The McLaughlin family’s success aboard CD Dee Vee Dee is becoming something out of a story book. Last week, Cutter McLaughlin piloted the 15-year-old gelding to the pair’s sixth American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA) World Championship.
CD Dee Vee Dee is practically a household name in the cow horse world. With Cutter McLaughlin aboard, the pair have taken top titles at the Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show, the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Celebration of Champions, earned NRCHA national titles and captured four coveted Bridle Spectacular wins at NRCHA premier events.
Young Cutter, 16, has grown up in “DVD’s” saddle. It hasn’t always been easy, but the recently crowned Youth Working Cow Horse World Champion knows that without his equine partner, he wouldn’t be the horseman he is today.
“DVD has taught me how to ride other horses. Riding other horses lets me ride him better,” Cutter said about the horse in a 2018 interview. “I know more now—I know how to ride him and more about him now.”
In all, Cutter has won seven NRCHA national titles, three NRCHA world champion titles and six AQHyA world champion titles.
“DVD was the first horse I showed down the fence,” Cutter said after winning the 2019 Non-Pro Bridle Spectacular at the 2019 NRCHA Stallion Stakes.
CD Dee Vee Dee’s Story
The 15-year-old gelding by CD Lights and out of Shiners Missy Jay (by Shining Spark), first saw success with Cutter’s father, multiple world champion trainer Jay McLaughlin aboard.
Bred by Carol Rose of Gainesville, Texas, DVD first appeared in the show pen under reined cow horse trainer Zane Davis, of Blackfoot, Idaho, at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, but the pair didn’t have much success. In 2008, Jay McLaughlin went to work for Rose and took the seat in DVD’s saddle.
The pair had a successful 2009 show year that resulted in a Junior Working Cow Horse Reserve World Champion title, followed by a 2010 NRCHA Open Hackamore World Champion win and the NRCHA Derby championship. The horse then changed hands, and NRCHA Hall of Fame trainer Ron Ralls took the reins. From mid-2010 through 2013, DVD took Ralls and fellow trainers Todd Bergen and Erin Taormino to the pay window with Shannon and Hershel Reid as owners.
In a Western Horseman “Arena All-Star” feature in 2018, Jay McLaughlin recalled never shaking the feeling that DVD would be the best horse to mount his son, Cutter, on for horse shows. Jay McLaughlin said that he was able to buy the horse and Bergen brought him to the 2013 AQHA World Championship Show. Up to that point, DVD had more than $131,000 in Open rider earnings.
Today, with mainly Cutter, and occasionally his father, as his rider, the gelding’s lifetime earnings stand at more than $268,000 according to Equi-Stat. McLaughlin and his wife, Wendy, own the horse.
“I’ve been fortunate to ride some great horses in my life,” said Jay McLaughlin, “and he is one of my favorites.”
The horse is surely Cutter’s favorite as well. The pair has a long resume, which includes Cutter entering in the NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman event in 2016, the same year the duo earned the NRCHA Youth Bridle World Championship. He entered against trainers like his father, and while he didn’t make the finals, he and DVD represented themselves well, much like the golden globe winning run the pair made in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to take Cutter’s sixth world champion title back to Clarendon, Texas.
“He is a character and loves going out and playing,” Cutter told the AQHA after this year’s win. “He loves being on the trailer going everywhere. The cows are a little soft in there and don’t want to box very well so we didn’t stay very long on the end. I had to loop it but he was good and the cow way really good, actually. It feels great. I want to thank everyone—my parents, my grandparents, my brother.”
Cutter has experience giving thanks for the support he has received showing not only DVD but also another bridle horse, DT Whiskey Shine (Paddys Irish Whiskey x Smart Shinelo x Smart Shiner), an 8-year-old gelding he rode to the 2020 Reserve Champion Youth Working Cow Horse title.
With two more years to show in the AQHA Youth, don’t expect Cutter or DVD to sit on their laurels.
“Like my dad tells me, go show your horse and have fun with it,” Cutter said in 2019. “We are still having fun.”