Team Purple: The American Performance Horseman

Team Purple: The American Performance Horseman

Corey Cushing, Wes Galyean and Andrea Fappani make up Team Purple. See the pedigrees and earnings for their primary and reserve horses.

The American Performance Horseman 2023 Team Purple consists of Wesley Galyean, Andrea Fappani and Corey Cushing.

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The American Quarter Horse Journal logo

By Becky Newell

If the names of the riders on Team Purple don’t make you sit up and take notice, then their horsepower will definitely get your attention. Wes Galyean’s primary horse is Third Edge, who was the reserve champion at the 2022 National Cutting Horse Association Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Open and was the 2022 NCHA horse of the year. One of Corey Cushing's horses, SJR Diamond Rey, is the horse his son son an AQHYA world championship on last year. And Andrea Fappani’s primary horse is Trash Talkin Spook, with whom Andrea was reserve champion at the 2022 Run for a Million. These riders’ three primary horses have career earnings in excess of $700,000; the riders themselves boast career earnings of more than $14 million. Purple is the color of royalty. These guys could get the crown at the first The American Performance Horseman.

Cutting: Wes Galyean

LTE: $4,588,025

Wes and wife Kristen Galyean own and operate Wes Galyean Cutting Horses in Claremore, Oklahoma. His accomplishments include NCHA Open Futurity champion, NCHA Open Futurity reserve champion and champion of multiple major aged events. At the 2022 NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Open, Wes and his brother, Beau, marked identical 229s to share the championship. 

Third Edge

Third Edge and Wes Galyean

Wes Galyean and Third Edge. PHOTO: Seth Petit, courtesy of NCHA

2018 red roan stallion (Metallic Rebel-Lil Rattler by Dual Rey)
QData earnings: $241,681; 2022 NCHA Super Stakes 4-Year-Old Open reserve champion; 2022 NCHA Open Horse of the Year; 
Breeder: Steven Feiner/SMF Cutting Horses of Aspen, Colorado
Owner: Teton Ridge of Weatherford, Texas

2022 NCHA Summer Spectacular 4-Year-Old Open champion Breeder Steven Feiner of SMF Cutting Horses named the horse for his best friend, Greg Harms. The horse’s registered name played off Greg’s Alaska-based heli-skiing company, Third Edge Heli, and his barn name became “Harms.” When Greg died in a helicopter accident, the emotional value of this horse skyrocketed. “Harms was a great, cool guy that everyone loved. Everybody is rooting for this horse, so it was a real emotional deal,” Wes said.

“He’s an extremely dynamic horse that can do things that other horses can’t do,” Wes says. “When he’s on his game, he really gives us an advantage, and that really helps us get to the top. He’s the most talented individual that I have.”

Catolena Cashin In

2017 sorrel stallion (Reyzin The Cash-Dual Catolena by High Brow Cat)
QData earnings: $297,803
Breeder-Owner: Joel Colgrove Sr. of Boligee, Alabama

Reined Cow Horse: Corey Cushing

LTE: $3,052,711.27

A horseman from Scottsdale, Arizona, Corey Cushing is a five-time AQHA working cow horse world champion, a two-time working cow horse reserve world champion and has a reserve world title in junior reining. He has earned more than 2,500 AQHA open performance points. Corey became the youngest National Reined Cow Horse Association million-dollar rider in 2012. Corey is a three-time winner of the NRCHA World's Greatest Horseman competition, an NRCHA Million-Dollar Rider and two-time NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity open champion. Corey is passing his success off to the next generation, as his son Caleb won the 2022 AQHYA world championship in boxing aboard SJR Diamond Rey, who is Corey's secondary horse.

Good Time

2011 chestnut gelding (One Time Pepto-Dual Nurse by Dual Pep)
QData earnings: $123,420; 2014 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Champion; 2014 NSHA Open Futurity- 5th Place;  2017 Stallion Stakes Open Two Rein Spectacular- 3rd Place; 2022 NRCHA Youth Boxing World Champion
Breeder: Cindy Smith of Capitan, New Mexico
Owner: Corey and Kristen Cushing of Scottsdale, Arizona


SJR Diamond Rey

2012 chestnut gelding (Dual Rey-Shiners Diamond Girl by Shining Spark)
QData earnings: $76,837; 2022 AQHYA boxing world champion; 2016 NRCHA Open Stallion Stakes Champion; 2016 NRCHA Open Derby- 3rd Place; 2015 NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Finalist
Breeder: San Juan Ranch of Weatherford, Texas
Owner: Corey and Kristen Cushing of Scottsdale, Arizona


Reining: Andrea Fappani

LTE: $7 million

AQHA Professional Horseman Andrea Fappani of Scottsdale, Arizona, is a five-time AQHA reining world champion and four-time reserve world champion in reining. Andrea has earned more than 1,800 AQHA open performance points. He was the youngest rider to achieve the National Reining Horse Association Million-Dollar Rider title and is the association's all-time leading rider. Andrea has won the NRHA Open Futurity and the National Reining Breeders Classic Open four times each and the NRHA Open Derby once.

Trash Talkin Spook

Trash Talkin Spook and Andrea Fappani (Photo by Waltenberry, courtesy of NRHA)

2017 chestnut stallion (Gunnatrashya-I Spook by Smart Spook)
QData earnings: $154,771; 2022 Run for a Million reserve champion
Breeder: Vicki Lyn Dias of Clements, California
Owner: Wright Reining LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona
“Every time I pick a horse for a major event, I let the horse tell me and try not to put too much thinking behind it,” Andrea says. “On an event like this, I don’t try to play it safe. We put ourselves in a position to win it. Trash Talkin Spook was reserve at the Run for a Million last year by half a point, marked a 234. I’ve got some great horses in the barn. That was my highest score last year, and I think he can do it again this year and maybe even score better.”

Starjac Vintage

2016 palomino stallion (A Sparkling Vintage-Starjac Miss by Hollywood Jac 86)
QData earnings: $172,769; 2022 High Roller Reining Level 4 Open Classic Derby champion; 2022 Reining by the Bay Level 4 Open Derby reserve champion;
Breeder: Petra Zeitler of Thierstein, Germany
Owner: Teton Ridge of Weatherford, Texas

The American Performance Horseman, which will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, will be broadcast on Teton+ on March 10. Use promo code AQHA23 to save 25% on tickets at