Tulsa Beck is currently sitting third in the NCHA 2,000 LR World Finals standings. Alongside the gelding, Mr. Willy Dual, Beck is making sure that her first year in the show pen is a big one. However, Beck is already "seasoned" when it comes to cutting horses, as she works for NCHA Hall of Fame trainer, Tim Smith. At Western Twist Media, we have a soft spot for haulers, but especially one's that are lopers too. We'll let Tulsa take over and tell you about her year, and her best advice for those thinking about embarking on the journey in 2019.
Tulsa Beck and Mr. Willy Dual marking a 75 in the Scottsdale Showdown in Queen Creek, Arizona.
Photo Credit: Ann Mulchay.
What is your horses registered name?
Mr. Willy Dual
How is your horse bred?
He’s a Dual Pep out of a Doc N Willy mare
What is their barn name?
His name is Billy, but I call him William sometimes because a prim and proper name just fits his demeanor most days.
Tell me a little bit about their personality?
Billy is the most gentle soul you could ever meet. There isn't a kid in the world that I would say he’s unsafe for. Everything about him is kind and way more than willing to take care of who ever is on his back, in or out of the show pen.
How long have you had your horse and how did they come into your life?
I actually do not own Billy, Jack and Sherry Cowan of Cowan Ranch LLC in Payson, Arizona own Billy. Their son John hauled him during some of his youth years and in the 15 am. I started working for the ranch two years ago and this year they offered me the tremendous opportunity of showing and hauling him in the 2,000 LR.
Leading up to this year, what was your biggest accomplishment or favourite moment in the cutting pen?
I actually had never walked to the herd previous to this year, other than a few ‘never won a buckle classes’, but some of my favorite moments in cutting before showing were handing off outstanding horses to Tim Smith, the trainer at Cowan Ranch LLC. I was on a definite learning curve my first year as a loper, but after mounds of patience from my bosses I was able to figure out the string of horses that I rode pretty well. I would say that my favorite memory was handing off Disco Crat for her final run, in 2017. Tim was hauling her in the Open for Jack and Sherry and our goal was to win the PCCHA Open title and get her lifetime earnings over 100k. It was definitely an emotional and greatly rewarding process being able to prepare such a special horse
and getting her back after her last run knowing that we had reached both of our goals for the year was a very cool thing.
When you started out the year, what were your goals?
Well, my goal was just to stay in the buggy the first time that I showed, but after I got past my first few trips across the timeline I made some more serious/ focused goals. My goal for this year was to finish in the top five in the world and to make the people who made this opportunity
possible and put so much into me, truly proud.
Is this the first time you are going to be headed to world finals?
Yes! I am so excited!!
Do you ride with a trainer, if so, who?
I ride under Tim Smith for work. I honestly cannot even begin to comprehend the amount of stuff that he knows- he is by far one of the best teachers I have ever had. He’s my hero.
What is the best advice your trainer has ever given you?
Tim told me once, long before I started showing, to “Never duck your head to anyone, know who you are but be polite and stay humble.” It stuck with me ever since and I think mostly because I watched him live that way. I’ve watched countless guys at many different levels (trainers and not) ask Tim for his advice or opinion and never once did I see him turn someone away, or make them feel small. I have mounds to learn about the cutting from him, but I’m most grateful for
what he’s taught me about being a good person, because I needed that way more.
What has been the highlight of your year so far?
The highlight of my year was probably getting to show in front of my family in Reno. I haven’t lived close to home in a LONG time and am bad about visiting, but a home state show allowed the people I love come see me do what I love and there are few greater blessings than that. I was a 74 to win it the day they came to watch.
Do you get nerves/anxiety in the show pen?
I am so, so nervous every time that I walk to the herd. You’d think it would get a little better this late in the year. But no.
If so, how do you deal with them?
I say a little prayer and take deep breaths. Lots of them. I also try to talk with whoever is around right before I ride in. I’m a nervous talker so it’s mostly bad jokes and ramblings, but it helps me to clear my head and relax a little bit.
What was the best advice you received in the show pen, or about cutting, this year?
The best advice is I’ve got is that fast isn’t always better, when I try to hard is when things tend to get out of whack. The biggest thing for me to learn I think was to trust my horse and my awesome help and not to force anything.
What could you not live without at a cutting? May be a piece of tack, a type of food, anything!
My grandma gave me a turquoise cross that I keep either on a necklace or inside my hat. I guess it’s my way of keeping her and God with me and reminding myself that win, lose, or draw I am blessed by this life and loved beyond measure. Its more a peace of mind token than a good luck charm I’d say.
What’s your number one tip for hauling down the road?
Love the experience, not the winning. You have to find enjoyment in everyday that has nothing to do with how well you place because there are going to be days where bad luck hits you or mistakes happen and you’re gonna miss your bed and start to hate fast-food. BUT if you learn to truly appreciate the good company and new country, you’ll wake up everyday feeling like the luckiest person alive.
Have you had to haul pretty hard this year?
This actually isn't much of a hauling year for us. We’ve been to a couple New Mexico shows and then with the added weekend classes to the Cascades Futurity in Oregon we hauled a good distance, but mostly we’ve been able to stay within about 6-7 hours!
What is your favourite show to haul too, and why?
I really enjoy the Queen Creek shows. It’s usually the same group of us and it just feels like everyone there is rooting for ya. A really fun, homey type of feel!
If you could show to one song, what would it be?
I’d have to say “Tulsa Time” by Don Williams just because everyone would get a giggle out of it!
Looking towards world finals, what are you most excited about?
I most excited to get to go to the finals with such an awesome group of friends also in the top 15 for the 2k. This year there seems to be a lot of us west coast lopers/assistants qualifying and the only thing better than doing well, is doing well along side your good buds!
What are your goals for next year?
Next year I hope to just take what I have learned this year and keep building on it as well as keep in touch with all the great people I have met. This year was an opportunity that I never expected and better than I ever dreamed. I owe it all to God for putting in such an awesome spot with people like Jack, Sherry and Tim. None of this would have been possible without their support, patience, or believing in me. I just wish that I could express my gratitude for them a little bit better.