NCHA Hall of Fame Rider & Trainer
The renowned Hall of Fame rider and cutting horse trainer, Tim Smith, grew up on a farm in Minnesota. He showed his first cutter during the summer of 1972 in California. Tim’s older brother Mike was largely responsible for getting Tim into the sport of cutting.
Tim and his wife of 46 years, Diane (a multiple championship cutting competitor in her own right), with 2022 NCHA Open World Champion, Metallics MVP
Tim won his first aged event in 1979 at the California Cutting Horse Association (CCHA) Futurity at Rivendale Equestrian Center in Newhall, California. Tim has gone on to win over 100 championship aged event titles, seven World Championship titles and currently has NCHA rider earnings of well over six million dollars.
Tim started offering his experience and expertise to clinic participants in the late 1990’s, and has shared his learning with riders in Canada, Italy, and throughout the USA. The idea for Buntin & Smith Present, The Cutting Experience, emerged from feedback from non-pro and amateur cutters looking for a more intensive educational experience. Collaborating with Monty Buntin, a fellow Hall of Fame rider and trainer, who has a similar approach to cutting, drove the development of a multi-day event that would meet cutter’s needs. The unrivaled success of these events has created a community all it’s own, so we have created a membership club, The Cuttin’ Pen, for continuous learning and community found only through these intensive events.
Most recently, Tim culminated his legacy by winning the 2022 NCHA Open World Championship title on Metallic Cat stallion, Metallic’s MVP (MVP), with lifetime earnings over $325,000. Tim and MVP’s story really begins back in 2010 at the PCCHA futurity in Paso Robles. Fellow Hall of Fame rider and trainer, Matt Budge, was working a bay mare in the practice pen that drew Tim’s attention. She looked outstanding, so Tim inquired about buying the mare. The mare had bad luck at the NCHA futurity that year, and ultimately the mare came to be owned by John Kratzer of California. That bay mare, My Lizzy Babe (Lizzy), took Tim and John to the winners circle, time and time again. Her aged event career culminated in a blazingly high score of 232 in her performance at the PCCHA Challenge, her final performance of her six-year-old year. She went on to earn over $163,000 in NCHA earnings and then retired to the breeding barn. Lizzy’s second foal crop produced Metallic’s MVP who had a banner aged event career with his original trainer, Hayden Upton, and trainers Austin Shepard and Beau Galyean. Beau, who stands MVP at his ranch, approached Tim and asked him to run MVP for the NCHA Open World Championship title. Tim accepted the challenge, and the rest is history. The 2022 NCHA Open World Champion Horse and Rider’s story started in 2010 where Tim says he was “in the right place at the right time”!