Cornerstone To A Great Breed
By Col. J.L. Giamalva
DICKINSON, (Horseback) I remember and it will always stick in my mind, going to the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo at the Sam Houston Coliseum, in downtown Houston, Texas, to see Roy Rogers and had the opportunity to see a Palomino Quarter Horse in a single display of cutting that just fascinated me and my dad. It wasn’t just an ordinary display of cutting ability, but a show of ability of a cutting horse without a bridle that would squat down on a cow, like a mad cat and eat him alive as if he were a varmint on the prairie. This horse could turn through himself as the old cowboy saying: He could spin on a dime and give you fifteen cents change. As a livestock auctioneer I would sometimes have the opportunity to sell a horse that had Cutter Bill on his papers. I remember one particular time I was auctioneering at a horse sale in Huffman, Texas and a yearling palomino grandson of Cutter Bill walked into the ring and I just happen to mention as the horse was not bringing a very good price, that you could ask a dump truck driver in Engl
and if he had ever heard of Cutter Bill and he could tell you exactly who he was, the horse was that popular! You’re buying a million dollars in advertising. Just how many mares would you have to breed to pay for this good colt in one single breeding season? The colt ended up being the high seller of the sale.
Rex Cauble, once enumerating the many exploits of the mighty Cutter Bill, said: “He is a golden palomino, 14-3, weighing 1180 pounds. Mr R. L. Underwood owned and bred the sire, Buddy Dexter, and he owned the mare Billie Silvertone the dam, when they were crossed in the mating which produced my stallion Cutter Bill. The mare had already produced by Buddy Dexter two previous AQHA Champions, Buddy Bill and Smutty Bill, both of which are full brothers to Cutter Bill. All were foaled on the Underwood Ranch of Wichita Falls, Cutter Bill on May 8, 1955.”
Buddy Dexter was a blood bay by Dexter (P-193) by Golden Chief (P-194), a copper horse foaled in 1918.
Cutter Bill’s dam Billie Silvertone, was a smutty palomino colored mare that Pine Johnson and several other cutting horse trainers claimed to have been one of the best at
the business. Cauble, when he bought Cutter Bill, knew nothing of this and very little about the dam’s pedigree.
Asked how he acquired Cutter Bill, Cauble had this to say: My wife Josephine, insisted that I buy this colt at the Underwood Breeder Sale of 1956. She fell in love with him when she discovered him standing tied to a fence before the sale began.
Even then as a yearling he was the color of new gold. Cauble said reluctantly he would buy him if he didn’t go for more than $1000. He went over that quick and on Josephine’s insistence Cauble did too. He bid him in for $2,500.
Cauble used him as a teasing stallion as a two and three year old and didn’t breed him until he was four.
After the breeding season when he was three he was started on cattle. Cauble knew then he was a natural not commenting on how many riders he put on him, only to say Willis Bennett made him a World Champion Junior Cutting Horse in 1959.
Cutter Bill at that time was the only cutting horse to achieve this distinction and go on to become the “Open” Worlds Champion Cutting Horse of 1962. He also won the Tournament of Champions (65 entries) at Little Rock Arkansas after winning at Las Vegas.
Some of the people taking a hand in Cutter Bill later were Connie Willis, Roy Huffaker, Willis Bennett, Milt Bennett, John Carter and Sonny Perry. Cutter Bill, as mentioned earlier, was World Champion Cutting Horse of 1962, and set a new all-time record in earnings by one horse in one year. Sonny Perry campaigned him in 1962 as he was flown from Phoenix Arizona to Washington, D C where he made the Washington International Horse Show along with Arthur Godfrey. He was then flown with three other horses to San Francisco’s Cow Palace, which was a show he won handily. From there he flew to Las Vegas where he was crowned World Champion!
Cutter Bill, after winning many more top notch shows also became an AQHA Champion, acquiring his final halter points at the Dallas Fair. The American Quarter Horse Association presented him with an award as the outstanding Registered Quarter Horse as well as Open Champion National Cutting Horse Association.
Rex Cauble said that” Cutter Bill is the most natural cutting horse I ever saw in action. He appears to love every minute of it: works his cow from the back fence right on through the herd and straight on out to wherever you want to stop him. His golden color and white mane and tail of course give him an edge on most of the competition as he looks so good and seems to be enjoying what he is doing.”
The Mayor of Crockett, Texas proclaimed April 12th as Rex Cauble “Cutter Bill Day” and gave a testimonial dinner at which 120 persons, including visiting dignitaries, sat down. The governor of Louisiana was among those present. “Cutter Bill Day” was instituted to show appreciation on the part of the town and its citizens for all the good and widespread publicity Cutter Bills campaigning had brought them.
They even closed the schools and had one of the largest parades ever held in the town of Crockett, which Cutter Bill led Rex Cauble-up and Sonny Perry rode Cutter Bills first colt, at that time three years old. These big doings were advertised in hundreds of newspapers, 34 radio stations, and 24 television hook-ups.
There you have it folks, another reason why I can’t wait for the sun to rise so I can stand on my back porch to sight a good Quarter Horse!