ACHA Member Spotlight
ACHA Congratulates Leigh Ann Schultz!
Sometimes a hobby can quickly become a passion. And for Leigh Ann Schultz, that passion and hard work has resulted in a World Championship Title. Schultz was coming off an extremely busy 2017 when she finished out what amounted to a 15-month season as the ACHA 20,000 Non Pro World Champion.
She has always enjoyed riding, but admits when she became involved in cutting, she didn’t see this coming. “When I became involved in it five years ago, I was still trying to figure everything out,” she said. “But I really enjoyed it. I had started going to some events with Richard Sims (ACHA Hall of Fame Open Rider) and I learned a lot from him, and the more I was around it the more involved I became, and the more I liked it!”
Everything seemed to click in 2017. Spending most of the season riding Shortys Boy, Schultz built up a good lead in points, and even after having to miss some competitions due to medical reasons, she was able to hold on and win the title. “Everything just kind of fell into place,” she said. “But I stayed busy with it. We were somewhere just about every weekend.” In fact, Schultz piled up 152 points in the 46 shows, most with Shortys Boy. She says that towards the end of the season, she could tell that he was wearing down. “He’s been great, and he’s smarter than me, but at the end, he just really couldn’t go anymore. So I finished out with A Royal Dual aka “Lexi”, but it was Shortys Boy that got me there.”
Leigh Ann was ACHA Reserve World Champion in the 20,000 Non Pro in 2016 and in 2017 was the Affiliate Champion in the same class at the South Texas CHA in Brenham and the Southwest Texas CHA in Belton and was the Show Champion at the ACHA Championship Show in Bryan. Her earnings top $6000 in the ACHA and $5000 in NCHA, which combined, will keep her eligible for the 20,000 Non Pro in 2018. “Obviously you want to win money, “she said. “It’s expensive. But it’s also a lot of fun, we have a great time at the shows, helping each other, it’s like family.” Leigh Ann has had plenty of support along the way, not only from Sims, who introduced her to the sport, but also from Jennifer Bowers – local vet and fellow cutter who holds many titles in the American Cutting Horse Association. She also credits Dr. Bruce Buenger for keeping her mounts sound and healthy. Most of all, she credits her trainer, Adam Cunningham, and her help in the pen all year for her success!
When not at shows, Leigh Ann is a busy grandmother of 6 – 5 boys and 1 girl!! She intends to introduce them all to horseback riding and hopes to instill her love of horses to each of them.
ACHA Congratulates J.T. West!
JT has been around horses since he can remember. His first horse was a retired cutting horse given to him by Bill Ragland. As JT progressed in his riding his family started the search to find a horse so JT could start competing in youth rodeos/playdays. With no luck in finding a good horse, his Papa handed him the reins to MareMare (aka Miss Laredo Pie). With MareMare’s training and JT’s natural talent, the two became the team to watch. JT and MareMare won their first All Around Title in 2013, competing in barrels, poles, straights, and goat tying. The duo continued competing the following two years, bringing home more titles, awards and arena records. In 2015, JT said he was done with the “girl” events and wanted to start cutting and he knew just who to go to, his Papa. Together, they enlisted the help of Trent Bell to get MareMare back to her roots of cutting and to teach JT the discipline. It wasn’t long until the duo had their debut in the ACHA. In JT and MareMare’s first year of cutting they won the Reserve World Title and JT received the Most Improved Youth award. In 2017, JT’s goal was to win the World Title and he did just that! Not only did he earn the top title, he also received the Red Randolph Youth Scholarship, the Harold Armstrong Inspirational Award and Scholarship., and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition signed by Michael T. McCaul. As for 2018, JT has endured some changes, he graciously switched horses with his brother, Dakota; and JT is excited that Cletus Hulling has stepped in to continue the training and instructing for them and their horses. JT said he is ready to earn more titles and awards and wants to make a name for himself in the cutting world! Outside the horse world, JT participates in school sports, he was a tailback for the 7th grade football team, and he runs the 800m and 3200m in track. JT is an honor roll student and was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. JT’s future plan is to attend Texas A&M University and obtain a law degree. ACHA wishes J. T. the very best and there is no doubt he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do in life.
ACHA Congratulates Jessica MacNaughton!
Jessica has ridden horses since before she could walk, they have been her passion her entire life. The summer of 2011, she stepped on her first cutting horse and immediately caught the cutting bug - Smartie was an older mare that started it all. She bought her out of the Havard’s Sale bred, that hadn’t seen a cow in 13 years. After losing her baby they legged her up at the ripe age of 19 and she showed her for two years in the THSRA high school cuttings and placed 3rd and 4th overall both years. Her junior year she was blessed to be riding with Mr. Bob Kahla, who had a huge impact on her life, and taught her more about life and horses than she could ever have imagined. Mr. Bob let her show his stud, Cuatro Rojo, on whom she claimed the ACHA Senior Youth Reserve World Champion title. Her senior year he mounted her on another stud he had, Cuatros Coal Train, who his step son, Luke Clement, had trained. Jessica says, “He and Luke put in some hard hours with me, and I will forever be thankful for all that sweet family has done for me.” In 2016, she had the great privilege of purchasing her stud, Desire A Rey, from Mr. Lee and Judy Barron. “That horse has by far been my biggest blessing. He has made my dreams come true, opened so many doors for me, and showed me how to be humble at the top. Showing has brought me to so many people, and those people have become like family.” She credits Trent Bell and Laney Sikorski as having a huge part in her success, from Trent being there for every trip to the herd, helping her keep Lee tuned, and Laney being there for her to vent, and cheering her on and videoing every run. “They have had my back and stuck with me through hot quits, missed cuts and also winning my first world championship in the $15,000 NHNP last year! She thanks her other help, for also sticking with her through tough moments, and giving words of wisdom and encouragement, and also cheering her on through the greats runs. She also thanks her family and credits them with being a big part of her success. Last, but certainly not least, she thanks her boyfriend Peyton for all the things he does, including tagging along to every single show and being there no matter what. Aside from showing Lee, Jessica works for Stoneridge Veterinary as a technician, and is focusing on Equine Reproduction. She is currently still in college at Sam Houston State University, nearing the end of attaining her Bachelor’s degree, and will then apply to vet school. The ACHA wishes her the best of luck and looks forward to watching Jessica achieve her dreams!
ACHA Congratulates Annie Hightower!
Recalling her beginnings in the cutting horse world, Annie just laughs and says, “It’s all my husband’s fault!” She truly had no attraction to those “stinky cows” before meeting John. She was a western dressage rider, having studied dressage since the age of 5. She had always been a rider at heart, though, and loved being astride any horse who was doing what it was born to do!
Her first experience in cutting was on one of her first “dates” with John. He took her to meet Trent Bell and she got to cut on John’s mare, High Brow Dreamin. She was in awe watching Laney, Trent & Josey “going back and forth” with the cow. John asked if she wanted to give it a try. That’s all it took. Fast forward a couple of years, to when she was introduced to “Royalreytraildust.” He was originally purchased as a 4 year old for John, but during his 5 year old year, John thought maybe she was ready for him, even though she hadn’t ridden a cutter since that first experience with Dream. Robert Fuentes, Doc’s trainer at the time, was also a bit leery since she was so green and this was a particularly sensitive and fancy little horse. However, after many flag works, she had her first live cattle work. John and Robert were nodding their heads in agreement that the pair could ‘get along pretty good.’ Shortly afterward, she and Doc entered their first show, which was the beginning of a successful haul for two 2017 ACHA World Championship titles: 50,000 Non Pro World Champion, and Non Pro Classic World Champion.
Since the shift from a full time shoeing business to full time cattle work at Old River Ranch, Annie has found a special place in her heart for those “stinky cows.” She never imagined a life so deeply involved with cattle and cutting horses. She treasures the camaraderie of the folks involved, friends and competitors, trainers and associates, folks she has had the great fortune to meet and share the ups and downs of life with. She shares that “I have been incredibly blessed to have the love and support of my husband, John, with our late-night herd work lessons fueling my desire to succeed. I also credit incredible trainers who push me and Doc to be the best we can be. Whether it’s nailing a 75 ride or the cherry on top, I give thanks to our good Lord for being astride with me and having a hand in it all!”
ACHA Congratulates John L. Dublin!
John L. Dublin has a family history that is steeped in cutting horse involvement. His grandfather John Dublin, was one of the “pioneers” in cutting. His uncle, Chris Dublin, has been a major influence in cutting as well. Both men have had a huge impact on the success that John L has had. John L currently serves as Vice President of the ACHA and had a very successful year in 2017. He garnered many titles including: Open Reserve World Champion on Smooth Knitty Kitty, Open Classic World Champion on Catty Doc Legacy, Open Derby Reserve World Champion on Candi Eyed Jack, Open Top Ten on Busy Being Little and 15,000 Novice Horse Top Ten on BV Hollywood Badger. He was also voted 2017 Top Hand by his peers. He thanks his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ each and every day for the opportunities he has been given in life. John L. wants to thank his wife Anita for being his biggest supporter, and for being with him through thick and thin. He believes that the Amateurs and Non Pros are what “drive” any organization and feels very blessed to be a part of his customers’ journey to their success. Although he has been very fortunate to be able to win on the horses that “he” shows, he admits it’s a bigger thrill to see his customers do well in the show pen. John L. is aware that in order to have success, you must have good people on your side. Over the years he has made a lot of friends in and out of the show pen, and for that he is truly grateful. Thanks to you all, and GOD BLESS YOU.
ACHA Congratulates Bobbie Sue Shore!
Bobbie Sue won her first cutting buckle in 1978, and several top ten NCHA Youth buckles in the 80's. She took a break from cutting when her daughter, Chelsey, was born and it wasn't until she met her "angel" Donnie, who convinced her to start showing again. She credits her husband with giving her back her dream - a wildly successful dream! Some of her achievements include: Top 15 NCHA 3000 Novice/NP, ACHA 25,000 Non Pro Reserve World Champion, and Top Ten 50,000 Non Pro. After acquiring the love of her life "Little Man" she won the 2013 Non Pro Classic World Champion, 2014 50,000 Non Pro World Champion and World Show Champion and on to become the 2017 Non Pro World Champion. She remembers her greatest moment in cutting, the morning of the 2014 Finals, when Donnie took her by the hand and said "Today is all about you baby, forget the world and go show your horse like you can.." She did and scored a 148 for the win. She gives all the credit to her husband, ACHA Open Hall of Fame Rider, Donnie Shore, who devoted his life to "Driving Miss Daisy" and helping her achieve this title and also to her help at the shows, saying she never could have won without them. Cutting is not just a hobby for Bobbie Sue, it is her life. She is passionate about her love for her cutting family and treasures every memory along the way.
ACHA Congratulates Trent Bell!
Trent Bell and his barn had another successful year in 2017! Trent was the ACHA High Point Rider for the year for the second year in a row. He was the Open World Champion on family-owned Cow Magnet and also rode the World Champion 15,000 Novice Horse - Gerry Gehring's Purrrfect. He made the top ten in the 3000 Novice Horse on family owned Kid Mecom Pink. Customers in Trent's barn captured World Champion titles including the 15,000 Novice Horse Non Pro, the Junior Youth, and the 1000 Novice Rider as well as Reserve World Champion in the Junior Youth. At the 2017 ACHA Championship Show, Trent was the Circuit Champion in the Open on Cow Magnet, and Reserve Circuit Champion in the 15,000 Novice Horse and the 3,000 Novice Horse on Purrrfect. He also received the Top Hand Award which was voted on by his peers. Trent attributes his success to having good horses to ride, excellent customers who pitch in, wonderful help in the pen, terrific help at home so he doesn't have to worry, and a loper who makes sure the horses are ready each time they step in the arena. He loves to say that cutting is a team sport, and every great run in the pen comes partly from having great help.
ACHA Congratulates Mary Bauer!
2017 was a sensational year for Mary Bauer - ACHA Rookie of the Year, 2500 Novice Rider Champion and her horse, Shake Your Budha, won ACHA Horse of the Year! A former national barrel racing champion, Mary runs Painted Ridge Farm in Lorena, TX and is following a lifelong passion of caring for horses and helping riders develop bonds with them. Her husband, Jeff, has a dental practice in Waco, and their 2 sons, Jeremy and Colton, are both college students and fine horsemen.
Oklahoma CHA, Corn, OK
July 21 & 22
American South Texas CHA - Brenham, TX
American West Texas CHA - Clyde, TX
There have been several rule changes for 2017
Click here to view!
Thank You Sponsors
2018 ACHA Weekend Sponsors:
Bowers Vet Clinic
Mitch Farris Cutting Horses
Tony & Jeannie Seamons
Cletus Hulling Cutting Horses
Lee & Judy Barron / Youth
Derk Harmsen Construction
Tractor Supply Company Navasota
Bellville Abstract Co./Leigh Ann Schultz
Graham Land & Cattle Co./Ron Jones
Mike Combs Cutting Horses
Corky Sokol Cutting Horses
Tres Rios Silver
O & P Construction / Billy Owens & Tracy Owens
Bobby & Lynn Glover
Robert Waltman & Donna Emenhiser
Kuper Sotheby's International Realty/Camille Abbott
Robert Fuentes Cutting Horses
2018 YEAR END SADDLE SPONSORS:
Sam Munroe / McDonalds (2 locations Brenham)
Jim & Rhonda Ross
David & Martha Wilson
Mitchell Pipe & Supply, LLC
Whitlock Cattle Co., LLC
Mike & Janie Crumpler / Cole Eslyn / Clarence Schulze
2018 Year End Sponsors:
Henson Family Dealerships
Brazos Valley Equine
O & P Construction / Billy & Tracy Owens
ACHA Extravaganza Sponsors:
Bell County Exposition Center
Franklin Family Ranch
Jamie & Terri Rounsaville