“Hey, you want to buy a one-third interest in a cutting horse with us?”
That’s how Furst Ranch got its start. In December 1991, Jack and Debra Furst were still living in Dallas when a friend asked if they would like to join in on the purchase of a Futurity prospect. Never having owned a horse before but always game for a “good deal,” they jumped right in and, along with two others, purchased the 1990 Smart Little Lena mare, Jewels Little Lena. The mare was sent to a young trainer in Kaufman, Texas, by the name of John Wold.
The following year, Jack and Debra purchased 55 acres in Bartonville, Texas, sold the Dallas home and moved to the country. Other than that little mare out in Kaufman, they weren’t involved in the cutting world. A few older horses had come with the property, so learning to ride became their new hobby. A few times during the next year, they went out to John’s place to see how “Julie” was coming doing. Their first cutting horse show was the 1993 NCHA Futurity. Even though Julie didn’t advance past the first go round, the Fursts were hooked and purchased a 2-year old at the sale before the Futurity ended. Cutting lessons now took priority for Debra - she began traveling twice a week to Kaufman to learn to ride and cut.
In 1994, Jack and Debra bought out their two partners in Jewels Little Lena and Debra began showing her in 1995, with all of one year of cutting experience under her belt. During the next several years, more horses were added, including Play Me Dream in 1994 (NCHA earnings of $110,675), Gay Boy Hickory in 1998 (NCHA earnings of $83,830), and Smart Quick Merada in 1999 (NCHA earnings of $111,986). Play My Dream was the 1996 Super Stakes Open Champion, giving Furst Ranch and John Wold their first major win.
Furst Ranch entered the breeding business in 1997 when it bred Jewels Little Lena to Zack T Wood. The resulting foal was A Zack Cut Jewel - the mare on which Debra won the 2001 NCHA Futurity, Amateur Division, and the 2002 NCHA Super Stakes, 4-year old Limited Non Pro Division.
In 1998, Furst Ranch bred its mare, Merada Lena, to High Brow Cat. The resulting foal was Cats Merada - winner of over $177,000 in NCHA earnings and a leading sire in the cutting horse industry today. His offspring have amassed earnings in excess of $4 million since 2008.