Horses never had it so good

Tom McCutcheon and his wife Mandy are both $1 million riders, a milestone that the National Reining Horse Association recognizes with a special award.

Entry into the small elite group is gained when a rider reaches the $1 million prize mark in NRHA competition, according to the group’s web site at

With Tom attaining the $1 million mark in 2006 and Mandy a year later, the couple decided the time had come to build an equine facility that recognizes their unique status.

So, the Aubrey, Texas, residents called on Redish Construction to design and build a new facility that includes the Equine Rehabilitation Center and Spa.  And befitting the owners’ stature in the equestrian circuit, the McCutcheons’ facility was awarded Building of the Year from Mid-West Steel.

“Tom is a long-time customer of ours,” Stacey Redish says. “He approached us about leaving the facility he was training out of to open his own facility.”

“He approached us perhaps 2 1/2 years ago with the idea that this would be a long-term, down-the-road plan,” Scott Redish says, joining the conversation. “I think at the time he purchased it, he was looking at the five- to six-year range, but he decided to move forward with it a lot quicker.”

From dirt to door knobs

Redish Construction handled everything, Stacey Redish adds, “from the dirt work to the final cabinet knobs.”

The building was delivered to the site in January 2007 and the McCutcheons were able to move in that August, with the first big event in September. Redish Construction did the structural erection and the stalls, while jobs like the electrical work was subcontracted.

“Ninety percent of the work was done by our company,” Scott Redish says. In addition, Scott’s father and former owner, Butch Redish, was in charge of most of the site supervision.

Grand and gracious

The main facility is 225 feet wide by 350 feet long. “And that’s all under one roof,” Stacey Redish explains. “Within that is a 150-foot by 350-foot arena.”

There are 30 show-barn stalls, the equine spa, four air-conditioned stud stalls, and two 60-foot round pens.

“And the grand gesture of the building is a two-story reception/office/apartment area, with seven-foot by seven-foot picture windows on both stories that overlook the whole arena,” Stacey Redish says. “It is finished out comparable to some of the finest custom homes you’ve ever seen.  It is truly an amazing piece of property.”

A second building within the facility is a mare barn and breeding lab. “Tom has an on-site breeding manager, who lives at the facility and handles all the care of the studs and mares,” says Stacey Redish.

This building has 48 mare stalls, a state-of-the-art breeding facility and an 80-foot by 64-foot hay barn and storage. There’s a truck and car wash, as well.

For the breeding manager, there is a one-bedroom apartment, in addition to a two-bedroom unit and a four-bedroom unit for other employees who live at the facility.

But what makes this facility truly unique is the rehab center and spa. According to Tom McCutcheon, it is the only training facility with its own rehab center in the reining horse industry. He wanted to add the rehab feature to allow the horses that he boards and other area horses to have access to this type of facility.

“Now we can keep an eye on them rather than send them out for rehab,” he says. “It’s a good service to offer our customers.”

Swimming pool highlight

The highlight of the center is the equine in-ground swimming pool. Horses walk down into the pool and then are floated up to access the treadmills. The pool is long and narrow, which keeps the horse calm as it enters the pool.  Also, four stalls were recently added for horses that are boarding for rehab purposes.

Redish Construction specializes in total ranch and equine construction, from design build to general contracting to construction management. The company has built many horse barns since its inception in 1946, but what makes the McCutcheon facility different from the others, Stacey Redish says, is the overall level of detail and finish-out.

“Each stall in the main barn area is trimmed out with rock and stone features,” she says. “The barn ceiling is tongue-and-groove wood. There are exposed decorative wood trusses down the barn aisle that give it a kind of Colorado lodge feel. It’s almost like it’s someone’s home, but it’s a barn.”

Each stall has its own grooming caddy built into the wall. Opened almost like a medicine cabinet, the grooming caddy stores all of the personal effects and medications for each individual horse, and then folds back into the wall, rendering it invisible.

“We’ve done barns in the past that have a high level of detail,” Scott Redish adds, “but this is one of the first projects we’ve done in a long while that has allowed us to go the extra mile on the aesthetic details.  We’d like to do that more, but there’s a cost involved in that. These particular customers wanted to take that extra step.  They wanted something that would blow you away when you walk in.”

Form and function

Not only is it a beautiful facility, it is one of the most functional facilities Redish Construction has helped to design, and they credit Tom McCutcheon’s vision for that.

“It had to be a facility that had to work, and something that would last. These stalls will get a lot of use,” Stacey Redish explains, “and they had to be able to take the beatings that horse barns get.”

All of the stalls in the mare barn, for example, are concrete block, and the mare barn is concrete tilt. The show-barn stalls are also concrete block with the rock front.

When McCutcheon first approach the Redishes with his idea, one thing was certain. He wanted it to be the top equine facility in the area.

Even so, once the planning started, it was almost a snowball effect as initial plans had aspects that could be improved on and on-going inspiration led to ways to make the facility even more luxurious.

“When we first started, we didn’t know they wanted to do a wood ceiling,” Stacey starts, but Scott quickly interjects, “I don’t think they knew that either. Tom came to us with an idea, and we put the design together. Once the building starting going up, that’s when the details began to evolve.”

The architectural design is what makes this facility shine, the Redishes say. The engineering aspects of most barns in their area tend to create a boxy look, but this facility is architecturally beautiful, inside and out. They say other clients and acquaintances offer praise for the building’s exterior aspects, but Scott Redish says those views don’t begin to compare to the inside of the building.

“The building turned out to be exactly what we thought it would be,” Tom McCutcheon says.  “This thing is built to last a long time. Everything was custom-made. There is no prefab anywhere. And our customers love it.”

The builders love it, too.  “It was one of the most enjoyable projects we worked on, start to finish,” says Stacey Redish. It’s fun to work with a customer who wants the flexibility to let you run with the project.”

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