Russell was raised in the San Joaquin Valley of California and worked on ranches throughout Arizona, California, Nevada and Australia bull catching. Before transitioning to training full time, he cowboyed and started colts under legendary cow horse trainer Greg Ward. The Wynnewood, Oklahoma, trainer was named World’s Greatest Horseman in 2008, 2009 and 2011, making him the only trainer to have earned the title three times. Carrying him to all of those titles was Topsails Rien Maker, the first cow horse to become a Breyer model. Dilday also won the 2012 Grand National Horse Show and the 2015 NRCHA Derby in addition to being a finalist at many other major National Reined Cow Horse Association and National Stock Horse Association events.