Last year, Pat Jacobs received the Distinguished Service award from NCHA’s Judging Department. Tonight, after more than 50 years of service to the sport of cutting, as a pioneering competitor and judge, Pat is being inducted into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame.
Pat’s devotion to horses and cattle began as a youngster. As far back as he can remember, he knew he wanted to be a cowboy. As a teenager, he helped drive cattle to the rail yards and helped load them on stock cars. The cattle drives provided him with pocket money, but the real reason he did it was because his heroes were cowboys. So he listened and learned.
As a young man, Pat broke colts, did day work on nearby ranches, and practiced roping.
But when he saw Buster Welch ride Marion’s Girl at a county fair in Kansas, he took a new direction. Until that day, he said he thought cutting was for old men and guys who couldn’t rope. But after that show, he wanted to cut.
Pat trained his best roping horse to cut, and had a train wreck the first time he showed him. But he was determined to learn more.
Pat got a job with a trainer named Jack Ray, kept his eyes open and started to learn what it was all about.
In his early years, Pat spent more time showing than judging. He got a reputation for speaking his mind about ways to improve the sport.
After a show, Pat and the others would kick around ways they might make things better. More often than not, Pat would be elected spokesman for the group.
Most Monday mornings, Zack Wood would get a call in the NCHA office and listen to their consensus.
On the rare occasions when Zack’s phone didn’t ring, Zack would call Pat to find out about the weekend’s deliberations.
Pat Jacobs has made a lot of contributions to NCHA, but two that he can be proudest of are the five-judge system, and the judge’s rating system, which he began calling for as far back as the 1960s.
Pat is an author, and he has appeared on radio and television and taken part in charity events to help spread the word about cutting.
Today, NCHA is very happy that Pat Jacobs didn’t pursue a career as a roper half a century ago, and decided to concentrate on cutting instead.
Outcasts, Outlaws, and Second Chance Horses: The Pat Jacobs Story For anyone wanting to know what cutting looked like when it still had the hide on, when it was still an outdoor sport, before it was an “industry” and before its roots in the range livestock industry were obscured, reading Pat Jacobs’ book is obligatory.