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☛ One-of-a-kind Don Bussey passes at 79 8-4-16




By Glory Ann Kurtz
Aug. 4, 2016

Don Bussey

Every year when I went to the NCHA Convention, one of the highlights was listening to Don Bussey. I don’t know how many years he was on the Executive Committee, but I do know he was the 2004 President, the year he passed the gavel. Right after he passed the gavel, he left the room, but couldn’t resist a joke about Phil Rapp when he left. That was the last time I ever saw him.


But that light was dimmed on Aug. 2 when Bussey passed away at age 79.


The banker, member of Guin’s Industrial Development Board and civic leader was inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame. He was addicted to cutting, which traced back to the 1970s when he visited a friend in Oklahoma. He said he loved cutting because it was fun!


He did what he could for the cutting horse industry, donating his time to not only be President of the NCHA, but also the President of the Alabama Cutting Horse Association. He promoted the Amateur Cutting Tournament and helped revive the Memphis Cutting Futurity, which continues today as the Tunica Futurity – one of the largest west of the Mississippi River.


Bussey’s services will be held Friday, Aug. 5 at 3 p.m. at the Guin First Baptist Church, with burial in the Guin City Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 1-3 p.m. at the Guin First Baptist Church.

Some information for this article and photo were from NCHA.



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☛ Dakotah Lindsey Harrell arrested for second felony 7-28-16




By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 28, 2016


Dakotah Lindsey Harrell, 28, Whitesboro, Texas, was booked into the Cooke County, Texas, jail on March 10, 2016, and arrested for theft of up to $300,000 on a warrant filed by Miller Wade Smith, Geary, Okla. With bond set at $50,000, she was released on March 11 after bail was posted.


On Friday, July 22, Harrell was again arrested, this time for theft of property in the amount of $50,000 on March 10-11 from another cutting horse owner Dale R. Koller, Bethlehem, Pa.  At the time of the theft, Harrell was working for Wilson. She posted a $5,000 bond the day of her arrest.


Charges on both Harrell’s arrests included systematically stealing money from Smith’s and Koller’s bank accounts through Internet transactions over the past four years while she was working for cutting horse trainer Merritt Wilson, Whitesboro, Texas. Harrell’s Facebook page shows she was an assistant trainer at Wilson’s training facility.


Following the first theft, Harrell was charged with Texas Statute 31.03(7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the property stolen is $300,000/$200,000 or more. The second theft was theft for property up to $300,000, also a felony. Harrell has now been charged with two felonies within four months.


The first arrest required a grand jury indictment, which was originally scheduled for May 11, 2016, with Assistant District Attorney Lisa Decker. However, for reasons unknown, the grand jury hearing was put off until Friday, June 24. At that time, an arraignment hearing, where Harrell will be allowed to plead guilty or not guilty, was set for Aug. 12, 2016 at 1:30 p.m.  No date has yet been set for Harrell’s indictment on this latest theft case.


Smith and his wife, Tresa, are involved in the cutting horse business, with Smith showing as a Non-Pro in NCHA competition. Also a vested-interest partner in the business is Wade Smith’s mother, Jimmie Miller Smith, also of Geary.


Koller is a partner with Keith Feister of Brightstone Ranch Stallion Services, Gainesville, Texas, in the ownership of Sophisticated Catt and Palo Duro Cat, full brothers by High Brow Cat out of Shania Cee.


Click for copy of Harrell’s second arrest>>

Click for copy of Harrell’s first arrest>>

Click for copy of Harrell’s Facebook page>>

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☛ How to make safe banking transactions online 7-26-16




By Rick Dennis
July 26, 2016


In my last article Keeping Your Finances Secure When Paying Horse Training Facilities, dated July 11, 2016, I discussed the steps necessary to practice secure and safe banking practices when issuing checks for services rendered. In this article, I will expand on safe-banking practices by providing a tutorial on conducting safe-banking business on the Internet.


As a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), my job is to provide my customers with an overview of their existing banking practices as well as providing necessary upgrades when deficiencies are found during a Risk Analysis. Internet banking is becoming a commonplace practice that provides enhanced banking opportunities for those living a busy lifestyle. If performed correctly, it’s a welcome addition to our busy lifestyles, but if performed incorrectly, it can be hazardous to your finances.


I, for one, am an avid user of Internet banking practices, which I find indispensable in running the daily financial needs of a busy company as well as the needs of a busy executive. Instead of having to go to the bank to deposit checks, I can deposit them anywhere in the U.S. with the aid of a cell phone. Instead of having to go to the bank to make account transfers, I can simply use my smart phone and my banks app to move money from account to account. A bank’s ATM’s make access for deposits and withdrawals. I can use my bank’s app to regularly check on my bank accounts or receive alerts from the bank signaling suspicious activity on either a bank account or my credit card.




Prior to using the Internet for banking practices, use common sense guidelines to steer you correctly such as:


1.         Check with your bank and ascertain whether or not the bank even offers internet banking practices.


2.         If your bank offers safe Internet banking practices, ask whether or not their system is encrypted. In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not in itself prevent interception but denies the message content to the interceptor. In an encryption scheme, the intended communication information or message, referred to as plain text, is encrypted using an encryption algorithm, generating ciphertext that can only be read if decrypted.


3.         Whether you’re using a home computer, laptop or smart phone, the first step is to download anti-virus protection for all devices. If you’re connecting to the Internet at home using wifi or cable networks, via a modem or on the road, using your smart phone via wifi hot spots download security programs for your computers or an app for your smart phone that will provide you with a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) experience.


4.         Once you’ve installed the necessary safety programs for your computers and app for your smart phone or tablet, go online and set up your Internet banking account using a user name and password. Safeguard this information at all times and never allow your computer to remember them to prevent unwanted access to your bank account. The same applies to your banks ATM access codes.


The final step is to download the bank’s app for your smart phone, android or Apple device.  If you’re using a tablet, you must perform the same safety precautions you’ve used for your smart phone.  After all, a tablet is considered a phone with its own telephone number.


5.         MODEMS




Another good recommendation is to use the features included in modern security suites that can run your browser in a safe box that’s isolated from the rest of the operating system and make it harder to intercept what you are doing. Some security products also encrypt the traffic that goes through that safe box, thus making it harder for others to intercept your web traffic.


Many people also use a mobile Internet modem to connect when they are on the road. Using this connection is much safer than using some free wifi you know nothing about. If you can choose between the two, always make financial transactions via the Internet modem.


6.         If your using your smart phone or tablet to conduct internet banking, NEVER initiate or perform these services using the built-in 4G/LTE phone browser.  Always use the bank’s designed app that comes fully encrypted. This provides a much safer banking experience. Pay attention to your phone’s browser alerts which notifies you of any unwanted intrusions or hacking attempts of your system.




One of the safest solutions to issuing checks to pay reoccurring bills is to allow the bank to do it for you. One of the best conveniences of Internet banking is to simply set up a check payment plan with the bank. By setting up this system, the bank writes and sends the checks and in turn sends you an alert that the check is in the mail. Normally this type of checking convenience is free of charge. Check with your bank for any costs you’ll be charged for using this secure banking practice.




Whether you’re using a wifi service, a modem at home for Internet connection using an Internet Service Provider (ISP), your smart phones LG/LTE service or a dish service, it’s imperative for you to maintain and install security updates for each system when required.


Normally your smart phone apps are automatically updated; however, some security suites for computers require you to either manually update or set your computer to automatic updates. Either way, your security system is only as good as the updates allow it to be, which is accomplished by supplying it with the latest spyware and malware security information. Hackers are designing new infiltration programs on a daily basis. Stay abreast of these attacks with a secure and up-to-date security system and enjoy safe internet banking practices.


“Until Next Time, Keep Em Between The Bridle!”


Richard E. “Rick” Dennis (CPP)

Managing Member

Wind River Company LLC

Office/Mobile – (985) 630-3500


Web Site:





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☛ This Cowboy is Off Bass 7-23-16




By Glory Ann Kurtz
July 23 2016

This Cowboy Is Off Bass is the third book written by Pat Jacobs, a rancher and rodeo cowboy, as well as a cutter who was in the NCHA Top 10 in the nation on five different horses. In 2011, at the age of 75, he was inducted in the NCHA Members Hall of Fame.


Referring to his NCHA Members Hall of Fame induction, Pat said that he had worked most of his life toward earning such an honor. But he also had another goal in life: his music, which is Western Swing. And he also accomplished that goal by being inducted into three different halls of fame: The Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma), the Northwest Western Swing Music Society of the Northwest (Mill Creek, Washington) and the Western Swing Society (Sacramento, California). He was also named a Hero of Western Music by the Cowtown Society of Western Music in North Central Texas, headquartered in Mineral Wells, Texas, for producing a historical album: The Oklahoma Swing Project.


He also produced two CDs with his music, including Legendary Western Swing with himself and the Over The Hill Gang, and the Oklahoma Swing Project, the very best of Swing by the Legends.


Even though Pat has accomplished all of those goals, he also enjoys telling the world about his experiences and his latest book, “This Cowboy Is Off Bass,” is filled with stories about his life on the road in the Western Swing World that are still going on today. In fact, as the book ends, Pat was leaving to go to Roscoe, Texas, with a great nine-piece Western swing band to be the opening act for Merle Haggard and the Strangers.


One astonishing fact is that Pat’s music career not only survived but blossomed, even though he admitted he could not read music – he played by ear.


“I just took the music sheet and I turned the page when everybody else did,” said Pat when he auditioned to be a member of a 12-piece horn band, the Blue Notes. But it wasn’t long before he got “busted” when the music director caught him playing with his music upside down. But they didn’t have another bass man to take his place so they let him keep his job.


In fact he thought he had done his job so well that when he got recruited to play for the television show, the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, La., he thought he had made the “big time.” The show had launched the careers of some of the greatest names in country music, including Elvis Presley. Pat said he thought he was being recruited to be the star, but soon found out that he was hired to “blend into the background and it was a dream gig that turned into a nightmare and only lasted two weeks.”


He tells stories about traveling across the Southwest with Lefty Frizzell, who arranged a trip to Juarez, Mexico for relaxation and recreation for the band. Since Pat was only in his 20s, he had ingested an oversupply of liquor and found himself in a house of ill repute with some senoritas, which landed him in the Juarez public jail. Being the youngest in the band, his escapades are hilarious, with the other band members continually playing tricks on him.


Realizing that musicians rarely make a good living, he returned to ranching and met his future wife Nellie at his cousin’s wedding. He told all his friends he was going to marry that girl but he suddenly realized the next morning that he had forgotten her name! It was later at another dance, when he realized the girl he was dancing with was the one he had said he was going to marry. This time he wasn’t about to let her go and even though he couldn’t remember her name, which was Ganell, he changed it to Nellie, which was much easier to remember. Two years later, they were married in June 1959. Pat was just shy of his 22nd birthday and Nellie was 18. But the kicker was that he had never bothered to tell Nellie he was a musician!


For 20 years, the bass remained in the closet and Pat ranched and rode cutting horses. But Pat said he understood how “drink calls out to an alcoholic” and he joined the “Over The Hill Gang” of musicians. But he was still riding cutting horses and one day he was contacted by Thomas McGuane, a famous writer and cutting horse enthusiast, for an interview about Chinks Bengie Baby, a mare he had great success showing. During the conversation, the subject of Western Swing came up and McGuane got him together with a friend of his who had a recording studio after which he got together with some of his friends and recorded an album.


The rest is history and Pat, along with Barry Corbin, Leon Rausch, Red Steagall and other legends creating the remix of masters, created the Oklahoma Swing Project album. The NCHA gave him a CD release party during the 2006 NCHA Futurity, where the group sold enough CDs to cover their expenses and turn a small profit.


At 69, Pat quit training and riding cutting horses when his eyesight got so bad he couldn’t see to drive or read a newspaper. Nellie also had eye problems and Pat would say, “Between the two of us, we only had one good eye.” Today Pat just turned 79 and is now is having problem with one of his vocal chords and can barely talk. But Nellie, keeps him going – and with his ability as an author to put his experiences down on paper and publish books, he has been a success.


On the cover of Pat’s latest book, “This Cowboy is Off Bass,” well-known cartoonist Lex Graham, has drawn a picture of Pat and Nellie with a horse and the note, “A couple of REAL characters.” The best part is, “It looks just like them!” Also, the Forward was written by Lex, explaining his personal experiences with Pat. As most of the things Lex writes or draws, it’s hilarious! And I’m sure he must have titled the book!


This book is one that when you start reading it, you can’t quit. But it’s easy to read in a day. It’s full of Pat’s lifetime musical experiences, as well as the history of Western Swing music, mixed in with a jillion laughs along the way. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a “must read” and a “must have” for your library.


To order “This Cowboy is Off Bass,” send $15.00 plus $3.00 for postage, for a total of $18.00, to Pat Jacobs, 2825 Brookhollow Dr., Burleson, Texas 76028. You’ll be glad you did!


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☛ Jayde Adkins wins NHSFR RCH title 7-23-16




Press release from NRCHA
July 23, 2016

Jayde Adkins, Broken Bow, Neb., shown riding Sonitas Last Dual to the NHSFR Reined Cow Horse title.

Jayde Atkins, 18, of Broken Bow, Nebraska, celebrated a gratifying end to her High School Rodeo career when she won the Reined Cow Horse Championship at the 2016 National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyoming.

“I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet,” Atkins said, when asked how she felt about being a National Champion. I’m still in in the ‘Ah, is this real?’ stage. But it’s cool so far! Because it’s the last time I get to compete at the high school level, and having good memories, all that’s pretty awesome.”
Atkins dominated throughout the Reined Cow Horse competition in Gillette, winning the high scoring buckle in the first and second go-rounds, which gave her a 7.5 point lead coming into the short go on Saturday, July 22. Even with that substantial margin, Atkins knew she was facing 19 other tough competitors in the short go, and had no room for error.
“The short go, loping into the arena, I kept telling myself to be calm. With all these kids who were throwing out big scores, it was pretty nerve wracking. I knew I was ahead, but I wanted to keep it. Coming through my pattern, I was worried about my horse a little too much. When I got through my first circles, changed leads, and went to my second set of circles, I decided to trust him, and I put my hand down, and he worked even better,” she said. “Our stops were awesome. He always stops huge. The cow work was the fun part we all love, and for me personally, I felt it was the best I’d ever done. It was just awesome. It’s so much fun, and an adrenalin rush, and I came out not being able to breathe!”
Her 146.5 in the short go rein work and 150.5 in the short go cow work not only earned Atkins a total 884.5 in the average for the National Championship; they also garnered prizes from the NRCHA and the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA). For her high scoring cow work, Atkins took home a plaque from the NRCHA. For her high scoring rein work, she won a $2,500 scholarship from the Reining Horse Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA); and a Morrison bronze from the NRHA.
“My horse is more of a fence horse, not a reining horse, and watching some of the kids who scored higher reining scores than I did in the first two go-rounds, I figured  that in the short go, I would try to have a solid reining score, have a big cow score, and hopefully win it. Winning both the rein work and the cow work is very humbling, and it proved to me that I can do it, and my horse is that good, and it’s just really cool. I’m excited,” Atkins said.
Atkins rode her family’s 2003 gelding, Sonitas Last Dual (Dualin Jewels x Sonitas Ann x Sonitas Last), known as “Harry” around the barn. Jayde and her parents have a history with reined cow horses; her parents have trained and showed cow horses in the past, and Jayde showed them early in her youth career. When Jayde got older, the family’s focus switched to high school rodeo, and the Atkinses were happy to merge the two disciplines when Reined Cow Horse became a National High School Rodeo event in 2015.
“We all jumped on the boat right away, and I was excited because I hadn’t gotten to do reined cow horse in years. My first cow run at our state finals last year was really really good, and I was hooked – again. It was tons of fun,” Atkins said.
She thanked her parents, and reined cow horse trainer Jeremy Knoles of Nebraska, who also helped coach her.
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☛ Jay McLaughlin reaches $1 million mark 7-16-16

Posted by on Jul 16, 2016 in BREAKING NEWS, COW HORSE NEWS, WHO, WHAT & WHERE | 0 comments



Press release from NRCHA
July 15, 2016

Jay McLaughlin shown riding CD Dee Vee Dee. NRCHA Photo

When Jay McLaughlin piloted one of his all-time favorite horses, CD Dee Vee Dee, to third place in the 2016 CD Survivor Memorial Bridle Spectacular at the NRCHA Derby in Paso Robles, California, the $14,900 paycheck elevated him into the elite ranks of the NRCHA Million Dollar Riders. McLaughlin is the 12th horseman in NRCHA history to achieve that honor. CD Dee Vee Dee (CD Lights x Shiners Missy Jay x Shining Spark) is a 10-year-old gelding McLaughlin and his wife, Wendy, own.


The National Reined Cow Horse Association’s list of top money earners continues to grow, as professional horseman Jay McLaughlin passes the seven-figure milestone to become the 12th NRCHA Million Dollar Rider.


As of July 11, 2016, McLaughlin’s earnings were $1,005,275.69.


“Among horse trainers, the Million Dollar Rider is an awesome title. It’s cool to be at the very top, and it’s an honor I have always wanted,” McLaughlin said.


McLaughlin was born in 1974, into a Missouri family where horses were a primary focus. McLaughlin’s father, Mike, was a versatile professional horse trainer who prepared Quarter Horses for many disciplines, including reining, pleasure, halter, western riding, horsemanship, trail, barrels, poles, and more. His mother, Julann, built a successful 4-H program from the ground up, and operated it for decades. McLaughlin credits her for instilling his strong foundation as a rider and competitor.


“When I was 10 years old, I wanted to ride in the ‘canter classes,’ as I called them. I didn’t want to do the walk-trot, I didn’t do the lead line. I always set my goals higher,” McLaughlin recalled. “Her rule for me was, I had to show in the horsemanship, the showmanship, all of that stuff, before I could do any of the reining or the barrels or the poles or any of the other fun classes. I think that has a lot to do with my horsemanship skills. It was fun for me because I’m very competitive, so I excelled at those too. I wanted to win. It’s hard for anybody to be second, but I really took it hard.”


McLaughlin’s competitive nature served him well as he grew up and followed in his father’s footsteps, starting his professional horse-training career at age 18. His initial focus on reining soon turned to the adrenalin-fueled challenge of reined cow horse.


“The cow horse is the most difficult discipline that I’ve ever been associated with. You can only ride so many cow horses a day. You have to learn how to train those horses in three events, or two events, depending on the age of the horse, not burn them out, and strive to have something that will go mark a 75 in every event,” he said.


According to NRCHA records, McLaughlin earned his first reined cow horse paycheck in 1999. In 2004, he made his debut at the Snaffle Bit Futurity, enjoying success that few first-timers can claim, qualifying for the Open and Intermediate Open Futurity Finals on SS Rosa (Sailing Smart x Snowmans Rose x Snowman Doc), owned by Julie Gibbons.


“I can still remember my scores that got me into the Open finals the first year I ever went. I marked a 209 in the herd, a 217.5 in the rein work, and a 219 down the fence. You can’t do that any more. There’s no way you could make the Open finals marking a 209 now. That’s how much I think it’s changed. It wasn’t very long ago, and it’s that much more competitive,” McLaughlin said.


He credits his wife, Wendy, for her stalwart support during his million-dollar journey, with its inevitable ups and downs.


“She’s put up with a lot of headaches, and the times we didn’t have any money, and living in a trailer, like every horse trainer has done once or twice, or still is, in their life. She’s pushed it all the way. She’s always there whooping and hollering, whether I suck or I don’t. That’s a pretty big deal. She sure has backed me 190 percent, and I love her,” he said.


The McLaughlins and their sons, Ryder and Cutter, live in Commerce, Texas, where Jay is resident trainer at Aaron Ranch. Cutter, a successful NRCHA Youth competitor, seems on track to continue the McLaughlin family horsemanship tradition – and Jay predicts his son will be able to achieve NRCHA Million Dollar Rider status more quickly than he did.


“I don’t think it will take as long for the younger guys to get it, now that the NRCHA is growing and adding more money all the time. I think that growth will make it a little easier for those guys to get the milestone if we keep climbing like we’re climbing. The NRCHA has a huge future ahead, if it keeps going like it’s going,” McLaughlin said.


Besides his new status as a NRCHA Million Dollar Rider, McLaughlin’s resume also includes 12 NRCHA and American Quarter Horse Association World Championships. He was the 2013 NRCHA Futurity Open Reserve Champion and the 2015 NRCHA Stakes Open Champion aboard Aaron Ranch’s Blind Sided (Peptoboonsmal x Lil Miss Shiney Chex x Shining Spark), and he has claimed numerous other championships, finals berths and top placings in reined cow horse and reining.


McLaughlin already has his sights set on becoming a NRCHA 2 Million Dollar rider, and predicts the best is yet to come.


“I’m not done, by any means. I’m not going to retire and say, ‘I’ve won what I need to win,’” he said. “At the end of this story, I want you to put, ‘Stay tuned,’ because there are going to be some more great horses, I’m telling you. It’s a fun ride!”


Click here to learn more about the NRCHA’s Million Dollar Riders. 



In other reined cow horse news, the National Stock Horse Association will be holding their 2016 NSHA Snafle Bit Futurity and Derby Aug. 16-20 in Paso Robles, Calif. Open Futurity Champion will receive a NEW Logan Riot, 2-horse slant bumper pull trailer. Non-Pro Limited Futurity & Derby Champions will receive a beautiful Mark Luis Cow Horse Trophy saddle. Contact National Stock Horse Association, PO Box 1290, Strathmore, CA 93267, 559-789-7007 or go to

The Southwest Reined Cow Horse Association is sponsoring the “Rode to Reno” Futurity, Derby and show, Aug. 17-21 in the John Justin Arena, Fort Worth, Texas. There will be two NRCHA/AQHA approved cow horse shows and two AQHA ranch riding and reining classes.  Entry deadline is Aug. 1. For more info call Gay Lenz 405-818-7556 –


Also the Colorado Reined Cowhorse Association is sponsoring the Mid-America Classic at The Ranch in Loveland, Colo., with $23,500 added. There will be 2 sets of AQHA and Horseshow classses, Open and Non-Pro Futuriites and Derbies, Bridle and Two-Rein Spectaculars. It is the last show for the Northern Plains Circuit Series. Info at: or call Jerry at 303-621-9625.


Also, the South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Association is sponsoring the Road to Reno Futurity and Derby with two full slates of NRCHA horse show classes July 29-31 at the Central States Fairgrounds Events Center, Rapid City, S.D. There will be $49,600 in added money. Contact Mike Sigman 605-381-6528 or email

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