Cross Country Skier Credits Horse Trainer Baffert for Success

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Issue #37

Kutler takes her turn with the whip.
MIDWAY, UT "I'd like to take the credit, but it was all Katie," explains horse trainer Bob Baffert, while petting cross country skier Katie Kutler on the head. "No, Bob, broke me in," counters Kutler. "Before I didn't have the stamina and energy necessary to excel at the sport. It's all about endurance in cross country skiing."

Kutler, a gold medal winner, and Baffert met last year at a ski slope in Vale Colorado, where the noted horse trainer was vacationing. "Katie told me all about how she admired horses as beautiful and graceful animals," explains Baffert. "When I told her that I was a trainer, we quickly found a common ground and our personalities clicked. The next thing I knew, I was teaching her."

Baffert put Kutler on an all oats diet. "At first, I found myself ripping off my jumpsuit over and over again in a rush to the bathroom," notes Kutler. "But I got used to the extra fiber." Diet aside, her trainer believes his sport is very akin to Kutler's.

"Cross country skiing and your average Kentucky Derby take the same kind of skills to master. You need every muscle movement to result in the maximum possible amount of advancement, whether its across the snow or around a track."

That's why Baffert enlisted jockey Jorge Chavez to help. "If I didn't have Jorge strapped to my back through all those practice runs, I just don't think I'd be ready for what lied ahead," admits a teary eyed Kutler. "The extra load helped me gain strength. As soon as I got onto the snow for the first time with Jorge off my back, I felt like I could scale mountains on these skis of mine."

More importantly for Kutler, the training program brought her love: she and Jorge Chavez plan to wed in June. "Jorge knows me better than any other man," notes the skier. "At first, I could never imagine that a man strapped onto my back and then to my heart, but that's what's great about love, it comes when you least expect it in some of the places you'd least expect."

Luscious Rosenbaum says Yeehaa!

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