Craig's Spin

Back to Reality

Hi All! We have had an exciting six months of learning how to be on the reality TV show “The Last Cowboy” while continuing to run our business. It has been challenging, at times, juggling the cameras and trying to get my job done training my horses.

I will admit when I was one of the 12 trainers approached about this, I was very apprehensive. I was not sure how our industry would be portrayed and how this could affect my business — good or bad. My wife and I had many sleepless nights worrying about what we said and how the producers would make us look; we were terrified of being portrayed like “The Housewives” or “The Horsetrainers” of reining.

We were fortunate to have known Taylor Sheridan well before “Yellowstone,” as he purchased one of our horses several years ago. We spoke directly about our concerns, and Taylor assured us he would not allow anything to make our industry look bad. His sole reason for doing this was to promote reining. Well, that was an understatement!

Never in my lifetime have I ever seen a show like The Run For A Million! We have never shown to a crowd as large and welcoming as the fans of reining and “The Last Cowboy.” There were around 5,000 people in the stands cheering for all of the riders. They did not care if there was a mistake; they still cheered each rider on to the end and participated in many standing ovations.

I can honestly say now that the season has ended that it was one of the best experiences of my career. I am proud to say my horse, No Smoking Required, gave me everything I asked for. He has been an incredible partner, and I am so happy the world was able to see and share in the incredible animal I know.

We made many new friends through this experience — from our camera and sound men and women, to the many producers we worked with from Paramount and Truly Original. But there is one person who deserves the most thanks, and that is Taylor.

His vision brought the Western industry to mainstream television. For the first time in my life, people outside of the horse industry now know what a reining horse is! (Not to mention we saw the largest payout of any reining event in history — $1 million!)

Thank you for the many incredible emails and messages from our friends from all around the world. This is an experience I will never forget. Lastly, congratulations to my co-champion, Cade McCutcheon!