gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 71

CPAs do!” Outside of work hours he began to study, and eventually he got his CPA license. In 1975, Bill joined a CPA firm in San Jose. Five years later the firm offered to make him a partner, but he wanted to be self-employed. The firm gave Bill the green light to take his clients with him, and he opened his own office in San Jose. He moved his business to Gilroy in 1992. “Carolyn and I wanted to ‘move to the country.’ Business was good, and aside from tax season, I could set my own hours. I was riding horses again, so this was a big plus. My family’s connection to Gilroy dated back to 1937 when my dad set up a medical practice here. He was one of only two doctors locally then.”   Winning a Silver Buckle Bill was also drawn to Gilroy because of its long history of ranching and horsemanship. His sport of choice was cutting, which celebrates the American West and the ranching tradition to hire cowboys who could work and sort cattle from the herd for branding or veterinary care. There’s a kind of poetry in Bill’s description of cutting horse competition. “I put on my button-down shirt, my ‘batwings’ [chaps] and my cowboy hat. Then I ride my horse into the arena, eyes on the herd, ready to go. We’ve got less than three minutes to separate and work three cows from a gathered herd. We have to make at least one ‘deep cut’ into the herd, select a cow, and drive it away, against its natural instinct to stay with the herd. Once the cow is separated, I rest my rein hand on the horse’s neck and she takes over from there, anticipating and mirroring the cow’s every move to prevent it from returning to the herd. “Judges expect riders to enter the herd quietly, make a clean cut without disturbing the rest of the herd, and allow their horse’s agility, courage and style to come through while working the cows. If all goes well, we bring each cow to a stop in the middle of the arena and get the job done before the clock runs out.” In 1985 Bill bought his first cutting horse, Good Nus Girl. Later he bought Hickory Lena in Texas, and as he described it, “we won everywhere we went.” In 1988, he took Reserve World Champion in the National Reined Cow Horse Association Championship on Cal’s Sugar, a quarter horse mare trained by Billy Martin of Morgan Hill. The association was founded in Gilroy in the late 1940s to preserve the western cow horse tradition. It’s international. In 1997, Bill found himself “a good cutting horse” and brought home a prized silver buckle as a first- place finisher at the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) World Championship. NCHA has more than 20,000 members, 2,000 shows a year, and $40 million in prize winnings. Over the years, Bill has enjoyed working with his cutting horses, cultivating their “cow sense” and ability to control their movements with speed and athleticism. He has made many profitable horse sales, ‘stood’ two stallions (for breeding), and raised more than 20 foals at his small Gilroy ranch.   Gilroy club after we moved here.” To this day, Bill enjoys Rotary pro- grams and Fun Fridays, “pot luck style gatherings hosted by our gracious mem- bers.” Bill was also a member of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce until he retired from CPA work in 2008.   Keepin’ It Real At 74, Bill still rides several times a week. He’s got four horses and several cows on his ranch. There’s that familiar rush of adrenaline as he prepares for a little cutting work with Smarty Fletch, a bay-colored gelding quarter horse he brought home from Texas in 2013. “We lope around the ring, do about 15 circles, then let the cows in and work them, one at a time. It’s still fun to feel the horse move underneath me. He knows his job, I just keep him correct.” Watching horse and rider, it’s clear that Smarty Fletch is ready and will- ing to accommodate Bill’s wishes. Just two buckaroos out for a good time on a warm spring day.   Rotary: A Father-Son Tradition More than three d XY\Y[X[YBH\X[ZH\]\YܙH[K'^HY[Y[H\H[B]H NLˈH[Y[X\[][BHX][[H NMLˈH[YH[HX[ NN H[[BSH8(SԑSS8(SPTSPVKҕSH M™Z^KB