Cutting With A Gun and Dave Thacker. • Photo by Amy Sumner.

Cutting With A Gun & Dave Thacker Reign at Reno

Cutting With A Gun was known as the “Queen of Thacker Training” before the 2022 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity. After a big win in the Open Bridle, there’s no telling what she expects to be called now.

Ridden by Dave Thacker, the buckskin mare landed the biggest win of her career in the Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Open Bridle at the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity. It came with a crystal trophy, silver headstall, buckle and other loot befitting of a queen.

“She thinks she’s special – and she is,” Thacker said.

Match Made in Heaven

In the Sherri Gilkerson Memorial Open Bridle, Cutting With A Gun and Thacker marked a winning 441.5 (217/224.5) in the event held Thursday, Sept. 15, in Reno, Nevada. It earned $5,824 in prize money for owner Barbara Hodges and The Sliding Sister Ranch.

Thacker gave credit for the mare’s success to Hodges, who has trained, bred and raised performance horses for years. It was Hodges who put her then-unshown and mostly reining-bred mare with Thacker, a Fallon, Nevada-based trainer who mostly shows reined cow horses and rode colts for Hodges at the beginning of his career.

Thacker said Hodges knew to pair her daughter of successful reining stallion Spooks Gotta Gun out of Miss Cut N Chex (by Como Chex Hobby) with him because, “She knows different riders — she’s trained a million of us.”

“She just knew that this mare would fit me,” he said. “I don’t know how she knows that stuff, but she did.”

Consistent Show Horse

They didn’t show the the mare bred by Julie Lingenfelter, of Fernley, Nevada, as a 3-year-old, so she made her debut as a 4-year-old. They had success that year at the Idaho Reined Cow Horse Association Futurity Show, winning both the Derby Limited Open and Derby Level 1 Limited Open. They also were Reserve Champions in the Derby Intermediate Open and placed fourth in the Open.

She’s been consistent ever since, and particularly good at the Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity.

Thacker and the mare won the Limited Open Hackamore at the 2019 Reno Snaffle Bit Futurity, and then earned what was then the biggest paycheck of her career when she tied for the Open Hackamore Reserve Co-Championship at the 2020 show. She was third in the Open Two-Rein at last year’s show.

Her future could some day include a trip to Fort Worth for the World’s Greatest Horseman competition. Her mother’s sire, Como Chex Hobby, sired a lot of good rope horses, Thacker said, and she’s shown him that she wants to be good in the roping, too.

Cutting With A Gun placed fifth last month in the Intermediate Open at the World’s Richest Stockhorse Competition, and also competed in its accompanying Even Richer Roping.

“Just a good mare,” Thacker said. “One of them you just don’t have a bad day on.”