Cutter-Gone-Rope-Horse CR California Tuff Earns 2 ARHFA Sun Circuit Heading Wins with Clay Logan
CR California Tuff may have started her career in the deep sand of the cutting pen, but under Clay Logan’s guidance the Woody Be Tuff mare is pulling checks on both the head and heel side.

CR California Tuff and Clay Logan rounded up more than $8,000 at The American Rope Horse Futurity Association’s Sun Circuit Futurity, winning both the Intermediate and Limited Heading with a 668.85 on three head Saturday, March 4, 2023.

“This mare moves her feet so good,” Logan said of the 6-year-old horse. “She’s talented and when she leaves the box, she’s flat and her feet are underneath her. She’s better on a hard-running steer than a steer that doesn’t run as hard. She’s full of run, easy to ride and good-minded.”

Logan said a broken barrier in their second-round-run kept them from advancing to the open heading finals, but a “big effort” in round three earned him both titles and $8,400 check for CR California Tuff’s owner Kaleb Terlip. The team scored a 219.96, 221.04 and 227.85 in each round, respectively. On the heels for Logan was Open Heeling Champion and former employee Cade Rice.

CR California Tuff and Logan advanced to the Open Heeling Finals Sunday March 5 too, finishing fourth in the Intermediate division and catching a $1,728 check.

CR California Tuff pedigree

Former Cutter Turned Rope Horse

CR California Tuff was bred by the famed cutting breeder Center Ranch, sired by Woody Be Tuff and bought out of the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Sale by Logan as a yearling in 2018.

Logan sent her to NCHA Hall of Fame Rider Matt Budge, who started her and trained her through her cutting futurity year. After picking up some cutting money, Logan took back over CR California Tuff’s reins.

Despite her cutting genetics, Logan says the 15-hand mare has the size, substance and speed to hold up in the roping pen.

“She took some time to mature — but she’s been well worth spending the time on,” Logan, of Granbury, Texas, said.

As a 4-year-old, Logan qualified and showed the mare at the AQHA World Show in the Junior Heading, after which Terlip bought her.

“She scores good and we’re happy to have her,” Logan said. “Happy we owned her, and happy Kaleb bought her and allowed us to continue to train her.”

To date, CR California Tuff boasts $34,063 in career earnings, which includes a championship in the Intermediate Heeling at the 2022 Royal Crown in Waco, Texas.

Why Does Clay Logan Gravitate Towards Cutters?

Logan says that the cutters make more sense to him than horses that have had reining or cow horse training when it comes to turning one into a rope horse. The feely nature of horses like CR California Tuff have is familiar because he started his training career under the tutelage of $4 million cutting trainer Lindy Burch and $5 million trainer Kobie Wood.

“Pretty much my whole career has been moving cutters to the roping,” Logan said. “Moving a cutter to a roper isn’t as difficult for me because I know what the feel is, I know how to position them a little bit and they’ll cow-off in some spots, but I know how to pick them up and move them around there. Once they know their job, they’re really good horses.”

His facility location doesn’t hurt either, since Granbury is nestled in the heart of cutting-horse-country, just South of Weatherford.

Keeping a Horse Solid in Both Heading and Heeling

Getting a futurity horse solid enough on one end can be challenging, but Logan likes to rope both ends on them, if he can. To do it, he focuses on repetition at home and not overloading the younger horses.

“You might just head some days or just heel some days, but you want to get them where they want to work with you,” Logan said. “Don’t do more than they can take. When they tell you something is not going their way or they’re sore—listen to them.”

Full 2023 ARHFA Sun Circuit results can be found here.

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