The Shepard family, from Alabama, is a cutting horse industry dynasty. Four members of the family are National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Hall of Fame inductees, have won multiple championship titles and, between them, have earned more than $10.5 million.
In 2010, Cade Shepard, at the age of 9, and Tinys A Millionheir (Bodee Boonsmal x Ruby Duece x Smart Little Jerry), a 2003 gelding bred by Phil and Mary Ann Rapp, of Weatherford, Texas, competed in the Breeder’s Invitational annual Future Champions Kids Cutting class, for youth riders who are not quite ready to compete at limited-age cuttings. Today, Cade’s Equi-Stat record stands at $484,167.
In 2014, he rode Twistful Thinking (One Time Pepto x Some Kinda Twister x Freckles Fancy Twist), a mare bred by Charlie Israel, of Birmingham, Alabama, to a tie for the NCHA Futurity Limited Non-Pro Reserve Championship. In 2015, the pair won the NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Non-Pro, as well as the NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro. The next year, Cade rode Some Kinda Highbrow (High Brow CD x Some Kinda Memories x Smart Little Lena), a 2010 gelding bred by Shrontz Family Limited Partners, of Beaumont, Texas, to win the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro Championship. In 2016, at age 15, Cade was the youngest rider to be inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame.
Cade’s grandfather, Sam Shepard, who was inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame in 2002, has an Equi-Stat record of $2,576,421. A multiple NCHA Futurity Open finalist, Sam’s wins include the 2001 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open on Desire Some Freckles (Freckles Playboy x Genuine Desire x Genuine Doc), a 1995 mare bred by Carol Rose, of Gainesville, Texas, and the 2009 NCHA Super Stakes Gelding Championship on Dees Mr Charles (Its Just About Me x Dees Dually x Dual Pep), a 2005 gelding bred by Earl Driggers, of Blythe, Georgia. Sam also rode Twistful Thinking to a tie for the Open Championship at the 2017 NCHA Eastern National Championships.
Cade’s father, Austin Shepard, who was inducted into the NCHA Riders Hall of Fame in 2005, is one of the industry’s leading trainers with lifetime earnings of nearly $7 million. Austin won the 2007 NCHA Futurity Open riding High Brow CD (High Brow Cat x Sweet Little CD x CD Olena), a 2004 stallion bred by Wendel Ranches Inc., of Bastrop, Texas. He also rode Sir Long Legs (High Brow Cat x Lil Lena Long Legs x Smart Little Lena), bred by Michelle Cannon, of Waxahachie, Texas, to the Futurity Open Reserve Championship in 2016.
Stacy Shepard, Cade’s mother, was inducted into the NCHA Non-Pro Riders Hall of Fame in 2009 and has earned more than a half-million dollars in cutting competition. Stacy, who has taken time off from showing in recent years to be a full-time mom to Cade and his sister, Caylee, rode MH San Tules Dually (San Tule Freckles x Joses Dually x Dual Pep), a 2003 mare bred by Western States Ranches, of Dublin, Texas, to the 2008 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Reserve Championship. Young Caylee, 11, also enjoys cutting and drew her first two National Youth Cutting Horse Association paychecks in 2016.