NRHA Futurity time is here and with it, all of the madness and running around that goes along with one of the biggest events of the Reining year! When you couple all of that with the Thanksgiving holiday, you get lots to do and not much time to do it. The tradition here at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses is to get together at Bob Stinner’s house for a pre-Thanksgiving Dinner before sending the first loads of equipment up to Oklahoma City. It was a great evening full of fantastic food (prepared by Bob himself!), a great group of people and many laughs. For those of us far from home and our families, it is such a treat to be included and to be offered such great home cooking! With the opening day of competition falling on Thanksgiving Thursday, it was nice to be able to take the time to celebrate the holiday before the rush of preparing and showing horses gets underway.
The first trailer loads of equipment headed up after dinner and the horses will follow on Tuesday. It is shaping up to be a great show and we are all very excited to see what happens. Tom McCutcheon, along with assistant trainers Joe Schmidt, Sebastian Petroll, Seth Chamberlain and Barbara Williams will all be showing in the Open. Not to worry, we are well represented in the Non Pro divisions also! Mandy and Cade McCutcheon, breeding manager Barb Wibbels and Ellen Cummins are all ready to show! Not to be left out, Kira Johnson will be going for NAAC Rookie of the Year on the closing day of the show!
The NRHA Futurity is one of the biggest events of the reining year and the set ups surely add to the excitement in the air. Set ups are a great way for ranches to advertise, promote stallions and to demonstrate their hospitality. A gathering place for friends, clients and visitors, set ups run the gamut from spartan to extravagant. Spectators travel from all over the world to watch the top riders and horses show here in Oklahoma City and the ranches always put forth their best set ups of the year. Walking around the barns, it is very easy to forget that you are at a horse show.
This year the crew at Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses have really outdone themselves. We have a peaked roof seating area draped with the black TM curtains, with great comfy couches and a flat screen television tuned to the live competition arena feed. The next few horses to show are always announced over the loudspeaker so with the live feed you are sure not to miss anyone, even if you can’t make it to the arena in time. A second flat screen normally shows a slide show of ranch, stallion, competition and fun family photos but at the moment is playing the movie “Elf” for Tom and Mandy’s daughter, Carlee. Ok, ok it is supposed to be on for Carlee but actually quite a few of us are watching it! We have information tables for resident stallions, Gunners Special Nite and Smart Starbuck with great photos and information on both of them. Around the corner, we have the kitchen area with a fully stocked refrigerator and lots of snacks. Framed photos from the World Equestrian Games and mounted magazine covers featuring Tom and Gunners Special Nite complete the homey feeling. When you throw in Mandy’s friend, Kelly Damon’s freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, Tom McCutcheon Reining Horses is the place to be!
Next door to McCutcheon’s are Mandy’s parents, Tim and Colleen McQuay. The McQuay Stables set up has an awesome log cabin feel to it. The walls are a lovely honey colored wood that looks great with the tan show curtains. It feels like walking into a living room with lots of photos, plants and comfortable chairs! A huge poster featuring head-shots of the resident stallions graces the tin roof of the set up and photos of Tim and Hollywoodstinseltown from the World Equestrian Games adorn the walls.
Justin “Gunny” Mathison, a former assistant trainer at McCutcheon’s, is stabled across the aisle from us. With light stucco adobe walls and dark wooden cross beams, his set up looks fantastic with his chocolate brown and deep red ranch colors. He has curtained off one of the stalls and has draped the entrance to his aisle way. The tin star lamps and photos are cool finishing touches to the set up.
The days get pretty long during these two weeks and it is great to have a spot to sit down, relax, have a snack and watch the show arena with friends and family!