Laura Bennett didn’t plan on winning the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Limited Non-Pro with Charlie Brown. She really didn’t even expect to be in the horse’s saddle at all.
As the wife of a horse trainer, she knows horses her family owns are trained with the intention of being sold to other people — and the new owners are the ones that show the horses.
That was the plan with Charlie Brown, but when nobody stepped up to buy the bay High Brow Cat gelding, Laura ended up riding the horse at Will Rogers.
For her, the show wasn’t about winning — it was simply an opportunity to show off the good training job that her husband, Tate Bennett, put on the horse.
“My whole goals were not to make the finals. My whole goals were not to win,” she said. “It was just to show people how good-trained these horses are.”
Charlie Brown must not have listened to the whole plan. Yes, they showed off Tate’s training job all right, but they also exceeded those goals when they went and won the class on Wednesday, Dec. 9 with a 218.
“I wanted to show ’em , you know what, he trains a good solid horse. That was the whole point when I’d go in there; it was just show ’em how good Tate’s horses are,” she said. “And that’s what my thought was today. I’m gonna go in there and show ‘em how trained old Charlie Brown is.
“So when it turns out, it’s neat. It’s just special.”
New to the Show Pen
Laura grew up riding on her family’s property, working and doctoring cattle, but she didn’t cut until the last few years. However, she’s had a front-row seat to countless runs as her husband’s turnback help for the past 15 years.
“When you watch somebody day in and day out, you really pick up so much. And, Tate, he’s a hell of a horse trainer. I know he’s my husband, but when I married him I didn’t know that,” she said with a smile. “I thought he was just a broke cowboy, but really, he’s a good horse trainer.”
Even though Laura wanted to use the NCHA Futurity to showcase her husband’s horse-training skills, Tate had a different hope for the class. He wanted her to win … for her.
Laura’s been by his side through think and thin since he was “riding 2-year-olds or day-working for a living.” She never gets a break from the horse-training lifestyle, he said.
“We don’t have a stall cleaner. We don’t have a loper. We don’t have a nanny … she does it all, and she keeps it together for me and my two boys and herself. And, I don’t know very many people that can do that,” he said. “And, I’m just glad to see that she got to see a reward for it.”
Bred by Darren Blanton, of Dallas, Texas, Charlie Brown is a son of all-time leading cutting horse sire High Brow Cat. He is out of Moms Stylish Scoot, a daughter of Smart Lil Scoot who earned $151,228 in the cutting pen.
Charlie Brown’s $15,002 first-place paycheck in the Limited Non-Pro pushed his mother’s lifetime produce earnings to more than $117,000.
The Reserve Championship went Jessica Gonsalves and Now Yer Talkin Cash, a daughter of freshman sire Reyzin The Cash who marked a 215.5. The second-place spot earned $14,565 for owner Susan Hearst, of Millsap, Texas.