Cade McCutcheon Adds to NRHA Million Dollar Rider Dynasty

For Immediate Release – January 19, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to officially congratulate NRHA Professional Cade McCutcheon for becoming an NRHA Million Dollar Rider.

At just 19 years old, McCutcheon is the third member of his immediate family to cross this milestone. His parents, Tom and Mandy McCutcheon, reached the milestone consecutively—Tom in 2006 and Mandy in 2007. In 2014 Mandy reached her second milestone, becoming an NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider. Tim McQuay, McCutcheon’s grandfather, is an NRHA Three Million Dollar Rider as well as an NRHA Million Dollar Owner.

“It’s been a whirlwind; I never could’ve expected the year that I’ve had,” McCutcheon said. “I set the goal to become an NRHA Million Dollar Rider when I was 12. Before the [NRHA] Futurity, I joked about the idea of winning first [in the Level(L) 4 Open] and placing with my other two horses to make it happen.”

Who knew that reality would far surpass the joke? McCutcheon’s wins at the 2019 NRHA Futurity pushed him past the million-dollar mark by more than $70,000. For those who know McCutcheon, it’s not surprising he reached a goal long before he planned. He originally set the goal of crossing the million dollar mark by his 25th birthday.

A horse named “Turbo” equipped 6-year-old McCutcheon with the need for speed and helped the young horseman build the work ethic he needed to become a horse trainer.

“I had a hard time getting him to lope,” McCutcheon said of the gelding. “He’d always take me over to the gate. It took me about six months before I got him to finally lope. Once I got him loping, I never walked or trotted again.”

Perhaps Turbo secured McCutcheon’s fate to carry on the family legacy as an NRHA Professional. Or maybe it was simply bred into the third-generation reiner from the get-go.

McCutcheon’s first year as an NRHA Professional—2019—is hard work personified. Not only was he the Run for a Million Invitational co-champion, McCutcheon also topped the NRHA L3 Open Derby and placed first and second in three levels of the 2019 NRHA Futurity Open Finals.

“I was competing at the 2018 World Equestrian Games when I thought to myself ‘I can play with the big dogs,’” McCutcheon said. It was in that moment McCutcheon decided to officially take his riding to the next level as a professional.

Reaching the pinnacle of reining as a 19-year-old presents McCutcheon with a strong foundation to continue building on in 2020.

“There are a million people I could thank for this,” McCutcheon said. “I’ve been very lucky to have a good support system around me.”

McCutcheon’s 2019 NRHA Futurity Placings:

  • Super Marioo (Gunnatrashya x HA Chic A Tune): L4-2 Open Champion
    Guns And Dynamite (Gunners Special Nite x Chic Olena Starbuck) L4 Open Co-Reserve Champion and L3-2 Open Reserve Champion
    Deja Vu With A Gun (Gunner x Dun Its Déjà vu) Open L4-2 Finalist

Snip O Gun Joins Elite NRHA Million Dollar Dam Club

For Immediate Release – January 13, 2020 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to recognize Snip O Gun as an NRHA Million Dollar Dam. Owned by Hilldale Farm, Snip O Gun is one of only three dams to produce offspring that reached the million-dollar earnings mark to date. She crossed the million-dollar milestone during the 2019 NRHA Futurity where her offspring earned more than $50,000.

Snip O Gun, affectionately known as “Snip,” made a name for herself despite harboring no show record of her own. The 1993 bay mare produced big-name reiners, including Inferno Sixty Six (by Gunnatrashya), Big Chex To Cash (by Nu Chex To Cash), Hot Smokin Chex (by Nu Chex To Cash) and Chexmaster (by Nu Chex To Cash).

“If a mare doesn’t have a show record, or you can’t afford one that does, you buy a mare with the best conformation and pedigree to cross with your stallions,” said owner Tammye Hutton of Hilldale Farm. “The only stud we had was Nu Chex To Cash, so we bought mares for him. I felt Snip was the perfect cross.”

Snip’s conformation emulates the foundational bloodlines of the American Quarter Horse. That, paired with her “cool” temperament, made her an ideal match for Nu Chex To Cash. Once he was done breeding, Hutton knew Snip would also cross well with Gunnatrashya and Colonels Shining Gun.

“Snip is just very calm, cool, and collected,” Hutton said. “I’m guessing if she would’ve had more than 30 days under saddle she would’ve been extremely athletic; she’s made for it. But she’s so laid back that you would’ve had to really ask her to do what you wanted; but that’s probably why she works well on different stallions.”

Hutton said, “She’s round from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail.”

“She has a big, soft, intelligent eye,” Hutton added. “She has a pretty neck that ties into her shoulder perfectly. She has a lot of bone, substance, and depth.”

Not to mention she stands on four strong feet.

Perhaps it’s just personal bias, or it’s the bold-face truth, Hutton said she’d be hard-pressed to find a fault in the mare. In the end, it was Snip’s personality and demeanor that captured Hutton’s heart.

“She’s very sweet, quiet, and laid back,” Hutton said. “She likes to graze and be with her horse buddies, but she’s also the first one to the gate when I whistle.”

Snip O Gun’s top-performing offspring include:

  • Inferno Sixy Six (by Gunnatrashya): $205,690 LTE
  • Big Chex To Cash (by Nu Chex To Cash): $194,260 LTE
  • Hot Smokin Chex (by Nu Chex To Cash): $186,598 LTE
  • Chexmaster (by Nu Chex To Cash): $103,911 LTE
  • Snips Shining Gun (by Gunner): $52,817 LTE
  • Snip O Satellite (by Nu Chex To Cash): $52,057 LTE
  • Snip O Chex (by Nu Chex To Cash): $50,648 LTE
  • Chexamillion (by Nu Chex To Cash): $35,377 LTE
  • Rio Killer Gun (by CFR Centenario Wimpy): $33,752 LTE
  • Snip O One (by A Sparkling Vintage): $31,911 LTE

Horsewoman of the Year Award Renamed to Honor Becky Hanson

For immediate release — December 10, 2019 — Oklahoma City — The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is pleased to announce that the Horsewoman of the Year award has been renamed to honor NRHA Professional Becky Hanson, past NRHA board member and professional from Clements, Calif.

“Becky exemplifies what we look for in the Horsewoman of the Year award,” said Shane Brown, NRHA Professional and Executive Committee member. “We feel like it sets a good example to continue the award in her name.”

The newly dedicated Becky Hanson Professional Horsewoman of the Year award will be voted on by NRHA Professionals and announced with the other Professional of the Year awards at the NRHA Awards Banquet in June. Becky is known for her incredible photos of the Western lifestyle, horsemanship, her philanthropic heart, witty humor, and constant willingness to lend a hand wherever it is needed.

“Becky is always willing to help out and volunteer, no matter where she’s needed, from coaching to tasks at the barn, and from the affiliate level to a national level; she is always willing to help everyone around her,” Brown said.

Before stepping away from training horses herself, Becky had spent five years training reining horses in Italy, made multiple NRHA Derby finals, earned North American Affiliate titles and major event titles across the country, and coached endless non professionals to victory. Now her support is never far from her husband, NRHA Professional David Hanson who still trains and competes.

“She did it all, from sending entries to working with clients and helping find good horses and making their local affiliate run,” Brown shared. “There was not one part of this business that she didn’t have her hand in, one way or another.”

In naming this award in her honor, the Professionals Committee hopes she will serve as a continuous reminder about what it means to be named Horsewoman of the Year.

“She’s been an inspiration to people in this industry at all levels,” said Patrick Flaherty, NRHA Professionals Committee Chair. “She’s a huge influence, and I strongly believe her affiliate is successful today because of what she put into it. She and David set up an incredible business because of how they complemented each other. Their support was pivotal to their business and our industry.”

Becky exemplifies what it means to be an NRHA Professional through her tenacity, morals, philanthropic heart, and the way she has continuously poured into every aspect of the reining industry for so many years. She has spent her life working to promote and grow the sport of reining through world-wide and local affiliate efforts, as well as serving on the NRHA Board and multiple committees.

“We all wish the Professional of the Year awards existed when she was actively training and showing horses because she would have won it five years in a row,” Flaherty said. “Now that the professionals have come up with this award program, we want to be sure it pays homage to her, and this felt like the perfect way to do it.”

Dean Brown Clinches NRHA Million Dollar Rider Status

For Immediate Release – November 21, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) is proud to officially congratulate NRHA Professional Dean Brown for crossing $1,000,000 in NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE).

Brown, who trains out of Santa Hill Ranch in Campbell, New York, has dedicated his career to the sport of reining. He got his start with horses at a young age when he worked alongside his father training horses on the family’s ranch in Ontario, Canada. Since then, Brown has remained an active NRHA member for more than 25 years, training horses, coaching riders, and competing in major events across the country.

Notable wins from Brown’s extensive show history include:

  • 1998 All American Quarter Horse Congress Futurity Co-Championship on Dolls Skeeter
  • 2003 National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) fifth in Level (L) 4 Open and L3 Championship on Tinsel Nic
  • 2007 NRHA Derby fifth in L4 Open on Boomtown Rocker
  • 2011 NRHA Futurity 10th in L4 Open and fourth in L3 on Conquer The Spin
  • 2015 NRBC ninth in L4 Open on The Kids Gotta Gun
  • 2017 Congress third in L4 Open and L3 Champion on Dunit With A Blond
  • 2019 Buckeye Reining Classic L4 Open Futurity Championship on Spookgotgunsintown

Most recently, Brown’s 2019 Congress L4 Futurity reserve title and L3 win aboard SHR Sweet Sugar Joe pushed him past the million-dollar mark. As he reflects on the road to his milestone, Brown credits his parents, Brian and Elaine Brown; his family; his wife, Laura; Robert and Arlene Santagata, owners of Santa Hill Ranch; and the many equine athletes he’s had the privilege to ride.

“A lot of my early horses came to me through my parents. I’m thankful for my wife, Laura, and my family’s support, too,” Brown shares. “Robert and Arlene have given me the opportunity to ride and train some very nice horses. They let me do my job.”

With just over a million in LTE to date, Brown has no plans of slowing down—he’s already shooting for the next milestone. “We have some really cool horses here at Santa Hill,” Brown reveals. “I’ll just keep on working for that two million dollars.”

Congratulations to Brown on this outstanding achievement!

Five Sires That Have Multiplied Their NRHA Millions

For Immediate Release – November 18, 2019 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – The National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) honors five sires that have recently achieved new multi-million-dollar milestones in offspring earnings.

NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Smart Chic Olena (Smart Little Lena x Gay Sugar Chic), who was humanely euthanized in 2012, is now an NRHA Seven Million Dollar Sire. Bred by Emily Woodall, “Chic” originally had a bright future in the cutting pen, but a career path change resulted in him earning an NRHA Open Reserve World Championship, among other accolades, with NRHA Million Dollar Rider Craig Johnson. As a sire, Chic passes his athleticism, willingness, and calm mind to his progeny, which includes five NRHA Million Dollar Sires: Magnum Chic Dream, Rowdy Yankee, Smart Spook, Chocolate Chic Olena, and Spat Olena.

Chic’s top-earning offspring include:

  • Smart Spook (out of Sugarplum Spook, by Grays Starlight): $403,149 LTE
  • Shiners Chic (out of Ebony Shines, by Shining Spark): $298,384 LTE
  • Shine Chic Shine (out of Ebony Shines, by Shining Spark): $148,714 LTE
  • Smartest Chic Olena (out of Colonels Dove, by Colonel Spats: $129,061 LTE
  • Smart N Sparkin (out of Setting Off Sparks, by Shining Spark): $121,697 LTE
  • Commandalena (out of Givenchy Command, by Fritz Command): $115,894 LTE
  • Chic Please (out of San O Lenita, by Tenino San): $108,085 LTE
  • Wind Her Up Chic (out of Wind Her Up Doc, by Docs Sidewinder): $102,710 LTE
  • Chocolate Chic Olena (out of Jae Bar Felcia, by Leos Question): $86,176 LTE
  • Rowdy Yankee (out of Nita Chex, by Ready Chex): $84,480 LTE

Two of Chic’s progeny also recently crossed milestone markers in their own right, becoming NRHA Six Million Dollar Sires: NRHA Hall of Fame inductees Magnum Chic Dream (out of Sailin Barbee) and Smart Spook (out of Sugarplum Spook).

Photo by John Brasseaux

Bred by Guy Du Ponchel and owned by Viola Scott, 23-year-old Magnum Chic Dream boasts more than $44,000 in personal NRHA Lifetime Earnings (LTE). Since retiring from the show pen, “Magnum” has found even greater success as a sire, with his offspring rocketing him from his first NRHA Million Dollar Sire title in 2010 to his sixth in just nine years. The stallion stands at Cedar Ridge Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Texas.

Magnum’s top-earning offspring include:

  • Chic Dreamin (out of Skeets Red Dunit, by Skeets Peppy): $239,876 LTE
  • Taris Dreamer (out of Taris San Cutter, by Doc Tari): $193,511 LTE
  • Msdreamy (out of A Gal With A Gun, by Gunner): $179,169 LTE
  • Mega Maggie Mae (out of Cinco De Mega, by Marthas Mega Jac): $170,133 LTE
  • Lil Magnum Jessie (out of Lil Ruf Jessie, by Lil Ruf Peppy): $166,274 LTE
  • Chicsdundreamin (out of Goody Goody Dun Drop, by Hollywood Dun It): $153,510 LTE
  • Made By Magnum (out of Ready Make Cowboy, by Master Cowboy Jac): $152,668 LTE
  • Chics Dream (out of First Ex Flame, by Expensive Flame): $147,611 LTE
  • Magnum Starlights (out of Starlights Sugarwhiz, by Little Bay Starlight): $144,788 LTE
  • Magnum With A Dream (out of Shine On Sayo, by Shining Spark): $128,254 LTE

Photo by John Brasseaux

Smart Spook, owned and bred by Rosanne Sternberg, earned more than $403,149 in personal NRHA LTE before he transitioned into a full-time career as a sire. With NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida in the saddle, he won 2004 NRHA L4 Open Futurity, the 2005 NRHA L4 Open Derby, and the 2005 AQHA World Show junior reining, among other titles, and earned consecutive gold medals at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 FEI World Reining Masters with NRHA Professional Rudi Kronsteiner. Smart Spook has proven himself equally remarkable as a sire since his first crop hit the ground in 2006. The 18-year-old stallion was inducted into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2015 and stands at Sterling Ranch in Pilot Point, Texas.

Smart Spook’s top-earning offspring include:

  • Custom Spook (out of Custom Spinderella, by Custom Crome): $235,749 LTE
  • Shine N Spook (out of Ebony Shines, by Shining Spark): $219,826 LTE
  • Red Stripe Spook (out of Ms Red Capri, by Jacs Aledo Bar): $179,766 LTE
  • Spooks N Jewels (out of Whiz Jewels, by Topsail Whiz): $165,223 LTE
  • Ebony Spook (out of Ebony Whiz): $160,634 LTE
  • Spook Off Sparks (out of Setting Off Sparks): $142,339 LTE
  • Patriot (out of Dunit A Lil Ruf): $138,738 LTE
  • Hey Joe (out of Best Stop): $121,450 LTE
  • Spook N Perla (out of Shine On Ruff): $112,306 LTE
  • Jacs Lil Spook (out of Miss Whoa Jac): $108,935 LTE

Photo by Cam Essick

NRHA Hall of Fame inductee Smart Like Juice (Smart Little Lena x Jessies Oak), owned by Smart Like Juice Inc./Jose Vazquez, has achieved the title of NRHA Four Million Dollar Sire. Bred by Lindy Burch, the 1994 stallion was purchased by Justin and Vaughn Zimmerman as an early 3-year-old. After watching the horse place seventh in the open finals at the 1997 NRHA Futurity, non pro rider Jose Vazquez knew he had found his new horse. “Juice” went on to compete with both Vazquez and NRHA Professional Ed Fear, earning $56,096 in NRHA LTE before retiring to the breeding shed. Earning his first Million Dollar Sire title in 2008, Juice was recognized with his induction into the NRHA Hall of Fame in 2017 for his contributions to the reining industry. He stands at Hannagan Farms in Penfield, Illinois.

Juice’s top-earning offspring include:

  • Juiced Up Doc (out of Jokes Startime, by Joker Solano): $196,813 LTE
  • Like Shiner (out of Wind Her Up Shiner, by Shining Spark): $145,096 LTE
  • Moonshine Juice (out of Wind Her Up Shiner, by Shining Spark): $122,365 LTE
  • Wound By Juice (out of Wind Her Up Shiner, by Shining Spark): $112,368 LTE
  • Moonshine N Juice (out of Wind Her Up Shiner, by Shining Spark): $98,858 LTE
  • SLJ Sweet N Juicy (out of Jacks My Sugar Daddy, by Hollywood Jac 86): $88,821 LTE
  • SLJ Ruf Juice (out of Ruf Catalyst, by Lil Ruf Peppy): $84,632 LTE
  • Smart Like Valentino (out of Smart Little Jewel, by Smart Chic Olena): $69,502 LTE
  • Gorgeous Like A Star (out of Hustle Up A Star, by Grays Starlight): $66,451 LTE
  • Juice N Silk (out of Silk N Sable Pine, by Okie Paul Quixote): $66,212 LTE

Photo by John Brasseaux

Spooks Gotta Whiz (Spooks Gotta Gun x Prettywhizprettydoes) has reached the mark of NRHA Two Million Dollar Sire, only a year after his offspring took him past his first million. The 2007 stallion bred by Clint Haverty and owned by Michell Anne Kimball achieved significant success in his own right. With NRHA LTE of more than $345,137, “Baby” claimed the 2010 NRHA L4 Open Futurity Championship with NRHA Two Million Dollar Rider Jordan Larson, as well as the 2012 NRHA L4 Open Derby Championship among other notable victories with NRHA Six Million Dollar Rider Shawn Flarida. Baby stands at Cinder Lakes Ranch in Valley View, Texas.

Spooks Gotta Whiz’ top-earning offspring include:

  • Spooky Whiz (out of Myo Starlight, by Paddys Irish Whiskey): $184,715 LTE
  • Gotta Twist It Up (out of Make It With A Twist, by Dun It With A Twist): $163,111 LTE
  • Spooks Show Time (out of Dolittle Lena, by Shining Spark): $106,934 LTE
  • Thebettertohearuwith (out of Chex Out The Cowgirl, by Lean With Me): $104,822 LTE
  • Sharp Dressed Spook (out of Dolittle Lena, by Shining Spark): $93,536 LTE
  • Spooks Grand Slam (out of Shiney Diamond Lady, by Shining Spark): $90,514 LTE
  • Spooks Gotta Spark (out of Dolittle Lena, by Shining Spark): $66,804 LTE
  • Spooks Gotta Crush (out of Megas Sugar Baby, by Marthas Mega Jac): $58,122 LTE
  • Night Time Spook (out of Custom Night Time, by Custom Crome): $56,317 LTE
  • Gotta Shiney Diamond (out of Shiney Diamond Lady, by Shining Spark): $50,038 LTE

Photo courtesy of Michell Kimball

Congratulations to all five of these outstanding sires and all their connections.