Cathy Wunder kept her childhood dream alive long enough so she could achieve it.
“Like every little girl, I wanted a horse when I was growing up,” Cathy said. “But I couldn’t ride one where I lived, so I didn’t get my first one until I was an adult.”
Cathy, Global Connections, Inc. Vice President, took the plunge and bought her first horse around 15 years ago. But as time progressed, so did her desires. Having originally purchased a horse for tranquil trail riding, Cathy soon found herself on the path of cutting.
The equestrian sport of cutting, in short, is when a rider and their horse isolate a cow from its herd and prevent it from running back to the group, exhibiting the horse’s athleticism and behavior.
Some consider it the most exhilarating two-and-a-half minutes you can have on a horse.
Cathy wanted something that was relatively safe (though cutting does come with its share of lumps) and something she could do casually. It wasn’t about getting high scores or big winnings. But she does get to work with her beloved horses, which is the cherry on top.
“Being a competitor since I was young and looking for a sport for when I got older, I needed something that would keep my interest and excite me,” Cathy said. “I have friends in their 80s who are still cutting.”
Her dedication is even more admirable considering she almost gave up competing. Coincidentally around that time, she met a woman who was at the same crossroads.
“The equestrian events are a whole weekend, like going to a volleyball or basketball tournament,” Cathy said. “If you are doing it by yourself, it’s not fun. So mutual friends introduced me to someone who happened to live around the corner from me. We started going to some shows together. I had a partner in crime, basically.”
That proved to be a powerful pairing. Cathy and her neighbor eventually vowed to enter a large-scale horse cutting competition in Oklahoma.
So they spent a year prepping for the event and eventually fulfilled their vow and still compete in decent-sized events consistently.
And early this December, she puts a checkmark next to one of her bucket list items: Competing in the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity World Championship in Fort Worth, Texas. It’s like the Kentucky Derby of horse cutting.
“I like competing,” Cathy said. “I like my stomach getting nervous before a show. I like the exhilaration that it gives me. I like that in those two minutes and thirty seconds, I can’t think about anything except riding that horse.”
Cathy could talk about horses all day, so it’s nice to see that she has found a way to blend her passions with her pets. We’ll all be cheering her on as she continues to compete!