01 AlwaysGotyerGunsup MMcCutcheon 12W

Equi-Stat Reining Non-Pro Rider Award Winner Mandy McCutcheon

01 AlwaysGotyerGunsup MMcCutcheon 12WAlways Gotyer Gunsup was Mandy McCutcheon’s top earner in 2012. Photo by WaltenberryA 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 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.

“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.”