True to form, the National Reined Cow Horse Association World's Greatest Horseman Championship Saturday, Feb. 22 in Fort Worth, Texas, came down to the very last fence run. The showdown in Cowtown ended with Spearman, Texas, professional Boyd Rice capturing the $25,000 World's Greatest Horseman Championship by a half-point aboard Oh Cay N Short (Oh Cay Quixote x Bit Of Shorty x Shorty Lena). His composite 877.5 score on four events (226 herd/214.5 rein/221 steer stopping/216 cow) earned the coveted World's Greatest Horseman title.
"He's so seasoned, and so good in all four events. He's a special horse," Rice said. In 2007, he won the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship aboard Oh Cay N Short, who was owned at the time by Kevin and Sydney Knight. The horse was the Knights' Christmas gift to Rice in 2012, and last year, he piloted the 2003 gelding to the Reserve World's Greatest Horseman.
The Championship came with a $25,000 check; a Bob's Custom Saddle and Gist buckle from World's Greatest Horseman title sponsor Kalpowar Quarter Horses; a CR Morrison Trophy sponsored by Chris Dawson; a gift card from Santa Cruz Biotechnologies; a Farnam prize packet; custom ostrich boots form Rios of Mercedes; a monogrammed saddle pad from Classic Equine; and a frame from Veda's Custom Framing.
"It felt like coming home," Rice said, describing how he felt about winning the World's Greatest Horseman title in the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, where he has shown cutting horses for decades. "There's so much history here for me, I couldn't imagine having it anywhere other than in this building, with all the great horses that have come in here and showed," he said.
Rice's score held up against a valiant fence run by the Reserve World's Greatest Horseman, Bobby Lewis, Overbrook, Okla. He and his stallion, Dual Spark (Dual Pep x Dolittle Lena x ) were last to work down the fence and needed a 223.5 to move Rice from the top spot. Lewis and the buckskin stallion put it all on the line with a gritty performance that fell just a half-point short of the championship.