Rey Jay, pictured here, is credited with kicking off Talamage's cutting career. * Photo by Dalco

Cutting Legend George “Curly” Talamage Passes at 101

The Western performance horse community is deeply saddened at the passing of George “Curly” Talmage, a remarkable individual in the cutting industry who passed away on March 22, 2024, at the age of 101, in Weatherford, Texas. From his earliest days in southeastern Michigan, including his days of adventures in Traverse City, Curly’s upbringing was steeped in the values of hard work, integrity, and perseverance.

It was Curly’s valiant service to his country during World War II that would truly define his character. As a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, he answered the call of duty with unwavering resolve, bravely venturing into the crucible of conflict, including the harrowing invasion of Iwo Jima. It was on that treacherous island that Curly demonstrated extraordinary courage, sustaining wounds in the line of duty that earned him both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star—testaments to his valor and sacrifice in defense of freedom.

Upon returning home, Curly embarked on a new chapter of his life—one filled with boundless passion and unwavering commitment to his true love: horses. Talmage began working on Loyd Jinkens’ ranch near Lake Worth, Texas, in 1953 and started forming relationships with people in the horse industry. This was where he rode his first cutting horse and found a passion for the sport. His legacy started with a colt named Rey Jay, who went on to sire horses like Freckles Playboy, Colonel Freckles, Tamulena, Rey Jynx, Nurse Rey, and many more.

Talmage kept training and showing cutting horses in the same North Texas area well into his 80s. Some of the horses he trained and showed included Silver Creek Aloha, My Gosh Pepper, Cito Dandy, Majors Ronnie and My Hired Hand. His time spent honing his craft helped catapult the entire cutting horse industry into significant growth. He put in the time and effort to become successful with his horses, paid attention to the little things, and advised young people getting started to do the same.

In addition to training horses, Talmage was also very involved in his community. He helped many kids in the Silver Creek and Azle 4-H horse program in Parker County, Texas, teaching horsemanship, showmanship, and introducing them to many disciplines.

In recognition of his contributions to the equestrian world, Curly was bestowed with numerous accolades and honors, including a recent acknowledgment from the National Cutting Horse Association, which recognized him as their oldest living member—a testament to his enduring legacy and unwavering commitment to his craft.

Curly is survived by his loving children, Douglas Talmage (LaVerle), Nancy Foust(Robert), and Timothy Talmage, along with his cherished grandchildren, Rey, Mitchel, Art, Bo and Sara, and a host of great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, George Iris Talmage and Florence June Morehead Talmage, his beloved wife, Pauline Dietz Talmage, and his cherished sisters, Mary Louise and Joyce.

A celebration of Curly’s life was held on Monday, April 1, 2024, at the Azle Chapel on Azleland Cemetery, with visitation beginning at 9 AM, followed by a service at 10 AM. To read more about Curly’s life, go to or read more at