Cowboy hats aren’t as common in Arlington, Texas as in Weatherford, but on Monday, when I glimpsed a tall man wearing a cowboy hat in Dr. Gayle Karanges’ office, I wasn’t surprised. I figured he was probably a cutter.

Karanges is an optometrist, as well as an avid non-pro competitor, and her clientele include a lot of cutters. The man in the hat turned out to be former National Cutting Horse Association president and trainer Punk Carter.

Carter had just gotten back from Nashville, where he and his brother, Roy, along with Larry Mahan and Tanya Tucker, performed in a music video starring country artist and songwriter Danny Griego. The song is “Walmart Girls” and Carter says that the video, due to be released in October, will be screened to an audience of 45 million at movie theatres across the country.

A recent issue of On Magazine featured an excellent article on Carter and his family four generations of cutters and he gave me a copy. The Carters live north of Dallas in Collin County, the market for On Magazine, which according to its masthead is read by over 100,000 affluent readers.

“I had never seen it before,” admitted Rita, Carter’s wife of 41 years, who celebrated her 60th birthday on Monday. “But when they told us that it goes to every home valued at $350,000 or above, I knew why we hadn’t seen it.” The Carters live in Celina, which still has a small town feel and some modest homes, but Deion Sanders’ $45 million spread is just down the road.

The Carters and their daughters, Colleen, 40, Cassye, 37, and Caimey, 32, all live within five miles of each other. Caimey works with Punk, training horses and teaching beginners, and grandchildren Holden, 14, Macenzye, 14, Madyson, 12, Hollis, 10, Brock, 9, and Baydon, 7, are usually on hand to help with chores.

In addition to training, Punk stays busy as teacher and host to students from all corners of the world. While he was at Karanges’ office, he phoned Rita to tell her to expect two girls, ages 12 and 7, who would arrive from Venezuela that afternoon for a six-day stay. Jur, who has been with the Carters for two months, will return to Slovenia this weekend.

Before they leave for home, all of Carter’s students get to sample his famous “A Cut Above Bar-B-Q Sauce,” which is sold in 12 Sam’s Club stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The recipe had been in the Carter family for more than 50 years, when Punk perfected it 15 years ago, while he was laid up and out of the saddle following back surgery.

“You can use it anywhere you would use catsup or tomato sauce,” Punk noted. Actress Christy Brinkley, a friend and client of the Carters, uses it as salad dressing, straight from the bottle. And Punk says it makes a terrific sauce for boiled shrimp, when mixed with horseradish sauce. You can find out more about it at www.punkcarter.com.