 or 13. Then she started riding reining horses, competing in reined cow horse and stock horse events, as well as high school competition. “Then I got married and had two children and didn’t show very much for awhile,” said Marilyn.

In the 1970s, she had snaffle bit horses and did work out of a herd and “although it’s the same concept,” Marilyn says, “It’s different because you’re using two reins with a snaffle or a bridle and a romal.” In fact, Tom Lyons had a snaffle bit horse that he rode for her then. In 1981, Marilyn went to a Tom Lyons and Leon Harrel cutting clinic in Arizona. However, after that she rode reined cow horses on and off for 15 years, even showing in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity once. “I didn’t place, but I enjoyed it,” said Marilyn. “It was good experience.”

Marilyn and her husband even played polo together; however, the marriage ended in a “friendly” divorce. Then her daughter started showing reining and cow horses, riding with Randy Paul and Al Dunning. “I rode with her and started entering Quarter Horse shows,” said Marilyn. “My son was more interested in team sports like golf and tennis. He would do ranch branding and the round-up with us down at the ranch, but he wasn’t real crazy about it. But my daughter loved it so she showed quite a bit.

“Then, in 2000, when she went to college, I started riding again and got very serious with the cow horses and started showing and working with Jimmy Paul. I started showing a nice mare in bridle events and was successful at that. When they had the three events in the Bridle Spectaculars, I became a little bit involved with cutting. Again, it’s the same concept, but different. In the bridle you’ve got the romal and it’s called “reined” cow horse, so they almost expect you to rein some.”

Today, Marilyn’s daughter, Hailey Harris, lives in San Francisco and works for Goldman Sachs. “She just called me in the middle of the night and told me she met a wonderful young man from Dallas and they were planning on getting married,” said Marilyn. “He grew up in Baton Rouge, La., went to SMU and Tulane Business School and is involved in commercial real estate development in Dallas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. So now I am fitting in planning a wedding between my cuttings.

”Her son, Wyatt Harris, lives in New York City and works in the business development department for the new CBS Sports Network, which is the cable part of CBS.

In March of 2011, I had a wonderful cow horse bred by Carol Rose named Irish A Shine, sired by Paddys Irish Whiskey out of a Shining Spark mare named Shine O Lena. The pair was successful in AQHA shows and won a World Championship in the NRCHA in San Angelo, Texas. “I loved that mare, but the older I got, my children started pushing me, saying, ‘Mom, why don’t you start cutting? It’s not quite so dangerous. It’s fun and you have a lot of friends who are cutters. Then in March of last year, my horse fell on me when we were running on wet and slippery ground going down the fence.”

Marilyn hurt her ankle in the fall and it was then that she seriously began thinking that maybe her children were right, even though she loved the working cow horse event. “It was then that I started thinking about cutting. I went to the big NCHA Futurity in Fort Worth. I watched it and realized what an exciting event it is. I was captivated by it and decided, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I knew that cutting was all about the horse power so I knew I had to get some good horses.

“So I sold my mare to a wonderful woman who trains with my trainer, Jimmy Paul, and loved her so much. So Jimmy’s now showing her, the non-pro is showing her and they’re doing great and I’m very, very happy. So this summer, when I was still hobbling from my hurt ankle, Tom was in Colorado and found the horse I am riding now: Jumpin Cat Flash, a gelding by High Brow Cat out of a Grays Starlight mare. He bought him, even though I still wasn’t able to ride because I had also broken my finger while I was riding, so I bought him sight unseen.

“Tom rode him a couple of times and then he came to my house in Cave Creek, Ariz., but I didn’t get to ride him much at all because of my finger. I’ve ridden all my life and shown all different horses in different events: hunter-jumper, all-around, cow horses and reining and I’ve fallen and maybe been sore, but I’ve never hurt myself. With the broken finger, I really couldn’t ride.

“Tom had lots of people who wanted to buy Faith In My Cat,and he loves that horse so much and really wanted to keep showing him, so I ended up buying Faith In My Cat and told Tom to keep showing him and that when I’m ready, I’d start riding him.”

“Everything is different in cutting,” says Marilyn. “From the way you braid the tail vs. tying it up, the saddles and the chaps. I’m trying to get the feel of it. Some bits are the same, but not like cow horse bits which have a slobber bars and romal reins, opposed to split reins. But I had done enough with split reins that I was familiar with it.

“I still rely on Tom telling me which cow to pick because I have so many things to think about” said Marilyn. “If I had to sit and analyze each cow, I couldn’t. Now we look at herds and say, that’s the one black mott with the tear drop or the red, fuzzy one, so I know what cow he’s talking about. I’ve been on cattle so much over the years that I can read them pretty well, but in reined cow horse you get one cow and I felt so confident because I loved my mare and with one cow – good, bad, or ugly – you’ve got to work it, so I could read it. The timing and everything was easy with one cow. But when you’ve got the herd, it’s a whole different story.

“My experience with cattle helped but it’s all that ‘cutting for shape’ and everything else, so I have to forget what I know about reading cattle at this point and hopefully when I get to the next level, I can pick my cattle. But I’m not there yet. I just cut for shape or cut what he tells me to cut.”

Asked what she likes best about cutting, Marilyn said, “I think it’s the actual event of cutting. The social aspect of it is great but I have been fortunate to have ridden and shown most of my life and I have so many friends who ride and show, but it’s not something I didn’t have before.”

“I’d love to make the top 15 in one of my classes that I am in,” said Marilyn when asked about her goals in the cutting industry. “I’d also like to get my confidence up in my cutting ability so that I will be able to ride Faith In My Cat in the $50,000 Amateur. Those are my goals for this year: to have fun and to learn as much as I can.”

Asked if she is planning on entering any aged events in the future, Marilyn said, “I want to earn my stripes with these weekend shows first and see. I know it’s horse power. Once I really learn to ride this event, I am determined to keep Faith In My Cat forever but if I am hauling, I know that I need more than one horse.

So, if you see a beautiful, classy, well-dressed blonde woman at a show, more than likely with a camel-colored Shortys Caboy hat that perfectly matches her shirt and if she’s riding with perfect posture in the cutting pen on a well-trained horse, it could more than likely be Marilyn Harris. She bought the hat at the AQHA Select World Show in Amarillo, which has a special place in her heart. It is where she won the Cow Horse event twice and was reserve twice. She’s now up for the “cutting horse challenge.”


Feb. 26, 2012
Stanley Bush, 81, of Mason, Texas, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 26 at the Heart of Texas Memorial Hospital in Brady, after a lengthy illness.

Stanley, who was born in Denton County to Fred & Willie Williams Bush on Feb. 28, 1930, started out his horse career as a Thoroughbred race horse jockey, riding at major race tracks all around the country. Then, several years later, his brother-in-law, Matlock Rose, introduced him to the cutting horse world. He excelled as one of the top cutting horse riders in the world with a career spanning five decades. He rode many horses to the top of the world standings during this time as well as being inducted into several Hall of Fames honoring his cutting horse riding.

Stanley Bush is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Wanda Harper Bush of Mason; daughter Shanna Bush, a brother Billy Charles Bush and wife Carol, brother-in-law A.C. Harper and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by a brother Jimmy Bush and a sister Freddie Rose.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 2 pm at the Mason Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Rusty Felts presiding. Burial will be in the Harper/Bush Family Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Tom Tofell, Cotton George, Charlie Bush, Louis Bush, Roy Carter, Bobby Mayes, Roy Beaver, and Ben Walker. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Charlie Graham, Dr. Harry Mayo, Earnest Cannon, Sonny Rice, Sonny Davenport, Bud Munroe, Rusty Allen, Ryan Bush, Brad Squires, Silas Brandenberger, Bill Broiller, and Dr. Merlin McAnelly.

Visitation with the family will be Tuesday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Mason Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent to the family on-line at
Above information from Mason Funeral Home


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 20, 2012

Louise Serpa

The rodeo industry’s leading womanphotographer, Louise Serpa, had as a goal to live long enough to make it to the Tucson Rodeo, held Feb. 18-26, for the 50th time; however, that was one goal she didn’t make. Serpa, 86, succumbed to peritoneal (stomach) cancer on Jan. 6, three years after she was diagnosed with the disease. The Tucson Rodeo, celebrating its 87th annual event, will give a tribute to Serpa, whose images are currently featured in the photo gallery at

Serpa was born in 1925 in a high society family in New York City. According to an article in Tucson Business by Mary Levy Peachin, Serpa also had a rebellious spirit and during her debutante party, she shocked guests when she slid down the banister at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, tearing the back of her ball gown. Not long afterwards, a trip to Nevada made a lasting impression on her, as she said, “II thought I had died and gone to heaven.”

Serpa worked a summer job at a Wyoming dude ranch, where at 17 she met Lex Connelly who introduced her to rodeo – an event that would become her passion. Not riding in it – but chronicling it with a camera. Famed rodeo announcer Clem McSpadden once said, “She is the Ansel Adams of our sport.”

Even though Serpa studied opera at Vassar College and graduated with a degree in music, rodeo was her true love and she frequently interrupted her studies to watch rodeos at Madison Square Garden. However, after graduation, she married a Yale graduate, only to have it last a few years, after which she headed West, back to a place she loved.

In 1953, she married Nevada cowboy Gordon “Tex” Serpa and the couple moved to a ranch in Ashland, Ore., and started a family – two girls, Mia and Lauren. Unfortunately that marriage also ended and in 1960, Serpa and her daughters moved to Tucson. She dabbled in photography, taking images of cowboys competing in local rodeos; however, when her youngest daughter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, she started taking rodeo photographs one weekend, charging 75 cents each for the 5 x 7 images. It wasn’t long before she became legendary for her rodeo photographs.

Although she was never trained professionally in photography, she had a natural instinct for anticipating the action and in 1963, when the Rodeo Cowboys Association gave her permission, she was the first woman ever permitted inside a rodeo arena. While shooting in the arena, she had her sternum broke by a bull in Boulder City and was once squeezed against the fence by a bull.

She was also the first woman permitted on the course of England’s Grand National Steeplechase. She shot inside the ring at the Dublin Horse Show and was featured in a national PBS-TV documentary, “When the Dust Settles.” In 1995, her book “Rodeo” was published. She was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1999 and in 2002, the Rodeo Historical society honored her with the Tad Lucas Award, an award that recognizes contributions and achievements made to rodeo. Her archives have been donated to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.

Serpa died at home after Chemo no longer worked. She had said that the only way to get relief was from a shot of tequila. She is survived by her daughters Lauren Serpa and Mia Larocque; grandson, Taylor Grammar, all of Tucson; her sisters, Wendy Donahue of Rhode Island and Anne Browne of Washington. Louise and Mia, who also became a professional photographer, learning her trade from her mother have a current exhibit of their rodeo photography at the Tucson Airport Authority Gallery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a charitable donation be made to the Tucson Rodeo Committee/UofA Scholarship Fund. Funeral arrangements were taken care of Adair Funeral Homes, Dodge Chapel in Tucson.


Press release from APHA
Jan. 31, 2012

Billy Smith was recently named new Executive Director of the APHA. Smith comes from the AQHA, where he spent 13 years.

After a three-month national search that reviewed more than 40 candidates, the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) has named longtime equine association executive Billy Smith as its new Executive Director to lead APHA into its second 50 years of operation.

APHA hired MJM Global Search from Colorado to conduct the nationwide search. MJM Global Search came highly recommended as an executive search firm with extensive experience in Equine Association leadership recruiting.

"Billy's direct, confident answers to the Search Committee and the Executive Committee proved to be the deciding factor for all of us," says APHA President Scot Jackson. “After listening to his deep experience with leading efficient operations, directing marketing, and improving member service, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to select him as our next Executive Director."

Smith, 50, spent the last 13 years with the American Quarter Horse Association in both marketing and information technology positions, ending as Executive Director of Information Technology. Prior to that, Smith was a journalism/advertising professor at West Texas A&M University and freelance writer for various news and corporate publications.

“The whole interview process was refreshing and opened my eyes to the possibilities for APHA’s future,” Smith said. "I'm inspired by the history of the Paint Horse breed and can't wait for a chance to help craft the Paint Horse story across the globe. I felt a kindness and warmth from the APHA Executive Committee that truly energized me.”

“I am excited to welcome such a consummate professional to APHA,” Jackson said. “Together we will continue to strive to make APHA a progressive and successful breed organization. I look forward to working with Billy, and putting his expertise in member services, marketing, communications and information technology to work for APHA.”In his role as Executive Director of Information Technology, Smith redesigned the technology arm of the world’s largest breed registry by automating a paperless registration system and architecting a redesign of AQHA’s computing system. Prior to moving into information technology, Smith also initiated various marketing and database mining initiatives.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the brightest minds in the horse industry,” said Smith. “And I know I’ll have the opportunity to work with similarly talented staff at APHA.”Smith received a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech in 1999 along with a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from the University of North Texas in 1984.
He will begin his duties at APHA in February.

About APHA
The American Paint Horse Association (APHA), the international breed registry for the American Paint Horse headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2012. In fulfillment of its mission to collect, record and preserve pedigrees of the breed, APHA recognizes and supports 111 regional and international clubs, produces championship shows, sponsors trail rides and creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members' experiences with their horses. APHA has registered more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded, and now serves over 64,000 active youth and adult members around the world.


Jan. 4, 2012
Ted Pressley, 73, Aurora, Texas, founder and president of Cowboys for Christ passed away on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, 2011.

Ted was the editor/publisher of the Christian Ranchman, a Christian livestock tabloid newspaper that is circulated throughout the United States, Canada and many other foreign countries. Besides preaching and publishing, Ted was also the author of many Gospel Bible Studies and a syndicated column entitled “Rule Book Talk” that is published monthly in many livestock magazines and newspapers.

He graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, was pastor of two churches and had a radio broadcast in the Rocky Mountains called “Cowboy Chapel.” Before founding Cowboys For Christ in 1970, with a small but dedicated group of supporters working with cowboys in the rodeo profession, he was a rodeo hand, horse trainer and ranch manager of four Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred ranches, resort motel manager and a Florida bar/nightclub manager.

Visitation will be held Sunday, Jan. 8 from 4-6 p.m. at the Mount Olivet Funeral Home, 2301 N. Sylvania Ave., Fort Worth, Texas 76111. The funeral will be held Monday, Jan. 9 at 11:30 a.m. and burial will also be held Monday at 2 p.m. at the DFW Veterans Cemetery.

Pressley is survived by chiildren Russell alan Pressley and wife, Jana; Angela Pressley Summerville and Jon, and richelle Pressley Benton and husband Brad; grandchildren Michael Cobb, Matthew Summerville, Hunter Pressley, Baylor Benton and Campbell Benton; brother Dr. Richard Lamar Pressley and wife, Ann and other family members.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cowboys For Christ Ministry, or mailed to P.O. Box 7557, Fort Worth, TX 76111.


Dec. 19, 2011
Jill and Tom Long in happier times after a Futurity win at the South Point in Las Vegas.


Jill Long, Gardnerville, Nev., lost her battle with cancer on Dec. 18, 2011. Jill, a top non-pro with over $511,000 in lifetime earnings and the earner of a Bronze, Silver and Gold award, and her husband, Tom, who is a top trainer with close to $1.9 million in lifetime earnings, were a winning couple in the cutting arena and Jill will be missed.

According to a friend, Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July. She had surgery and they found that the cancer had filled her from her diaphram down and they even had to take 10 inches of her colon. She started chemo and was to be finished by Dec. 28. However, she started having problems right after Dec. 1 and went to the hospital. She was diagnosed with an obstruction in the bowel. When they opened her up, the cancer was gone but she was very weak. They were able to fix the obstruction but she never did breathe on her own after that. After about a week of fighting for her life, she lost her battle on Sunday morning, Dec. 18.

Jill is the daughter of Joyce and George Lamb, sister of Jamie and Jordan Lamb, the step-mother of Michelle Dory, Jodi Long and Ryan Long. She was also the step-grandmother of Ktherine Long, Kelsey LaMunyon, Makayla Long, Haley Long and Zayne Long.

According to a posting on the PCCHA's Facebook page, Jodi Long said, "Thank you everyone for all of your prayers and support for Jill, my dad and our family. This has been a very difficult road; we will need everyone's help and support to help pull my family through this time. Thank you so much, we love you all!"

A celebration of life will be held in January.

Tom's address is: 371 State Route 88 - Gardnerville, NV 89460; Ryan, Teresa, Makayla and Haley Long: 7541 Canopus Ct - Sparks, NV 89436; Jodi Budd-Long: 65 Wellington Cutoff - Wellington, NV 89444 (her daughter Kelsey LaMunyon); Kati Long: 6717 Rolling Meadow Dr #2921 (her son Zayne and her sister Dallas Dory); Michelle Long: 900 Sandy Hill Lane - Millsap, TX 76066; George and Joyce Long: 3109 Lee Hill Drive - Boulder, CO 80302 Jill's sister Jamie and her brother Jordan)



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 26, 2011

Dub Leeth received a beautiful framed photo of him and his favorite horse, Reyminate, for his birthday, which is today.
Photo bySusan Ferguson


Some people get cars for their birthday- some just get birthday cards – and in today’s world, many get birthday wishes from hundreds of friends on Face book. But Christy Leeth, Cleburne, Texas, has a surprise for her husband, Dub, whose birthday is today, that only cutters would appreciate: framed photos of him with Reyminate, his favorite horse!

Reyminate, a 5-year-old gelding by Dual Rey out of Amanda Stargun by Playgun, with over $63,100 in lifetime NCHA earnings, is his favorite horse – and that’s saying something since he and Christy, his wife of 15 years, have about 25 horses. He’s won over $359,600 and a Bronze award in NCHA Non-Pro competition since he started cutting in 1996. Prior to that, the President of Allstar Corrugated Inc., a box container company located in Fort Worth, Texas, roped.

Dub also received this framed photo of him and Reyminate, shot by Susan Ferguson.


One of the first cutting horses he purchased was a gelding CC Littlebit Magic, that he purchased for $50,000 from Frank Merrill. At the time, Christy thought that was a lot of money to pay for a horse, but said if that’s what he wanted it was OK with her. CC Littlebit Magic had a lot of proving to do – and he did it. With NCHA earnings of close to $60,000 he went on to win two National Championship trophies and buckles on, as well as two Sean Ryon saddles.

But the Leeths are a team. Christy has been cutting since 1986 and asked if she was the one who got him involved in cutting, she responded, “No, it was a joint passion.”

In celebration of his birthday, Christy and Dub will have a family gathering tonight, including Dub’s two children and Christy’s son. The two enlarged and framed photographs of Dub and Reyminate were taken by Susan Ferguson of Lynnwood Fine Art & Photography in Weatherford, Texas. Ferguson does equine portraiture, equine sale photography, location and family portraits. Her website is


Oct. 23, 2011
Merritt Thomas Ranew, 73, Leesburg, Ga., passed away on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 at Langdale Hospice House in Valdosta, Ga,, following a battle with prostrate cancer. Merritt, a professional cutting horse trainer and a AAAA NCHA judge, was a former American and national League professional baseball catcher. He played for the Colt .45s (19620, Chicago Cubs (1963-1964) Milwaukee Braves (1964), California Angels (1965) and the Seattle Pilots (1969). After his baseball career, he started his 35-year-career training and showing cutting horses professionally.

Merritt was born May 7, 1938 in Albany Ga., and graduated from Lee Co. High School in 1957. He was a well known and well respected man by all who knew him, especially those in the cutting horse industry. According to NCHA records, he had $672,212.47 in lifetime earnings in the NCHA.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Grover Dudley Ranew and Louise McDonald Ranew, his brothers C.D. Ranew and Richard Ranew and a sister Elizabeth Coxwell.
He is survived by his wife Juanita Ranew, Floral City, Fla.; his children: Robin Carter, Valdosta, Ga., (James), Ryan Ranew , Leesburg, Ga. (Angela) and Rebecca Sheltra, Leesburg, Ga. (Jay); Steven Lee, Mebane, N.C., and Monique Denney, Floral City, Fla.; grandchildren Kayla and Kacy Hancock, Austin Denney, Garrett Denney and Tory Carter. his brother and sisters, Clifford Ranew, Betty Clements, Velma Braswell, Albany, Ga,. and Janelle Larkin, Smithville, Ga. and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

The funeral service will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Home with interment to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Rev. Adam Brant will be officiating. The family will receive friends at Kimbrell-Stern and from 12 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23.
For those desiring to make donations, please send them to the Bible College Scholarship Fund in Honor of Merritt Ranew, c/o Believers Christian Fellowship, 7410 Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee, FL. 34606.

For more information, call Merritt's daughter at (352) 220-4095 (352) 220-4095. For rooms,(ask for Ranew Family rooms), contact Comfort Suites, 1400 Dawson Road, Albany, GA 31707. Phone (229) 888-3939 (229) 888-3939 .



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 18, 2011

The two top broodmares of the cutting horse industry succumbed during the first two weeks of October. Royal Blue Boon, a 1980 daughter of Boon Bar out of Royal Tincie by Royal King) had 17 earners of $2,612,701 averaging $153,688, was owned by Elaine Hall, Weatherford, Texas, and Playboys Ruby, a 1987 daughter of Freckles Playboy out of Lenachick by Doc O’Lena, had 13 offspring earning $1,594,659, averaging $122,666. She was owned by Waco Bend Ranch, Graham, Texas.

Immerging from being called an “ugly duckling,” Royal Blue Boon, became a cutting star, earning $381,764.41 in her lifetime, including her largest money-earning championship of the 1984 Augusta Futurity with Larry Hall in the saddle. Her largest paycheck came from a Co-Reserve Champion three-way split in the 1984 NCHA Super Stales. Where she and Reeder picked up a $111,371 paycheck. Other notable paychecks came from an eighth place in the 1982 NCHA Futurity for $39,269; co-championship of the 1984 Bonanza Futurity, $27,720 and Reserve Championship of The Masters, taking home $31,920.

She was bred by Curt Donley, an Oklahoma school teacher who saved her sire, Boon Bar, from death during the NCHA Futurity when he colicked. Donley received a free breeding for his feat, and out of an ugly, 800-pound daughter of Royal King that Donley purchased as a 5-year-old for $650 at Earl Albin’s Royal King Sale. During hard times, Donley sold the mare in the 1981 NCHA Futurity Sale when she was nine months old, to James Eakin, Hondo, Texas, a banker and astute cutting horse pedigree student, who paid $6,500 for her, even though he later called her a “scrawny, ugly thing.” But actions speak louder than words and the following year, trainers Tom Bellamy and Larry Reeder purchased her at the Futurity sale for $20,500. According to “Royal Blue Boon & Her Dynasty,” written by Gala Nettles, Floyd Moore approached him following the sale offering Reeder $40,000 for half of her. Reeder later priced her at $150,000.

After the mare finished eighth in the 1982 NCHA Futurity, Wendyl Hambrick, a Fort Worth general contractor, and Larry Hall, a Fort Worth plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor, purchased her, with Jim and Mary Jo Milner agreeing to purchase her if the deal fell through. In August, 1984, Larry Hall purchased the mare outright and she remained in the Larry Hall Cutting Horse Estate, managed by his wife Elaine, following Larry’s death. Larry was diagnosed as bi-polar shortly after the 1991 NCHA Derby, which ultimately would caused him to take his own life.

Royal Blue Boon made history on several fronts, including being the leading producer of NCHA cutting horses for 16 years. Of her 18 foals, all but one competed in the arena. She was on the forefront of cutting horse embryo transfer movement as only two of her foals: Red White And Boon by Smart Little Lena, and the industry’s leading cutting horse with lifetime earnings of $922,063 and Bet Yer Blue Boons, sired by Freckles Playboy, with earnings of $350,615, were from natural breedings. The other 16 were the result of embryo transfer.

A lifesize bronze of Royal Blue Boon watching over her baby, by top sculptor Kelly Graham, stands in front of the NCHA office in Fort Worth, Texas. Also, she was on the forefront of the cloning of cutting horses when in 2006 she was cloned – twice – and Elaine Hall has both healthy fillies.

Peptoboonsmal, a 1992 son of Peppy San Badger out of Royal Blue Boon, was the 1995 NCHA Futurity Champion.


Peppy San Badger, the 1977 NCHA Futurity and 1978 NCHA Derby Champion, was the primary sire of her offspring and the sire of her first. She was bred to him six times and bred to four other stallions during her lifetime, including Smart Little Lena, Freckles Playboy, Dual Pep, Haidas Little Pep. She was the dam of Peptoboonsmal, a 1992 son of Peppy San Badger, who was the 1995 NCHA Futurity champion. Peptoboonsmal, who has lifetime earnings of $180,487, is also a leading cutting horse sire, ranking No. 8 in the most recent statistics published by Equi-Stat, with 555 offspring earning over $16,151,800, averaging $29,102 per offspring.

Ironically, one of Peptoboonsmal’s offspring, Pepto Taz, out of Sweet Lil Lena by Smart Little Lena, also died in October only a day after being shipped to Brazil. Having produced over 100 offspring earning over $1.2 million, he was owned by Don and Netha Lester, Canby, Ore., and sold in July to Brazil resident Fabio Anotoni Pozzi.

Phil Rapp, a college student at the time, purchased Playboys Ruby in 1988 as a yearling from Terry Riddle. In October 2006, Phil and Mary Ann Rapp sold the great mare Waco Bend Ranch, Graham, Texas.


The breeders of Playboys Ruby were Terry Riddle and Joe Ayres, Holliday, Texas, who owned her dam Lenachick, a daughter of Doc O’Lena who was the Reserve Champion of the 1982 NCHA Derby with Riddle in the saddle. While Phil Rapp was in college, he purchased Playboys Ruby in 1988 as a yearling from Riddle. In October 2006, Rapp sold the mare to Waco Bend Ranch, Graham, Texas, along with a cloned filly, Ruby Too, born that year. Ruby Too became the first cloned horse to compete in a limited-age cutting, competing in the 2010 Augusta Futurity in Augusta, Ga.

Playboys Ruby earned $268,441 during her lifetime, earning many Open and Non-Pro titles with the Rapps in the saddle. Her largest paychecks came from winning the 1991 NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes, the 1992 NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes classic and was Reserve Champion of the 1991 NCHA Non-Pro Cutting Derby.
However, she was a star as a broodmare, producing 31 AQHA-registered foals, with 14 being performers. Thirteen competed in NCHA competition, earning $1,594,659, or an average of $122,666, making her the second leading dam in lifetime earnings of her offspring, according to the latest statistics published by Equi-Stat.

Her leading offspring is Jack Ruby DNA, a 1995 gelding sired by Dual Pep, with earnings of $257,779. He is followed by Little Janey Lena, a 1999 daughter of Smart Little Lena, with earnings of $234,856; Playin CDs a 1997 gelding sired by CD Olena, earning $223,931; Ruby Tuesday DNA, a 1995 mare sired by Peppy San Badger, earning $218,916 and Smart Little Jerry, a leading sire by Smart Little Lena, with earnings of $197,389 and 141 offspring earning over $3.26 million.
*Some information for this article was taken from Royal Blue Boon and her Dynasty written by Gala Nettles.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 7, 2011

C. T. Fuller, 92, an AQHA and NRHA Hall of Famer, died Monday, Sept. 5 at his home, Willow Brook Farms in Catasauqua, Pa.

Charlton Thomas (C.T.) Fuller, 92, Catasauqua, Pa., an AQHA and NRHA Hall of Famer, who basically changed the style of the reining horse and was a breeder of AQHA and NRHA Champions, died peacefully Monday, Sept. 5, at his home, Willow Brook Farms in Catasauqua, Pa. He and his wife, Alexandra Huston Fuller, had just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in June of this year.

Although Fuller's horses were also renowned in the race horse industry through his Thoroughbred farm, Winterwood, located in Unionville, Pa., and Louisiana Stud in Lafayette, La., where he produced horses of national prominence, receiving the Eclipse Award, he was best known for his support of the American Quarter Horse and the sport of reining.

But something most people don't know is that he was also an accomplished photographer and a horse magazine publisher. His photographs have appeared in numerous national magazines, Eastman Kodak ads and at Epcot. Many of his photos appeared on the covers of the Quarter Horse Journal and in his ads on the back cover for over 20 years.

He was also the original publisher of Practical Horseman magazine and the publisher of Performance Horseman. He produced the film "The Horse America Made," traveling more than 100,000 miles to record and share the beauty and diversity of the Quarter Horse. When he was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame & Museum in 2001, he was introduced as "someone who had been known for many things in his life, but above all, he was a great horseman."

According to the National Reining Horse Association's website, Fuller established one of the earliest, most prolific and successful reining horse breeding programs in the reining industry. At his AQHA Hall of Fame induction, it was said that Fuller' success in the horse business was boosted mostly by one horse: a 1953 sorrel stallion named Joe Cody by Bill Cody out of Taboo by King P-234. Joe Cody sired 324 Quarter Horses, with 13 of them being AQHA Champions. Some of his famous progeny included World Champion reiner High Proof, World Champion and National Association Champion Topsail Cody and World Champion Benito Paprika. In all, Fuller was connected to some 185 performers, earners of more than 3,500 AQHA points. He developed 10 AQHA Champions and 15 All-Around winners. He bred 736 foals, champions in the show arena and performers on the racetrack.

According to the Brubaker Funeral Home website, Fuller was the son of the late Colonel James W. Fuller, founder of The Fuller Company in Catasauqua and the late Dorothy (Stahlkop) Fuller. He was a graduate of the Choate School in Wallingford, Conn., and a graduate of Washington & Lee University, Lexington, VA., where he has a two-time Southern Conference wrestling champion and national qualifier, captain of the wrestling team and inducted into the Southern Conference Washington & Lee Hall of Fame.

He served in the U.S. Navy in both theatres of the war as ASW officer on a destroyer escort in the Atlantic and as Executive Officer on an APD in the Pacific. He was Chairman of the Board of Allentown Portland Cement Company until the company was sold to National Gypsum in 1960 and President of the Fuller Company.

He was an avid golfer, winning numerous tournaments. He was a philanthropist who gave anonymously to both local and national causes, particiularly for the downtrodden as well as for the conservancy of our nation's ecology.

Survivors include his children: son, Peter and wife Joan of Emmaus, Pa., daughters, Holly of Snowmass, Colo., and Victoria of Chicago, Ill., and five grandchildren. A private will be held at St. Stephens Episcopal Church. Memorial contributions may be sent in his name payable to the Allentown Art Museum or to the Embrace Your Dreams, c/o Brubaker Funeral Home, Inc., 234 Walnut Street, Catasauqua, PA 18032. Online condolences may be sent to the family at


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 15, 2011

Purdy Boy Flash, a 9-year-old stallion by Pretty Boy Cat by High Brow Cat out of Purdy Aristocrat by Smart Aristocrat, owned by Jack Waggoner, Bridgeport, Texas, has become the first horse in the country to have a double prosthesis.

According to Jack, the promising cutting horse stallion scored a 219 in the first go-round of the 2005 NCHA Futurity; finished fifth in the finals in Abilene when he met up with some bad cows; split third in the 2006 Augusta Futurity and then went on to win Memphis and the Winter South Coast Derby in Las Vegas, where he coliced after his win. Tag Rice was the only one to ride him.

With $83,171 in cutting winnings, it looked like the young stallion's career was over, but Jack wasn't giving up. He rented a plane and flew the stallion home after he had been under a Las Vegas veterinarian's care for four months. He was then kept at Dr. Jeff Foland's Weatherford vet clinic for eight months and then in a paddock at the Waggoner Ranch for three months before he had to be moved into a stall to keep his movement to a minimum as he had lost his hooves.

Purdy Boy Flash could no longer compete but he did breed a limited number of mares. Today his oldest foals are 3-year-olds and Waggoner owns two of them that are headed to the 2011 NCHA Open Futurity. Both are in training with top trainers Clint Allen and Gary Gonsalves. "They are awesome cutting horses," said Waggoner, so by all indications, it looks like Purdy Boy Cat could be a sire to be reckoned with.

Waggoner still owns Purdy Boy Flash's grandsire High Brow Cat, who, at age 23, is the cutting horse industry's leading sire. However, Waggoner is looking for another leading sire for the future.

Following 20 operations on Purdy Boy Flash's front legs and feet and with several veterinarians telling him that he needed to put the stallion down, Waggoner decided the stallion was worth one more chance. He called Dr. R. F. (Ric) Redden, DVM, a highly successful, well-known and rare individual who is both a farrier and a veterinarian from Kentucky. After consultation, Redden felt the horse's only chance to continue as a breeding stallion was a prosthesis on both front legs and feet.

"He put a prosthesis on his left front leg from the cannon bone down and his right foot," said Waggoner, referring to an operation taking place on Thursday, July 7. "He's now the only horse in the country with two prosthetic limbs."

Currently Pretty Boy Flash is back at Foland's clinic as the stallion's stub has to be rederessed every four days. However, according to Waggoner, the young stallion has a big heart and an uncanny will to live.

"He usually spends 23 hours a day laying down," said Waggoner, "but once he gets used to his new limbs, that should soon change and he should be able to spend most of the day standing up."



May 23, 2011 – Fort Worth, TX
The NCHA Executive Committee met today, cancelled all NCHA approved shows through June 5, which will include the weekend of May 27-29 and AQHA/NCHA Weekend, June 3-5, where shows were scheduled at 25 locations across the country, due to due to the EHV-1 outbreak. The shows were also cancelled last weekend.

According to the notice on, the NCHA Executive Committee will closely monitor the EHV-1 virus during this time and look into the possibility and practicality of rescheduling AQHA/NCHA Weekend and making further decisions for shows scheduled for the weekend of June 10-12. For further information go to

San Jo Lena, a 1982 stallion sired by Peppy San out of Jo Olena by Doc Olena, was put down yesterday, May 22, according to Sally Dedmon Lowry, the daughter of Bert Dedmon, who owned the stallion prior to his death. The AQHA World Champion in Cutting and NCHA Super Stakes Classic Champion, was born in 1982 at Bobby Shelton’s Ranch, went on to sire offspring which won millions of dollars in cutting, reining, reined cowhorse, team penning and barrel racing. The first time the U.S. Equestrian team competed in reining, his son, San Jo Freckles, won the gold medal ridden by Shawn Flarida.

In a press release from Sally, she said San Jo Lena was shown by Pat Patterson, a legend in the cutting industry and no one who witnessed it will forget Pat, at 75 years of age, scoring a 230 on San Jo Lena in Abilene, Texas. She continued that her family is also indebted to Brett Davis, who rode San Jo Lena to his 1991 AQHA World Championship in Senior Cutting the same year he rode her father’s young stallion, Playboys Remedy, to the championship in the Junior Cutting.

“Our deepest gratitude to these trainers, their families, our many friends and most of all – this wonderful horse, San Jo Lena. It’s been a great ride!”



April 26, 2011
Up-and-coming PRCA steer wrestler Reagon Walker, 21, Ennis, Texas, was killed on April 23 from injuries suffered in a traffic accident. Walker and his girlfriend, Kaitlyn Larsen, a top young cutter from Weatherford, Texas, were on their way to an NCHA cutting with a living-quarter horse trailer on Highway 281 near Jacksboro, Texas. The accident involved a large truck that had pulled off the highway. Kaitlyn, the daughter of Billy Martin and Chris Larsen, was taken to the hospital; however, later was released. The horse were unhurt. Reagon was the son of 1981 World Champion Steer Wrestler Byron Walker of Ennis.

Walker, a student at Blinn College in Texas, had been a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association since 2008 after graduating from Ennis (Texas) High School and attending Weatherford College on a rodeo scholarship. While in high school, he earned two All-Around Cowboy titles, two Steer Wrestling titles and was Reserve Champion in Cutting.

He climbed up the PRCA world rankings in each succeeding year and in 2010, Walker won the Henderson County PRCA Stampede in Athens, Texas, in 3.5 seconds and the Crockett (Texas) Lions Club PRCA Rodeo. He qualified for the All American ProRodeo Finals in Waco, Texas, finished in a tie for second place in the Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo in Waco and finished 82nd in the world.

Survivors include his father, mother, Mary Walker, two grandmothers and several aunts, uncles and counsins. Services were held today in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Ennis, Texas.
Information Courtesy PRCA


April 15, 2011
NCHA member and horse trainer David Kerr passsed away Wednesday, April 13, following a long battle with cancer.

David Lane Kerr, 74, Valley View, Texas, passed away Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at Presbyterian Hospital of Denton with his family by his side, after a long battle with cancer. He was born Aug. 27, 1936 in Weir, Miss., to Everette Gladney Kerr and Alice Priscilla Gordon Kerr. He married Joyce Williams on July 23, 1958 in Beaumont. She preceded him in death on May 31, 2010.

David began riding horses at a very young age and had a huge passion for horses. He spent his life raising, training and breeding quarter horses. Although his journey included racing, reining, halter, pleasure and cutting, he particularly loved cutting horses. He was a member of the American Quarter Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association.He had a successful career as a horse trainer in the 1970s and 1980s, riding and showing such greats as Les O Lena, Sayo Olena, on which he was World Champion in the AQHA and Bay Commander. He bred and trained several World and National champions. According to his friend Art Perlstein, he was a "trainer's trainer. If they couldn't handle a horse, they'd send it to David - and that included the King Ranch. He had a bevy of good horses in his lifetime."

Visitation will be Sunday, April 17, 2011 from 5-7 p.m. at DeBerry Funeral Directors. Funeral service will be Monday, April 18, 2011 at 11 a.m. at Midway Baptist Church in Aubrey with Rev. Sam Redfearn officiating. Burial will follow at Belew Cemetery in Aubrey.

He is survived by daughters, Debbie Jones and husband, Randy of Pilot Point, Darla Wood and husband, Mike of Aubrey, Laura Evans and husband, Greg of Pilot Point; sons, Jerry Kerr and wife, Cathy of Walnut Springs, Danny Kerr of Denton; 5 grandchildren, Chelsea Wood, Delaney Jones, Jordan Jones, Kailee Wood and Garrett Evans; sister, Helen Heller of Sutherland VA; brother, Douglas Kerr of Vidor.He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Joyce Kerr; brothers, Gladney Kerr, Robert Kerr, Haywood Kerr and sister, Lorene Kerr.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
March 27, 2011

NCHA competitor Lee Garner was one of two men indicted in a health care fraud scheme indictment handed down by the Federal grand jury Feb. 24, sealed and then opened on March 15. The indictments charged Lee Garner, a Batesville, Miss., businessman and former Tri-Lakes Medical Center CEO Ray Shoemaker in an alleged kickback scheme involving nursing homes, which took place from May 2005-June 2007, when the hospital was headed for bankruptcy.

The indictments allege that Garner, former Panola County Administrator and Tri-Lakes Medical Center Board of Trustees President David Chandler and Shoemaker entered a conspiracy in which Garner paid Chandler a bribe to use his influence with Shoemaker to increase Tri-Lakes Medical Center’s use of Garner’s Guardian Angel Nursing Services and On-Call Nursing Servicing for hospital staffing. Court papers state that Garner paid approximately $268,000 in kickbacks and bribes. More information and the 21-page federal indictment can be viewed online at


March 4, 2011
Jerry Carter, wife of cutting horse trainer John Carter and mother of Past NCHA President Punk Carter and Hall of Fame trainer Roy Carter, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, following a short illness. She was 85.

Jerry, born May 22, 1925 married John Carter Feb. 26, 1944. Had she lived an additional four days the couple would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.

Jerry Carter’s life was immersed in cutting. Had there been a record for cutting attendance, Jerry would most likely hold that honor.She sat in arenas across America supporting her husband, her sons and then her grandchildren as they competed in cutting. Always an outgoing smiling lady, her vibrant laugh was like a magnet, pulling others around her. She considered her friends in the cutting horse world and the PBR her family.

A Memorial Service in her honor will be held March 7 at 2:00 p.m., at the Covenant Church, located at 8690 Liberty Road in Crossroads, Texas. Covenant Church is in charge of the funeral with Joe Howard Williamson assisting. Punk Carter stressed that instead of a funeral service this would be a Memorial to celebrate Jerry’s life.

“Mother was always such a happy person so we want her Memorial to be the same way,” he continued. “Anyone who wishes to talk about her can get up and talk.”

Besides her husband John, sons Punk Carter and wife Rita of Celina, Texas, and Roy Carter of Crockett, Texas, she is survived by seven grandchildren: Colleen Blanks and husband Lance, Cassye Blanks and husband Todd, Caimey Miller and husband Dustin, Hayley Covington and husband Robert, Cole Carter, Jayme Carter and Sorrel Carter as well as 11 great grandchildren,two sisters and one brother. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers.

Friends and family will gather at the church fellowship hall following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the National Youth Cutting Horse Association, 260 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107. Send your condolences to John Carter, 4009 CR 3395, Crockett, TX 75835.


Feb. 28, 2011
John R. Scott Jr., 87, truly a legendary cowboy, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 22 in San Angelo, Texas. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, March 01, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. at Johnson's Funeral Home Chapel located at 435 W. Beauregard, San Angelo, Texas.

Scott had deep roots in horses, cattle and Texas and all three helped proliferate him into a great cattleman. His great grandfather settled on West Texas land long before it became a state. Fast-forward to the 1920s and it was his father John R. Scott Sr, who, with a stallion named Jazz and 10 broodmares started the bloodline that now includes such great horses as Royal Jazzy, Jazabelle Quixote, Jazzote, Son Ofa Doc, Bob Acre Doc, as well as 2010 NCHA Futurity Open champion One Time Royalty. John R Scott Jr, born Sept. 6, 1923, to Agnes and John R. Scott Sr. was therefore, no doubt born to be a cowboy.

Scott grew up on the Mertzon family ranch, even attending school there. He then attended Texas A&M University until World War II broke out, at which time he joined the Naval Air Corps and served as a bombardier on B24s in the Pacific Theatre. After the war ended, Scott returned to the West Texas ranching life, met June Owens and the couple wed on Aug. 3, 1947.

Besides ranching Scott, an avid roper competed in rodeos. During the late 1940s drought was taking its toll on West Texas ranchers and while competing at the 1948 Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Scott learned about green grasses in Montana. According to the S Ranches website, after a quick look for himself, Scott returned home where he, his farther and brothers “agreed to partner on three ranches near the Miles City, Mont., area. John then shipped 800 head of cattle and 25 horses from his family’s Texas ranch to the Big Sky country by train, and the foundation of the modern S Ranch was laid. In 2008, the S Ranch celebrated 60 years of ranching in Montana.”

For 40 years Scott managed two cattle ranches near Miles City and Billings while also building an outstanding remuda of Quarter Horses, “At one time, the ranch encompassed 280,000 acres and employed 25 cowboys to tend 10,000 head of cattle.”

In 1969, John Scott and Sons made headlines in the cattle industry when they sold 5,300 head of branded yearlings for $1,135,000. At that time the sale was noted for being the largest sale of cattle owned by one ranch at one time in recent history.

In August 2000, at the Scott Ranch near Billings, Mont., they again made headlines, this time with a dispersal sale of 243 horses, mostly the product of their ranch sires Paddys Irish Whiskey and Doc O Dynamite. Also in that sale were five 2-year-old Peptoboonsmal daughters and three of those, Meradas Boonsmal, Boons Freckle Lena and Freckles Lena Boon, went on to make names for themselves. That dispersal netted $3.5 million.

Scott and his wife, June, returned to Texas in the 1980 and settled on a ranch near Miles Texas. John was honored in 2001 with the Foy Proctor Memorial Cowman's Award and later was inducted into the Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame. In 2007 the S Ranch, Pryor, Mont., won the AQHA Best Remuda Award.

Scott is survived by four children: John R. Scott III (Cindy) Maggie Scott Brown, Sissy Croft (Charlie) and Jim Bode Scott (Marcie). He is also survived by10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A luncheon will follow the Memorial service. Scott will be buried in Montana beside his wife, June.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Feb. 18, 2011

Wes Adams shown last fall following the final MillionHeir show at the South Point Equestrian Center in Las Vegas. He is shown with Debbie Rousey and his son, Dustin.

“He was bigger than life,” said Paula Gaughan about the unexpected death of Wes Adams this morning from a heart attack following a successful surgery. Although details of what happened are not yet available, friends of the Adams family are mourning the loss of an icon.

“It was a sad day for Wes Adams’ family, friends, the sports of rodeo and cutting, as well as the State of Nevada,” said Gaughan. “He was an integral part of this town and the state of Nevada. He will be sorely missed.” Adams’ MillionHeir events were held annually during the South Point Cuttings in Las Vegas. The program started in 2004, with the final show being held last fall, paying out close to $9.2 million. It was the only private stallion incentive program of its magnitude that has ever been paid out as advertised.

In 2008, Adams found out he had pancreatic cancer. Within two days of the diagnosis, he was at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he had surgery. They took out his spleen and half of his pancreas. Two weeks later, Wes’s family doctor hold him that he was 99 percent out of the woods, following a PET scan. With that, I figured the “Lord didn’t want me and hell was afraid I’d take over. So they left me here for a while longer.” Wes didn’t let his health issues get him down, saying, “My theory is, ‘We can’t change what is going to happen so why ruin our lives over bad news’. I guess I didn’t realize how sick I was supposed to be.”

Wes is a Utah native who moved to northwest Las Vegas in 1977 from Colorado and over the past years, he built a ranching empire extending over several states
Adams established Western State Contracting in 1979, specializing in heavy construction and underground utility work in the Las Vegas area. A former bull rider, Wes lived Logandale, located in the Las Vegas area, with his wife, Liz. The couple have six children including Dustin, a highly successful non-pro cutter, and his wife Dana, who are expecting their first child in May. Dustin runs the family’s ranch in Dublin, Texas.

The oldest, Weston, is a real estate developer in Las Vegas, who enjoys team roping, while Randon and Jason are both top PRCA roping competitors who qualified for the prestigious National Finals Rodeo. The Adams’ daughter Britney is a barrel racer, while Austin, the youngest, was the state’s reigning high school all-around champion.

Liz, a California native, and Wes’s wife of over 35 years, calls rodeoing a “family affair, as the family was together nearly every weekend, learning how to be responsible and how to do business. In a 2006 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Liz said, “If my husband wants something, he will achieve it and he’s passed that on to the children. They’re all confident and they set goals.”

Midge Ames, one of the cutting industry’s leading cutting horse photographers, said, “When I think of Wes, I think of a man who had great integrity, had a vision, a plan and the courage (guts) to carry it through. That’s a rare thing these days. In the ‘old days,’ you could have a verbal agreement, shake hands and it was done. It was like that with Wes Adams. Family was the most important to Wes and whenever the kids were showing, you’d be sure to see Wes and Liz there too.”

Texas cutter Billy Emerson said it all when he described Adams’ death as a “true loss to our industry and especially to such a fine and honorable family. Although more rare than it should be, the grandest thing that can ever be said about a man can easily be said about Wes Adams: He was a man of his word – and the greatest thing a man can do in his lifetime is to raise his family to respect God and others. He did that too.”

The last time that I saw Wes was during the final MillionHeir program in Las Vegas last fall. Debbie Rousey had just presented him with a thick book full of pictures and letters from many thankful individuals involved in the MillionHeir program. As I was walking up the stairs, he was going over the book, surrounded by his family and as he looked up, he had tears in his eyes. That’s the man I remember: highly innovative, honorable and successful - and so strong he
wasn’t afraid to have someone see him cry in public.

Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 24 from 6-8 p.m. and Friday, Feb. 25 from 9-10:45 a.m., followed by a funeral at Logandale, Nev., Stake Center, 2555 N. St. Joseph Street, Logandale, Nev. 89021. Flowers may be sent to Moapa Valley Mortuary, 5090 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Logandale, Nev. 89021.

"Our family would like to thank everyone for their support at such a difficult time," said Dustin Don Adams, as a spokesman for the family.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Weatherford, Texas - Feb. 11, 2011

Due to the illness of one of the lawyers, the court case of Larry and Lynn Welk, Malibu, Calif., v Jeff Foland DVM and Weatherford Equine, Weatherford, Texas, has been postponed. The case was to be held Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 in the Parker County Courthouse, Weatherford, Texas.

NCHA members Larry and Lynn Welk, Malibu, Calif., have a lawsuit against Jeff Foland DVM and Weatherford Equine for malpractice and negligence in the” loss to compete and syndication” of a valuable young stallion. The case will be heard in State District Judge Graham Quisenberry’s 415th District Court in Weatherford, Texas.

Larry is the son of famed bandleader Lawrence Welk, who passed away at 89 in 1992 and who hosted the Lawrence Welk Show from 1955-1982. In fact, the Welk’s Champagne Ranch is named after Larry’s father whose music became well known as “champagne” music.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Weatherford, Texas - Feb. 7, 2011

On Feb. 14, 2011 in the Parker County Courthouse, Weatherford, Texas, another cutting horse-related trial will be taking place. NCHA members Larry and Lynn Welk, Malibu, Calif., have a lawsuit against Jeff Foland DVM and Weatherford Equine, Weatherford, Texas, for malpractice and negligence in the "loss to compete and syndication” of a valuable young stallion. The case will be heard in State District Judge Graham Quisenberry’s 415th District Court in Weatherford, Texas.

Larry is the son of famed bandleader Lawrence Welk, who passed away at 89 in 1992 and who hosted the Lawrence Welk Show from 1955-1982. In fact, the Welk’s Champagne Ranch is named after Larry’s father whose music became well known as “champagne” music.


Jan. 1, 2011 - Wichita Falls, Texas
Flynn Wheeler Stewart, 95, Wichita Falls, Texas, father of NCHA member, Flynn Stewart II,passed away at age 95, only days before his 96th birthday.


Flynn Wheeler Stewart, 95, a CPA from Wichita Fall, Texas, passed away on Dec. 31, 2010, in Wichita Falls, Texas. Stewart was the father of Flynn Stewart II, Bowie, Texas, who is active in buying, selling and fitting horses for sales.

Flynn was born Jan. 26, 1915, in the Rock Hill Community south of Bowie, Montague County, Texas, to Cap and Annie Bell Stewart. He attended the Rock Hill School and graduated from Bowie High School in 1930. He worked on the family farm after graduation before enrolling Draughon’s Business College in Wichita Falls. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls from 1939 until his passing and served as a Deacon.

In 1938, he moved to Clinton, Okla., as the first accountant for a young company, White’s Auto Stores. He became their chief accountant and while working in Clinton, he met his future bride, Dewey Adeline Hatchett, also employed by White’s. In 1939, White’s moved their headquarters to Wichita Falls and Flynn and Dewey were married in 1940.

During World War II, Flynn worked as an auditor for Consolidated Vultee Aircraft, a Fort Worth manufacturer of aircraft for the war effort. He remained at Consolidated Vultee until the end of World War II when he returned to Wichita Falls and White’s Auto Stores.

He left White’s to open his own CPA practice in Wichita Falls in 1946. His accounting practice grew to become the firm of Stewart, Davis, Mathis and West. When that firm dissolved in 1970, he formed the firm of Stewart and Rariden, later Stewart, Rariden and Miller. In his later years he had a private practice until his retirement in 2001. He was a widely recognized Tax Accountant, and served on the National Livestock Tax Committee, an industry group and testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on behalf of livestock industry interests. He was involved in several important IRS and Tax Court rulings.

During the late 1940’s and 1950’s, he accumulated property around the old family farm in the Rock Hill community, which had remained under family ownership, with only a short break, since 1886. He raised registered Angus cattle, and was President of the Texas Angus Association. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Angus Association in the early 1960’s. He served as President of the American Angus Association in 1969, and represented the Angus Association overseas in several world conferences.

Flynn was preceded in death by his wife, Dewey Adeline Hatchett Stewart, his parents, and daughter Mary Ann Stewart.

Survivors include Thomas Roland Stewart, CPA, and wife Lavonne of Dallas, Flynn W. Stewart II and wife Norma, James W. Stewart and wife Wray, all of Bowie, Nancy McCoy, CPA, and husband John of Houston, and Elizabeth Edmondson and husband Robbie of Wichita Falls. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Flynn was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He had a passion for family, and had done extensive genealogical research, which he could recite up until his death. He was always there for his family. He took great pride in knowing the ages and birthdates of even his great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Jan. 4, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 1200 Ninth Street, Wichita Falls, Texas with the Reverend Rod Payne officiating. Burial will be at the Crestview Memorial Park under the direction of Lunn’s Colonial Funeral Home. Visitation will be from 6 to 7:00 pm Monday, January 3, 2011, at Lunn’s Colonial Funeral Home, 2812 Midwestern Parkway, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church, Wichita Falls, or to Hospice of Wichita Falls, 4909 Johnson Road, Wichita Falls, Texas 76310. You can send your condolences to Flynn Stewart II and his wife, Norma, to PO Box 1793, Bowie, TX 786230-1793.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Dec. 21, 2010

His real name was Wallace Mitchell Jr., but most of the cutters who knew him just called him “June” and everyone knew who they were talking about. June, 85, of Lucy, N.M., peacefully passed away at his home on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010.

June, who worked for Helen Groves for almost 30 years, worked for several ranches during his career, including B. F. Phillips, Ruby Ranches, Art Miller and several others. For the past two years, June and his wife, Beth, were living at one of the headquarters on an 80-section ranch owned by Cyle Sharp, Estacia, N.M.

“June gave me my first job out of college working for B. F. Phillips,” said NCHA Judge Tommy Hastings. “We went out to visit him at the branding in May and he rode every step of the way. He is one of the last real cowboys in our business and I don’t want him to be forgotten.”

June was born Aug. 4, 1925 in Roswell, N.M. to Wallace and Alma (Joy) Mitchell Sr. He served in the Navy during WWII and after being discharged, he became a well-known horseman.

“ He will be remembered by all who knew him as a cowboy, loving husband, father and mentor,” said Sharp. “He was a friend to all who knew him, always quick with a good story and a smile. He will be missed.”

June was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Jack Mitchell and his first wife, Billie Jean Mitchell who preceded him in death in December 1992. He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Beth (Giguere) Mitchell of Lucy, N.M.; a son, Wallace Mitchell III and his wife Linda of Ashbury, Va.; daughters Ronna Mitchell Howell and her husband Eldon of Richland, Ga., and Vickie Mitchell Kreighauser and her husband Ben of Hereford, Texas; six grandchildren and numerous great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. at Barn Church in Hereford, Texas, 3948 FM 1057, Hereford, Texas, with Wallace Mitchell III officiating. Internment will follow at Rest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Hereford, Texas.

Condolences can be sent to his wife and family at PO Box 1241, Estancia NM. 87016.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 30, 2010 - Fort Worth, Texas

Robert Eubanks, 70, an editor for 25 years at Quarter Horse News, passed away on Friday, Oct. 29.

Robert Eubanks, 70, Fort Worth, Texas, lost his battle with kidney and liver disease at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth on Friday, Oct. 29 at 10:48 a.m. Robert, a passionate writer and detail-oriented editor, was employed by Quarter Horse News for 25 years, coming to Fort Worth from the Sports Desk of the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga. He retired one year ago in October.

Robert is survived by his wife Sharon Holcomb Eubanks, son William Edward Eubanks of Fort Worth, Texas; sisters Sara Sperin, Tate, Ga, Kathleen Eubanks Hall Spring Hill, Fla; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Send cards to the family at 1020 Banks Street, Fort Worth, TX 76114.

Greenwood Funeral Home and Cemetery is taking care of arrangements and will be carrying an official obituary soon. Services are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 3 at the Birchman Baptist Church at 1 p.m. The church is located at 9100 N. Normandale Street, Fort Worth, TX 76116 (817) 244-6590.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 30, 2010

Smart Little Lena and Bill Freeman.

According to a letter from Robin Levison, the secretary of the Smart Little Lena Syndicate, that was sent to shareholders this morning, Smart Little Lena suffered a stroke today, Aug. 30, 2010. So that he would not suffer, it was decided by Dr. John McCarroll of Equine Medical Associates, managers Hanes Chatham and Mike Kelly to have him humanely euthanized. He was put to sleep at 11 am, Aug. 30, 2010.

The managers decided to have "Smart Little Lena" cremated, and his ashes will reside in his trophy case at the Tommy Manion Ranch, where he has resided most of his breeding career.

The 31-year-old Triple Crown winner and earner of $743,275 with Bill Freeman in the saddle, is a leading sire of performance horses, with 1,340 earning over $39.1 million, averaging $29,179 for each performer. His leading money-earning offspring is the NCHA World Champion Red White And Boon, a 1988 gelding out of Royal Blue Boon by Boon Bar, with $930,954 in lifetime earnings.

Second is Smart Peppy Lena, a 1984 Paint gelding with $494,214 in lifetime earnings. His leading money-earning daughter is Justa Smart Peanut, a 1997 daughter of Justaswinging Peanut by Justa Swinging Peppy, with $417,739 in lifetime earnings.The leading money-earning stallion sired by Smart Little Lena is Quejanaisalena, a 1999 son of Quejanamia by Son O Mia, with $338,204 in lifetime earnings. He is owned by Greg Coalson, Weatherford, Texas.

As legendary as Smart Little Lena is as a sire, his daughters are more sought after as broodmares as 1,842 performing maternal grandbabies have earned over $44.7 million, for an average of $24,272. During 2010, his maternal grandbabies have won over $2 million. The leading money-earning maternal grandbaby is Dual Rey Me, a 1999 gelding by Dual Pep out of Miss Smart Rey Jay who was an NCHA Open and Non-Pro World Champion with lifetime earnings of $820,905. He is currently being shown and is owned by Jeremy and Candace Barwick.

Second is Redneck Yachtclub, a 2004 gelding by San Tule Freckles out of Sheyssmartlittlelena, with llfetime earnings of $497,007, which includes the $100,000 won by leading rider Phil Rapp during the 2008 MillionHeir Open Derby. The following year Mary Ann Rapp was Reserve Champion in the Non-Pro MillionHeir Derby for a $57,386 paycheck.

Third Cutting, a 2005 stallion by Boonlight Dancer out of Crab Grass, with $400,435 in lifetime earnings, is currently in the running for the 2010 NCHA Horse of the Year. Ridden by Boyd Rice, the popular stallion tied for 8th in the 2008 NCHA Open Futurity, won the 2009 NCHA Open Derby, tied for the championship of the Open Super Stakes and won the Open Classic Challenge at the NCHA Summer Spectacular.

The Manion Ranch, where Smart Little Lena made his home all of his breeding career, stopped collecting Smart Little Lena in July 2008 under Dr. McCarrolls recommendation due to his age, which was 29 at the time. However there is frozen and cooled semen available.

According to Kyle Manion, "Smart Little Lena came here after retiring from competition at the age of 4. Today he was euthanized and passed away in my mother's arms."


By Robert Eubanks
Aug. 23, 2010 - Dallas, Texas

Beamon Ashley shown with his friend John Carter. He opened the gate during the major NCHA cuttings for some of the greatest cutters and horses. Beamon was inducted into the 2000 NCHA Members Hall of Fame.


He would train any kind of horses people wanted trained and specialized in roping, reining and pleasure horses.

He became familiar with cutting horses in the 1950s through George Glascock, a cattle rancher and cutting horse trainer who owned the first National Cutting Horse Association world champion.

Although he never trained a cutter, Beamon Ashley, who died in his sleep at the Cedar Hill Health Care Center, Cedar Hill, Texas, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010 at age 88, became a legend in the the NCHA, which inducted him into its Members Hall of Fame in 2000. According to Howard McCleery, DVM, Terrell, Texas, who nominated Ashley to the Members Hall of Fame, "In my opinion, he gave more of himself to the NCHA than anyone else I knew of. He didn't have a whole lot but gave all he had in admiration of the cutting horse. He opened the gate during the major NCHA cuttings for some of the greatest cutters and horses."

“Some of the cutters let me try it (riding cutting horses), but I couldn’t do it,” Said Ashley in a 2001 interview. “I’d rather write a book than ride a cutting horse,” he said, breaking out in a laugh. “I just love to watch them. I’m not going to lie to you. I love it. I love to watch cutting horses work and I like to be around these people. I’ll continue to do it as long as my legs will let me walk.”

Those legs stopped walking on Aug. 22 as the Dallas, Texas, resident passed away to join his wife, Ollie, who died at age 78 on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2006 during the North Texas Cutting Horse Association Summer Circuit in Fort Worth, Texas.

Funeral arrangements are being taken care of by the Singing Hills Funeral Home, 6221 Houston School Road, Dallas, Texas 75241 (214) 371-4311. Funeral services will be held Monday, Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. at the St. Paul Baptist Church, 1600 Pear Street, Dallas, Texas 75217 (214) 421-3741.

Mr. Ashley was associated with the NCHA through his ties to Mr. Glascock, who hired him to let cattle in and out the arena at a 1950 cutting held during the 1950 State Fair in Dallas, and became a fixture at major aged events held by the NCHA at Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth for almost 20 years. A dear friend of cutters, he opened the rear arena gates for cattle changes between the working groups in the go-rounds and the finals, beginning with the 1967 NCHA World Championship Futurity.

Although he gave up his job in 1994, his beloved wife would drive him to Fort Worth each morning and pick him up at the end of the day so he could enjoy generations of cutting horse competitors and horses he had come to love.

One of the highlights of his life came in 2001 when a blue/gray roan named Mr Beamon, owned by Jerry Jones, Granbury, Texas, was ridden by Tag Rice to the Reserve Championship of the NCHA World Championship Futurity. Tag’s dad, Ronnie, won it.

Save for two early days when it was very cold, Ashley was there for every day of the Futurity, which consisted of 20 days.

Ashley said he had watched horses trained by Ronnie and Sonny Rice for many years, because “I kind of liked their style” and thus, he wasn’t surprised when Ronnie’s son Tag emerged as a leading cutting horse trainer.

He really was pleased that Mr Beamon turned out to be a good ’un. He had gone this route once before when a good friend, Larry Bozman, Rockwall, Texas, chose “Beamon Ashley” as the name for a 1995 sorrel by Lil Peppy Tino out of a Doc O’Lena mare, Rosalee Lena.

“But, he never did make and that’s why I didn’t want them to name this horse after me,” Ashley said.

Jones said he had been thwarted on several attempts to register a name the colt, trying to come up with a tag that included “Blue Duck.”

“Blue Duck was this mean Indian that was in ‘Lonesome Dove’ for so long,” Jones said. “This was a tough, young horse, but every Blue Duck name was taken.”

He didn’t name the horse until the end of its 2-year-old year, and it cost him almost $300 to name him after Ashley. Jones thought it was an appropriate way to honor a man who has been a ray of sunshine in the lives of cutters for many years.

“He lives way over in East Dallas; I used to work over there and I know how hard it is to get from there to here in the traffic,” Jones said. “His wife (Ollie) brings him over here every morning then comes back to pick him up in the afternoon. This is a terrible spectator sport but I have never seen anybody that loved it as much as he does. I called Mr. Beamon and I told him I was thinking about doing that, naming the horse after him, and I thought he probably would enjoy it, being a good horse.”

“He said it was going to be a good horse, so I said ‘You need to give him a good name,’ “ and he said ‘I can’t think of a better name,’ “ Ashley said.

On many occasions, Mr. Ashley could be found attending cuttings in East Texas. He said Larry Bozman, Rockwall, Texas, and Terry Adams, Forney, Texas, president of the Lone Star CHA, “used to carry me to cuttings, practices, etc. They’re my road buddies.”

According to McCleery, if you saw him at a weekend show and asked him about your run, you better be ready for the truth."

Several years prior to his wife’s death, his cutting friends and family honored him and his wife during a cutting held at Sulphur Springs, Texas, with a 50th year wedding anniversary party.

The cutting was stopped, a covered-dish meal was spread on the table, a three-tiered wedding cake was brought out and finally, the gift: A blue Chevrolet pick-up, purchased with donations from cutters nationwide. It was presented to the man and his wife who had given unselfishly to cutting, viewing his position as more than a job, and proving it in his friendliness to every cutter. Few dry eyes remained in the coliseum at the time of the presentation.

The event was spearheaded by Larry and Ronda Bozman, as well as Terry and Agnes Adams. Although the Ashleys were aware of the party being given in their honor; the gift, however, was a total surprise. Funds had been secretly gathered underneath Mr. Beamon's nose for almost five months, and remarkably stayed a secret from him. The NCHA made a sizable contribution to its past employee.

"The best part about this story,'' stated cutter Jim Emerson, ``is that Ronda Bozman, who started the fund-raising effort, had to have surgery shortly afterward. Even with some partial paralysis and all that she went through, her No. 1 concern remained the drive for Beamon. She continued to work on the mailings and the bookkeeping as soon as she was able, and even put off a trip to a specialist in Atlanta to attend the party.''

Ashley’s appreciation for horses began as a child. He was born in Huntsville, Texas, and raised on a South Texas cattle ranch. His three brothers and four sisters helped working the beef and dairy herd. He didn’t leave until World War II called him away to France and Germany.

He came back to the ranch in 1945, but stayed only a couple of months before moving to Dallas, where he was the chauffeur for John W. Carpenter, president of Texas Power & Light Co.

He worked for a cotton gin for the next year and began his own horse training business in Oak Cliff.

Ashley said the best hand he ever saw was Glascock, a complete horseman who also trained cutting horses. Next was NCHA legend Buster Welch, a man he ranked in a class by himself.

“That man has more going for him with a horse than any human being I’ve ever seen,” he said in a 1991 interview with Sally Harrison. “He’ll do things different than anyone you’ll ever see. He never stops his cow in the herd. He just drives it out.

“One time he showed a horse called Rey Jay’s Pete. I called him a saddle horse, a Tennessee Walker, (I know that wasn’t right [Rey Jay's Pete was out of a Thoroughbred mare]. In the back of my mind, I said, can a saddle horse do this kind of stuff? But he did it and he won the Futurity. He’s a man I really admire and I love to watch him.”

Ashley’s all-time favorite horse was Sugar Vaquero, the 1973 NCHA World Champion under Bobby Sikes.



By Steve Warren
Aug. 20, 2010

“Every horseman gets one great horse, CD Olena was mine.” Winston Hansma, August 13, 2010.

CD Olena, the 1994 NCHA Cutting Futurity Champion and 1995 NCHA Cutting Derby Champion and a leading NCHA sire died from a ruptured aorta on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010 at Hartman’s Equine Reproduction Center in Whitesboro, Texas, where he stood the 2010 breeding season. David Hartman DVM had leased CD Olena for the 2010-2013 breeding seasons from Bobby Pidgeon’s Bar H Ranche, located in Moscow, Tenn., and Weatherford, Texas.

The 19-year-old stallion, bred by Pidgeon, a successful non-professional cutter, was sired by the industry’s legendary sire Doc O’Lena out of the great mare CD Chica San Badger by Peppy San Badger and out of Zorra Chica by Otoe. He made a huge impact on the cutting horse industry and his untimely death will be felt by all.

CD Olena sired 1,136 AQHA-registered foals, of which 578 went on to perform. According to Robin Glenn Pedigrees, 555 were money earners in cutting and reining of close to $14 million, averaging $25,196. His daughters produced 865 foals with 158 going on to perform in the show pen and 144 of those earning over $4.65 million, for an average of $32,290. Sister CD, owned and shown by Skip and Elizabeth Queen, may be his best-known and highest money-earning off-spring with earnings of almost $730,000. Winston Hansma, who trained and showed CD Olena to the championship of the 1994 NCHA Futurity and the 1995 NCHA Derby, felt that CD Olena “had all the variables that we look for when we try to raise horses. He had the right size and conformation.”

But he came by his talent naturally, being sired by Doc O’Lena, one of the leading sires in the performance horse industry, and out of CD Chica San Badger, who was originally purchased from the King Ranch by Lonnie Allsup. She was then purchased and shown by Buster and Sheila Welch with great success. In 1988, Pidgeon purchased her for the Bar H Ranche breeding program and Winston was instrumental in arranging for CD Chica San Badger to be bred to Doc O’Lena. The rest is cutting horse history.

By the time CD Chica San Badger was retired from the cutting arena, she had earnings of $279,038, including championships of the 1987 TQHA National Stakes 4-Year-Old Open and Non-Pro, Bonanza 4-Year-Old Non-Pro, the Augusta 4-Year-Old Non-Pro Futurity and the 1988 PCCHA Open Classic. She was also the Reserve Champion of the 1987 Non-Pro NCHA Derby.

According to Winston, CD Olena was the best 2-year-old he ever rode. Hansma said that CD Olena’s first 30 days on cattle didn’t show anything special but by the end of 30 days, CD Olena had figured out what was expected of him and started to really show something. By the fall of his 2-year-old year, CD Olena was the strongest and smartest horse on a cow that Winston had ridden. The pair finished fifth at the NCHA Open Super Stakes Open and seventh at the Bonanza Open 4-year-old – besides his major wins at the NCHA Futurity and Derby. Some felt that only ‘sticky’ cows kept him from winning the NCHA Triple Crown. CD Olena had lifetime earnings of $170,706.42.

Winston went on to say that CD Olena was a “bright-lights horse” who knew when the big money was up and people were in the stands. He knew when there was a huge crowd in the stands watching and would perform accordingly. After his NCHA win, CD Olena “knew he was a champion and thought everyone should look up to him.”

Winston was recently reminded by his loper, Nyoka Johnson, of a quirk CD Olena developed after his Futurity win where he started hanging his tongue out of his mouth. He wouldn’t do this while showing, only afterward, as if to say “look at me, I am the champion.”

Winston put CD Olena at the top of his list of great horses followed by Dual Pep and CD Lights or “Boss,” an up-and-coming son of CD Olena that Winston owns with Danny Motes.

Winston felt it was compelling that Pidgeon had moved his mares and many of his babies back to his place in Tennessee and leased the Bar H in Texas to Paul Hansma at almost the same time as CD Olena died.

CD Olena, the 1995 NCHA Horse Of The Year and the No. 5 leading cutting sire at the time of his death, was buried on the Bar H Ranche by Paul Hansma, Winston’s brother and recently announced as the current manager/lessee of the ranch.


June 28, 2010 – Canton, Texas
Don Wheeler, 74, Canton, Texas, passed away on Sunday morning, June 27, only two days before he and his wife, Ellen’s 26th wedding anniversary. Don was a well-known NCHA AAA judge and he and his wife, Ellen, produced the Texas Futurity in Waco, Texas. He died of a heart attack following treatment for lung cancer.

He was born Oct. 23, 1935 in Grand Saline to Wilford Omer and Georgia Mae King Wheeler. He served in the U.S. Army for three years and the Navy for four years. He worked for seven years at Letourneau Mfg., on several ranches, was an inspector for the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), a paint contractor and most recently was an independent owner/operator truck driver. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Betty Yarbrough and also grandson Marcus Cox.

Survivors include his wife; twin sons, Tim Wheeler and Sandy Thompson, Athens, Texas and Tom Wheeler and wife Wendy of Jacksonville, Fla; son, Tony Wheeler, Dalhart; twins John Wheeler and wife Stacie, Marshall, Texas and Jodie Hicks and husband James, Otterberg, Germany; daughter, Tami Chew and husband Dennis, Malakoff, Texas; stepchildren, Alton Hargrave and wife Barbara, Warren, Texas; Gil Hargrave and wife Starla, Athens, Texas; Earl Hargrave and wife Lynn, Hurst, Texas; Ann Hargrave and Tim Teague, Austin, Texas; Donna Whittaker, Raweena, Texas, and Jerry Stevens, Murfreesborough, Tenn; sister and brother-in-law, Billie and O.D. Hazel, Fruitvale; 24 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and numerous other relatives and friends.

Pallbearers will be Tommy Wheeler, Robert Wheeler, Heath Wheeler, Austen Hargrave, Ed Earl Hargrave, Wesley Hargrave and Gordon Martens. Honorary pallbearers will be Andrew Wheeler, Jordan Hicks and Marcus Cox, his grandson who joined Don on June 28.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Monday, June 28, at the Bartley Funeral Home, Grand Saline, Texas. The funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 29, at the funeral home with Don Cannon officiating.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 23, 2010

Lenas Lucinda, a 1982 daughter of Doc O’Lena out of Krissie Moon by Moon Crystal was put to sleep on June 1 at the age of 28. The great mare had over $161,760 in lifetime earnings, including a fourth place paycheck of $88,442 in the 1985 NCHA Open Futurity.

However, the mare’s greatest claim to fame was as a producer, being the dam of 14 foals earning $893,695.74 – for an average of $63,835 per offspring. Her highest money-earning foal was SPL Altisimo, a 1991 daughter of Sugar Pep Leo owned by Tommy Manion, with over $192,492 in lifetime earnings, including the championship of the 1995 Steamboat Springs 4-Year-Old Non-Pro, second in the NCHA Non-Pro Derby and a money earner at the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes. She also was Reserve Champion of the El Cid 4-Year-Old Non-Pro.

In 1996 she finished fourth in the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes Classic, was Reserve Champion of the Augusta Non-Pro Cutting Classic and finished third at the Memphis Non-Pro Classic. In 1997, she won the Augusta Non-Pro Cutting Classic and was second in the Open Division. She won the championship of the Gold Coast Winter 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro, split the Reserve at The Bonanza 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro and was fourth in the NCHA Non-Pro Super Stakes Classic.

Lucindas Catolena, a 2003 daughter of High Brow Cat wasn’t far behind with $173,641 in lifetime earnings, including a $69,458 paycheck for splitting 12th in the 2006 NCHA Open Futurity. In 2007, she was seventh in the NCHA Open Super Stakes, among many other accolades.With $171,951, Lenas Dualin, a 2002 son of Dual Pep, was a finalist in the 2005 NCHA Open Futurity. Her youngest offspring to show was Lena Peptolena, a 2006 son of Peptoboonsmal, with earnings of $16,784, including being a money-earner in the 2009 NCHA Open Futurity and 2010 NCHA Open Super Stakes.

Bred by Shorty Freeman, Inc., and sold by such well-known owners as the Oxbow Ranch and Carl Turner, she was owned during her show career by Tim Brewer, Weatherford, Texas, who purchased her in 1997 from James H Thomas, Savannah, Tenn.


March 17, 2010
Bill and Jo Ellard shown at their 2005 EE Ranches Sale.
Photo by Kurtz


They were called the “couple dedicated to the next generation" when they were selected as honorees at the 2010 Fort Worth Stock Show Open Hereford Show. Bill and Jo Ellard supported the National Junior Hereford Association as well as the National Youth Cutting Horse Association for many years. However, the story of that highly successful and generous couple ended yesterday, March 16, when Bill lost his battle with cancer.

Bill and Jo created EE Ranches, which not only includes a cutting horse training operation outside of Pilot Point, Texas, and a state-of-the-art stallion station just north of Whitesboro, Texas, but also ranching operations in Mississippi, Kansas, Texas and Wyoming. Their extensive Hereford cattle operation has two locations – the original ranch in Jo’s hometown of Winona, Miss., and the more recently acquired ranch in the rolling Flint Hills of southeast Kansas, near Fall River. They also have an alfalfa hay operation near Wheatland, Wyo.

Bill was an Arkansas native, who in 1973 founded the National Teachers Associates Life Insurance Company in Dallas and has grown the company into one of the nation’s premier supplemental health insurance companies. At the time of his death, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO. Jo was a native of Mississippi and worked as a critical care administrator in Jackson. Both loved the Western lifestyle – Bill rode bulls in high school and Jo rode horses.

The Ellards began their career in the Registered Hereford business when they purchased the George Harris, Circle H Ranch at Winona and a number of Hereford cattle at the famed Circle H Ranch Dispersal Sale in November 1982. Those cattle and others purchased from established breeders, laid the foundation for the Advance Domino genetics predominate in the current EE Hereford Ranch cow herd.

Their EE Ranches built its original cutting horse training facility near Pilot Point, Texas in 1985. With first Roy Cox, then Guy Woods as their trainers, they have bred horses winning over $3.8 million, making them some of the leading breeders in the industry. The EE Ranches Stallion Station was constructed in the fall of 2002 and now is home to 12 resident stallions. Full breeding services, including shipped and frozen semen, embryo transfer, foal-out and year-round mare care are offered.

Winners of the 2009 NCHA Futurity Gelding Incentive Award sponsored by the stallions standing at EE Ranches.

They have bred and campaigned successful stallions such as Cat Ichi, DJ Tracker, Laker Doc and Monarcat. Also standing at the facility are Athena Puddy Cat, Duals Blue Boon, Freckles Fancy Twist, High Brow Cougar, Lizzys Gotta Player, Nitas Wood, Power Proof, Smart Little Levi and Spots Hot. The Ellards also created a high-paying gelding award for NCHA Futurity gelding entries sired by stallions stand at EE Ranches Stallion Station.

Bill and Jo invested their time and resources enriching the lives of youth through the National Junior Hereford Association and the National Youth Cutting Horse Association, which Jo organized and established in 1992. Bill and Jo presented the Hereford Youth Foundation with the leading gift of $200,000 to kick off the $5 million Capital Endowment Campaign. Their influence on the cattle/horse industries and its youth has been far-reaching and will continue to be an influence for generations to come.

The couple has two grown sons: Brian, who lives in Dallas and is the President of National Teacher Associates Inc., and affiliated agencies, and Chad, a professional sailor currently finishing the final journey of his around-the-world sailing expedition. They also have two granddaughters: Brinson and Campbell.

Funeral services will be Saturday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m. at the Lee Funeral Home, Winona, Miss., (662-283-4515), with visitation the evening before from 5-7 p.m.. There will be a memorial service in Dallas on Sunday, March 28 at the Bent Tree Country Club. (972-931-7326) at 2 p.m., followed by a reception. Memorial donations may be made to NCHA's Youth Summer Cutting Scholarship Program, 260 Bailey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76107
Some excerpts in this article are reprinted with permission from the January 2010 issue of Texas Hereford.


Jan. 17, 2010
Russ Deason, 70, a cutting horse trainer, passed away Jan. 13 at his home in Pensacola, Fla.

Russell “Russ” Deason, 70, a cutting horse trainer from Pensacola, Fla., passed away at 12:30 a.m., Jan. 13 at his home.

Born in Evergreen, Ala., on June 14, 1939, Russ began riding Western Pleasure in the 1950’s. He then developed an interest in cutting as a spectator at the AQHA cuttings in the 1960’s. One of his greatest mentors was Buster Welch, who he considered as one of his good friends and the Master of Cutting.

He considered his greatest accomplishments in the cutting industry as his 1976 World Championship on Mr Blue Bid and a second World Champion on Pride of Honcho. From 1980-1982, he worked for Helen Groves' Silverbrook Farms in Virginia.

With lifetime earnings topping $116,852, Russ had many great accomplishments, including: the 1978 $500 Novice Horse Champion of Florida CHA; 1983, trained Doc’s Royal Sug, a finalist at the NCHA Open Futurity; 1984, a finalist at the NCHA Super Stakes and a finalist at the Jackson, Miss., Summer Cutting Circuit; 1985 Reserve Open Champion of the Heart of Dixie Cutting Association, Reserve Open Champion of Area 16, Open Futurity Champion of the SECHA riding Mist of Luck owned by Billy Hilyer, Reserve Open Champion of the $3,000 Novice Horse at the Area Workoffs in Jackson, Miss., and qualified for an NCHA Bronze Award riding Peppys Scolder.

He was also the 1987 SECHA Futurity Open Champion riding Macajoy Lynx owned by Roger Odum; 1988 National Champion, $1,500 Novice Horse; 1990 Southern Futurity $3,000 Novice Horse finalist and 1991 Augusta Fall Futurity Champion and placed third at the Southern Futurity riding Little Tanquery
A supporter of Area 14 cuttings, Russ was a great friend who was dedicated to the sport of cutting and his wonderfully family, including his wife of 41 years, Janice Minshew Deason, and his children Redetha, Rusty and Josh – as well as grandchildren Courtney and Brianna. Deason Cutting Horses is being operated by his son Josh and Russ’s wife, Janice, in honor of Russ.

Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 and the funeral will be held Wednesday, Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Pensacola Memorial Gardens, 7433 Pine Forest Road, Pensacola, FL 32526. Send your cards and letters to Janice Deason, 5845 Beulah Church Rd., Pensacola, FL 32526 (850) 944-2350.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Jan. 10, 2010 – Bayfield, Colo.

Cattillion shown enjoying retirement at Floyd Miller's Cottonwood Springs Ranch in Bayfield, Colo.

Cattilion, a 2001 daughter of High Brow Cat out of Staraleno by Grays Starlight, had been living out her retirement years on Floyd Miller’s Cottonwood Springs Ranch in Bayfield, Colo. However, the great mare succumbed to a bout of colic on Saturday, Jan. 2 at the Oklahoma Equine Hospital in Washington, Okla., where she was being boarded in anticipation of the 2010 breeding season.

Her loss happened only a little more than two weeks after Harley, her 3-year-old gelded son of Spots Hot, collected his first paycheck of $31,033 for being a finalist in the NCHA Open Futurity. Bred by Tim Barry, Byron, Ill., who had purchased Cattilion from Jerry Durant, Weatherford, Texas, as a 3-year-old in 2005, Harley was owned by Wesley and Kristen Galyean, Claremore, Okla., and ridden by Wesley.

“She passed away very quickly and didn’t suffer,” said Miller talking about Cattilion. “I was thankful for that.”

Miller purchased Cattilion at the 2006 NCHA Preferred Breeders Sale Session 1 during the NCHA Futurity from Billy and Kyla Taylor, Savannah, Ga., for $150,000. With over $150,391 in lifetime earnings, the great mare, bred by Stephan L. Ralston MD, Ogden, Utah, had been a finalist in the 2004 NCHA Open Futurity, earning $37,247, and won the Larry Hall Cutting Stakes Open Award for $92,960. She also was a finalist at the Augusta and Memphis 4-Year-Old Non-Pro Futurity and the Memphis 4-Year-Old Open Futurity. She was also a money earner at the 2005 NCHA Non-Pro Derby. At the time that Miller purchased the mare, she was bred to Bet On Me 498.

According to Miller, after the mare’s death, her ovaries were harvested and shipped to Dr. Carnevale at CSU’s Equine Science Lab. “I knew that if anyone in the world could pull off a miracle and get us just one more Cattilion foal, it was her,” said Miller. “They recovered 12 oocytes which we bred to Dual Rey with the help of Linda Holmes. I called Linda on a Sunday and interrupted her in the middle of yoga class to ask if she’d help me. It was amazing, she dropped what she was doing and helped make it possible to breed to her incredible stallion.”

Unfortunately, the team of Miller, Holmes and Dr. Carnevale was too late to successfully get any embryos, but they at least knew that they had given it their best try.

“Cattilion was young and had tremendous potential with Harley being one of her first foals,” said Miller. “It was very exciting for us to watch Wesley Galyean ride Harley in the finals. He had a bit of tough luck with the cows, gut it was obvious that Hartley’s going to be a terrific show horse.

Miller, who was an advertising executive with a technology background with such major companies as Microsoft, Sun Micro, Symantec, Lotus and Apple, is involved in breeding horses for the working cow horse industry, and along with his partner Michael Moynihan and adopted daughter Lehua, has put together an impressive group of broodmares at his ranch located near Durango, Colo. One such great mare is Kwackin, a daughter of Dual Pep out of Crackin by Smart Little Lena, and the producer of offspring that have won over $403,669. Miller purchased the AQHA Reined Cow Horse Broodmare of the Year and Equi-Stat’s Leading Reined Cowhorse producer in 2006. She was the high-selling horse of the 2008 NCHA Super Stakes Sale, bringing a final bid of $265,000 for consignors Jack and Linda Kenney, Millsap, Texas.

In October, he traveled to the James Vangilder dispersal sale in Weatherford, Texas, where he purchased Poosmal, a 1997 daughter of Peptoboonsmal out of Hickpoo by Doc’s Hickory, bred to Mecom Blue. The great mare, with four offspring earning over $600,000, was the third high-selling horse of the sale, bringing a final bid of $235,000 from Miller.

“Cattilion was very fertile and we are fortunate to have a wonderful 2-year-old filly by Shining Spark in training with Jake Telford, named Shiners Bling Cat, with a Shining Spark and Peptoboonsmal weanling here at the ranch and three Shiners and a Peptoboonsmal on their way in 2010,” said Miller. “Cattilion will likely have a great produce record and hopefully be replaced in our program by one of her daughters.”


Nov. 8, 2009 - Kingsburg, Calif.
Smart Peppy Doc, a full brother to Smart Little Lena, was put down on Nov. 5 at the age of 24. He was standing at the Ward River Ranch.


Ward River Ranch stallion, Smart Peppy Doc, was euthanized on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 at the age of 24, due to the infirmities of old age.

Smart Peppy Doc, born in 1985, was sired by Doc O’Lena and out of the great mare Smart Peppy. He was a full brother to Smart Little Lena. During his cutting career, the bay stallion was an Open finalist in the 1989 NCHA Super Stakes, Memphis 4-Year-Old Open Futurity, Bonanza Derby and Sunbelt Open Maturity. As a 5- & 6-year old, he was the 1991 NCHA Open Challenge Reserve Champion and the 1991 Augusta Open Classic Reserve Champion. He had lifetime earnings of $124,489.

Throughout his breeding career, Smart Peppy Doc sired earners of more than $1.4 million including: Smart Peppy Quixote, earner of $195,238; Smart April, earner of over $72,000; Rio Smart, earner of $55,404 and Rolladaker, earner of over $48,000.

“He was the kindest horse I have ever known,” said Dar Hanson, Ward River Ranch manager. “He will be greatly missed.”

Smart Peppy Doc was owned by a syndicate. Syndicate manager Pepper Snyder said, "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Smart Peppy Doc. I've been very fortunate to have owned two great horses, Smart Peppy Doc and Doc's Remedy. They were both great horses that possessed wonderful dispositions. I want to thank Dar Hanson for the great care he gave Smart Peppy Doc during the many years he stood at his facility."

Smart Peppy Doc was laid to rest in the shade of an oak tree on the Ward River Ranch where he had spent so many years. For more information on Smart Peppy Doc, visit HYPERLINK "" or call (559) 897-8616.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 4, 2009

Kathy Lee Shaughnessy, Co-Director of the Charles Goodnight Gala, dies at age 58 and the original painting by Orren Mixer of Wimpy P-1 will be auctioned off Sunday, Nov. 15 during the AQHA World Show Sale.


Kathy Lee Shaughnessy, co-director of the Charles Goodnight Gala, dies at 58.

Kathy Lee Shaughnessy, 58, Arlington, Texas, who helped direct the Charles Goodnight Gala, held each year during the NCHA Futurity and was the executive assistant to the publisher of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, died Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009.

Mrs. Shaughnessy was born Nov. 2, 1950, in St. Louis, Mo., daughter of the late James Spencer Adsit and Dorothy Ballmer Adsit. She was also the owner of Bearfoot Gifts.

She is survived by her husband of 26 years, Steve Shaughnessy; sons, Ian Shaughnessy and Ryan Hope of Arlington; grandson, Blake Boyd of Cape Canaveral, Fla.; sisters, Judy Notestine of St. Louis, Mo., Bonnie Overton and husband, Joe, of Shiner, Vicki Johnson of Shiner, and Laury Gelardi and husband, Bob, of Destin, Fla.; sisters-in-law, Kathy Hope of St. Louis, Mo., and Regina Hegger and husband, Gary, of Charlotte, N.C.; and numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews and great-nieces. She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Kelly Ann

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 5819 W. Pleasant Ridge Road, Arlington. The Rev. Thomas L. Craig will be the celebrant. Interment: private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the American Heart Association .

The original painting of Wimpy P-1 by Orren Mixer will be auctioned off at the AQHA World Show Sale, Nov. 15.


An important offering of one of the iconic images in AQHA history, the original oil painting of Wimpy P-1 by Orren Mixer, will be offered at the World Championship Show Sale on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Rex Cauble commissioned the painting from Orren Mixer. The current owner Reynolds Moreland, III is the second owner.
Click here for more information>>


Press Release from NRCHA
Oct. 21, 2009

Shining Spark by Orren Mixer



At the 2007 National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Snaffle Bit Futurity, Shining Spark made history as the first NRCHA $2 million sire when his offspring won enough during the event to propel him past that milestone. Two years later, his talented progeny did it again - and he became the association's first $3 million sire - and he did it before any other horse could reach the $2 million mark!

Of the 19 Shining Spark offspring that competed in the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in 2009, 13 made their way to the various finals and earned $233,558 in the process. The total earnings of his foals at the event were $246,640.

The venerable stallion's spark has been more of a blaze in the past year! At the 2008 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity last December, a Shining Spark
daughter, Shining N Sassy, won the Open Division and $175,000! Those earnings helped push Shining Spark over the $3 Million Mark in NRHA offspring earnings. At that event, 11 of the Open finalists were by "Shiner" or out of one of his daughters.

With this latest NRCHA accolade, Shining Spark has become the only stallion in history with earnings exceeding the $3 million mark in both associations. With so many visible achievers, it might seem that there were simply a lot of Shining Spark get "out there" but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the 13 foals that made the Snaffle Bit Futurity finals were from a crop of less than 60. With Shiner, it's long been a case of quality over quantity.

Owner Carol Rose has been candid about the repercussions of his bout with chondritis in 1999 and how the subsequent life-saving treatment had a lifelong effect on his fertility, forever reducing the amount of mares he was able to breed yearly. Shining Spark's book is now closed to the public as the career-haunting fertility issue has become increasingly a factor at the age of 21. However, over 50 mares were bred in both 2008 and 2009, and Rose noted that that number is expected to be the same in 2010.

How did the admittedly talented stallion quietly become such an icon in the performance horse breeding industry? Rose smiled, and then responded, "I think that so much of him goes to his babies - no matter what mare they're out of - and regardless of if they are a stallion, gelding or mare – they are the same. They have a great attitude; they're athletic and huge stoppers, they can really run and they can turn around. Most of Shiner's foals have very strong hocks and are really strong over their loin. They've got good conformation, good bone."

She continued, "They're also very sensitive, very willing, they want to do the right things and they love to work cattle. You don't want to abuse them or force them - just show them what you want and they'll work their hearts out. They have a huge work ethic."

The Shining Spark foals came of age at a perfect time to show their prowess on bovines, as the reined cow horse industry was booming. That suited Carol just fine. Originally from California, she had ridden reined cow horses from the age of six and even when she moved to Texas and began riding cutters, she had always retained a soft spot in her heart for that event.

"Cutting and cow horses have always been my passion. When NRCHA became more universal I went that direction with the Shiners because his foals were inclined to be good on cattle and they could do the rein work so well. I never set out to make him a million dollar sire or a $2 million sire. His foals have spoken for themselves and won with premier trainers and with Non Pros. I thank everyone who has believed in this program and in Shiner's babies and appreciate their support," she said.

And while Shining Spark's progeny have obviously excelled in competition, they have carried on their sire's legacy and have begun producing winners of their own. "Shining Spark's sons are making a definite impact on the industry," Rose said. "And the Shining Spark mares add nothing but strength to the bottom side of almost every pedigree. They are proving to be some of the most desired broodmares in the cow horse and reining industries today."

Rose and Shiner have been a team from the beginning and her voice shows her love for this horse. "I owned and showed Genuine Doc's mother, Gay Bar's Gen, bred, raised, and showed Genuine Doc, then bred, raised and am still promoting Shining Spark. These horses are my family. Shiner is my family." And like her famous stallion, Carol has been honored as well. She was inducted into the NRCHA Hall of Fame in 2004, and in 2010 will become a member of the American Quarter Horse Association Hall of Fame.


Oct. 9, 2009 – Weatherford, Texas
Peptoboonsmal, the sire of offspring earning close to $14.6 million in the performance horse arena, will stand the 2010 breeding season at the new breeding facility ESMS On The Brazos in Weatherford, Texas.


Peptoboonsmal, one of the leading sires of performance horses, owned by Jackson Land and Cattle, LLC, will stand the 2010 season at ESMS on the Brazos, a new facility in Weatherford, Texas. ESMS on the Brazos, Equine Reproduction Center & Fertility Lab, is the newest division of Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery.

The creation and expansion of a new world-class reproduction division is a natural step for this practice which prides itself on being cutting edge in the industry. In October, the practice purchased a magnificent 60-acre horse ranch located on the banks of the Brazos River and named it ESMS on the Brazos. The new facilities include several oversized paddocks with run-in sheds, impressive exercise facilities, a show barn, meeting facilities, offices and housing. Currently under construction are a new stallion barn, mare motels and a state-of-the-art reproduction center and fertility lab. The entire facility will include 24-hour supervision, seven days per week. The new facilities will be completed in time for the 2010 breeding season.

The new division will be headed by two of the leading reproduction veterinarians in the industry: Dr. Kory Niswender, and Dr. Semira Mancill. ESMS on the Brazos will offer a full range of equine breeding and reproduction services including advance reproductive techniques in semen processing, embryo transfer, sub-fertile mare breeding, on-site uterine cytology, culture, and biopsy diagnostics.

“We are extremely excited about the arrival of the premier stud Peptoboonsmal,” said Kirk Eddleman, CEO of ESMS. “To be able to introduce our new facility with such a legendary stallion is an honor and shows a great deal of confidence in our team.”

“This has been an extremely important decision for Jackson Land and Cattle,” said Richard Fields, owner of Jackson Land and Cattle and Peptoboonsmal. “Finding the perfect partnership of stallion services, professional veterinary skills, facilities, and commitment to superior client and mare support was essential to our decision. We believe we have found the perfect setting to stand Peptoboonsmal. In addition, we would like to thank all of the various facilities that had shown an interest in standing Peptoboonsmal, as well as all of the individuals who contributed their time and energy into making this final decision.”

For information contact Tracy Ross at Jackson Land & Cattle LLC (307) 732-1011 or the Pepto Team at (817) team-247 / (817) 832-6247 or visit

About Jackson Land and Cattle, LLC
Located on over 2,000 acres in the historic Spring Gulch corridor of Jackson Hole, Wyo., Jackson Land and Cattle, LLC (JLC) is steeped in ranching tradition and is home to a premier cutting and working cow-horse operation. Peptoboonsmal, a son of Peppy San Badger out of Royal Blue Boon by Boon Bar, was the 1995 NCHA Futurity Champion and earner of close to $180,500 prior to becoming the sire of offspring earning close to $14.6 million in the performance horse arena.

About Equine Sports Medicine and Surgery (ESMS)
Established in 2001 through the partnership of Dr.’s Ivey, Hurlbert and Fox, ESMS began with the vision of a state-of-the-art equine medical and surgery facility. It has since grown into one of the premier equine medical practices in the United States offering a full spectrum of services including internal medicine, surgery, racetrack, , chiropractics, acupuncture, performance, ambulatory, digital radiology, ultrasound, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, new 24-hour critical care facility, an on-site Veterinary Reference laboratory, and a world-class equine reproduction center and fertility lab. ESMS treats a variety of performance, breeding and companion horses throughout the southwestern United States.

About Dr. Kory Niswender
Dr. Niswender comes to ESMS after spending six breeding seasons at Reata Equine Hospital as a reproductive specialist. He earned his Master’s degree and did his residency in the Equine Reproduction Laboratory at Colorado State University and in 2003, became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, qualifying him as a reproductive specialist. His special interests include techniques for treating subfertility in mares, breeding mares with frozen semen and embryo transfers.

About Dr. Semira Mancill
Dr. Mancill comes to ESMS after completing a reproduction residency under world-renowned theriogenologists Dr. Dickson Varner and Dr. Katrin Hinrichs at Texas A&M University. Under their guidance and support Dr. Mancill gained experience in the latest technology that equine reproduction has to offer. Her master’s research focused on the advanced semen processing techniques of cushioned cetrifugation, EquiPure™ centrifugation and semen cryopreservation. She earned her Master’s Degree and her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 2005, both from Texas A&M University.



Sept. 19, 2009
Charles G. Maynard shown doing what he loved best - cutting.

Charles G. Maynard, 60, Stanfield, Ariz., whose passion was raising, training and ridding cutting horses, passed away on Sept. 12 in Denver, Colo. He was 60.

The longtime member of the NCHA served as an NCHA director for Arizona for many years. He won numerous buckles and saddles and also an NCHA Non-Pro Bronze award. Charles, who was born July 22, 1949 in Antlers, Okla., to Goffrie and Aline Maynard, served in the United State Army during the Vietnam War era. He achieved the rank of Sargeant within 18 months.

He is survived by his wife Kathy Maynard, Stanfield; children: Chuck Maynard and his wife Amber of Antlers, Stephen Maynard and his wife Barbara of Hugo, Pamela Alexander and her husband Tom of Antlers, David Rogers of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Kerrie STumpf and husband Ryan of Winterspring, Fla.; sisters: Melba Musgrave of Oklhaoma City, Betty Waugeman and husband Jim of Oklahoma City, Linda Rabel and husband Frank of Pampa, Texas, as well as numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews and many other relatives and friends.

Arrangements are being made by Mills & Coffey Funeral Home of Antlers. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m.., Monday, SEpt. 21, at the First Assembly of God Church. Officiating will be the Reverend Robert Weeks and Pamela Alexander. Pallbearers will be Sam Tigert, Joey Mills, Donald Walls, Billy Carawaqy, Gary Tali and Howard Boyd. Honorary pallbearers are Bill Glass, Charles Taylor and Roger Vandever. Interment will be at the Rattan Cemetery, Rattan, Okla. Send your sympathies to Kathy at 34395 W. Solano Ave., Stanfield, Ariz. 85272.



Sept. 19, 2009
Dr. Bob Hillman, Texas’ state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), has announced that he will retire Dec. 31, ending his nearly seven-year tenure with the state’s livestock and poultry health regulatory agency. The TAHC’s 13 governor-appointed commissioners will establish a committee to conduct a nationwide search to fill Dr. Hillman’s position.

“I have wrestled with the decision to retire, but it is time to put family first,” Dr. Hillman told TAHC commissioners in his announcement. “Texas has made progress in many of our livestock health programs, and we have challenges to overcome in others. Just about every major disease event that has occurred in the United States in the past 6 ½ years has impacted Texas and our livestock industries. With the support of TAHC commissioners and the livestock and poultry industry, we have addressed and resolved many of these issues.”

"Our search committee will look within the TAHC and across the nation for the veterinarian who will best fill the enormous gap created by Dr. Hillman’s retirement," said Mr. Ernie Morales, TAHC chairman and the feedlot representative on the commission

Dr. Hillman, a large animal veterinarian for 35 years, served a short stint with the USDA in Texas, and worked in private practice in both Texas and Idaho. Lauded as one of the country’s most influential state veterinarians, Dr. Hillman was the 2001 president of the U.S. Animal Health Association, and has chaired the organization’s cattle tuberculosis, government relations and animal identification committees and served on the wildlife disease and brucellosis committees. He has served as president of the Western States Livestock Health Association, the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, and the Southern Animal Health Association. In 2007, he received the National Assembly Award, the highest honor from state regulatory animal health officials.

Dr. Hillman and his wife, Martha, will return to Idaho after retirement, where he can fish, hunt, pursue hobbies and they can spend time with their children and grandchildren. Dr. Hillman plans to retain strong ties to Texas and will work on animal health projects, but at a pace not requiring constant travel, agency management and endless work hours.


Sept 2, 2009
Susie Wilson, the wife of three-time NCHA President and 1991 NCHA World Champion Sam Wilson, Pattison, Texas, passed away on Tuesday morning, Sept. 1 at St. Luke's Hospital in Houston. Susie suffered from cancer, a side effect of the liver disease for which she received a liver transplant several years ago.

Visitation will be Thursday, Sept. 3, from 5-7 p.m. at Schmidt Funeral Home, 819 Walker Ave., Brooshire, Texas 77423 (281) 934-2424. The funeral will be Friday, Sept. 4 at 10 a..m. at the Church of Christ, 5458 E 5th St., Katy, Texas 7493-2521 (281) 391-7606. Burial will be in the Pattison Methodist Cemetery.

Susie was a competitive cutter in the 1960s and 1970s, and in 1969 was third in the NCHA Non-Pro World Championship. In 1970, she was the Non-Pro Reserve World Champion. According to the NCHA, she has lifetime earnings of over $82,800 and had earned the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards.

Besides being the NCHA President in 1979, 1980, and 1981, Sam is in the NCHA Members Hall of Fame and NCHA Riders Hall of Fame. He rode the now-deceased stallion Bob Acre Doc, owned by Suzan Cardwell of Houston, to the NCHA World Championship in 1991. He also was Reserve Champion of the 1967 NCHA Futurity.
The Wilsons also owned the now-deceased stallion Son Ofa Doc, the sire of Bob Acre Doc. According to NCHA records, he has lifetime earnings of $565,000.

Send your condolences to Sam at the Wilson Ranch, P.O. Box 59, Pattison, TX 77466-0059.


Aug. 22, 2009
Dean Parker, 78, Logan, Utah, a well-known auctioneer and the owner of Dean H. Parker & Associates, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 20. He also founded the Smithfield Livestock Auction.

According to an article in the Cache Valley Daily News, Parker’s health had been declining since this spring, but he was still active with the livestock auction until just recently. He has been an auctioneer since 1949, and a former president and member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame since 1994. Parker’s specialty was horses and he said that the most expensive horse he ever sold was an Arabian stallion, bringing $3 million.

Parker’s father was in the livestock business and his greatest inspiration was when they went to a local auction every week. Later, he flew his own plane to auctions across the country. Even though his specialty was horses, he was the first auctioneer to llamas. He auctioned off an animal farm at one time that had been used to teach people how to handle animals – and the sale included camels, elephants, wolves, lions, tigers and llamas. When things got slow, he often would sing the “Auctioneer Song.”

He knew a good horse and owned many. At one time, he was a partner with Sid Huntley on the legendary stallion Sugar Bars, a AAA sprinter and a leading sire of race and performance horses.

He was a member of the Mormon (LDS) Church and served six missions for the church, including one in Hawaii. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Marilyn, seven children, 36 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

According to the Cache Valley Daily, there will be viewings on Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 6-8 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 10-11:30 a.m. His funeral will be held Wednesday at 12 noon at the Logan Stake Center on Three Point Avenue.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 4, 2009

Oak Hombre in April after he just finished playing with the babies. The royally bred gelding was recently laid to rest.


There’s an old saying that things happen in three’s, and Paige Strawn, Mt. Vernon, Ill., has discovered that could be true. During the past two weeks, she has lost three horses, with the latest being the royally bred and well-known 1980 gelding Oak Hombre, sired by Docs Oak out of Queen of King by King Skeet.

Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Lyons, Grandview, Texas, Oak Hombre was owned by a variety of owners before Barry and Paige Strawn purchased him in June 2002 from M. L. Sherry & Lynn Schoonover, Osage City, Kan. Other owners included Ralph and Rae Dell Shelton, Arlington, Texas, Jack Smithhart, Terrell, Texas, Graham Tyson Evans, Carmel By The Sea, Calif., Dale Gash, Weatherford, Texas and Bryan Jackson, Canyon, Texas.

With lifetime earnings of over $132,000, Oak Hombre split third in the NCHA Non-Pro Derby, was Champion Gelding at the Chevy Nationals, Open Champion at the NCHA cutting at the Denver Nationals, split 4th in the Open of the PCCHA Non-Pro Cutting Stakes, Champion Gelding at Harrahs PCCHA Futurity and the Plains Non-Pro Maturity Reserve Champion.

Oak Hombre shown practicing his most recent occupation, toting Paige Strawn's niece, Gabriella, around on one of her first rides. Also shown is a neighbor and friend, who helps with the feeding.


Paige has favorite memories of the old gelding that she and her family nicknamed Grandpa. “We always called him Grandpa and it must have been prophetic because there was nothing he loved more than helping with the babies,” said Paige. “In fact, on his last night, one of this year’s babies by Meradas Blue Sue snuck through the fence to eat dinner with Grandpa. It was so cute. He loved playing with the babies and it was so funny to watch him go after them in his arthritic way. It’s like he forgot that was not easy for him anymore.”

The other horses Paige had to put down recently were Grandpa’s best friend Kindalucky, who was 25 and another friend, Cardanita, 28.

“A lot of people were involved in his career,” said Paige, referring to Oak Hombre, “and my heart is broken even though I know he was a happy boy right up until the end and had a happy life with us for the last seven years.”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 29, 2009



Effective July 23, Peptoboonsmal, one of the performance horse industry’s leading sires, has been relocated by his owners, Richard Fields’ Jackson Land & Cattle LLC, Jackson Hole, Wyo. The Fields extend a sincere thank you to Carol Rose and her exceptional staff for their dedication and hard work to ensure the stallion's health and breeding while he was standing standing at Carol Rose Quarter Horses in Gainesville, Texas.

Rose has stood the 17-year-old NCHA Futurity Champion since he was purchased from Elaine Hall of Larry Hall Cutting Horses, Weatherford, Texas, in February 2007. She is the No. 1 all-time leading AQHA breeder of performance horses and a leading NRCHA and NRHA breeder. She is also scheduled to be inducted into the 2010 AQHA Hall of Fame.

Peptoboonsmal, a son of Peppy San Badger out of Royal Blue Boon, and the sire of offspring earning over $12.6 million in the cutting arena, will be relocated for the 2010 breeding season; however, where he will be standing has not yet been disclosed. According to Equi-Stat, he beautiful red-roan stallion was the second leading sire of cutting and reining horses for the past 10 years, with 461 offspring earning over $12.7 million. He also sired 21 reined cow horses for an additional $357,600 making a total of over $13 million won by his offspring over the past 10 years. Altogether his offspring have won over $14 million.

The stallion’s stud fee for 2009 was $18,000; however, Jackson Land & Cattle is running a lifetime breeding program which, if a mare is booked prior to Dec. 31, 2009, the booking will entitle the mare owner to a $15,000 fee for the first three mares, mare No. 4 and 5 will be $13,500 and the sixth mare is free. Additional mares will be $12,000 each. Due to the response from the lifetime breeding opportunity, the offer is scheduled to end on Dec. 31 – making it truly a lifetime opportunity.

Peptoboonsmal’s leading cutting offspring is Little Pepto Gal, with $523,055 in lifetime earnings, followed by Copaspepto, $431,831; One Time Pepto, $331,097; Freckles Lena Boon, $259,818; Sweet Lil Pepto, $236,843; Boonsmal Doctress, $215,193; Buckaroo Boon, $197,433; Royal Red Pepto, $177,657; Miss Stylish Pepto, $164,909 and Peptos Stylish Miss, $158,593.

Peptoboonsmal's son, Boonlight Dancer, tops the reined cow horse sire list with $118,286 in offspring earnings over the past 10 years. The beautiful roan stallion won the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity prior to his cutting career and currently is gaining recognition as the sire of Third Cutting, the winner of the Open Derby held during the NCHA Super Stakes. Ridden by Boyd Rice, Third Cutting is currently in the lead with a 438.5 following the first two go-rounds of the Open division of the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby.

For further information contact Tracy Ross at Jackson Land & Cattle LLC., (307) 732-1011 or the Pepto Team at (817) 447-7373. Check out



Article and photos by Glory Ann Kurtz
July 18, 2009 – Colorado Springs, Colo.

Wayne Survant, 80, Rocky Ford, Colo., rode his 26-year-old mare Doc Cita to the Championship of the Century Cutting. Their ages added together totaled 106

A “Century Cutting,” consisting of two cutters and their mounts whose ages added up to over 100 years, filled the stands of a WSCHA & BnB cutting event held June 28 at the Penrose Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo.


The winner, Wayne Survant, 80, riding his 26-year-old mare Doc Cita, with a total age of 106, won the event when during the last few seconds, James Autry, 79, and 23-year-old Budhas Mike lost a cow. The pair had a total age of 102. Both cutters were neighbors from Rocky Ford, Colo., who had cut against each other for years.

“That only happens about once every seven years,” said a disappointed Autry, after his gray gelding quit the cow and lost it. But both entrants were rewarded by a beautiful trophy buckle – with one saying “Champion” and the other “Reserve Champion.”

Wayne Survant, the champion, and James Autry, the Reserve Champion (middle) shown with helpers (from left) Robin Hayes, Nate Miller, Les Bates and Jim Mapes.

This was the second year for the unique event, which filled the spectator stands with relatives of Autry, who along with his wife, Joyce, were celebrating a family reunion during a year when they had been married for 60 years.

The inaugural Century Cutting was held last year in Garden City, Kan., with four entries and it was won by Jack Rydberg. Rydberg, a top Colorado breeder and cutter, was entered this year also but, according to Survant, “he fell the other day and cracked some ribs and broke his cheek bone – so he couldn’t come.” Autry, talking about Rydberg’s run last year, said, “He couldn’t even see. He’s blind as a bat – can’t see nothing. He told me ‘If something is fixin’ to run over me, just tell me’ We thought he might come this year. Even though he couldn’t see nothing, last year he showed better than I ever seen him show.”

Also, Milt Thomas of Garden City, Kan., was scheduled to enter; however didn’t show up. So then there were only two …

Wayne Survant and Doc Cita (left) shown with James Autry and Budhas Mike.



Survant, who will be 81 in August, purchased Doc Cita, a 1983 daughter of Docs Legend by Doc O’Lena out of Sail Away Cita by Sailalong, sired by Nick Shoemaker. Bred by Margaret Hammond, Peyton, Colo., the mare had gone through several owners before Survant purchased her 10 years ago in May 1999. He’s had fun with the mare over the years showing mainly in the Southern Colorado Cutting Horse Association, where he serves on the board, and the High Plains Cutting Horse Association.

But Survant also has a 17-year-old gelding that he feels is just as good, so he recently sold Doc Cita. “The guy that bought her lives next door to the high school boy that used her to win the All-Around title at the Colorado High School Finals,” said Survant. “He’s going to use her to train other rodeo kids. I have that 17-year-old at home and I don’t need two – especially with her age and all.”

Survant also started out his rodeo career at a college rodeo at Las Cruces, N.M. “There was no one there to get the bulls off the guys and I had been doing it at Colorado A&M, the college where we practiced,” said Survant. “All I had for a uniform was a Levi jacket, so I got to thinking that if I was going to do this, I was going to get paid for it.” Survant called Levi and they sent him two pair of Levis – size 52 around and 20 long. All the while, he was also rodeoing, even setting two bulldogging records.

From there, Survant started feeding show cattle for a wheat farmer. “This RCA rodeo came to Hettinger N.D., and a neighbor asked if I was going to bulldog. I told him, ‘No, I’m just working for farm wages and we just had a baby six months ago – I don’t have any money to pay for entry fees.’ The guy told me that he’d pay my entry fees for half of what I’d win. I told him, ‘Are you nuts – those guys are pros and I’m must an amateur.’

As most success stories go, Survant won the event, throwing his steer in 4.2 seconds – winning a go-round and the average.

From a rodeo career, Survant headed to Detroit, Mich., to run a 2,000-head brood cow operation and a 4,000-head feedlot. He was even featured on the front page of the Detroit Times. He even talked the owner into castrating and dehorning the cattle according to the “sign of the moon” after the owner lost a calf that swelled up, hid in the woods and bled to death. “After that, we never had any trouble,” said Survant. “I wean the same way.”

Survant took the first registered Quarter Horse stallion to Northern Michigan and was Grand Champion at the Michigan State Fair with a line-bred Old Jim horse named Tater Tuffy. He was sired by Tater and bred by Johnnie Burson. “He was being trained by Buster Welch, and when I sent my buddy to pick him up, Buster wanted to keep him because he was so smart,” said Survant, who drove truck for 24 years while his wife taught school. When his parents got so they couldn’t take care of themselves, they both retired and moved to Rocky Ford. “When they passed away, we just stayed,” said Survant.

It wasn’t long before he got involved with cutting horses and the Western States Cutting Horse Association. “I bought my first cutting-bred horse from the T-Cross ranch in 1990,” said Survant. “A guy told me that the best way to get into the business – since I didn’t have much money – was to buy a broodmare that used to be a cutting horse. So I bought Freckles Nugget from the T-Cross with a colt at her side and one in her. As it turned out, the two colts paid for her – and I cut on the mare for several years.”

Today, Survant, who was also a horse judge, is down to one horse. “I had three broodmares and colts and when the horse market started going bad, I took them all to Lamar College to have them broke and trained. I sure wasn’t going to pay a big breeding fee and then can’t get it back. All three that I sent there were ridden by the top rider and after they were broke, I sold them private.”

Survant and James Autry used to go cutting a lot but according to Survant, “It got to where it was too much driving.” Today he takes care of the barn, gets the cattle, and works the indoor arena up at Rocky Ford.

“Next year I can borrow Doc Cita,” said Survant. “The guy I sold her to said I could borrow her any time. My gelding is 17 – and I’ll soon be 81 – but that would only make 98 – so it will be two more years before I can use him in the Century Cutting.”

James Autry's relatives filled the spectator stands.


James Autry was raised in Dimmit, Texas, where he farmed and raised cattle for years. Although he rode a lot of horses on cattle, he didn’t start cutting until he was 60 years old. Then he bought a 7-year-old gray gelding named Budhas Mike, a 1986 gelding by Doc’s Budha by Doc Bar out of Chickasha Maud by Chickasha Mike. He had been bred by Dennie and Sue Dunn, Fort Worth, Texas, and Jay Parker Doelling, Gardendale, Texas, bought the gelding’s dam before he was born. Jay hired Willie Richardson to train him and sold him to Autry on Dec. 31, 1993. The match was highly successful.

Jim Mapes helped James Autry learn how to show a cutting horse.



“I have to attribute all I know about cutting to Jim Mapes,” said Autry. “he was a neighbor and we became friends. I stayed over at his house most of the time and his wife, Jan, finally said, ‘You’re going to have to teach him to cut to get him to go home.’ ”

Mapes must have done a good job of it as Autry and Budha won the $20,000 in the WSCHA two years and the $10,000 one year. They also won the Area 5 Year-End title in the $20,000 seven times. “In 1996, I finished 11th in the $10,000 in the Nation, I just didn’t realize it meant anything to get in the Top 10, so I just quit showing before the year was over,” said Autry, who soon learned the importance of the title. The next year, the pair finished in the Top 10 in the Nation in the $20,000 and Autry calls that his most important accomplishment.

“He’s been a once-in-a-lifetime horse,” said Autry. “Buster Welch seen him one day at Allsup’s (ranch) and he thought Budha was one of his kids – since he had been riding Chickasha Mike.”

However, Avery’s breathing started to get difficult and he had to use an oxygen tank when he cut. In 2008, he had a lung transplant, but he never was able to get weaned off the oxygen tank. “I can get along pretty good in Texas, but not here. At his home in Rocky Ford, the altitude is 4,300, “Anywhere from Wichita Falls down, I get along good,” said Autry.

“I guess the only reason I can cut with my oxygen tank on is because I don’t get nervous,” said Autry. The day of the cutting, Autry put a different oxygen tank with a different head on it behind the cantle of his saddle and “turned it up full blast.” Although several onlookers said that usually he still can’t get through a full run, on the day of the Century Cutting, he stayed hooked until the end.

Asked how long he plans to cut, Autry said, “I guess as long as I live. I don’t have any other health problems – if it wasn’t for my air, I feel as good as ever.”

The Autry’s family reunion fell on the same weekend as the cutting, so everyone decided to just come to the cutting. “I had a nephew fly in from Saudi Arabia, one from Washington, others from Nebraska and New Mexico and a couple from Texas,” said Autry.

“They offered me a free practice but I didn’t take it,” said Autry. “I didn’t need it after all these years.” To get Budha ready Autry just lopes him around in a circle about three times. The gelding has over $50,000 in NCHA earnings, his NCHA and ACHA Certificates of Ability and he has also won several jackpots that weren’t approved by any association.

Autry has slowed down on his cutting and hasn’t cut much for the past five or six years. He does; however, belong to the Southern Colorado Cutting Horse Association.

I noticed that Autry wasn’t wearing glasses and when I asked him if he didn’t need glasses, he said, “Only if I want to see.” Asked if anything exciting ever happened when he cut, Autry responded, “Every time I won a class, it was pretty exciting”

However, Autry went on to say that the win he liked the best was at the Wiens Ranch five or six years ago. “Some of the cutters got together and decided they were going to have used cattle in the $50,000 and fresh cattle for the $20,000. I was planning on entering the $50,000 and I fussed at everybody that I could, telling them I wasn’t going to enter the next day.

The next day, Autry – true to his word - entered the No-Pro. “We had some tough cattle and I drew up last in a 14-horse class,” said Autry. “Les Bates picked my cattle and I got them out like he said and scored a 76 – wining the class. When I went out of the herd, I said, ‘By God, don’t make me mad again.’ ”


By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 9, 2009

Pat Jacobs is wheelchair bound following a swift kick by a horse while he was feeding last Sunday morning. One horse chased another over him and a cat scan showed that the femur bone was shattered. The doctor then decided to take an x-ray.

“Jay Smith, our preacher friend, had come to the hospital and asked them to wait a minute so he could pray with us,” said Pat’s wife Nellie. “After the prayer, Pat asked Jay, ‘Do you think God can heal this on the way to the x-ray?’ Jay said God can do anything.”

The result of the x-ray was that they found only a hairline fracture about 4 inches long on the femur; however, they didn’t do surgery hoping it would heal by itself in 60-80 days. In the meantime, Pat’s in a wheelchair and a walker and, according to Nellie, the doctors are still shaking their heads.

You can send Pat a card of encouragement to: 2825 Brookhollow Drive, Burleson, TX 76028-1954, you can e-mail him at or you can call him at 817-919-7358.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 29, 2009

Is it possible for the NCHA to become more transparent, membership oriented, productive and better listeners?

“Yes,” says, John King, a 38-year member of the NCHA, who judged for 32 of those years and heads up a company called Roster Technologies, Inc. (RT), which specializes in performance management solutions. “The NCHA has a goal of seeking the Texas Quality Award which will do just that for the association,” said King.

According to King, the idea of Performance Management was hatched by Rick Ivey, the NCHA Chief Financial Officer, to gather job descriptions for the NCHA employees. The idea was approved by the Finance Committee and was funded several years ago. If any of you attended last year’s NCHA Convention, you saw a sampling of those job descriptions in a booklet each member received. (Rick Ivey’s job description has as one of the goals to achieve the Texas Quality Award.)

But that was just one of the first steps toward achieving the award, which is open to small and large businesses, manufacturing, service organizations, organizations from the public sector and not-for-profit organizations.

King introduced the NCHA to the RT System, which provides a path to achieve and sustain world-class performance through the Malcolm Baldrige process. The Texas Quality Award for Performance Excellence is a prestigious award which is as much sought after for the detailed, individualized feedback report for corporations and non-profits as it is for the award.

According to Ivey, there are additional changes that have to be made before the associations is in a position to apply for the annual award and it may even take a year before the NCHA would be in a position to even compete for the award.

“The NCHA has signed off on attempting to document policies and procedures within the Association to try to win this award, said Ivey, who works through the Finance Committee. He feels the processes to win the Texas Quality Award can help the association make it through the maze of new oversights being implemented by the government, as well as the new Internal Revenue rules, regulations and forms that became law in 2008. Most of these new rules and regulations are designed to make the association more transparent.

The preparation for the Texas Quality Award would require documentation policies on conflicts of interest, election and vote-counting methods, judging processes and how members could have more direct input into the decision-making process through their association board members.

RT’s Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance process managed by a software package called PerformanceWare, will help the association achieve the Texas Quality Award and also limit their exposure to liability issues by officers and board members, as well as compliance issues. While the association has “Officer and Director” insurance, there are always different stipulations and holes in insurance policies; therefore, directors need to be aware that they are susceptible to liability if they become directors. (Click below for an article recently published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram regarding the liability of association directors.)

The NCHA also has to be in compliance with portions of Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was signed into law in 2002 as a response to the corporate and accounting scandals of Enron, Tyco and others. The purpose of this law is to rebuild public trust and adhere to government standards and broaden the Board’s roles in overseeing financial transactions and auditing procedures. The passage of this bill was a wake-up call to the entire non-profit community, as the two provisions of the Act applying to non-profits include document destruction and whistle-blower protection.

There are also a host of other items that will be addressed along the road toward applying for this award, including compliance needs, governance, profitability, business risks, know how’s and quality performance system management and the management techniques that should be used for compliance.

Asked why he supports trying for the Texas Quality Award, Rick Ivey says, “The NCHA already compares favorably with non-profits across the country. The Texas Quality Award will help us find avenues of improvement that will make us a premier association. I’ve never enjoyed second place. It’s important to me that the NCHA is recognized as the best."


By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 24, 2009

The NCHA Convention was held June 19-21 at the Inverness Hotel and Convention Center in Denver, Colo. The event included many Open and closed committee meetings, two meetings of the Board of Directors, the election of new members, a seminar by veterinarian Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, a general membership meeting and for the first time, the honoring of the NcHA Members Hall of Fame at a reception on Saturday evening.

As many as three committee meetings were held at the same time; therefore, I had to chose which meetings I would go to and take notes. I am posting my notes from these meetings, which includes statements from committee members as well as members, at each of these meetings, on my E-Newsletters, which I mail to everyone who has signed up. This service os free of you sign up on the main page of my site. If you haven't received the first reports and would like them, e-maiil me at and request them and I will e-mail them to you.

I have decided to publish here my notes from the open Membership meeting because they are an overall view of what decisions were made at the Convention. From there, the suggestions go to the Executive Committee who will have the final word on what rules will be changed and suggestions will be taken.

In the upcoming days, I will publish my personal view of what happened at the Convention.

June 21, 2009
Going off Executive Committee: Heidi Hadlock, Bruce Richerson, Bobby Hunt, Bronc Willoughby.

On EC: 1) Don Bussey, 2) Jerry Black – 3) Ernie Beutenmiller, Jr. 4) Randy Chartier, 5) Maben Thompson, 6) Edley Hixson, 7) Phil Rapp; 8) Dennie Dunn, 9) Jon White (1 yr at large); 10) Punk Carter, 3-yr-term, 11) Barbara Brooks.

12) Keith Deaviille VP
13) Chris Benedict President Elect
14) Chubby Turner – Pres.

Bronc Willoughby, past NCHA President, and his wife, Patti, receiving outgoing gifts.

Photo by Kurtz

Bronc: The past year has not been about me – It’s been about the NCHA – the whole committee. I take little credit. Bussey had things he wanted to get done; he did things he thought helped the association. I’m proud of the things I got done – but nothing got done by myself – it was a group effort. We are all NCHA and I hope we remember that – all our work goes toward making this organization better.

When I became an officer, I wanted and hoped that when I left – the association would be better than when I came in. Thanks for the opportunity. Thanks for loving the NCHA and cutting as much as I do.

Chubby called Patti Willoughby to the stage saying every year, when the outgoing president and his lovely first lady are invited up to the stage, we try to do something for them. We try to give gifts and momentos to remember this experience. This year, I’m not giving something to Bronc; I’m trading it for the bullet-proof vest he’s been wearing.

Flowers were given to Bronc’s wife, Patti, and Bronc received spurs and an NCHA ring. Chubby said the spurs were expensive, because it cost a lot of money to have the long word “Willoughby” inscribed in silver on the spurs.

“Bronc spent more time at the NCHA office than anyone that’s been president before him,” said Chubby. “For two days, I didn’t get phone calls from Bronc, and I had withdrawal. He has worked so hard, You've just got to be proud.

Bronc: I said a while ago, we couldn’t have done this without the Executive Committee. But I also could not have done it without the fantastic staff at the NCHA office – from top to the bottom – who pull and work together. If you have any question or problem, they wil answer you in 15 minutes. This reflects on Jeff and on down the line – department heads and ladies in the back. I’m proud of the staff we have put together and the way they are all part of our family.

New President Chubby Turner.

Photo by Kurtz

Chubby: I’ll try to be brief – but brief for me can be lengthy. I’ll try not to talk too long and leave time so Don Bussey, so he can get up and roast me. I don’t want to deprive him of the time he needs to do it.

I like being around Bronc. I get too emotional – I knew I couldn’t make that speech last night (at the Hall of Fame Banquet). But we’re not going to miss Bronc - I still have him on speed dial. I’m sorry Patti, we’re going to have to be talking regularly. We’re supposed to support him, he was supporting me. He’s had my back and I have scars on my rear to prove I’m the first elected officer to be drug across the Executive Committee than any other President before me.

There’s concern because of my committee appointments. But they didn’t happen over night. I started the day I got elected as Vice President. The most important thing is to appoint the committee members. The next three years are influential in what happens to the NCHA. I took it to heart and took the time. I put some (members) on, took them off and put them back on. They even had an emergency Executive Committee meeting over me.

When I started in life, my father was rough and gruff- an Eastern Oklahoma cowboy. But my mother was sweet –I was raised to be kind. I was taught to “turn the other cheek.” My dad would say, "Son if you go to the Dairy Queen and you have buddies – but you don’t have enough money to buy them an ice cream – you don't have one either."

I started out in life without enemies. But I found if you try to do something and put your heart into it, you’re going to tick somebody off. What I intend to do is follow in Bronc’s footsteps and if I can do half the job Bronc did, I’ll be happy. I’m fortunate to have a supporting staff – and Chris, a lifelong friend who bailed me out when I didn’t have place to live, for Vice President. I’ve known him for 30 years. And Keith also backed me up.

There are those who are concerned about what I’m going to do – They say, “Chubby and Chris will mess this up. We have four past presidents on the board. I will have an opinion – and I may sure have to keep it to myself. We have such a great group – a lot of fighting goes on – knocking of heads. Bobby Hunt and I have been knocking heads all year. We’re all cutters. When making a speech, I realized I’m not as good as Brady – I didn’t write anything down.

Cutting is a self-serving deal. I have to be self serving and I’m going to brag about the accolades I have received. I got to see great horses like Senor George and Royal Hank, who are some of the greatest. At 13, I picked up the Chatter and looked at the names and saw pictures of Matlock Rose, Don Dodge, Pat Patterson, Buster Welch, Shorty Freeman, and John Carter - over and over. I was fortunate to meet them and be tutored by them. I grew up with great people – Mike Mowery and Gary Bellenfant – my blood brothers. I remember when I had heart problems and I was in a restaurant in Arizona with Mike Mowery. Tom Lyons came up to me and said, “Chubby come on. We’re going to the hospital. Lyons spent 24 hours in the hospital with me until they got me together. That’s the accolades I’ve grown up with.

All these young guns today are our future. There are great horses and non pros and amateurs. They’re unbelievable. I had something to do with that. I had a hand in raising Matt Gaines, Phil Rapp and Lloyd Cox – but I’m not bragging about Lloyd, I haven’t got it done yet. Lloyd to me is like Peter Pan. We love him. The only thing that amazed me was Brady Bowen when he got up and talked.

I cried enough last night (at the Members Hall of Fame inductions) and I’m not going to cry today. If you’re disappointed with me – hang around. I love this so much I’ll do anything to make it better. If you’re upset, I’ll bend over backward to change. I put people on the committees that I knew would work hard for the NCHA. They have broad enough shoulders to stand there.

My long-time friend – Jack Holt from Oregon,and I were sitting and talking after the directors meeting and he wanted to be on a committee if anything came available. I tell you what, I never have been in a position where I get shot at so much. I was afraid to come to the convention. You know everyone has a conception that Bronc and I are joined at the hip. No way – my hip is where his knees are. I backed him because I believed in him. I hope I get that support from this committee. They will put heat on me and I’ll put heat on them.

Last year, I got in a heated argument with the Amateur committee and I was trying to keep quiet – but I jumped up and talked. I didn’t think trainers’ kids had any advantage. They do. I have a grandchild that is 4 years old. She has a Paint pony called Betsy. She works a flag at house every day. Three weeks ago she showed at Waurika. I was in Sweetwater. My son, Sam, her dad, said Raelynn went down there and took 2 ½ minutes to cut a cow – everyone was watching her. She has an opinion while Sam is quiet. We can’t control her. She reminds me of my daughter. How did this happen. Well, last night I was dancing with Lindy (Burch), and I remembered that my daughter-in-law worked for Lindy for a year. I realized what happened. She’s just like her (Lindy).

She showed her horse, though she never got a cow out of the herd, and they called out a 76. She was so proud and looked at Dad and said I did good. The next day, she showed again and my great friend Jim Carr was the judge. Sam has known Jim since he was a kid. I told Jim that my granddaughter, and Sam’s daughter, showed for the first time yesterday. She marked a 76 and anything less she’ll sure be disappointed. Jim said, “She’s just like her grandpa.”

She has shown now for two weekends and that’s all she thinks about. She went to New Mexico for a clinic and we rode in the mountains. She would take off on her pony and go across the water – Sam’s horse wouldn’t go across the water. She told him to spur his horse.

I realized then that she has a slight advantage over a lot o kids – and it really hit last Monday night. She came running into the house (she’s 4 years old and rides a bike with training wheels) with an envelope in her hand – waving it in the air. Nana, Papa, look – I opened this and found an NCHA Youth card and a Youth decal and NCHA decal. “We have to put this on my bike,” she said.

There’s a new publication for the directors called “Directions.” This publication has my e-mail address on it and my cell phone number. I promise you – I do not answer my phone often but I will return calls if you don’t’ scare me to death. I will listen to the membership – it’s about the amateurs, the Lindy’s and the Raelynns – that group will allow this group to grow.

Look at the figures on the board (I know nothing about finance – look at my bank account) – but we have Terry Strange – he’s great with figures, he’s a great individual in business . I understand that – we have great people here.

I challenge the directors and EC members – this assocation at the present time depends on sponsorship money. Go out and do what Bobby Hunt has done (Hunt found a lot of sponsors for the NCHA). A lot of you get in contact with people who would love to be sponsors – but it just never hit you. It could be a person you don’t expect – coming from all walks of life. Think about it, hit him up. We even have Elsie the “Cow.

How that went down - Jeff took a picture to Rick Beamon, who heads up Borden Milk, and gave us Super Stakes money – the picture was taken of Beamon when he made the finals in the Amateur Super Stakes. Jeff took the picture to him and Rick said, “Sit down – I want to talk to you. Who sponsors the Futurity.” Jeff told him that we had a sponsor that didn’t workout and could use one. Beamon said, “What kind of deal can we work out?” and they got a large amount of sponsorship money from Beamon. I called Chris and chris sends Jeff a text that said– “A picture is worth a thousand dollars over hundreds of dollars.”

Last night was terrific – that’s the way we need to honor our Hall of Fame members.

I asked all presidents about Jeff. They all said that without him we’re in trouble. I’m going to watch close. Friday night he gave a great presentation. We’ve been hunting a long time for another Zack Wood. Zack Wood Jr is here. It took a while to get here but he (Jeff) knows what we desire and have to have and the avenue to help us. We are very lucky to have Jeff.


Mike Stevens: We had perfect attendance though Modine was not present at the public portion. On the Non-Pro Amateur issues, it was moved by Mary Jo Milner, seconded by Frank Merrill, that we accept the Task Force’s recommendations as written, and not accept any changes to the show structure.

Voting issue had to do with a proposed revision of the mandatory payout. It was moved by Frank Merrill, seconded by Chubby Turner, that there be no change at this time. Issue was tabled for continued review.

Standing rule 6K – A limit to the number of shows a producer can produce in a given month and limits number of circuits an affiliate can hold to one per year. Moved by Don Strain, seconded by Frank Merrill to leave as is. Opposed by Joey Milner, passed.

Limited aged event Rule 3b – added money in limited age shows held in conjunction with a weekend show cannot exceed $1000 per division in the Open or Non-Pro classes.

Moved by Ernie Beutenmiller, seconded by Gayle Allen to leave rule as is and lift restriction.

AQHA/NCHA Affiliate Challenge eligibility. Some affiliates work on a point system and end up with a lot of ties in the No. 10 hole, so send more than 10 to the Affiliate Challenge.

Chris Dublin and John Dublin opposed. Beutenmiiller wanted to allow affiliates to keep their standings on points; however, to participate in the Affiiliate Challenge they could only submit their top 10 with no ties – and hold a minimum of three shows. Passed.

NCHA Affiliate Show Requirements – the number of shows required to qualify for the National Championships. Motion made by Jim Johnson to table. Passed.

Determining NCHA Day locations further in advance to allow the affiliate or producers that gets the show to prepare for the show. Motion made by John Dublin, seconded by Chubby Turner to start on Oct 1 – final selection by Dec. 15.

Reminder to make youth classes the fourth or fifth class of the day. No action - Rule Book already instructs for this.

Issues involving engaging judges. Should judging contracts be required between a show and the judge.

Moved by Johnson, seconded by John Dublin – recommended that contracts be used by show management to use judging contracts - but not make it a rule.

Discuss and require NCHA shows to publish their physical address. No action taken.

Discuss current rules for eligility earnings. The NCHA is not getting rider earnings from the Australia CHA and the American CHA the way they would like to. Took no action.

Chairman: Mike Stevens – Vice Chairman – Chris Dublin.

Presented by Terry Strange

Strange: We showed a video at the meeting of the top cutting horses from years ago. The first horse shown was all over the pen – didn’t make his stops and didn’t turn. At one time, the cutter was working the cow off the side wall. I realized I was born way too late – every run I made in Fort Worth at the coliseum was just like that. And there’s no cure for it.

This presentation will be posted to the NCHA web site in July . NCHA has financial statements which are audited this year and the Financial Committee met with the auditors; they encountered no issues. There were no weakness in internal controls receipts and disbursements. The statements were accepted.

Several recommendations will be made to the Executive Committee by the Finance Committee: 1) Ask the Executive Committee to consider a formal policy around the reserve that was created out of the state funds. This is a sensitive area and we need a formal policy. 2) Look into creating a Task Force to look at external factors that might affect us in the near and mid-term and craft a way to respond to those factors. 3) Create create a cross committee Task Force to look at opportunities to use the NCHA web site for benefits and revenue opportunities.

Chairman: Terry Strange - Vice Chairman Keith Hargrove.

Report given by Mike Rutherford

There was discussion regarding a directors’ poll for input on NCHA Convention locations. The current policy is Fort Worth, then move East and West every other year. A motion was made, seconded and passed to continue with the Convention being held in Texas (as opposed to Fort Worth), so it could be held in Arlington, Tarrant County, etc., and have on a rotating basis as in the past.

Moving to the East in 2011, three cities are being considered: Nashville, Charlotte, N .C., and Hot Springs, Ark.

There was discussion on NCHA Hall of Fame inductions – A motion passed that there be a Hall of Fame dinner for all inductees during the NCHA Convention.

Beutenmiller was in attendance for standing committee appointments. It was passed that each region have a director from each of the eight regions have first preference, or a member – be on each standing committee. Ernie will explain the details to all for consideration.

NCHA by-laws. It was passed unanimously that a five-member sub-committee make recommendations for updates and amendments to the NCHA By-laws. This will be implemented in a timely manner and any changes would be presented to the directors at next year’s convention.

A report was given by Lindy Burch and Jerry Black on the Horse and Cattle Welfare Committee.

Mike Rutherford was re-elected Chairman and Walker Vice Chairman.

Report by Kathryn Webb

Regarding the Mandatory payout schedule with $500 and up shows, we will go back to the 2007 payout schedule for weekend classes – With four entries, two will be paid.

Review 6K – limit approved shows: Recommended no action.

Review LAE 3B rule - $1,000 added at weekend limited aged events – leave as is.

AQHA/NCHA Affiliate Challenge eligibility. Use either points or money, whatever the affiliate is using – but with no ties for 10th place. Tie breaker to be used by affiliate. Financials will be used on three days of shows to qualify for Affiliate Challenge.

Youth classes to be set as 4th or 5th class of day. Show management should give the youth classes consideration for travel times

Faster cut program topic – tabled.

New business: Recommended further education and added requirements for horse papers and NCHA membership cards at all shows at the time of entry. For weekend shows, NCHA standing Rule 2 eligibility must be posted, which explains what happens if you compete in a class you are not eligibile for.

Recommend NCHA website list member status – from Jan. 1 to March 11 and list prior year and current year status. March 1, members become inactive if haven’t paid their dues.

Recommend developing an on-line NCHA workshop chat room for secretaries so they can delve into items with other secretaries.

Chairman: Kathryn Webb – Vice Chairman Cheryl Callis.

Report given by Bernie Kirkland

All recommendations will be posted on NCHA web site later in the week and on the Newsletter later.

Amateur definition and review of class: Remove $75K Non-Pro and leave $20K Non-Pro as is. Remove item G from Amateur definition which involves “apprentice cutting horse trainer, etc.”

Delete 10 year-$10,000 exception. Took no action on Wild Card or World Finals. On Senior amateurs staying in Amateur class for life, recommended not be implemented.

Recommend that the standing committees include the required representative from each region.

Change the way the Chairman and Vice Chairman are appointed. Elect a Vice Chairman who moves up to the Chairman position the following year.

Bernie Kirkland named Chairman; Carol Jenkins Vice Chairman.

Presented by Ernie Beutenmille, Jr.


Ernie Beutenmiller.

Photo by Glory Ann Kurtz

It is very important to recognize this committee should operate with the assistance of the director of judges – Russell McCord. Without him, we would be in a “world of hurt.” I can’t say enough about how important he is to us.

Five items on agenda dealt with education process – no recommendations.

Discuss Rule 9. Loss of cow at the buzzer – hand up or hand down. A loss will be determined whether the hand is up or down. Approved.

Judge applicants and judges must sign a judge’s rule of ethics. Passed

Judge applicants will be approved as AA judges until they judge six shows with no protest. They will then advance to AAA judges.

Recommend rule 17 change which deals with rider falling to the ground or a horse that falls. Change will be that run is terminated and no score given. Have to delete one example. Rule change – is that score will go from a 60 to a zero.

Committee recommends that judges at major limited aged events continue to sign and post signatures on all judge’s cards.

Regarding Protest system, it is recommended that the DVD fee for an inappropriate DVD be raised from $25 to $50. Recommended with one opposed that the protest fee go from $100 to $200. Evaluation forms sent to the NCHA office are to be forwarded to judge’s monitor – if they are valid, the monitor will notify the Director of Judges. Valid spot checks will be made by the Director of Judges and valid spot checks may drop a judge in rating and require them to attend a judges’ workshop.
New business: Delegated with others to write examples concerning horses charging and force-offs. Will send to new committee and will approve before August meeting.

A thank you to Dennie Dunn, Punk Carter, Bob Mayfield, Bruce Morine and Bronc Willoughby, who are going off due to term limits. They have been excellent members and we will miss their expertise.

This committee has nearly 500 years of combined NCHA membership.

Ernie Beutenmiller re-elected chairman – Bret Davis, Vice Chairman.

Mary Ann Rapp gave report

Discussed Task Force proposal on Amateur definition and class divisions. We support move from $10,000 to $15,000 and increase from $20,000 Non-Pro to $35,000 Non-Pro.

Randy Chartier and Gayle Karanges, recommend we accept amateur definition as stated.

Recommend implementation of Non-Pro review committee.

Recommend to not implement revolving door in Limited Non-Pro at this time. We need to look into this further.

In 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro - any combination of horses for Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular. Currently it has been changed in the Open so riders can show any combination of 5/6 year-olds. Like to see Non-Pro follow their lead and that Non-Pros be able to show any combination of horses in the Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular.

Limited Non-Pro class as a stand-alone class. The survey will be reviewed after the Super Stakes to make sure everything is going well with the Limited and see what we can do to make it better.

Schedule at NCHA events. We think it would be best to make the schedule user friendly for everyone.

Holding the Open shows in their entirety, followed by the Amateur Ltd NP, and Non-Pro for Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular.

Discussed convention location – no action.

Recommend eliminating Non-Pro Wild Card for the benefit of the horses.

Discuss qualifying for Amateur for life for those over 60 – no action – felt that was an Amateur issue.

Chairman: Mary Ann Rapp – Vice Chairman Gayle Karanges.

We would like to thank Dave Brian and Julie Davis. They have been great – all the staff has. And we have wonderful members of the Non-Pro committee who are going off, including Bruce Richerson, Elizabeth Queen and Mark Pearson.

New members will be Mary Jo Milner, Bob Peterson and Norman Clark.

Presented by J. B. McLamb

Ground at NCHA events: This had already been dealt with by the Executive Committee before we got here.

3. John Deere Division of Open – passed unanimously to leave as is.

4. Add a gelding class at Derby – passed through committee – wanted to have gelding class.

5. mandatory payout schedule with classes with $500 added and up. Passed unanimously leave as is.

6. Input from trainers to judges rules with respect to judging at Ltd Aged events and weekend cuttings. Took no action. Russell is changing up something at aged events -d we can meet and talk 24 hours after a run if we want to discuss it.

7. Need for different cattle settlers list for Watt arena events: After discussion, decided to add five cattle settlers to original list of 17. Those will work solely in the Watt arena. They will be made up of trainers and members of the Limited Age Event committee.

8. Need for tent outside loping arena. Passed. Haven’t figured out how to pay for it.

9. move mechanical cow from outside loping to cattle barn. Dave Brian already has this in order.

10. Parking passes at major events for people coming in and out. Definitely a need for a day pass.

NCHA major event show schedule Considering at Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular and Super Stakes – changing schedule so Open is held in its entirety, then Amateurs and Non-Pros. WE have talked with Western Bloodstock and they have agreed to finals during the middle weekend. They will also hold sales then.

12. Lindy gave report on Horse and Cattle Welfare Task Force.

13. Trainers retirement fund – no action last year. This year appointed sub committee and get together with something that would work for all members, including trainers.

New business: Proposal for NCHA Futurity semifinals start at 8 p.m. Saturday morning instead of 5 p.m. Western Bloodstock has agreed to start their sale after the semis are over. Gives horses more time to rest– and we can participate in the sales.

Kathy came up with deal for trainers to be pro-active with sponsors. Vendors at the three major events complain there’s not as much traffic in the Exhibit Hall since the runs are on-line. Through Rebecca and the marketing department, major trainers will go to sponsors’ booths in the Exhibit Hall and have Q&A sessions. They will be there during cattle changes to support sponsors.

3. Diccussed the possibility of an Amateur who has turned 60 can stay an Amateur. Voted unanimously for that.

New Committee members: Kathy DAughn, Greg Smith, Bronc Willoughby and Phil Hanson.

Chairman: David Stewart, Vice Chairman: Matt Gaines

Presented by Jeff Matthews

Formed a committee to explore the opportunity of stallion subscription fees in process that will meet during the Summer Spectacular. Members will include Shane Plummer, Pat Fitzgerald, Jo Ellard, Phil Rapp, Chris Thibidoux, Linda Holmes and Jack Waggoner. Jo Ellard will be chairman with assistance from Rick Ivey.

Third horse in Derby be a gelding.

Tabled issue of cloning to be discussed again at Summer Spectacular.

Chairman: Jeff Matthews. Vice Chairman Pat Fitzgerald.

Members were asked to participate in survey at Summer Spectacular to ride 3 horses if 3rd horse is a gelding.

Presented by Chuck Smith

Approval for all spring limited age event show applicants except two – these two were on the same date. Committee deferred any recommendation on two shows until further communication.

Discussed the elimination or reduction of weekend shows being intermingled within limited age event show dates. The problem is that it stretchs out show days and makes them hard to work all show approvals in. We can make recommendations after studying further and can have a conference call with committee members.

This committee has worked hard all year with several conference calls and several meetings – with 100 percent attendance on those meetings. Thanks to Dave Brian who has been on the phone a lot working out problems and differences. Most of them are under control.

Chairman: Chuck Smith – Vice Chairman Barbara Brooks

Presented by Robin Merrill.

Committee members present: Barbara Brooks, Kurt Crawford, Chris Dublin, Bobby Hunt, Jerry Louie, Robin Merrill, Chuck Smith, Maben Thompson and new member Trish Templeton.

Discussed funding and logistics, appointing a sub committee to evaluate need to reestablish International Cutting.

Appointed in 2008 included reps from international affiliates as part of promotion and development committee.

Recommended to Executive Committee that they revisit budget for Promotion and Development Committee as we feel this is a vital time for funds to maintain programs and sponsors they currently have for International programs.

Chairman: Robin Merrill – Vice Chairman: Maben Thompson

Presented by Phil Rapp

Chairman Matt Gaines.
Reviewed Amateur definition Task Force proposal – Chris Benedict moved, seconded by Gail Holmes and approved.

Discussed John Deere Division in Open. Leave in current form. Made motion, passed that no changes be made in Open or Non-Pro.

Hiring one person to maintain ground – resolved by Executive Committee.

Mechanical cow issue – also resolved.

Discussed changing Limited Non-Pro class back to a class-within-a-class. Voted to leave Limited Non-Pro as is and work on scheduling. (ie) In order to stay within rules, horse cannot be shown prior to the Open. Limited Non-Pro will be rescheduled to Nov. 30-Dec. 1-2. Entry deadline will be Friday, Nov. 27, allowing time for draw. Plan is in place to avoid conflicts with draw. Passed unanimously. EC will discuss after this meeting.

Discussed daily parking passes. Moved by Gail Holmes, seconded by Kathy Daughan, to sell passes on the north lot of the arena for $300 and hire a police officer to ticket unhooked trailers. This income will also help pay for a warm-up tent that is 200 x 300 for $60,000 and a police officer.

Discussed need for tent outside. Chubby is working on a less-expensive tent.

Allow 5 new appointed cattle settlers to work two full years before they are taken off. The list will be updated every two years instead of every year. The ive new settlers will be for the Limited class in Watt Arena, which would coincide with Trainers Committee arena.

Bussey – we have made a suggestion about a gelding class at the Derby, if it’s supported by a survey the EC will send out. This will promote geldings and increaase entries and the purse.

Major aged event schedules – recommend for Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular Open divisions be held first in their entirety. We will bring different schedules to the Executive Committee before their September meeting to be approved.

Took a concensus from group in favor of new scheduling for the Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular.

Discussed penalties for adding horses to the Limited, Senior and Novice classes. No action taken.

Lindy made a presentation on Horse and Cattle Welfare Task force. This is going in a positive manner. It’s important to protect ourselves - we’re lucky not to have had problems so far.

New business: Discussed a Senior division held with Non-Pro and Limited – passed to not to add Senior class to Limited at this time.

Support proposal of running NCHA open semis at 8 a.m. – support that benefit to horse and riders, horse sale and attendance.

Chairman: Phil Rapp – Vice Chairman: Lindy Burch

Presented by Julie Thompson

Discussed NYCHA Fund raising activities. YTB Online Travel Agency approved as fund raiser

Sealed bid beginning with 2009 Summer Spectacular for Futurity Champions quilt until 2009 Futurity. Unveiled at finals of Futurity. Approved.

Motion by Judy Morris to add “buy it now” option at 100 percent of breeding fee at Stallion auction. Seconded by Steve Norris. Approved.

Suggested sending a letter to all secretaries of affiliates recommending they keep youth classes as early as possible as it says in the rule book.

Motion made by Jim Johnson, that there be an awards program at Eastern/Western Championships and they be enhanced by appropriate portion of $2 fee from weekend shows.

Moved by Johnson to keep and maintain youth points on horses retroactive to 1998. Approved.

Thanks to Zeke Entz, Mark Mills, Joe Howard Williamson who are going off the committee.

Chairman: Judy Morris – Vice Chairman: Josh Hopkins

All recommendations will be posted on the NCHA web site this week.


Craig Morris – In the Committee meetings, we need to look at how the committees are formed and that there is equal representation from all areas. Suggest possibly looking at restructuring of regions which are no longer entirely directly representative of the membership. Some are 2 to 1 to smaller regions. Great idea to do – redistrict and make sure equal representation.

Task Force will go through by laws and rebalance regions. Western states supported event and hosted party.

Adjourn: Frank – seconded and passed.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
June 10, 2009

Pat and Nellie Jcobs repeating their marriage vows in front of their friend - Preacher Ray Smith.

“For 50 years, they found a friendship, raised a family and danced through life together.” That was the description on the invitation to a 50th Anniversary party honoring Pat and Nellie Jacobs, Burleson, Texas. The event was held Sunday, June 7 at a “party ranch” in Weatherford, Texas, and to add icing to the cake, the couple danced together, then were remarried by their friend and preacher – Ray Smith.

Brady Bowen, a candidate for NCHA Vice President, gave up a chance to judge a California NCHA Day cutting to play the fiddle during the Anniversary party.

Pat, who trained cutting horses for over 50 years, is just coming off a successful ride from publishing his life story in a book called “Outcasts, Outlaws and Second-Chance Horses – The Pat Jacobs Story.” The book will soon also be available on

With Pat being a member of a band for as long as he has been a horse trainer, it wasn’t hard to find a group of fiddle players and singers to make great old-time country music at the shin-dig. And showing the importance of the event, Brady Bowen, a candidate for Vice President of the NCHA, gave up a chance to judge a California cutting on NCHA Day to play the fiddle during the Anniversary party.

After Pat and Nellie completed their vows, Pat kissed the bride.


To wish Pat and Nellie a great “50th,” you can contact them at 2825 Brookhollow Drive, Burleson, X 76028-1954 or call them at (817) 919-7358.




June 1, 2009 – Tamworth, NSW, Australia
John Mitchell, riding an Australian Brumby during the Stockman's Challenge held during the Aussie Futurity. Mitchell finished second competing against some Austrlian Stockhorse legends..

If you’ve ever wondered if Aussie John Mitchell is truly a horseman who can ride a wild Brumby, have no doubts. The Aussie trainer who came to the United States and went to work for the Slate River Ranch in Weatherford, Texas, took the Reserve Championship of the first-ever NCHA Stockman’s’ Challenge, with the finals being held Saturday May 30. The event was part of the NCHA of Australia Cutting Futurity held May 28-June 7 in the new Tamworth Equine Centre in Tamworth, NSW.

To vie for the title, 10 contestants competed in four grueling categories for a total of $6,000 in prize money. The categories included a two-handed cutting competition and the whip-cracking obstacle course – an Australian tradition - riding the same horse. The next day, they competed in the Brumby (Australian wild horse) catch event and the traditional poly saddle buckjump competition – riding a bronc out of a chute in a small Australian saddle.

His fellow competitors included the champion, Scott Bandy of Tamut, twice winner of The Man From Snowy River Corryong Challenge; Morgan Webb, 2009 winner of the Man From Snowy River Corryong Challenge; Trevor Nash, 2009 winner of the King Of The Ranges Challenge; Brett Welsh, head stockman for the Australian Outback Spectacular and World Champion Campdraft winner from the Sydney Show, Troy Palmer – who finished third.

Mitchell has won over $2 million in USA lifetime earnings, while his wife, Hope, has won $1,350,000. Mitchell is in Australia catch-riding in the Open Futurity. He qualified for the Open finals riding One Moore Chime, owned by Tom Williamson. The pair scored a total of 285 following two go-rounds - good enough for 15th place. He also rode Sex In The City for Parraweena Pastoral Co.


May 22, 2009
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The website features a listing of Peptoboonsmal offspring all in one place. Fans, competitors and owners can write congratulations and post photos, find out who's competing and who's in training, results, stats, news and more.

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Click here for full details>>

There is also something for the kids. Bring your colored-in picture of Pepto to the NCHA Futurity to win prizes and goodies - it's open to everyone.

Log on to or click here>>
Or call The Pepto Team - 817-team-247 (817) 832-6247 for more information.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
May 11, 2009

Lisa Langdon riding Little Bitty Hippy during the 2007 NCHA Amateur Futurity.


Yesterday was a sad day at the Langdon house in Aubrey, Texas. Little Bitty Hippy, a 5-year-old daughter of Hickorys Indian Pep out of Itty Bitty Boon by Peptoboonsmal, died following surgery for a colon impaction.

Bred by Dean Sanders, Kemah, Texas, who owned her sire and dam, she was sold as a yearling to Mike Rutherford, Jr., Buda, Texas. When she was a 2-year-old, Scott and Patricia McClurg, Lipan, Texas, purchased her and in February of her 3-year-old year, Danny Miller’s Sanctuary Ranch, Poolville, Texas, purchased her.

Nicknamed “Lily,” she has been owned by Tony and Lisa Langdon since December 2007 and trained by David Stewart. During her short lifetime, Lily earned close to $30,000, including tying for sixth in the 2007 NCHA Amateur Futurity with Lisa aboard and qualifying for the Open semifinals ridden by Cody Hall. In 2008, she and Lisa won the Augusta 4-Year-Old Amateur Futurity, were finalists in the NCHA Amateur Super Stakes and the NCHA Amateur Derby.

“She was a tough, gritty little mare,” said Tony. “Lisa has taken this very hard and Lily will be greatly missed by her, Taylor and myself, along with the Stewarts."


May 2, 2009 - Pierre, S.D.
Tracy Barton moves from Virginia to South Dakota's North Ridge Ranch.

Just in time for summer, world class cutting training is coming to central South Dakota. National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Hall of Fame trainer, Tracy T. Barton is relocating his cutting training to the well-known North Ridge Ranch of Pierre, S. D.

Barton has been one of the East Coast’s best known cutting horse trainers; however, he has decided to move his entire Virginia operation to South Dakota to train limited aged event horses for Carol and Jerry Ward’s well-known North Ridge Ranch. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to concentrate on the North Ridge Ranch cutting horse program,” Barton said. “I trained Jerry’s first cutting horse many years ago and she went on to become one the ranch’s great foundation mares. She produced Black Catamount’s Rey and is the grand dam to Cats High Noon. Both are great show horses that I was privileged to train.”

The Wards bought the ranch five years ago so they could concentrate on their breeding program and develop young show horses. “A few years ago I realized we had horses in training with five or six trainers in four states and decided it was time to centralize this aspect of our business,” Jerry Ward said. “We first started talking to Tracy and his family about four years ago, recognizing that a move of this nature had a number of dimensions and moving parts.” After four years of planning, the move is finally “on”.

Barton is well known for his training clinics and developing successful amateurs and
non-pros up and down the East Coast. “Of course, I will miss my many customers and the friends I developed over the years, but the chance to concentrate on limited aged horses was irresistible,” Barton said. A number of his customers will send their horses with Barton to the South Dakota ranch so they can finish their limited age training, while others will migrate to other trainers closer to their owners. But Barton’s goal is to make sure no one, horse or owner, misses a beat. He will continue to host his clinics at North Ridge Ranch.

North Ridge Ranch has begun construction of a larger indoor arena to house the expanded training program and expects Barton will complete his move within the next few weeks. “It’s not exactly like the wagon trains heading out west, but with a caravan of six trucks and trailers bringing horses and tack across the country, it’s pretty close,” Barton said. The old west imagery is probably well suited for the move as North Ridge Ranch was a primary location for the Kevin Costner Academy Award winning film “Dances with Wolves”. Tracy and his family will now be making their own historical adventure to South Dakota. The ranch will be the site of clinics, rodeos, and other events to be announced in 2009. Perched above the Missouri River’s Big Bend, North Ridge Ranch is also home to a registered Hereford cattle herd.

For more information, contact Jerry Ward at (605) 224-5544 or from his web site at: Tracy Barton's web site is:



April 28, 2009
After 13 years of managing the horse division for the Morning Sun Ranch, located in Western Australia, Ricky Glen has taken up residence to manage Machiavelli Quarter Horses, located just outside Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.

Many cutting horse enthusiasts best know Ricky for his management of the outstanding young sire Peptos Stylish Oak, who has been shuttled back and forth between Australia and Texas for the past several breeding seasons. Ricky purchased him for the Morning Sun Ranch as a weanling at the Drummond Dispersal sale at Fort Worth during the 1998 NCHA Futurity.

Ricky has also been instrumental in the purchase and importation of more than 30 cutting-bred Quarter Horse mares into Australia as well as three other young stallions.

“Myself and Barry Ryan (the owner of the Morning Sun Ranch) would come to the NCHA Derby sales each July to buy mares there and have also purchased some privately as well,” said Ricky. “We brought Comanchie Shorty (Shorty Lena x Paloma Quixote) from Jimmy Reno three years ago as this young stallion was an ideal type to import to Australia”

According to Ricky, Machiavelli Quarter Horses has been a client of the Morning Sun Ranch for a good many years. Just last year they made the decision to invest in the biggest purchase of Quarter Horses ever to be sold privately, as a package, in Australia. The deal was done for them to buy 20 of the Morning Sun Ranch’s imported cutting-bred mares and also Comanchie Shorty.

“It was a hard decision to move and relocate but it was great to be able to keep on with the management of a great group of horses for a keen new player in the industry,” said Ricky. “Jenny McVilly, along with her family, have been involved in the equine industry for a good many years and along with the new group of horses, a new property was also brought hosting 240 acres of land, an indoor arena, 25 stables and a breeding center. Time will come in the near future to have a new stallion coming from the USA to complement the operation and talks are now underway to ensure that the right stallion suited to the Australian industry is either purchased or shuttled to Australia."


April 20, 2009 - Weatherford, Texas
On Friday, April 17, Brian Durant, the son of Jerry Durant, Weatherford, Texas, one of the owners of the Silverado On The Brazos arena, was shot multiple times by police at his parent’s home in Weatherford after firing his weapon at police officers.

According to an article in the Weatherford Democrat, Brian Durant had reportedly contacted several family members and threatened to kill himself following a police chase from the Lowe’s parking lot to the Durant family home. Following failed negotiations to make Brian Durant drop his weapon, Durant pointed his gun at the police, who returned fire, striking him several times. As of Saturday night, the victim was in critical condition. His condition was unknown as of Monday. No officers were injured.


April 1, 2009
Ethel Heim, 89, mother of Triple Crown Champion Joe Heim, Thackerville, Okla., passed away on Tuesday, March 24 at her home in Louisville, Ky., with her family by her side. She coud often be seen in the stands at major events and in recent years had watched Joe show via the Internet. She had been diagnosed with cancer in late January.

Besides Joe and his wife, Holly, she is survived by her loving husband of 68 years, Cyril F. Heim of Louisville; her oldest son, George Heim and his wife, Mary, of Chicago, Ill.; her daughter Susan Heim, Louisville; three grandchildren, including Joette Duvall and husband Cody of Granada, Colo., and two great grandchildren, Trail and Trip Duvall.

Send your condolences to Joe and Holly at PO Box 100, Thackerville, OK 73459-0100.


April 1, 2009
Denny Hales, 63, Zanesville, Ohio, a staple at the helm of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, died of a massive coronary on Sunday morning, March 29 at Genesis Betheda Emergency Room in Zanesville. Hales, who had just returned from a vacation, was at home on Sunday morning and didn’t feel well. He took an aspirin and his wife drove him to the emergency room. As he walked into the hospital, he had a massive coronary and died.

Denny is well known in the horse industry as he was the Executive Vice President of the Ohio Quarter Horse Association and currently Show Manager of the prestigious All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio. He was active in many equine associations.

He was born Feb. 23, 1946 in Pittsburg, Pa., the son of Erwin H. and Betty (Bothwell) Hales. He married JoAnn (Osborne) Hales on Saturday, March 24, 1979. He graduated from Muskingum College and received his master’s degree from Ohio University. He was a former principal of Maysville Junior High School and a wrestling coach at Zanesville High School.

In addition to his wife, Denny is survived by two daughters: Stephanie (Dan) Bathrick, Chandlersville and Darci Hales of Columbus; one son, Matthew Hales, Gahanna; two grandchildren, Justin and Lauren Bathrick; a sister, Sandra (Lou) Whitehead of Columbus and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 2 at the north Terrace Church of Christ, 1569 Bowers lane, Zanesville, with Dale Livingston officiating. Burial will be in the Mt. Olive Cemetery, Zanesville, Ohio. To sign the online registry book or send personal condolences, visit



March 8, 2009 – Fort Worth, Texas
Harry Lee Tennison, the father of cutters Kit Moncrief and Lee Tennison, died Wednesday, March 4. He was 89.

Tennison, who originated 30 different conservation programs worldwide dealing with the importance of wildlife and education of non-hunters to the value of hunting and anti-poaching campaigns, also became famous with “Operation Rhino,” one of the most successful programs in the conservation world.

Born on Aug. 1, 1919 to Thomas Lee and Lotti Maury Stewart Tennison, he grew up on a farm in Sherman, Texas, and learned to hunt and fish from his grandfather. He was educated at Baylor University and the University of Colorado and then served in the Air Force, and was based in Fort Worth as a flight instructor. In 1947, he married Gloria Lupton, whose family controlled Fort Worth’s Coca-Cola franchise. Gloria died in 1991.

Earning many honors and awards, Mr. Tennison was also an avid writer of poetry and published a journal of his adventures in Africa. According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, his favorite song was “The Impossible Dream.” “My dad lived that song,” said Kit. ‘He told us we could do anything we wanted if we work and try hard enough.”

Survivors include Kit and her husband, Charlie Moncrief, and their children, Gloria, Adelaide and Celia Moncrief; son, Lee Lupton Tennison and his children, Margo, Courtney and Callie Tennison, and stepchildren, Clark and Tatum Nowlin; and daughter Jill and her husband, Brad Barnes and their children Ben and his wife, Amy and Maury.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the sanctuary of Broadway Baptist Church with Dr. Jorene Swift officiating. A private burial will be held at Greenwood Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home. Donations in Mr. Tennison’s memory can be made to the Fort Worth Zoo Education Center in care of the Development Department, 1989 Colonial Parkway Fort Worth, Texas 76110.

Send your condolences to Kit Moncrief at 16 Valley Ridge Rd., Fort Worth, TX 76107-4098 and Lee Tennison at 1221 Broad Ave,., Fort Worth, TX 76107-1530.


Article and photo by Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 29, 2008

Allen Crouch will receive the Zane Schulte Award during the NCHA Futurity.



Allen Crouch, 43, Noxapater, Miss., will be receiving the 2008 Zane Schulte Award during the NCHA Futurity, which is presently being held in Fort Worth, Texas. The award is given by Tom and Barbra Schulte, Brenham, Texas, in memory of their son Zane, who died at age 16 in 2000, following a battle with bone cancer. Recipients of the award must exemplify character by which Zane is remembered, integrity, service, values, respect of his peers and contributions to the cutting industry, as well as excellence in the arena. The selection is made by a committee which is approved by the NCHA.

Allen, who was born in Paducah, Ky., has been married to his wife Lauryn for 20 years. They have one son, Sean Austin, who was born in 1989. He has trained cutting horses for 20 years and is a member of the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame.
Allen, who has one sister, Teresa, was raised next to a livestock sale barn owned by Ronnie Titsworth, who introduced him to cutting horses when Allen was only 9 years old. After competing in the Youth, he turned in his Youth and Non-Pro card at the age of 18 and became a professional cutting horse trainer.

When he was 21, he moved to Louisiana, where he met Lauryn. His first big win was the 2000 NCHA Eastern National’s Open Championship on his and Lauryn’s horse, Freckles Poco Dot. In 2001, he rode the mare to the World Champion Mare title and won the Open World Finals in 2002. At the 2002 Finals held at Houston in 2003, he took Harriott Playgirl , owned by Lee Garner, Batesville, Miss., to the World Champion Mare title and won the Open Finals.

In 2005, he was the NCHA Reserve World Champion riding Show Biz Pep for Garner. And he was a finalist at the NCHA Futurity riding Spankys Foxy. In 2006, he rode The Silver Spoon to fourth place in the NCHA Futurity.

In the spring 2006, Lauryn told Allen that she felt that The Silver Spoon, sired by Hes A Peptospoonful, would be the horse that would put him over the $1 million mark for the Riders’ Hall of Fame ... and it was. The Silver Spoon was purchased from Allen and Lauryn prior to the finals of the NCHA Futurity by David and Stacie McDavid, Fort Worth, Texas, who own the horse’s sire. Allen’s most recent accomplishments include being the Reserve Champion of the 2008 Augusta Futurity riding CDs Starlight Ms., owned by George Moore, Jr., Saint George, S.C.

Also, displaying his contribution to the industry, for the past six years, Allen has been one of the trainers who put on a clinic sponsored by Horsemen For Christ.
“Allen is a wonderful husband and I thank the Lord every morning for him,” says Lauryn. “We have been very blessed in our years together in so many, many ways.” Lauryn says that Allen also likes to fish and he dug a lake on their place and stocked it with bass – even though he seldom has time to enjoy that sport due to his training business.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Nov. 16, 2008

Flynn Stewart, Bowie, Texas, will be admitted to the hospital late Monday night and will have quadruple by-pass heart surgery on Tuesday, Nov. 18. Flynn suffered a heart attack the end of October after he went to the doctor for what he thought were flu-like symptoms. But someone was looking out for him, as the doctor on duty happened to be a heart doctor, who sent him to a specialist immediately – where he was told he was having a heart attack.

According to Norma, “There won’t be any short cuts and the doctor feels good about the outcome. Boy do we need those prayers now. The Good Lord willing, we’ll be back home in four or five days. Thanks to everybody – we love the calls, cards and e-mails.”

Flynn has several horses scheduled to sell in the NCHA Futurity Sales, so Norma is working overtime. Also, the couple has no insurance. Send your get-well cards to Flynn at PO Box 1793, Bowie, TX 76230-1793.



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 31, 2008

“The cutting horse is a vehicle to fulfill our dreams,” short-shank spurs are for short riders – long shanks are for taller riders,” “pick a trainer who is going to treat both you and your horse with respect,” “horses naturally move away from pressure” and “how to look professional in front of the judge.”

Those are just a few of the tips and suggestions included in a top-notch, professionally produced, two-disc DVD set called “Serious Horseplay For Amateur Cutters,” which has been produced by Leon Harrel, a two-time NCHA Futurity Champion , two-time Futurity Reserve Champion, five-time World Champion, former NCHA President and NCHA Hall of Fame member, and his wife Alexandria.

The Harrels have recently moved to a beautiful ranch on Highway 51 between Springtown and Boyd, Texas, which includes a pristine facility, including a new covered arena, barns, lovely grass turnouts, and RV hook-ups. The Harrels even has guest rooms for visiting Amateurs in their exquisite six bedroom home. They are located only minutes away from cutting events held in Weatherford, Graham and Boyd, Texas. For relaxation there’s also a fishing hole, swimming pool and a hot tub. Their specialty is working with Amateurs, the largest group of NCHA members but sometimes the most ignored.

The two DVDs give first-hand information on selecting and purchasing a cutting horse, proper equipment to use, insights on selecting a trainer and a training program, horsemanship basics, fun and games to help you practice at home and the purpose and proper utilization of working your horse on a flag. Leon lets the listener know his preferences in equipment and the DVD includes an actual clinic given by Harrel, moving his students from the basics of horsemanship to showing in an actual cutting horse event in Graham, Texas.

This is a set that every beginning cutter should have and those who have been in the industry for a long time could learn something too. I strong recommend this DVD set, which is available just in time for the Christmas season. The cost is $70 which includes shipping in the USA. For more information, visit the Harrels’ web site at or call (877) 288-9484.
Click here to go to Harrel web site>>



By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 19, 2008 – Amarillo, Texas

“The court in Amarillo, Texas, approved the class settlement part of the overall settlement for the Smart Little Lena Syndicate lawsuits. The case will be dismissed Monday (Oct. 20) assuming the settlement funds are distributed as planned.” Those were the words of Jay Vogelson, the Dallas attorney who represents the estate of the Late Bill Freeman and his widow, Jill. The settlement agreement was signed on Thursday, Oct. 16.

On Oct. 13, I posted an article on this site regarding the upcoming settlement agreement and included a link to the actual settlement documents – as well as the two forensic audits performed during the suit – one by the Syndicate members, the other by the Freeman parties. The class lawsuit included a dozen of the 80 Smart Little Lena Syndicate members, plus Antoinette Chatham, which were sued by the Freemans for libel and slander. If you are interested in reading those documents, click on the links at the end of this article.

According to Tommy Manion, who along with Hanes Chatham, headed up the SLL Syndicate, there were three members of the Syndicate (previously referred to as the interveners) who refused to sign the settlement. “One of them refused to sign up until 11 p.m. the night before the judge was to approve the settlement,” said Manion. “The deal was that we all sign or no one signs and it would advance to the court house.”

However, at 7 a.m. the next morning, Vogelson e-mailed Tom Thomas, a Dallas attorney who represented Manion and the Smart Little Lena Syndicate members, telling him that the three hold-outs had signed the settlement agreement.

Although a trial was scheduled for Monday, Oct. 20, Manion said that if all parties did not sign the settlement, the trial would have probably been continued to a later date.

According to Vogelson, the proceeds of the settlement, paid by several insurance companies, are to be paid within three days of the signing of the settlement – or today! The Settlement Agreement, filed on Oct. 8 included $350,000 of Bill Freeman’s personal claims for libel and slander by his estate from Manion’s Karen Freeman’s and Ron Ward’s insurance companies. The money will go to Jill Freeman as the executrix of the Bill Freeman estate. Bill Freeman, the NCHA’s first Triple Crown winner riding Smart Little Lena, passed away on July 29, 2008 at the age of 58.

The Smart Little Lena syndicate members will receive $447,500, with $310,000 of the settlement amount going to the members of the class to pay all of its attorney’s fees, equaling $3,750 to each of the 64 shares. The remaining amount of $137,500 will be distributed to Manion for the release of his libel and slander claim against the Freeman parties. The agreement also included a “global release” for all parties from any future suits, including the possibility of a wrongful death claim that some members felt could be filed.

Manion said that their response to that is that the Freeman parties instigated the final class lawsuit, so it was their fault, not ours.

In response, Vogelson said he felt the litigation probably contributed to Freeman’s death. “There are a lot of guilty consciences and rightfully so as far as I am concerned,” said Vogelson. “There never was a need to be so vicious.” He also added, “By some means of affinity we do not understand, Smart Little Lena, in an act of solidarity with Bill Freeman, stopped breeding forever after Bill passed away.”

Manion has expressed the fact that the end of the controversy will allow the shareholders to get back to the business of promoting the legendary, 29-year-old stallion. During an Oct. 2 meeting of the shareholders, much was revealed about the stallion’s health, breeding prospects and the future of his five 2-year-old clones. Last year one testicle was removed and semen collections ended by the middle of the breeding season due to the fact the stallion could no longer ejaculate.

Dr. Whitt Byers of Select Breeders, gave a report on the stallion’s 2008 breeding record and the prospects for the future, including the frozen semen inventory, which includes 163 conventional doses and 3,473 ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) doses, which are single ½ ml. straws, with mares having to be bred at Texas A&M or Colorado State University at an average cost of $8,000 per mare.

On Oct. 5, I published the minutes from this meeting, which also included the status of the clones and discussion on their future, in an E-Newsletter to those who have signed up for the them. If you did not receive this information, you can e-mail me at and request a copy of the minutes and if I can add you to my E-Newsletter list, I will e-mail you a copy of the Oct. 5 E-Newsletter.
Click here for complete Settlement Agreement>>
Click here for SLLS forensic audit>>
Click here for Freeman forensic audit>>


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Oct. 11, 2008

Clarence Tye, Gill, Colo., is in an Aurora, Colo., hospital, getting three weeks of chemotherapy and radiation for a tumor located in the lining of his bile duct. The treatments have made him very sick and he has been in ICU for nine days. Clarence’s wife, Judy, said that he recently got his first liquid food and they are going to be keeping him in the hospital for a few more days. Then he will have to build up his strength for a few weeks before he is again checked to see if the treatments did what they were supposed to do on the tumor. At that time a decision will be made on how to proceed.

Clarence, a retired California school teacher, is a familiar face in the industry and years ago hauled Phil Rapp to cuttings when he was young. He is in University Hospital, 4200 12605 E. 16th Ave., Aurora, CO 80045, Room 1121. You can send cards there or to his home at 27124 CR 70, Gill, CO. 80624.

For the first time that I can remember, the NCHA not only published the full minutes of an Executive Committee meeting, but also named the committee members who made a motion, seconded it and how they voted on a given subject. The Sept. 8-9 meeting was a very important one because it was when the Executive Committee went over the suggestions made by the committees at the Convention. Click Below for a copy of the full minutes:
Click here for Executive Committee minutes>>

According to an article in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, parking will someday be easier to find at the Will Rogers complex because of a proposed new parking garage – but at a price. It is estimated that parking will cost $5 or more for events that previously had free parking. The new six-story garage with one basement level, totaling 1,116 spaces is estimated to cost $32.5 million. The city of Fort Worth will issue certificates of obligation which will be paid for with revenue from parking fees. It is scheduled to open in December 2009.

Shawn Flarida, Springfield, Ohio, and Bryant Pace, Smithfield, N .C., tied for the championship of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress Reining Futurity during the finals held Friday, Oct. 10. Flarida was riding Whizs Chic A Dee, a 3-year-old son of West Coast Whiz out of Chic A Dee Hickory by Smart Chic Olena, owned by Arcese Quarter Horses USA, while Pace rode All Juiced Up sired by Smart Like Juice out of Come On And Dance by Reminic, owned by Jose Vazquez’s Smart Like Juice, Inc., Chicago, Ill. Both horses scored 224 and took home $22,012.78.

Ginger Schmersal, Overbrook, Okla., won the Non-Pro Stakes, riding Lil N Trouble, an APHA-registered gelding, owned by Ginger and her trainer husband, Craig. The gelding is sired by Lil Ruf Trouble out of Tami Dee (P) by Surprise Enterprise and collected $5,036.93. But the big story out of the prestigious reining was the success of the Smart Like Juice Offspring, with tying for the Open Championship and two others placing second and third in the Non-Pro Stakes.
Click here for Congress Reining Futurity results>>

The year 2008 has turned out to be a great year for Pepto Taz, a 1997 son of Peptoboonsmal out of the great mare, Sweet Lil Lena by Smart Little Lena. With his offspring now earning over $585,615, $326,684 of that has been earned by his offspring since Jan. 1, 2008. And the checks have been earned the hard way – with the largest check this year being $11,351 earned by Hesa Smart Taz, who finished third at Music City, boosting his lifetime earnings to over $68,936. Pepto Taz, with lifetime earnings of $132,224 is owned by Don and Netha Lester, Canby, Ore.

Texas has joined at least five other states this year in reporting cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection in horses. In Houston County, in the southeast corner of the state, a horse with clinical illness tested positive and in Denton County, in north central Texas, a vaccinated horse also tested positive and exhibited clinical signs of disease. EEE, which can be transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, also has been reported in horses in Georgia, Florida, Maine, Tennessee and New Hampshire, and in Ontario, Canada.


By Glory Ann Kurtz
Sept. 18, 2008 – Herald, Calif.

The sale of half interest in the stallion Yellow Roan Of Texas was recently completed by the Oasis Ranch Inc., Herald, Calif., and Susan Marchant’s SDM Quarter Horses, Goondiwindi, Queensland, Australia. Although the selling price was not disclosed, Pete Bowling of the Oasis Ranch, Inc., said the price made the stallion one of the top five high sellers in the industry.

Yellow Roan Of Texas, a 1997 son of Peptoboonsmal (ninth leading sire of all time, with offspring earning over $10.6 million) out of Doc’s Steady Date (offspring earning over $350,500) by Doc Bar, has over $73,000 in lifetime earnings – including a tie for fourth in the 2000 NCHA Non-Pro Futurity and ninth in the Amateur, where he and his owner/rider Dustin Adams picked up over $52,000. Wes Adams had originally purchased the yearling stallion in 1998 to be part of the MillionHeir program.

“Last year was the first year that the colts we bred competed,” said Bowling, and he is already on the top 100 leading sires list published by Equi-Stat. The stallion currently has 23 performing foals which have won $141,569. The stallions offspring are showing up in the winner’s circle of cutting, reining and reined cow horse competition.

“Ironically, many of the mares which Yellow Roan Of Texas bred had no performance record,” said Bowling, “but they still produced winners and money earners.”

The stallion will continue to stand at the Oasis Ranch, owned by Pete and his wife, Marilyn Mowry Bowling, for a $3,500 stud fee; however, early bookings still will be taken at the 2008 price of $2,000 until the Oasis Ranch Production Sale, scheduled to be held Oct. 11.

“Because his semen is so good,” we have decided to keep him here and ship semen to the Australian horses,” said Bowling. “The semen will be shipped to the Oakey Veterinarian Hospital, a top surgical and reproduction facility in Oakey, Queensland. Dr. David Pascoe, who completed a PhD in equine reproduction and comparative pathology at the University of California, Davis, and is now an award-winning specialist in equine reproduction will be the veterinarian who will be handling the breeding of the mares.”

For further information, go to or call (209) 748-2254 or 5352.


Sept. 9, 2008

According to the NCHA, Phil Rapp became a $6 million man when he won a weekend check at Sweetwater, Texas, on Sept. 5. The title, which made him cutting's all-time earnings leader, came one day before his 39th birthday. What gave him the biggest boost - The 2008 win of the MillionHeir Derby worth $300,000 on Redneck Yachtclub, claimed Rapp.

Drenda Chappell, who in 1987 started “Horses for Pleasure,” a horse brokering service in the Quarter Horse industry and selling over $22 million worth of horses worldwide, has become the Marketing Manager for A former New Mexico State Fair Queen, Drenda has trained many horses, winning on them in national competition. She is currently in the process of writing a book, “You Can Market and Sell Your Horse.” Drenda is the mother of Alan Chappell, 28, who trains, shows and sells horses. Alan holds an AQHA World title and an NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity championship. Contact Drenda at (817) 821-6991.

Weatherford, Texas, saddlemaker, Calvin Allen, won the “Select Cutting,” held during the Bayer Select world Show which wrapped up in Amarillo on Labor Day – Sept. 1. With judges Pete Fanning, Andy Adams, Tom Lyons, Eugene “Dell” Bell and Leslie Shaw looking on, Allen rode Frankie Floyd, a 1998 son of Freckles Floyd out of Wilsons Chickadee by Doc Wilson, owned by Calvin and his wife Brenda, scored a total of 218 under the five judges who scored him 72, 73, 73, 72, 73. (highest and lowest scores were dropped).

The Reserve title went to Charles Drummond, Pawhuska, Okla., riding Most Stylish Mom, a 2002 daughter of Docs Stylish Oak out of Playboys Mom by Freckles Playboy, owned by his son Timothy. Drummond scored a total of 217.5. Third, scoring a 214.5, went to Nancy Turner, Bushnell, Fla., riding Strait CD, a 1998 gelded son of CD Olena out of Joan Marie by Doc’s Solano owned by Nancy and her husband Ted. Fourth place was taken by previous champ Lynn Long, Decatur, Texas, riding A Loaded Pistol, a 2002 gelded son of Smart Little Pistol out of Ollies Ronda by Ollie Oop, owned by her husband, Wayne. Lynn scored a 212.

Most of you have noticed by now that Shawn McCoy is no longer with the NCHA Chatter. McCoy, who has been replaced as advertising sales rep, by Mark Herron, previously with Western Horseman Magazine, has moved on to the new team roping magazine, “The Score,” published by the brand-new National Team Roping Horse Association. The first issue came out in July. To contact Shawn, dial (817) 598-0110.

Prior to his stint with Cowboy Publishing’s Western Horseman Magazine and Quarter Horse News, Herrin joins several others who at one time were employed by the Texas Thoroughbred Association – including Jeff Hooper, Alan Gold and Sally Harrison – who are all now employed by the NCHA. Julie Mankin, also formerly employed by Cowboy Publishing as editor of the "Barrel Horse News," is the Managing Editor of "The Score.". The new team roping association is headquartered in Weatherford, Texas, with Sonny Miller being the President and CEO and Darlene Miller the Vice President, Marketing.

Cory Cushing, Scottsdale, Ariz., won the Open Championship of the National Stock Horse Association Futurity which ended Aug. 24 in Paso Robles, Calif. Cushing was riding First Marq Me, a gelding by Teninas First out of Marquitas Bunny by Peppy Marquette, owned by Kevin and Sydney Knight, Peoria, Ariz. The pair won a $30,000 paycheck. The Knights also owned Oh Cay N Short, the 2007 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, ridden by Boyd Rice. The Knights purchased First Marq Me at the 2006 NRCHA Open Futurity sale for $4,000. Laurie Ward, Kingsburg, Calif., was the Non-Pro champion riding Black Pearl, a daughter of Smart Little Pepinic out of Sugar Babe Taffy by Master Remedy. The pair won a $7,000 first-place paycheck.

After winning the Aug. 23, World’s Richest Stock Horse competition in Paso Robles, Calif., with a composite score of 661, Topsails Rien Maker and Russell Dilday took home a $20,000 paycheck. The stallion, with earnings topping $200,000, is sired by Topsail Cody out of Jameen Gay by Toby Gay Bar, and is owned by Delay and Kevin Cantrelle. Second went to PG Dry Fire, a stallion by Playgun out of The Dry Look by Dry Doc, owned by Dave and Loke Allen, Park City, Utah and ridden by Jake Telford to the $15,000 second-place check.

Bodee Boonsmal, the MillionHeir stallion owned by Wes Adams, will sell during the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Performance Horse Sale, Oct. 5, at the Reno Livestock Events Center in Reno. Sired by Peptoboonsmal out of Docalady by Doc Bar, the beautiful gray stallion was purchased by Adams for $87,000 during the 1998 NCHA Futurity sales. The 11-year-old stallion has sired foals which have won over $3.3 million.

The Polo Ranch, Marietta, Okla., has become the newest sponsor of the National Reined Cow Horse Association. The versatile Polo Ranch stallions have had a lot of success in the reined cow horse, cutting and reining horse industries – both as performers and sires. Although the ranch is currently downsizing and has scheduled a dispersal sale for Oct. 16-17, the stallions: Boonlight Dancer, Soula Jule Star and Gallo Del Cielo, will not be sold, but will continue to stand to the public, via shipped semen. For more information on the ranch or the sale, go to:

A longtime member and supporter of both the NCHA and the NRCHA, Wayne Havens, Jackson, Calif., passed away on July 7. Services were held on July 12. Havens, 78, was 15 and competing in his first calf roping competition when his father died. He was inducted into the Rancho Vistadores in 1977, the same year he officiated at the Cow Palace Grand National. He was also president of the California Reined Cow Horse Association and was Stock Horse Man of the Year. He served as president of the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association in 1983-84 and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2005. In recent years, he was a real estate developer. He is survived by his sister, Geoff Zimmerman and her husband Paul, his son Mark and his wife Mary, along with their children. He leaves behind his companion Sally Sansom.

Three major sales, managed by the National Reining Horse Association, will be held during the NRHA Futurity. The sales will be held Dec. 4-6 and will include the Select Sale, Dec. 4, featuring yearlings with proven bloodlines, sires and dams of performers, show horses with performance records and 3-year-olds entered in the NRHA Futurity or shown in other NRHA-approved aged events. The Marketplace Sale, held Dec. 5, will include prospects and producers, while the Futurity Prospect Sale, Dec. 6, will feature 2-year-old reining prospects. For further information, contact Debbie Drinko (405) 946-7400 ext 119 or Vic Clark (419) 565-4646.

A live auction and dinner, benefitting the Michelle Lynn Holsey Foundation, will be held Oct. 17 at the JB Wells Arena in Gonzales, Texas, immediately following the last class of the Central Texas CHA show. The foundation was established in September 2006 in Crockett, Texas, as a 501-c3 non-profit organization and supports men, women and children in their quest to battle cancer and other debilitating diseases while funding innovative research and supporting education. For more information, go to


Aug. 10, 2008

According to Chris Dublin, Chaimran of the San Angelo (Texas) Stock Show and Rodeo Cutting Horse Series, all the cuttings for August, October, and November have been canceled."Our cattle feedlot has been quarantined for TB for some time now and they have no way of shipping any cattle in or out for the rest of this year except for slaughter," said Chris. "Our other sources have become too expensive because of distance and freight charges. At the present time we have no further cuttings scheduled until NCHA Weekend the first weekend in June of 2009. All standings are final as of our last show on June 27, 28 and 29. We regret this situation and any inconvenience this may cause in your cutting schedule, but sadly it is out of our control at this point."

Following is a letter from Jonathan Foote, Livingston, Mont.:

"I think it is time to put this Amateur/ Restricted Non Pro issue in proper perspective.

The establishment and promotion of the amateur Division has made a significat contribution to the growth of the NCHA membership numbers and the sport of Cutting s