Cutter Paul Hansma didn’t realize he was close to a major career milestone until the congratulations arrived by text message and phone call after the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular.
It turned out Hansma, 57, of Weatherford, Texas, had quietly become the newest rider to earn $6 million in the cutting pen.
“No one told me,” admitted Hansma, a native of Alberta, Canada. “I just know all of the sudden, a couple weeks ago, people started texting me.”
It was true. As of Wednesday, Sept. 13, Hansma’s lifetime earnings were $6,000,988, according to the NCHA. That puts him in an elite group: the only other riders to win more than $6 million in the NCHA are Phil Rapp, Matt Gaines, Lloyd Cox and Austin Shepard.
Although Hansma is proud to have achieved the status, the NCHA Hall of Fame trainer said he’s never set his career goals with earnings in mind. Instead, he’s always aimed at doing the very best he can every time he walks into the show pen.
“My goal was always to be very consistent, always be there, always be competitive and be known as a horseman, and just be respected as a horseman,” he said.
Hansma’s most prestigious career victory came in 1996 when he won the NCHA Futurity Open Championship aboard Kay Floyd’s Playboy Mccrae (Dual Pep x Playboys Madera x Freckles Playboy). His most lucrative year to date was 2006, when he won a whopping $718,783.
The 2006 season was highlighted by the $318,533 payday for the MillionHeir Classic Championship aboard Mary and Milt Bradford’s Our Little Dyno (Little Dyno x Our Little Peppy x Peppy San Badger). He also won $267,483 in his career aboard the NCHA’s second-highest money-earner of all time, Sister CD, a 2002 gelding (CD Olena x Little Baby Sister x Dual Pep) owned by Elizabeth and Skip Queen.
Hansma’s other top earners include NCHA Open Horse of the Year Hicapoo (Doc’s Hickory x Super Poo x Pima Country), a 1990 mare bred by him and his wife, Julie, and NCHA Derby Open Champion Rockin By Choice (SR Instant Choice x Rockin Playgirl x Freckles Playboy).
Numerous people have influenced Hansma so far during his career, he said, and he was grateful for their advice and assistance. He also thanked his family and all the assistant trainers, lopers, staff and herd help that have enabled him to be successful.
“There’s been so many,” he said. “And, all the help that you’ve gone through all the years that got you there is so important.”
For complete coverage of the latest in Western performance horse industry news, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.