Al Dunning Joins Team Horse & Rider

Get to know world-champion trainer Al Dunning, the newest member of Team Horse & Rider.

Horse & Rider’s editors would like to welcome legendary horseman and world-champion trainer Al Dunning to Team H&R! We’re thrilled that Al is joining our 11 other team members to provide you with his expert advice and savvy training tips.

Al Dunning | Photo by Cappy Jackson

In our December 2007 “Ask Team H&R” article, Al tells our reader what it takes to compete in cutting, and how to do it on a small budget. In that article, we also provided you with info on Al’s training and showing career, and his current training facilities. Here, we thought we’d share some “fun facts” about Al to help you get to know him better.

Fun Facts on Al
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.; grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Born: March 5, 1950

Homebase: Al Dunning Training Stables, Inc.; Almosta Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz., during the winters, and Jackson Land & Cattle Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo., during the summers

Family: Wife Becky (of 36 years); two children: daughter McKenzie and son Grady

Star stats: Carded NRCHA judge; nine AQHA world championships, nine AQHA reserve world championships, seven AQHA amateur world titles, 500 Arizona year-end championships, 11 All American Congress winners, one NRHA world championship, Pacific Cutting Horse Association champion; Monty Roberts Equitarian Award, 2004; AQHA Professional Horseman of the Year, 1996; served on USET formation committee in considering reining as an Olympic sport

Affiliations: AQHA, NCHA, NRCHA

Horse history: Involved with horses for 45 years; has been training for 37 years (since 1970)

Why I love my job: “Every day is different and exciting, so I never get bored.”

Mentors: Jim Paul, John Hoyt, Don Dodge

Most memorable horse experience: Winning the AQHA World in senior cutting on More Oats Please in 1988; owned his dam; raised and trained him

Favorite horse: Expensive Hobby. “He was simply awesome!” Al says.

Al Dunning has nine AQHA world championships in Western riding, reining, working cow horse and reining. | Photo by Cappy Jackson

Literary feat: Authored immensely popular book, Reining, that’s sold well over 100,000 copies

On film: Produced six instructional videos on cutting, reining, riders’ guide, advancing to the hackamore and fundamental training of the young horse

Day job: At 12, Al picked oranges for a restaurant in Scottsdale.

Favorite non-horse activity: Fly fishing

Other critters: Too many dogs to name; beloved donkey, Joseph

Favorite food: Wife Becky’s spaghetti

Favorite vacation: Kona, Hawaii

H&R editors’ quotes: Lifestyle Editor Juli Thorson says, “I look forward to any assignment that involves working with Al. He’s warm, creative and full of fun. And he may be the best instructor I’ve ever met.” Production Editor Alana Harrison seconds that, after working with him for his debut “Ask Team H&R” article. “He was a delight to interview and genuinely cares about educating our readers.”

In his own words: “My number-one accomplishment is my marriage to Becky. Number two: I helped raise two great kids. And number three: I’ve developed a strong faith. Those things are more important to me than anything I ever did at any horse show.”

Contact him: Al Dunning Training Stables, Inc., 27411 N. 160th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85262; 480-471-4600 (office); 480-471-7828 (fax);

Need Help with Your Horse?
To submit a question to Al or to one of our other Team H&R members, go to

To read more about Al, see “Behind The Brand” in our August 2007 issue.

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