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The Man, The Legend

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In 1952, one of the greatest horsemen to grace the world was born in Tucson, Arizona: Scott Raftery.


The son of Bill "WD" Raftery, one of the last of the U.S. Calvary horse trainers, horsemanship was bred into Scott, and cultivated from an early age. In the 50s and 60s, Tucson was a small, yet booming, city in the high-deserts of the Wild West... with few paved roads and plenty of unbroken country, it was the perfect place for a cowboy to grow up. And at Bill Raftery's Anvil Ranch, there was always something to ride. From an early age, Scott was riding across the cactus studded hillsides on his trusty steeds "Hoka Hey" and "Scout." Long before he would make it his life's career,  Bill put Scott on his very first cutting horse, "Colonel." 

At the age of 6, Scott rode his first calf at a local rodeo, winning a whopping $12.75. From that moment, Scott decided he would become a bull rider. He spent nearly 15 years on the rodeo circuits, earning a living as a professional bull rider and winning numerous championships, including the Fiesta de los Vaqueros and Turquoise Circuit. It was on the rodeo circuit that he met a feisty little Colorado ranch girl and WPRA barrel racer named Cheri Coleen Campbell.  


In 1981, they were married and Scott decided to hang up his bull rope and pursue a career in horse training. The couple started a business together breaking colts and riding reining horses, working cowhorses and cutting horses. He later dedicated himself fully to the cutting horse industry and for the last 30 years he has been involved in the National Cutting Horse Association, Arizona Cutting Horse Association, Northern Arizona Cutting Horse Association and the Southern Arizona Cutting Horse Association. He was an AzCHA and SACHA president, an NCHA area director for many years, and has been the "cattle liason" for the AzCHA for over 25 years. He is also a Don Dodge Award and the Wes Sutton Award recipient, and in 2017 he received the prestigious NCHA Zane Schulte Award, honoring his teaching and family values. In addition to his personal accomplishments, he has trained innumerable cutting champions - both horse and human - at all levels of the sport.


Scott and his wife Cheri have raised three children, Will, Heather and Sara. They currently run Scott Raftery Cutting Horses on their ranch bordering the historic Empire Ranch in Sonoita, Arizona.

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