Video credit: Cutting Horse Training Online
If you keep up with cutting, then the name Matt Gaines rings familiarity. At the 2016 Jerry’s Chevrolet NCHA Futurity, his name was announced as the champion. Gaines and Second Spot won the Futurity, a first for Gaines. From 1990 to present, Gaines has a long list of achievements including the Non-Pro NCHA Futurity, the NCHA Derby Championship, the Superstakes (twice), and the memorable 2015 record breaking season on Special Nu Baby. The coveted Futurity championship was the missing piece to the puzzle.
Second Spot is owned by Gary and Shannon Barker and is by Spots Hot out of Reycy Moon. In the first round, Gaines and Second Spot marked a 220.5. The second round they marked a 219, and they won the semi finals with a 225. But the cherry on top was in the finals the team marked a 229, this is tied for the second highest score in NCHA history only behind the record of 230 set in 2010 by One Time Royalty.
This win edges Gaines even closer to the lucrative $8M earnings mark. We asked him a few questions about this mare and his program.
The past two years you have won on two mares owned by the Barker’s, what do you think makes this such a winning partnership?
Matt: I’ve worked with the Barker’s for several years off and on and a couple years ago we teamed back up because they wanted to show their mare, Special Nu Baby, to see if she could get enough won to get into the Hall of Fame. I had shown her when she was young and as it turned out we had a great season. They raise good horses and they let me do my job and run my program and it has worked out to be a great deal.
At what point did you know Second Spot had a chance to be a winner?
Matt: That’s hard to say. Obviously she is talented, she has always been a big stopper and is cowy. But there were things about her that worried me, especially her consistency. There is a lot of unanswered questions about them until you go show them. A week before the futurity she started getting more and more consistent and it just all came together at the show.
What do you think is vital for success in your program?
Matt: It’s hard to narrow it down but I would have to say consistency and simplicity. There is so much that goes into it. You have to be disciplined yourself to work them everyday and give them the best consistent care to keep them at their best. You need to be on a routine as well as them. I believe that this gives them the confidence they need to succeed.
We are proud to have worked with Matt for over a decade and he has helped and tested our cutting saddle to help make it the product it is today. His achievements are a testament to his adamant work ethic and we look forward to what he achieves next.
Hannah Haugen, Public Relations Coordinator