In the Tulsa Reining Classic Derby Non-Pro, held Sept. 1 at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 61 exhibitors competed for championships in the SmartPak Derby Non-Pro. While many riders made it clear from the moment they ran into the arena that they were there to compete, one horseman in particular achieved the top score by a landslide.
Cade McCutcheon, who showed two horses in the Derby, first rode in on Custom Made Gun from the 35th draw. The duo’s resulting 223 topped the current highest score by 4.5 points, then held through the rest of the class for the win. McCutcheon received $4,980 for the Derby Level 4 Non-Pro Championship, which pushed his Equi-Stat record past $225,000.
McCutcheon, of Aubrey, Texas, and Custom Made Gun have a long history together. In 2015, the duo tied for Reserve in the Level 4 at the National Reining Breeders Classic (NRBC), won the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby Level 4 and tied for second in Level 4 at the Tulsa Reining Classic. Before coming to Tulsa this year, they tied for second at the NRHA Derby.
“He’s been pretty consistent. He’s a good horse,” McCutcheon said. “He’s always pretty quiet and always wants to be your friend.”
Custom Made Gun is a homebred belonging to McQuay Stables, which is based in Tioga, Texas. The 5-year-old palomino stallion is by Colonels Smoking Gun (Gunner) and out of the Hollywood Dun It mare Custom Made Dunit. He is a full brother to Customized Gunner, who has reining earnings of $96,526. Custom Made Dunit earned less than $2,000 during her career, but she has produced earners of more than $170,000, and Custom Made Gun is her second-highest-earner.
McCutcheon and his second horse in the finals, Dun Tinkering Around, placed 18th in the Level 4.