NRCHA World’s Greatest Horseman Champion Crowned

Corey Cushing Guides Sonita Lena Rey to the DT Horses and Hashtags World’s Greatest Horseman Championship 
After 10 thrilling days of non-stop reined cow horse action, the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s Celebration of Champions concluded on Saturday, February 23, from Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas. After four grueling phases of the DT Horses and Hashtags World’s Greatest Horseman, it was Corey Cushing riding Sonita Lena Rey (Dual Rey x Sonita Lena Chick) who emerged victorious in front of a sell-out, standing-room-only crowd. Cushing won a plethora of first-rate awards and a check for $40,000 thanks to Finals scores of 212 out of the herd, 217 in the reined work, 223 in the steer stopping and 225 on the cow. Cushing and Sonita Lena Rey, who is owned by Sheri Jamieson and was bred by Jim Holmes, achieved the highest scores of the steer stopping and fence work portions of the Finals. The team fought their way up from the last qualifying hole into the Finals in order to snag the win. This marks Cushing’s second World’s Greatest Horseman title.  

Boyd Rice riding Royal Smart Fletch (Royal Fletch x Little Smart Ginger) took an early lead with a spectacular 222 in the cutting, which was held in Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. Next came the reined work in the John Justin Arena where it was eventual reserve champions Rubys Radar (One Time Pepto x Ruby Bagonia) owned by C Ranches, Inc., and ridden by Zane Davis who took the round win with a 224. 

Texas Lighting World’s Greatest Youth Horseman

In addition to all the excitement of the DT Horses and Hashtags World’s Greatest Horseman, the Texas Lighting World’s Greatest Youth Horseman featured promising young riders competing on the big stage alongside their idols. A finals for the top six youth riders was held immediately following the World’s Greatest Horseman Steer Stopping to determined the champion.

Trevor Hale rode Survive These Lips (CD Survivor x Lipschic) to a 723-point composite to earn the inaugural Texas Lighting World’s Greatest Youth Horseman title and $2,430.

Hale had high praise for “Lippy,” a 2008 mare that has been his partner for the past four years.

“I got her through Brad Lund and Brad and Todd Crawford have helped me a lot with her,” said Hale. “I’ve been preparing for a while, we started preparing ever since we learned we could enter it. I’ve had a lot of good help along the way. For this event I had to just work on all the parts—the steer stopping, cutting, down the fence and the reined work. I just tried to get through all the events without any mistakes. We came in here in the cow work and I was a little behind and I knew I needed to come in and lay down the best run that I could, and luckily it all worked out.”

National High School Rodeo Challenge
As part of the NRCHA’s commitment to the youth of the reined cow horse industry, the National High School Rodeo Challenge also took place today. The invitation-only competition featured contestants who placed among the top 20 at the 2018 National High School Finals Rodeo Reined Cow Horse competition. Addison Coutts rode Peppys Please (Chic Please x Peppys Lena Limerick) to the win with an outstanding score of 290.

Intercollegiate Rodeo Challenge
Winning the Non Pro Division of the Intercollegiate Challenge was Josh Briggs with 16 points riding for North Central Texas College. In the Limited Division it was Brenna Braddock riding for West Texas to earn 16 points. The Novice Division champion was Monty Sperry who earned 15 points for North Central Texas College. North Central Texas College earned the Overall Team Championship with 46 points accrued by team members Joshua C. Briggs, Rieta May Dufurrena, and Monty Sperry.