Much of the credit for reining’s success and its modern manifestation has gone to this self-taught horse trainer from Waynesboro, Georgia. Wilkinson is the only person to win both the National Cutting Horse Association and National Reining Horse Association futurities. He won the first NRHA Futurity in 1966 aboard AQHA Champion Pocorochi Bo, a double-bred King gelding, and again in 1975 with Clene Continental, a gelding by Continental King and out of a Bert granddaughter. Wilkinson won the 1972 cutting futurity riding Gun Smoke’s Dream by Mr Gun Smoke. But it was not only winning; it was the way he won. His horses were more fluid and softer, performing with loose reins and flowing maneuvers. They stopped hard, but not as deep as the West Coast horses did in the 1960s. Wilkinson’s method of skating the horse across the top of the ground brought the loudest cheers. In cutting, his horses could get deep and sway ends with the best. He was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2000 and passed away in 2010. This is a great video from out of the past to learn from one of the greats.

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Dale Wilkinson - Evaluating the Reining Horse - Part 1