Sean Flynn Trainer Spotlight
Author: Lauren Middleton
Sean Flynn has been in the spotlight time and time again and is known for having some of the most impressive horses in our industry. He is not only an NCHA Hall of Fame Rider but also a family man above all else. Sean was pretty busy during the 2018 Breeder’s Invitational being at the top of the pack from start to finish but we got to sit down with him to get to know him and hear his story!
Sean and LHR Smooth James Rey
Flynn began his career in Australia and grew up participating in many different disciplines including showmanship, reining, pleasure, trail, and the list goes on. He and many other, now prominent, trainers did this, and they usually only had one horse to compete with helping them to perfect their horsemanship skills. Some of his close friends along with his brother Eddie moved to the United States to further their careers, and, as Sean progressed, he began to think about making the move to join them.
Sean and Hott Nu Cowboy
Eddie and John Mitchell convinced Sean that coming to the U.S. would make him even better because he would have to compete against the best of the best in the cutting horse industry. Cutting was growing leaps and bounds as well becoming one of the most profitable equine sports in the U.S. which was also a small consideration in his move. Of course, while talking with Sean, we could tell it was more about the chance to hone his talents and improve his skill, and that drive is always there with him and his family.
Sean and Cool N Hot
As said before, Sean is first and foremost a family man. He and his wife Ashley work as a team. They start at the same time, and, other than normal mom duties, they go throughout their days together. Both he and Ashley are very driven and work hard every day. To be the best in this, you have to be dedicated, and that dedication keeps them focused even through frustrations that are bound to happen in a sport with many ups and downs. There are not many career paths you can take that keep your family together doing what you love every day. This sport also inadvertently teaches us how to handle defeat, how to be humble in success, and bottom line how to work hard to achieve our goals. Sean was quick to highlight these things as lessons kids growing up in the industry can take with them through the years. It is important to him that his daughter Madison and son Ryder can be exposed to all of this, and he knows that it will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Ashley Flynn and LHR Smooth James Rey
Another thing that is important to Sean is the close-knit nature of the industry. We are all here for each other when the going gets tough even though it is such a competitive atmosphere. This is something else that his family can take from being involved in this sport.
Ryder Flynn and "Fergie"
If Sean was not a horse trainer, he honestly does not know what he would be because he has always been involved with horses. He went on to say that he enjoys anything mechanical and does a little bit of hunting from time to time, but his focus has always been with the horses!
Madison Flynn and Cat Man Blue
Sean Flynn is someone we always think of when we think of working hard. He is a perfectionist who creates horses that move beautifully across the pen. All of this did not come without blood, sweat, and tears. It did not come without amazing highs and devastating lows. He put in the time and knows that you have to keep pushing to learn, because you never stop learning. This is the advice he gives to young trainers coming up in the sport. Keep pushing, if this is something you really want then keep pushing. Put in the time, and success will follow. It will not all be success, but that is what sets you up for greatness, how you handle the journey.
Photo by Dawn Baxtrom
We really enjoyed sitting down with Sean and listening to his take on the sport and how he got to where he is today. As always, there is more to the story and much more to learn about this special family. Be sure to check out Sean’s program and visit his profile on Cutting Horse Central. It is an exceptional one to say the least!
Sean and Real Suen