Alvin Fults is a busy man. During the workweek he spends his time operating his trading firm Tejas Trading in his hometown of Amarillo, Texas. And when he’s not working the markets he spends his time looking after his stable of competition cutting horses, including his prize champion Metallic Cat.

But life can’t be all work and no play. And when Fults and his wife, Becky and sons, Colton, 13, and Cade, eight, look to unwind, they turn their attention to Grand Lake and their summer home in the Buffalo Shores addition just outside of Grove.

“It’s our little piece of heaven when we get to come up there,” Fults said.

So how is it that a Texas boy wound up with a place on Grand Lake?

“I happened to attend college at NEO there in Miami in the late eighties,” Fults said. “I loved the area. My folks (Benny and Betty Fults) came up (from Amarillo) to visit me there and they liked the area so much that they bought a ranch over in Little Kansas.”

During his time at NEO Fults was involved with the roping team and driving to Little Kansas to visit his parents gave him an idea.

“In order for me to get to Little Kansas from NEO I had to go through Grove,” Fults said. “And I’d go over Sail Boat Bridge and Honey Creek Bridge and I told myself that one of these days I was going to own a place on the lake.”

Today that dream has become a reality.

“I’d like to spend 100 percent of my time on the lake but I don’t get to,” Fults said. “We try to spend around three months a year up there.”

Fults’ work with Tejas Trading keeps him occupied when he is away from the lake.

“We’re strictly commodities,” Fults said of his company. “We trade futures; cattle futures, corn, pork bellies, and those type of things.”

Like all businesses Fults’ company has been affected by the recent economic trends.

“It’s (current economy) affected the cattle market,” Fults said. “It’s kind of blindsided the cattle market from where we were to where we are now.

“Everything has been affected; the only thing that’s any good is gold,” Fults said with a laugh.

“We feel that we’re turning the corner,” Fults added. “We’ve seen the worst and it’s darkest before the dawn and we believe it’s pretty dark outside so the next move is up.”

Even if Fults has a bad day on the market he has one investment that has continually produced excellent results and that’s his competition cutting horse Metallic Cat.

In December Metallic Cat won the National Cutting Horse Association World Championship Futurity in Fort Worth. The event is dubbed the “Kentucky Derby” of the sport and besides the prestige of a first place finish, the victory brought a check for $250,000.

Fults’ involvement with cutting horses stems from a lifelong love of the animals.

“I had been in roping for a long time but a few years ago I injured my arm in a roping accident so I couldn’t do it anymore,” Fults said. “After that I started looking into cutting horses.”

Fults modestly downplays the success of Metallic Cat- “We just got lucky and found a great horse” – but conservative market estimates place the value of the animal in the seven-figure range, taking into account his stud future.

Metallic Cat is trained and ridden by Beau Galyean a native of Ardmore, Oklahoma who now resides in Amarillo.

“He’s the trainer and rider,” Fults said. “I’m strictly the owner. He (Galyean) has a grand-daddy that lives about an hour from Grove over in Arkansas.”

Fults’ rise to the top of the cutting horse world has been sudden and dramatic but his demeanor is one of a polite, country, gentleman-rancher that belies his success.

Part of that success is being able to live the good life three months out of the year on beautiful Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.