About Us

About Us

The Ranch

Cottonwood Creek Ranch LLC training facility has a large main barn with a total of 24 stalls, which includes a 60′ x 125′ indoor arena under one roof, complete with a viewing area. Nicknamed, “The Cantina”, it features two large windows looking into the arena, so guests never have to leave the comforts of the climate controlled indoor lounge. “The Cantina” includes a fireplace, refrigerator, bar and microwave. The property also boasts a large lighted outdoor arena (120′ x 200′) with a lovely gazebo adorning center ring, white vinyl fenced paddocks and multi-acre pastures with sheds. A white fenced 8-acre trail runs the outskirts of the main pastures and it connects to a track the follows the outdoor arena.

A second main barn with additional 60′ x 125′ indoor arena was added in 2012. This barn is the new lesson barn complete with a large party room, viewing lounge, office, staff quarters, tack room, storage and additional oversized stalls. It has a lovely guest room to spare our out of town customers the hassle and costs of hotels.

Indoor ArenaA 72′ Kraft free-flow horse exerciser can work up to eight horses at once with a state-of-the-art programable touch-screen computer and specialized workouts. The Kraft Walker will walk, trot and canter horses in either direction for specified amounts of time.

Two other barns house our overflow horses and broodmares, and with the addition of our newest barn, this grand facility houses a total of 50 stalls. Each stall is kept heavily bedded in shavings and includes automatic horse waters, automatic fly spray systems, stall mats, high velocity fans, and large individual tack lockers for boarders to keep their own tack and belongings near the grooming area.

The entire Cottonwood Creek Ranch Training Facility is under video recorded surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the comfort and safety of our clients and equine partners.

Meet the Team

Kelly Kraegel

Kelly Kraegel

Owner/Trainer/Show Instructor

Kelly Kraegel has built a thriving business through hard work and groundbreaking accomplishments in the horse industry. In 2016, she became the first professional to train both the ASB Open Western Pleasure World Grand Champion and the Morgan Open Western Pleasure World Champion in the same year. She is also a USEF “r” Morgan judge and is working toward advancing to her “R” status.

World ChampionshipKelly’s positive training methods and dedication have taken herself and her customers to over 100 World and Grand National and Reserve Championships. She has given clinics all over the United States and Canada, and was voted the 2011, 2013 and 2014 Horse World’s People’s Choice Instructor of the Year, as well as voted the 2013 AMHA Promoter of the Year. She has been featured in articles for The Morgan Horse Magazine, The International Morgan Connection and Horse World Magazine. On a local level, Cottonwood Creek Ranch was voted 2015 & 2016 Best of Guthrie Awards for Ranches. She loves her job, her customers and her horses and her bubbly personality and attention to detail creates a successful environment.

World Cup Team 2015

2015 World Cup Team

One of her proudest accomplishments was serving as the coach for the 2015 Young Riders World Cup team in South Africa. Her dedication took the team to the top of EVERY gold medal offered—3-Gaited Team, 3-Gaited Individual, 5-Gaited Team and 5-Gaited Individual.

Kelly was born and raised in Southern California. In 2002, she held the title of Miss Rodeo California. She was First Runner Up to Miss Rodeo America 2003, and also won Miss Photogenic and Miss Appearance. She also hosted a Country Music Show for three seasons on the Outdoor Channel, called “Out in the Country”, where she interviewed music artists every week and introduced videos for many top country artists. She has modeled for magazine’s such as Cowboys and Indians and Western World Cup Kurt & KellyHorsemen and is frequently featured in television commercials for local businesses with her beautiful horses (visit our CCR In The Media page). Kelly now has her Commercial Driver’s License to drive her Peterbilt tractor and 15 horse Streamliner trailer, and even has a concealed carry handgun license. Besides her love for horses, Kelly has a pilot’s license and has logged over 110 hours. To add to her list of accomplishments, Kelly is Scuba certified and she is proud to have enjoyed diving the three largest reefs in the world.

In January of 2009, Kelly’s daughter Emmy was born. Now most of her time away from the barn is spent enjoying her daughter.

Alex Albrecht

Alex Albrecht

Assistant Trainer/Instructor

Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Alex has been riding and showing horses for as long as she can remember. She excelled in the Saddle Seat Equitation division at some of the toughest shows in the country, including the Kentucky State Fair Saddlebred World Championships, Midwest Charity and the American Royal, just to name a few.

Alex AlbrechtShe started out as a riding instructor at a prestigious farm in Wisconsin when she was just 16 years old, and specialized in the tiny tots (ages 4-6). She helped to grow the tiny tot program there and eventually began to teach students of all ages. She moved to Oklahoma when she was 19 to pursue horse training and worked for Kelly at Cottonwood Creek for almost two years.

She has held many positions at multiple barns in both Oklahoma and Wisconsin. She loves teaching riding lessons to all ages and especially enjoys special events, like our Barn Birthday Parties and visits from both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scout troops in our area.

Alex now teaches Hunt Seat, Western and Saddle Seat here at Cottonwood Creek Ranch. Lessons are available after school and on Saturdays and Summer Camps are added to the mix during Summer School break as well.

Kurt Hufferd

Kurt Hufferd

Head Trainer

Kurt Hufferd was born into a show horse family, and worked for and with several prominent names in the horse training business. Originally from Indiana, he spent time learning the finer points of horsemanship with World Champion Saddlebred trainers Mitch Clark, John Conaster and the late Redd Crabtree before accepting the position of Trainer/Manager at Russell & Jeanette Quilhot’s Indian Creek Farm in Columbia City, Indiana in 1996. For 20 years, Kurt enjoyed success with such great Morgan horses as Cache, FRF Centerfold, Another World, Indian Creek Quantico, Springmill Encore, Springmill Sequel, Jackrabbit Slim, MEM The Patriot, Long Acres Broadway, NDT French Impressionist, MEM Exotica, Springmill New Harmony, Indian Creek American Girl, Indian Creek Warbird, Springmill Stardust GCH, Indian Creek Bellagio, Indian Creek High Stakes, MEM Chill Factor, Indian Creek Miss Margret, Stny Pt Harlequin Romance, Kurt HufferdSpringmill Superstition GCH, Indian Creek Cachet, Indian Creek Highlander, Indian Creek Belle Haven, Trebles High End Piece, Springmill Love Shaq, FCM No Boundaries, Indian Creek Mastermind, Indian Creek Recordbreaker, Indian Creek Triple Play, and countless others. He is also the only Morgan trainer to have won all four World Champion Two Year Old Park Harness and Pleasure Driving in the same year—Open and Futurity—and he’s done this twice. The first time in 2008 and most recently in 2015, when he also won back to back victories in World Champion Three Year Old Park Saddle and World Champion Futurity Three Year Old Park Saddle.

Regal's Double Trouble LFHe has also had success with American Saddlebreds, including The Regalist and CH Stonecutter, as well as with the many-time champion harness pony Cherry Royal. His current pint-size star is the many-time champion road pony Regal’s Double Trouble LF, who has won the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony Under Saddle probably more times than any other pony, piloted to this honor by his owner Kinslie Dougherty at the AHHS Youth Medallion Finals, UPHA Chapter 5, Oklahoma Centennial, Central States Benefit, All American Classic and many other venues.

While Kurt is thoroughly capable to lead an in hand horse or present under saddle, he is probably most admired for his outstanding harness horses, whose brilliant performances are picture perfect and frequently find him at the top of his class. Kurt joined the Cottonwood Creek team in the fall of 2015 and has been an integral member since he first donned his cowboy boots and hung his hat at our door.

Melissa Swain

Melissa Swain

Riding Instructor

Melissa began riding and showing Saddle Seat on American Saddlebreds at the tender age of five years old. She competed very heavily and was able to travel all over the country, competing in such prestigious venues as the World’s Grand Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville multiple times, under the instruction of Marsha and Gary Garone of Fairfield South.
Melissa Swain She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 2015 with a degree in Equine Management. In May of 2015, she moved from Wilbraham, Massachusetts to Guthrie, Oklahoma and started as an assistant trainer at Cottonwood Creek Ranch. Currently, Melissa is working on building the lesson program and bringing more people into our wonderful Morgan and Saddlebred breeds.
Melissa Swain