What’s the difference between a good cutting horse and a great cutting horse? Ask the pro’s and they’ll tell you in ‘cuttin’ speak what they think. But for a non competing cutting tragic like myself what does it all mean? Well here’s my slant on the subject.
The single thing that attracted me to photographing cutting horse events was the challenge. I’ve been doing this for close to fifteen years now and I have a lot of good shots under my belt as a result. But those great shots? …. Not as many. These days for me when a horse walks into the arena that I have photographed before I usually know what to look for. “Ah this horse has a big stop” or “this horse gets his butt low on the turn” or “this horse will give a good shot if it gives me a half miss”. But then there are a few horses that when I see them walk into the arena the heartbeat goes up a notch and I have to say to myself, “hmm I better be on my toes for this one”, these are the great cutting horses I am talking about.
So what makes it so hard to get a great shot of a great cutting horse? Well they’re pretty quick on their feet for a start. It doesn’t matter whether you set your camera to 1 frame per second or 20 if you’ve missed the shot, you’ve missed the shot. The other thing of course is their position in relation to the cow. These great horses give you no daylight, they are right there with the cow for the full two and a half minutes without exception. It’s like there is a piece of string about a foot long attaching the horses and beasts noses together. If you are in the wrong position, then you ain’t gonna see jack because there is always a cow blocking your shot. These great horses do this to me time and time again, they are so intense and at one with the cow that if I’m in the wrong place I won’t get ‘that’ shot. But then luck sometimes comes my way and I find myself in the right place at the right time and if I’m not absorbed by the awesomeness of the run itself, I remember to take a photo. One Roan Peptos, One Stylish Pepto, Six Spins, Tapt Dancin Cat, Dual Windstorm and Desires Blue Trinity immediately come to mind. When these great horses have finished their run, more often than not, while they’re walking out of the arena I’m feeling like a goose because I know I haven’t got “that shot”. But the times when I nail it, I feel like a world beater. Now it’s time to talk a little more about one of these horses, his name – Desires Blue Trinity.
It must be about three years ago when I first saw Desires Blue Trinity walk into the arena. Todd Graham rode him in the Open Cutting Event at the Toowoomba Futurity. After the first cow my immediate thought was “hmmm I better be on my toes for this one”. Desire’s Blue Trinity isn’t just another good cutting horse, he’s one of the great ones. That’s not just my opinion, his current trainer Graham Amos has described him as one of the best horses he’s ever ridden and trust me, Graham Amos has ridden a lot of good cutting horses in his time. Phil Rapp describes him as electrifying and the man who piloted him through his aged events years, Chris Johnsrud, also rates him as the best horse he ever rode.
Chris rode him to be a finalist at the 2010 NCHA Futurity and then followed that up with another $180,000 plus in earnings through his aged event years. In 2014 Desires Blue Trinity was awarded the World Reserve Champion Senior Cutting horse. It wasn’t until May 2016 that “Mecate” started drawing attention in Australia. He won the Goondiwindi Mothers Day Open with a scorching display that drew praises from the many Pro Trainers that were there at the time. He followed that up with another scintilating run at the Toowoomba Futurity to get Reserve Champion in the Tamarang Open. And his career isn’t over just yet, there is plenty of time to add to his $190,000 in prizemoney, which incidentally is the highest amount of prizemoney won by any stallion that is currently residing in Australia. Graham Amos has also expressed a desire (no pun intended) to keep riding him for his new owner.
Desires Blue Trinity will be offered for sale at the upcoming Landmark Classic sale and will no doubt attract a lot of attention. A truly remarkable cutting stallion with the bloodlines to put a stamp on the Australian cowhorse industry for many years to come. With his offspring just coming of age in the states this is just the beginning of the story. Lot 88 – don’t be late.