Matt Miller   Megan Miller



Matt Miller

NCHA LTE: $2,000,000+

"Matt Miller's drive for success in the horse industry knows no bound.
He strives from the challenge, the competition of being better and going forward."

- Danny Miller




Going the EXTRA MILE

Matt Miller strives to be the best at everything he does in the horse industry.

by Amber Hodge
Quarter Horse News, July 15, 2013

Matt Miller's drive for success in the horse industry knows no bounds. Born and raised in Jonesboro, Ark., he spent his younger years playing baseball and basketball. It wasn't until he reached junior high and high school that he really began to get into horses and showing. Today, he is ranked third on Equi-Stat's Up & Coming Open Cutting Rider list, with nearly $1 million in earnings since joining the Open ranks in 2009.

The summer after finishing high school, Miller ventured down to Millsap, Texas, to help out on his father's place, where trainer Tim McCloud was working at the time.

"A lot of what I've learned was from Tim, " Miller, 29, said. "He really taught me a lot about foundation on a horse and really the everyday ins and outs of the training operation.

Miller, who currently lives in Poolville, Texas, started his cutting career like any other, making his way through the Amateur an then the Non-Pro. In those early years, several horses helped shape him into the horseman he is today, the first being Down And Dually (Dual Pep x SR Glamorous Lady x Doc's Hickory), bred by Bar H Ranche, Weatherford, Texas.

"He was definitely the horse that taught me how to show," he said. "I still own him to this day. He was just an exceptional gelding, and I can remember when I first started showing him, I could hardly get through a run. He kind of taught me everything I know."

Another horse to showcase Miller's talents was Travs Scooter (Smart Lil Scoot x Travs Smart Buy x Travalena), bred by Crystal Creek Ranch, Aledo, Texas. In 2006, he and the 2003 mare won the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Non-Pro, worth $48,923.

"She was the first mare I ever trained myself," he said proudly. "She's definitely a big part of my success."

Miller's accomplishments in the show pen steadily gained momentum and by the end of 2009, he had amassed more than $800,000 as a non-pro.

"I felt like I'd gone a long way in the Non-Pro," he recalled. "I was happy with how my horses were, so I kind of wanted a little more challenge and to just try to keep getting better. I felt like it was a good time to do it because some of the horses that I owned at the time were really good horses, and were competitive enough to go into the Open, so I felt like that would give me a good start in it."

Because Miller had competed in the Open several times as a non-pro, he knew what to expect.

"It was definitely a whole different level," he admits. "I kind of felt comfortable when I turned my card in and became an Open trainer. I was definitely a little bit nervous, knowing I had to expect more out of myself and my horses, but it was also a challenge I was wanting to do."

Miller's father, Danny was supportive of his son's drive to further his talent and knowledge.

"I think he's just dedicated to being the best," he said. "I think that's what precipitated him moving from the Non-Pro to the Open. It wasn't the fact of being a way to making a living. It was a challenge, the competition of being better and going forward."

One of Miller's most successful horses of the last 5 1/2 years is Smooth Going Cat (Smooth As A Cat x Dualy Lil Pep x Dual Pep), owned by Kyle Manion, Aubrey, Texas, and bred by Banawien Ranch LLc, Little Rock, Ark. In 2009, Miller piloted the mare to a third-place finish int he NCHA Futurity Open to earn $136,285.

A Few of his larger wins came with Thundercat (High Brow Cat x Desire Some Freckles x Freckles Playboy), bred by Rockin 5 Ranch LLC, Fairhope, Texas, and owned by Steven Feiner, Weatherford, Texas. Miller rode the gelding, at the time owned by Don Bell, Weatherford, Texas, to the finals of the 2011 NCHA Futurity and the 2012 NCHA Super Stakes, and they landed the Reserve Championship at the 2012 Breeder's Invitational to earn more than $100,000 together.

Along with Clint Allen and Lloyd Cox, Miller shares a lot of the credit for his success with his wife, Megan. "She's behind me all the time and keeps the business side of everything running smoothly so I don't have to worry about that part. She's definitely my No. 1 supporter."

Miller not only strives to be the best he can be in the show pen. He wants to rest his abilities outside the saddle, as well.

"I'm happy where I am right now," he said. "I still have a lot to learn, and I'm trying to get more involved with the sport as a whole, and get more involved with the NCHA. I'd just like to help see it grow. I've got two little girls, and hopefully they can be involved in it one day. "

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