ncha-youth-hall-of-famer-mattie-dukes
Mattie Dukes is a member of the 2020 class of the NCHA Youth Hall of Fame. She's shown aboard One Time Player, one of the top horses during her Youth career. • Photo by KC Montgomery.

NCHA Youth Hall of Fame: 2020 Inductee Mattie Dukes

Mattie Dukes started out riding all-around horses, but switched to cutting and has found success ever since.

Dukes is the daughter of Kevin and Melissa Dukes of Weatherford, Texas. She was born in Scottsdale, Arizona, but has spent most of her life in Weatherford. 

She graduated salutatorian in her class from Grace Christian Academy and is attending Texas Christian University studying a degree in communications with a minor in psychology.

The National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) announced during the 2020 NCHA Metallic Cat Summer Spectacular that Dukes was among this year’s class of the NCHA Youth Hall of Fame.

Equine Background

Dukes comes from a long line of horseman… both parents have world championship titles in multiple events. However, she started out riding all-around horses in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) —  winning her first world championship at the age of 7 with an old palomino gelding named Doc’s Answered Prayer. 

She went on to show quite a few other horses to top titles until she was introduced to the cutting at age 10 by Lindy Burch. Since then it’s been a whirlwind roller coaster ride. Her first cutting horse was a 17-year-old broodmare out of the pasture named CS Twisted Suzy, who she rode to the Youth Scholarship Finals in 2013.

Her second horse was another broodmare out of the pasture who had never been shown: Reys Play… better known as “Erma.” The 2003 daughter of Playdox came out of nowhere and at the ripe old age of 12 started her cutting career. Dukes just missed the world finals by one point that year but did win the Dixie National out of 40 horses.

Recent Years

Her next horse, One Time Player, came from Craig and Sasha Thompson. She and the son of One Time Pepto made the NCHA Top 15 three years in a row, the Scholarship finals in 2017, were AQHA high point winners in 2016, won the youth and the $25,000 novice non-pro at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and were AQHA World and Reserve World champions. Dukes said “Player” was a once-in-a-lifetime horse. 

Her most recent horse, Sho Nuff Hot, also came from Craig and Sasha Thompson. In the past year and a half, Mattie and ‘Houdini’ made the NCHA top 15, were top five at the AQHA Youth World, won the Youth at the Waco West Texas Futurity, and won the Greg and Whitney Welch Scholarship cutting.

Leadership

Dukes not only has been involved in the arena, but also in leadership. She became an area director at thirteen where she served for three years. She then became the NYCHA Vice president and President for the last two years. She said she never imagined that first day she went to Lindy’s that she would ever end up where she is today.

According to the NCHA, Dukes feels so blessed to have been able to have the life she has had with her family and horses and especially cutting horses. The experiences, the friends, and memories will be a part of everything she does going forward. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame in such an honor and truly a dream that she has always had.

Dukes would like to thank her whole family… her mom and dad, brother Clay, her grandparents and Sharon Beach who have been all across the country to shows with her and have been her biggest fans the whole time. 

She also wants to thank all of her help though the years, Lindy Burch, Craig and Sasha Thompson, Johnny Mitchell, Kory Pounds, Tom Dvorak, Sam Rose, Todd Crawford, Joe Howard Williamson and all the many others who have sat in her corners over the years. Mattie wants to especially thank her Lord and Savior for allowing it all to be possible.

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