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Eighteen-Year-Old Cade McCutcheon Represents Third Generation of Reiners to Compete at WEG

by Betsy LaBelle | Sep 12, 2018, 10:00 AM EST

Mill Spring, N.C. - Five horse-and-athlete combinations have been chosen to represent the United States at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018. Cade McCutcheon (Aubrey, Texas) will represent the U.S. in Tryon, riding Custom Made Gun, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion owned by Tim and Colleen McQuay. His father, Tom McCutcheon, will ride The Wizster, an eight-year-old Quarter Horse gelding owned by Turnabout Farm.

Cade McCutcheon and Custom Made Gun (Waltenberry)

Representing the U.S. at the WEG is all in the family for the McCutcheons. Cade will be the youngest competitor to represent the U.S. for reining in the history of the WEG. Cade’s grandfather, Tim McQuay, and his father both contributed to the U.S. Reining Team’s gold medal at the 2010 FEI Alltech® World Equestrian Games. Tom McCutcheon, also won a team and individual silver medal from the 2002 WEG and individual gold medal at the 2010 WEG. Both McCutcheon and McQuay have won many medals along the way.

Having just turned 18, Cade is looking forward to competing in his first WEG. “To me, as young as I am, it means a lot to have the opportunity to compete at the 2018 WEG,” he said. “I don’t think I feel any more pressure than if I were older, though there is definitely more pressure going to the WEG than what I am used to from my U.S. national events.”

McCutcheon, no stranger to being the youngest competitor, at only 15 years old, made NRHA history as the youngest competitor to win the Level 4 NRHA Non-Pro Derby. The young McCutcheon competes all across the Western United States at all kinds of NRHA shows, from the juniors, to competing against seasoned veterans in the sport. In preparing mentally for the WEG, Cade said, “It doesn’t make any difference to me that the other competitors may have more experience. I’m going to go in there and do what I do. I’ve been doing this long enough now to know exactly what needs to get done.”

Riding Custom Made Gun, a seven-year-old Quarter Horse stallion he has competed since the horse was a four-year-old, McCutcheon said, “There is a lot more ‘spa and icing’ now than there really is training for my horse. He knows everything he needs to do. I just need to keep him fit and ready. He’s a pretty easy horse. He knows all the maneuvers.”

The one thing Cade is looking forward to is the possibility of winning a medal. "It means a lot to me, and it means a lot to my dad too,” he said. “It would be a huge deal for our family if we could get a gold medal for our country. It's a big deal just to be going, but it would mean the world if we could have three generations of gold medalists.”

Cade’s daily life is full of long working days. Living in Texas on a significantly busy working ranch in a family that breeds and trains so many great horses, Cade's daily schedule includes some long hours. "Today, I got up at 4:30 a.m., and I rode all morning until one o'clock at my dad's,” he explained. “Then, I had a quick lunch, and I rode a couple of horses at my grandparents’. I finished around 4 p.m. or so.” He said, “It’s such a privilege. I've gotten to ride a lot of good horses just because of growing up with my dad, my parents, and my grandparents. There are a lot of good horses around. It's helped me a lot in my development and to be where I am now,” he said.

Be sure to cheer Cade on as he competes in his first WEG. He encourages everyone to watch the reining competition. "I'm excited to go,” he said. “It's a great opportunity, and I hope that everyone from the U.S. comes and watches, because it really helps."