Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007
Back in the 1950s, a young man put aside tie-down roping and concentrated on cutting. More than 50 years later, Canadian Bill Collins has inspired countless individuals to be better riders, competitors and trainers.
Collins witnessed his first cutting in 1946, but it was 1955 before he became involved with the event. Asked to help with a cutting demonstration, it did not take long for Collins to switch from tie-down roping to cutting. A year later, in 1956, Collins and friend Leo Lemieux began showing cutting horses together and subsequently formed Leecoll Stables in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
By 1965, the stable was doing so well that Collins retired from tie-down roping to attend to the business of up to 75 horses. The horses stabled at Leecoll performed in both English and Western events, and Collins soon found himself working with both groups. The cutter even found himself competing in a show jumping competition in Edmonton.
In 1972, the well-known cutting trainer was given Peponita, a black stallion by Peppy San and out of Bonita Tivio, by Poco Tivio, to train. In 1973, Collins showed the stallion in the Canadian Cutting Horse Association 4-year-old Futurity. The duo won the futurity, and it was the first of many. The following year, Collins became the first rider in history to win the CCHA open and novice horse championships on the same horse.
A 12-time winner of Canadian cutting championships, Collins was also an AQHA judge, a National Cutting Horse Association and CCHA judge.
Collins was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2007. He passed away December 31, 2013.