Actress Susan Lucci was nominated 19 times before she finally took home the Daytime Emmy for her work on the soap opera All My Children. Trainer Casey Crouch – who before this year had been nominated several times for the Zane Schulte Award, but never won – will now receive the esteemed bronze named in honor of the late teenage cutter.
Crouch, of Corsicana, Texas, received a phone call from Barbra Schulte, the mother of the award’s namesake, telling him that he’d won.
“[I was] pretty shocked and excited at the same time,” Crouch said. “I was tickled. I think it’s a very cool honor.”
The award is given annually to a cutting horse trainer who embodies the characteristics of Zane Schulte, who died in 2000 at age 16 after a battle with cancer. Zane’s parents, Tom and Barbra Schulte, wanted to recognize someone who shows the things for which their son is remembered: integrity, service, values, respect of their peers, contribution to the industry and excellence in the arena.
“The people who nominated Casey so believed in him and what he has contributed to their lives, not only in learning cutting but also personally,” Barbra Schulte said. “They believed he also contributed to the sport as a whole through his consistent dedication to the youth in our sport, as well as to help so many from start to finish during weekend shows…just to name a few of the reasons.”
Crouch, who became an Equi-Stat Elite $1 Million Rider this year, began cutting as a youth. Although he posted his first check to Equi-Stat – a whopping $11.25 — on April 18, 1987, aboard Sugar Leo Quixote, Crouch figures he’d already been in the show pen for years by then. He’s been busy ever since, campaigning champion horses and coaching riders to titles in the American Cutting Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).
He’s had two NCHA World Champion horses, winning the $5,000 Novice Horse Open in 2015 with Twistin At The Roxie (Freckles Fancy Twist x High Boon x Mecom Blue) and last year’s $25,000 Novice Horse Open with Louis The Cat (High Brow Cat x Louella Again x Dual Pep). Louis The Cat also won a World Championship that year with one of Crouch’s non-pros, Tyler Delange.
Still, Crouch says the biggest reward hasn’t been the championships, but seeing his customers progress and gain success in training and in the show ring. His biggest thrill was seeing his son, Chaser, win the 2018 NCHA Senior Youth World Championship at age 17 with the family’s mare, GS Zans Cat.
“I love to help people, so it’s enjoyable to me and it does something for me just to see that person, whether he’s showing or working a horse practicing or whatever, for the light to come on at that moment when they understand what you’re saying and get it,” he said.
Crouch credited is wife, Chelsa, and Chaser for making his cutting career possible. As of Nov. 12, Crouch had a lifetime Equi-Stat record of $1,181,114.
“It’s a team effort and everything you see is about the team,” he said. “It’s not me or one individual. It’s all of us.”
For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News