Equi-Stat records.Texas trainer Matt Gaines recently became just the second cutting horse rider to earn more than $7 million, according to
Gaines, 44, headed to the March 28-April 20 XTO Energy/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes in Fort Worth with career earnings totaling $6,989,981. He earned $16,550 at that event to reach Equi-Stat Elite $7 Million Rider status.
Cutting’s second all-time top-earning rider graduated from Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, in 1992. He worked in the corporate world his first year out of school until thoughts about training horses for a living returned.
“I believe if you do what you love, you have a greater chance at being successful,” Gaines said. “I really enjoy what I do, and I dedicated myself to it. There are days when you think, ‘Why do I do this?’ But I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.”
Gaines continues to excel at his chosen profession. He earned $560,745 as a cutter in 2012, according to Equi-Stat records. Following the NCHA Super Stakes, he’d earned another $92,022 this year.
Phil Rapp, Weatherford, Texas, ranks as cutting’s all-time top-earning rider with $8,377,686, according to Equi-Stat, including $32,659 earned at this year’s Super Stakes.
Comprehensive lists of career-leading riders, horses, owners and breeders will appear in the Lifetime Cutting Statistics section of the July 1 issue of Quarter Horse News.