Dean Holden and Willys The Boss
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by Larri Jo StarkeyThe American Quarter Horse Journal
After the scores were all tallied, there was a tie for first place in the cutting finals at the 2010 AQHA World Championship Show.
Don Perkins of Flint, Texas, and Dean Holden of Marietta, Oklahoma, would need to work off their two horses November 11 after tying at 216.5.
Don rode first on Suns Highball, and Dean followed on Willys The Boss. “Willy” was working at a bit of a disadvantage: He was in a trailer accident about a month ago.
That wasn’t apparent in his workoff, though. Willy dipped and dived his way to a 215, good enough for the win.
“It was tough,” Dean said. “He really had to do some hard stuff in my second run. There was a high degree of difficulty. My first cow was super, and my second cow was a rerun, and it was really tough. I was really proud of him. He had to really hustle and catch a cow.
“He’s a fun horse to ride. He’s quick, he’s a great stopper. He makes me look like I know what I’m doing. I’m thankful to God that he sent that horse to me.”
Dean was reserve world champion in amateur cutting in 2005, 2006 and 2007, but he won’t agree that he was due for a win.
“I’m thankful to be here,” he said. “Anything can happen in cutting. That horse was in a trailer wreck about a month ago, and I’m just lucky to have him. A fellow fell asleep at the wheel and ran into the back of my trailer. He was on the back of the trailer, and it caved the back of the trailer in on him. He got a little scratch on his back fetlock, but he was – it was a miracle.”
Dean qualified two horses to the finals – Willy and MK Dual San – but he didn’t think it was an advantage to have two goes at the herd.
“I made a bad cattle selection on my first horse. It’s always hard to show your second horse when you have a wreck on your first horse,” he said, adding with a laugh. “I just knew I was going home. All week, I kept telling myself that I might be going home with 11th and 12th place with no money.”
Instead, he’s going home with a world championship trophy and an uninjured horse.