Cutting horse legends raise $13,000 for Ashland, KS schools
Public schools in America are being faced with difficult funding challenges. As rural populations continue to decline, schools in rural America experience even greater challenges.
Recently, three of the cutting horse world’s most esteemed teachers, trainers and competitors gathered in Ashland, KS, to offer their professional expertise and to raise money for the Ashland, KS public schools. Buster Welch, Shannon Hall and Dirk Blakesley spent the day conducting a one-on-one clinic with 21 participants. All of funds raised were donated to Ashland Public Schools.
Buster Welch, lifetime rancher, cutting-horse legend, five-time National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Champion Futurity winner; Dirk Blakesley, 2009 NCHA Open Futurity Finalist and professional trainer with more than $1 million in earnings; and Shannon Hall, 1999 NCHA Futurity Champion and professional cutting-horse trainer with more than $3 million in earnings, conducted the one day event at the all-weather, indoor facility at Gardiner Quarter Horses, Ashland, KS. This all-star lineup of cutting-horse professionals spent the day with participants teaching the fundamentals of the sport of cutting.
The public was invited to attend and many showed up to watch and learn as well as make a donation to the fund-raising event. In addition to spectators and participants, several corporate donors helped make the event even more successful. Shortys Caboy Hattery, Oklahoma City, OK, Platinum Performance, Classic Equine, Farmers Cooperative-Purina, Intervet-Schering Plough Animal Health, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merial, IMMVAC, Inc., and Pfizer Animal Health made generous donations to the event.
Gardiner Angus Ranch is a family owned Angus ranching operation located near Ashland, KS. The ranch is dedicated to the production of quality beef from gate to plate. The Gardiners use their experience in beef cattle breeding, state-of-the-art technology and data management, to produce Angus cattle that make documented contributions to the beef industry. The Gardiner operation registers more than 2,000 head of Angus cattle each year through the American Angus Association and encompasses more than 40,000 acres in southwest Kansas. The ranch is a founding member of U.S. Premium Beef, LLC.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the Oct. 23, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News