Mandy McCutcheon, Aubrey, Texas, made use of in 2012. With earnings of $172,053, she is the recipient of the Equi-Stat Non-Pro Rider Award.A successful show year doesn’t come without hard work, dedication and a good partner in the arena. These are just a few things National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) rider
“I never expected it,” McCutcheon said of her success. “You just hope for it. It’s exciting and rewarding.”
McCutcheon, an Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Reining Rider, shares most of the credit for her success with the horses she has ridden throughout the year.
“I have a really good set of mares that I show, and that helps a lot. When you have good horses, it makes all the difference. I’m just really lucky to have them.”
One of those horses is Always Gotyer Gunsup (Colonels Smoking Gun [Gunner] x Always A Dunit x Hollywood Dun It). The 2007 mare, owned by McQuay Stables Inc., Tioga, Texas, and bred by Trinity Compress Real Estate, Lubbock, Texas, accrued $60,430 in 2012.
“She’s pretty special,” said McCutcheon of “Always.” “She’s got quite a bit of personality.”
McCutcheon’s success aboard the 6-year-old mare is just one of the reasons she rose to the top of the charts. The duo snagged a check for $49,632 at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC) after scoring a remarkable 231 in the Non-Pro finals.
“That’s the highest I’ve ever marked,” McCutcheon said. “She was quite on her game there.”
Always Gotyer Gunsup also carried McCutcheon to the Level 4 Non-Pro Co-Reserve Championship at the NRHA Derby. Their 220 score in the finals garnered a $10,048 paycheck.
Customized Gunner (Gunner x Custom Made Dun It x Hollywood Dun It) was McCutcheon’s second-highest earning horse of the year with an Equi-Stat record of $53,360. The 4-year-old, bred and owned by McQuay Stables Inc., carried McCutcheon to a 218.5 score during the NRHA Futurity Non-Pro finals, which earned them the Co-Championship and $40,170 in prize money.
Coming in as McCutcheon’s third-highest earning mount of 2012 with $34,903 is Shiney Enterprise (Smart And Shiney x My Royal Enterprise x Be Aech Enterprise), also bred and owned by McQuay Stables Inc. The duo rode to the Reserve Championship in the NRBC Non-Pro finals. Their score of 227.5 brought in a $27,389 payday.
And, as another sure sign McCutcheon’s success will be passed down, the 2008 mare also carried McCutcheon’s son, Cade, to win the Intermediate and 13 & Under divisions at the 2012 American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Championship Show.
McCutcheon was destined for success at a young age. She is the daughter of Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Reining Rider Tim McQuay and wife, Colleen, and is married to NRHA Professional Tom McCutcheon.
“They’ve been in the [horse] business for almost 40 years,” McCutcheon said of her parents. “It’s what I grew up in. I just did whatever they did.”
And if there ever comes a time when horses do not dominate her life, McCutcheon admits that she has no idea what she would do.
“I’ve never thought of anything else,” she said with a laugh.
With the amount of time spent on the road or at the barn, McCutcheon still has to balance her horse life with her family. She is thankful to have a good crew behind the scenes to help keep her horses ready for the show pen.
“When I’m at home, I go to every game and all the practices and everything I can,” she said. “I’m really lucky to have good people around me to help get the horses ready.
“It’s a whole team effort. My dad has an amazing staff, and so does Tom. It takes all of them to get me going. I don’t always get to ride as much as I’d like during the week, and without all the people making sure my horses are ready, it’s definitely not possible.”