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Investing In Gen Z

art-catherine-nicholsArt and Catherine Nichols of Wagonhound Land & LivestockGeneration Z – they’re the Google Generation, the iGeneration and Generation Now. But most importantly, sitting in front of tablets, cell phones and on-demand TV are the curious minds of future horsemen and women.

“When you look at children ages 5-9 years old, their ultimate love for horses is not reining, cutting, Western or English. It’s a unicorn, a My Little Pony and a Breyer horse,” explained Todd Branson, the director of youth development for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). So how should a parent fuel the interest of a youngster that is captivated by horses?

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Fun!

bankston jimmyJimmy BankstonCutting is fun. It is supposed to be fun. Fun is a very important component of Cutting. If you, your trainer and/or your next of kin are not having fun, then your program is all messed up.

People tend to get it backwards. They aren’t winning, so it isn’t fun. Not winning isn’t fun, but quitting the fun part won’t make you start winning. When it isn’t fun is when the winning quits. If the only thing that makes you happy is winning, then you won’t be happy very often. After all, the Cutter’s prayer is, “Lord, I don’t need to win, just let me be third. Every time.” 

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Equi-Stat Reining Open Rider Award Winner Shawn Flarida

SpooksGottaWhiz SFlaridaSpooks Gotta Whiz and Shawn Flarida – photo by WaltenberryWhen I was in seventh grade, I thought winning $100,000 would be a really neat thing,” Shawn Flarida said when asked about his earliest ambitions.

As an Equi-Stat Elite $5 Million Reining Rider, it’s clear Flarida’s grade-school wish has come true many times over. And with the $456,671 earned in 2012, he can now add Equi-Stat Open Rider Award winner to his extensive list of achievements.

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Equi-Stat Reining Non-Pro Rider Award Winner Mandy McCutcheon

01 AlwaysGotyerGunsup MMcCutcheon 12WAlways Gotyer Gunsup was Mandy McCutcheon's top earner in 2012. Photo by WaltenberryA successful show year doesn’t come without hard work, dedication and a good partner in the arena. These are just a few things National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) rider Mandy McCutcheon, Aubrey, Texas, made use of in 2012. With earnings of $172,053, she is the recipient of the Equi-Stat Non-Pro Rider Award.

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A Night To Remember

AQHAHallOfFameAQHA Hall Of Fame – photo courtesy of AQHAOn the evening of March 10, 2013, five men and five horses were inducted into American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) Hall of Fame. This writer was one of the fortunate five who received admission through those hallowed arches, and I must admit, it was a night I will remember for the rest of my life!

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Equi-Stat Reined Cow Horse Non-Pro Rider Award Winner Annie Reynolds

annereynoldsAnnie ReynoldsThe 2012 show year was hit-and-miss for some riders. But National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Million Dollar Rider Annie Reynolds found success in many areas. Reynolds claims the Equi-Stat Non-Pro Rider Award following a winning season with a grand total of $176,107 in earnings.

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Equi-Stat Reined Cow Horse Open Rider Award Winner Corey Cushing

coreycushingCorey CushingFire and passion are key elements for success in any sport, and especially in the horse world. For 32-year-old Corey Cushing, Scottsdale, Ariz., endless grit and determination during a busy year landed him at the top of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) leader board for 2012. His earnings of $329,621 make him the recipient of the Equi-Stat Open Rider Award.

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Cornbread Thinks: All Trainer’s Wives Go To Heaven

bankston jimmyThere will be a special place in Heaven for trainers’ wives. It will be padded and have a punching bag. There will be a really nice barn where nothing ever breaks or gets hurt or sick. It will be warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and airy and light. It will be full of good horses owned by customers who pay their bills on time and know all the rules of cutting – written and unwritten. All the barn help will be graduates of the Martha Stewart School of Housekeeping who speak the King’s English. The lopers and assistant trainers will stay happy and never quit at the worst possible time.

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Equi-Stat Non-Pro Rider Award Winner Chad Bushaw

01 BetOnACat CBushaw 12SFChad Bushaw and his 2012 NCHA Summer Spectacular Derby Non-Pro Champion Bet On A CatHeading into December’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity finals in Fort Worth, Texas, Chad Bushaw ranked just behind cutting’s all-time leading Non-Pro earner, Mary Ann Rapp, and just ahead of Dustin Adams, second on the all-time list, with one show to go in their race to finish as 2012’s top-earning rider.

Not too surprisingly, the year’s last and biggest event decided another tight three-way race between the Non-Pro division’s dominant trio. Thanks to seventh and 17th-place finishes at the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finals aboard two mares, Pippis Longstocking (Dual Smart Rey x Hyperlena x Smart Little Lena) and Lady Writer (One Time Pepto x Cats Ruby x High Brow Cat), Bushaw secured his third Equi-Stat Non-Pro Award since 2002. He topped the Non-Pro division this time with $286,087 earned during the 2012 season.

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Equi-Stat Open Rider Award Winner Lloyd Cox

LloydCoxLloyd CoxStandout stallions 4-year-old Hottish and 5-year-old One Time Royalty, owned by two of his clients, did much of the work establishing Lloyd Cox as cutting’s top Open earner last year. The Fort Morgan, Colo., trainer still wouldn’t have finished as the 2012 Equi-Stat Open Award winner for the third time in 10 years without strong performances by two other customers’ 3-year-olds, plus money he earned with two 4-year-olds he and his wife, Christina, owned.

“Those two horses [Hottish and One Time Royalty] did a lot of it, but most times, it is decided at the [NCHA] Futurity,” Cox said of the Equi-Stat Top Open Rider Award. “We did finish up strong.”