Royal Cutter

Bred in North Texas by Rex Cauble, this son of the NCHA Hall Of Fame sire Cutter Bill hit the ground in 1968. Royal Cutter was out of Royal Ida May, a daughter of the great Royal King, and as a yearling, attracted the attention of NRCHA Hall Of Fame member Don Dodge as he visited Cauble’s ranch. Soon the gelding was on a trailer headed to California.

Don started him in cutting training and one of his customers, Ken Sutton, showed interest in the horse. Don told Kenny that Royal Cutter would make an excellent prospect for the Snaffle Bit Futurity, so Ken purchased the gelding and focused in that direction. Ken, who was 57 at the time, was a car dealer and Non Pro rider, but decided they could go head to head with the trainers in Open competition.

The preliminaries of the event were the only warm up the horse would need for the rest of his career, because after making the finals, he would dominate competition on the West Coast for years to come. He swept them, winning the herd work, the rein work, and the fence work with 74’s and 75’s. Les Vogt remembers being so impressed that he went right to Rex Cauble and bought Royal Ida May, Royal Cutters dam, as the rest of the Snaffle Bitters scoured the country for more Cutter Bill offspring. The following year, Ken, who is also an NRCHA Hall Of Fame member, went to Bobby Ingersoll, and they put Royal Cutter into the hackamore. Ken entered the horse in the Hackamore Stakes and they won it easily.

In classic fashion, they moved him into the bridle and the wins continued. Up and down the West Coast, Bobby Ingersoll won every major bridle horse competition on him, and after showing him 22 times… had only one second place finish. Bobby showed him in the bridle classes while Ken filled in the rest of his schedule with cutting, and hunting. “I used to be quite a deer hunter,” Sutton Said, “I’d ride him in the hills and if I saw a deer I’d jump off and shoot. And he’d just stand there eating grass while I was doing it”.

After winning the Snaffle Bit Futurity and Hackamore Stakes it was time to try for the Triple Crown, and once again, Royal Cutter proved unbeatable as he was crowned the champion of the Bridle Sweepstakes, making him the only horse in NRCHA history to win all three events. Two years later, this time with Bobby in the saddle, he came back and did it again… and then at 14 years of age, he won it once more, but now against horses half his age. He retired from reined cow horse competition in Bend, Oregon after marking 78’s and 79’s, and Bobby remembers the judge, Wayne Havens, coming up to him after the show and telling him if he had it to do over again, he’d have marked him an 80.

The last time Royal Cutter hit the show pen was at a cutting in Reno, marking a 73.5, and since Ken was slowing down after suffering a heart attack he figured that was as good a place stop him as any . Royal Cutter finished out his last years as all great horses should… wandering green pastures… and being a friend and companion to his owner. He passed away in 1995 at the age of 27 just one year before Ken, and now… his memory lives on in the Hall Of Fame as one of the greatest cow horses of all time.