It was an emotional win for National Reined Cow Horse Association Million Dollar Rider and two-time Snaffle Bit Futurity Champion Corey Cushing, as the Scottsdale, Arizona horseman rode Cathy Corrigan Frank's PRF Spoonful Of Gold (Hes A Peptospoonful x Sons Miss Sprat x Sons Rushette) to the Kalpowar World's Greatest Horseman Championship.
Cushing jumped out to an early lead in the composite after two events, marking a 222 in the herd work and winning the rein work round with a 226. He scored another 222 in the steer-stopping, with a moment of finesse as he waited for his rope to fall completely over the steer’s head before dallying and letting his horse go to the ground. Cushing still held the lead after three events, and secured the Championship with a 219 in the fence work.
The Kalpowar World’s Greatest Horseman Championship paid $25,000 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle and Gist buckle sponsored by Kalpowar Quarter Horses; a C.R. Morrison Trophy sponsored by NRCHA Official Videographer Equine Promotion; a gift card from Santa Cruz Animal Health; custom ostrich boots from Rios of Mercedes; a prize packet from Farnam; a gift certificate from Platinum Performance; and a monogrammed saddle pad from Classic Equine.
Cushing and the horse known around the barn as “Rock Star” won the hearts of the packed house in the John Justin arena, earning big ovations as they built steadily toward the coveted World’s Greatest Horseman title.
Youth Limited Champion
Madelyn Gosselin rode Shiners Little Peppy (Shining Spark x Little Jalapeppy) to the Youth Limited Championship with a composite 431.5 score (216 rein/215.5 cow). The Championship paid $1,050 and came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle from the NRCHA; a $1,250 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation, a Gist buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn, boots from Rios of Mercedes, a gift certificate from Platinum Performance, and a World Finals jacket from Hickory Holly Time and Gardiner Quarter Horses.
The Youth Limited Championship came down to the judge’s reviews at the end. When asked about her win, Gosselin said, “I definitely wasn’t expecting it! It wouldn’t have mattered, I would have been happy either way. I didn’t wish to redo my run. I was happy with my horse. This is definitely awesome!”
Gosselin’s grandparents had horses and from the time she was a toddler, and according to her grandpa, she was in love with the horses, and “had horses on the brain” even than galloping around the coffee table with her hair in a ponytail watching Man from Snowy River.
Madelyn is thankful for all her support, her parents, her family, and her coach Travis Rempel. This is Gosselin’s 2nd year showing in the Cow Horse, and her 3rd year with Shiners Little Peppy. She plans on going down the fence this year, and continuing to show in the cow horse and cutting events.
Youth Bridle Champion
Kelly Valdez, La Junta, Colo., won the Youth Bridle World Championship aboard MH Bold Intentions (Bodee Boonsmal x Freckles Docs Oak), a gelding owned by her parents, Betty Lou & Robert Valdez. She scored a composite score of 437.5 (214.5 rein/223 cow), claiming paychecks totaling $855.
The Championship also came with a Bob’s Custom Saddle sponsored by the Beaty family; a Gist Buckle sponsored by Smart Boons/Eric & Wendy Dunn; a $2,000 scholarship from the NRCHA Foundation; boots from Rios of Mercedes, gift certificates from Platinum Performance and Santa Cruz Animal Health, and a World Finals jacket sponsored by Hickory Holly Time/Gardiner Quarter Horses.
Valdez began showing MH Bold Intentions several years ago.
“This is my mom’s horse. She shows him in the bridle. He loves working the cow. He makes the same run every time. He is a pretty easy ride,” she said. “We’ve always loved him, my mom showed him and got 2nd at the AQHA, World Show Two Rein Champion”. “He’s just been a great horse, we’ve both done really good on him.”
Valdez described her run: “It was good, it was fun, we were going fast. He pretty much just did it himself. He’s good on a cow.”
Valdez, also an avid National High School Rodeo competitor, receives help and coaching from her mom and from NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Don Murphy. The multi-tasking young rider started showing when she was 8.
“I love running barrels, rodeoing and cow horses. I love going down the fence,” she said.
Later this spring, Valdez will start competing in High School Rodeo in Cutting, Cow Horse, Barrels and Roping. MH Bold Intentions does more than just show in the cow horse.
“I rope on him, all our horses have to have two jobs. He’s hard to rope on, and he loves this!”