You suggested the questions; we asked them. Each day this week, we’ll post a new interview with one of the members of the USA’s reining team. Get to know these great riders before the World Equestrian Games’ action starts in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday.
WEG Reiner: Tom McCutcheon
Horse: Gunners Special Night
What do you do to get focused before a big run?
I don’t do anything special. It’s easy for me to get focused. I feel a lot of responsibility to my horse, and that pressure gets me focused.
How do you keep your horse fresh/honest?
With this horse, I don’t have to do much. He’s been really honest. I schooled him some before the trials, but I didn’t find any spots where he needed a lot of work.
What’s your all-time favorite horse that you’ve shown?
Right now, it’s this horse. I can’t really pick an all-time favorite. There are four or five that are special for different reasons.
What sparked your love of reining?
I grew up in it. I grew up in the horse business. I rode a lot of reiners, cutters, and rope horses. When it was time for me to go out on my own, I liked the reining best, because I didn’t have to deal with cattle. I like working with young horses and doing the maneuvers. Reining was the pick right from the start of my career.
What WEG event would you compete in?other than reining?
Probably the four-in-hand driving. That’d be fun.
What are your show-pen superstitions?
I have a lot of them. I get into a routine. If my horse rides well one day, I try to do everything the same the following days.