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The 'Yellowstone' Effect | How the Paramount Network series spotlights real-life cowboys

"It's amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it," said professional cutting horse trainer Justin White.

Brandi Smith

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Published: 5:28 PM CDT March 15, 2023
Updated: 5:28 PM CDT March 15, 2023

They call it "The 'Yellowstone' Effect."

"Unreal what it’s done to the cutting world," said Justin White.

The Paramount Network’s TV series, currently in its fifth season, follows the Dutton family, led by patriarch John Dutton, who operates a cattle ranch in Montana.

Between the power struggles, complicated relationships and threats inside and outside the family, 'Yellowstone' also manages to illustrate life as a cowboy.

"He’s done a great job of portraying it," said White, referring to Taylor Sheridan, the show’s co-creator and a native Texan. "(He's) one of the biggest supporters of our industry. What he’s done for this and getting cutting out there, it's amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it."

White grew up on and around cutting horses. His parents Jon and Ellen spent decades showing and training them and his dad was even inducted into the National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Fame in 2019.

"I’ve shown cutting horses all my life," White said. "I think I’ve showed my first cutting horse in Houston in 1999."

He won championships there in 2011, 2012, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022. In the middle of all that, he became a professional trainer in 2012. 

"Cutting is all about showing off your horse. It’s not about the rider," explained White. "They’re judging the horse, not you."

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