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Actor-director Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of the Yellowstone television series, is a Western performance horse enthusiast in real life. He competes in reining, most recently riding Hot Hollywood Whizky (above) in Oklahoma City, and also competes on cutting horses. * Photo by Waltenberry.

Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan Immersed in Reining, Cutting & Cow Horse

In acting, someone who considered a triple threat if they can act, sing and dance. Yellowstone’s Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of the show, proved he’s a Western performance horse triple threat — riding in reining and cutting, owning a successful reined cow horse all while the television series continues to thrill fans.

Sheridan, a Texas native, watched the cattle with thoughtful eyes during the Careity Celebrity Cutting at this month’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sheridan and his wife, Nicole, were the honorary co-chairs of the event that raises money for direct cancer patient care in North Texas. They both competed – with Nicole Sheridan earning the high score of the night – and Taylor recruited several members of the Yellowstone cast to compete as well. He cheered them on as they competed.

During the Careity Celebrity Cutting, he competed on his own horse. He owns several cutters, having showed his first winning mount at a Utah Cutting Horse Association show in 2017.

But Sheridan had other equine thoughts on his mind at the Careity event in addition to his cutting horses. Two horses he owned had made the Level 4 Open finals of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity, which was slated for the next day in Oklahoma City.

“As soon as this is over, I’m heading straight to Oklahoma City,” Sheridan said during the Careity Celebrity Cutting.

His two horses in the NRHA Futurity Level 4 Open finals were Suns Out Guns R Out and Setting Off To Town.

Suns Out Guns R Out is a 2017 stallion (Guns R For Shootin x Freckled Whiz x Topsail Whiz) shown by Matt Mills. Setting Off To Town is a 2017 gelding (Gunners Tinseltown x Setting Off Smart x Smart Spook) piloted by Craig Schmersal.

Schmersal and Setting Off To Town placed 10thin the finals, while Mills and Suns Out Guns R Out placed 22nd. Both trainers were part of Sheridan’s “The Last Cowboy” TV show, which followed trainers as they prepared and competed in the first-ever million dollar invitational at The Run For A Million horse show in Las Vegas.

That wasn’t his only involvement in Oklahoma City. Earlier in the week, Sheridan rode in the Non-Pro at the NRHA’s North American Affiliate Championships (NAAC), a show held in conjunction with the NRHA Futurity show. He and Hot Hollywood Whizky, a son of the great Topsail Whiz, finished 24th in the class.

Due to COVID, both The Last Cowboy and The Run For A Million horse show were scrapped in 2020 but Sheridan’s kept plenty busy. There’s Yellowstone, plus Sheridan competed in reining and cutting himself. 

His Western performance horse riding career started in reining, a discipline he’s competed in for several years and in 2019 was honored by the NRHA as its first Reiner of the Year.

However, three years ago he won his first cutting check at a Utah Cutting Horse Association weekend show. In recent years, he’s added limited-age cutting to the mix – winning a Gelding Incentive a The Cattlemen’s earlier this year.

Overall, he’s accumulated $10,428 in lifetime earnings — $4,866 from reining and $5,561 in cutting. Although he hasn’t yet competed in cow horse himself, he is involved as an owner through the exploits of Kreyzy Horse, a son of Dual Rey who has competed successfully at the highest level of reined cow horse with trainer Kelby Phillips.

“We film ‘Yellowstone’ on my ranch, so I’m able to ride daily, work cattle, etc.,” Sheridan said. “I’m lucky that I get to ride every day.”

He declined to say which discipline is his favorite – “that’s hard” – and also declined to reveal details of “Yellowstone” season 4, saying only, “It’s gonna be wild.”