Lloyd Cox posted his first check to Equi-Stat in 1985. The Delta, Missouri, native got his start with a $751 payday in the Futurity Open of the South Dakota Cutting Horse Futurity and Maturity.
It was merely the beginning of a storied career in Western performance’s richest sport. Today, the industry giant stands at $9,540,351 in earnings, according to Equi-Stat, the most ever among competitors in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA).
It didn’t take long for Cox to get started with his impressive list of earnings, banking $51,536 in 1988, a mere three years after his first trip to the pay window.
The winner of the 2010 NCHA Futurity Open championship — a victory on One Time Royalty (One Time Pepto x Royal Serena Belle x Shorty Lena), scoring a gargantuan 230 and pocketing $250,000 — Cox has raked in $1,716,641 in the NCHA Futurity Open alone in Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Coliseum.
There’s more left in Cox, who now calls Marietta, Oklahoma, home.
“I’m going to stay doing what I’ve always done and keep training good horses and [being] competitive and doing the best I can,” Cox said.
Cox has stepped into the stirrup of many of the cutting industry’s household names, including Equi-Stat Elite $44 million sire Dual Rey (Dual Pep x Nurse Rey x Wyoming Doc) and his dam, Nurse Rey.
“[Nurse Rey] was certainly one of them I thought a lot of. She was the most cow-smart horse I ever rode in my life, I don’t think I’ll ever ride another horse that was that smart about a cow,” Cox said, remembering the sorrel mare with a characteristic nose-to-the-ground style.
Another special mare Cox recalled was Stylish Play Lena.
“The most fun horse I ever rode,” he said.
The 1997 mare (Docs Stylish Oak x Play Lena x Freckles Playboy) earned $289,624 during her career before producing more than $1.9 million in progeny earnings, according to Equi-Stat, including 2012 NCHA Summer Cutting Spectacular Derby Open and 2012 Breeders Invitational Derby Open Champion Hottish (Spots Hot x Stylish Play Lena x Docs Stylish Oak).
“It seems like in this business that the mothers make a lot of difference,” Cox concluded.
With the 2019 NCHA Futurity drawing nearer, Cox has a full hand of 3-year-olds he hopes will validate another year of hard work. Along for the ride to Fort Worth, Texas, will be 2013 mare Copperish (Metallic Cat x Stylish Play Lena x Docs Stylish Oak). Cox and Copperish qualified for the NCHA World Finals playing out in November and December 2019.