Respect for Mr. San Peppy

A big name in the cuttin’ horse world is Mr. San Peppy. We saw him win his world championship in 1973, at Tri-County Exhibition Center in Amarillo, TX. I remember the sound of his hooves clicking as he worked his heifer in the soft dirt. You could literally have heard a pin drop. The audience was reverent. In those days, I don’t know whether out of habit or respect, people didn’t whistle, hoop and cheer at cutting events. The riders were mostly seasoned cowboys and horsemen. They were given to the Gary Cooper style, strong, silent men. When they spoke, it was seldom, and their expressions were pithy. Sayings like “He sure has a pretty way of looking at a cow, “ or “The son of a gun will fall down and flop around like a fish in front of a cow.” When one guru was questioned about cutting horses not having very pretty heads, he said, “A lot of the best cutters can eat out of a fifty gallon barrel and still look over the rim,” implying that cow horses tended to have a long heads. Mr. San Peppy was actually a pretty shiny looking horse. We saw him about ten years later, showing off at the King Ranch horse sale, still pretty cute. The old cutters were mighty impressed with him; their greatest compliment was “That Mr. San Peppy, he could cut a cat out of a stove pipe! “

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