First Cow Horse Champion for High School Rodeo

One hundred contestants vied for the inaugural reined cow horse championship at the 2015 National High School Finals Rodeo.

From the National Reined Cow Horse Association

Wyatt Fisher won the inaugural reined cow horse championship at the 2015 National High School Finals Rodeo aboard Nu Cash Cutter. (Credit: Stephanie Duquette)

For the first time in the event's 67-year history, the National High School Finals Rodeo featured reined cow horse as one of its events. Seventeen-year-old Wyatt Fisher of Nipomo, California, won the inaugural reined cow horse championship Friday, July 17, in Rock Springs, Wyoming.

"I'm still in shock. It's a great feeling. My horse was great," Fisher said, smiling, as he accepted his awards and stood alongside 19 other reined cow horse short-go qualifiers for a group photo.

With approximately 100 contestants competing in reined cow horse at the National High School Finals Rodeo, it is believed to be the largest youth cow horse class ever held at any event.  

Fisher, who has a strong background as a National Reined Cow Horse Association youth competitor, appreciated the tough competition and the skill of his fellow contestants, many of whom he had never met or shown against.

"In the first go-round, it was pretty scary. I didn't know there was going to be this kind of horseflesh. It was wonderful – I was happy to see it, though."

Fisher rode Nu Cash Cutter (Smart Cash Cutter-Nu Cashlynn Rose by Nu Cash), a 2004 gelding owned by his parents, JJ and Teresa Fisher, to the title. He thanked his mom and dad, who are both avid reined cow horse competitors, as well as NRCHA professional trainers Russell Probert and Justin Wright.

The reined cow horse champion was determined by the total score on three go-rounds. Of the 100 contestants, the top 20 after two go-rounds advanced to the short go. Fisher was in the top four in the first go; won the second go; and also won the short go, which gave him the championship with a total score of 885. Fisher's prizes included Gist custom buckles for the top placings in the go-rounds and the championship, and a special trophy from the National Reining Horse Association for the top rein work score, a 146.5, in the short go.

Reined cow horse was added to the National High School Rodeo event lineup in 2014. The NRCHA has helped the NHSRA implement the new event over the past year, with support from leading sponsor Carol Rose Quarter Horses, as well as Bluebonnet Feeds and Jerry Kimmel.

Rose, who was on hand in Rock Springs to cheer on the reined cow horse contestants, was impressed by the grit and horsemanship of all the contestants.

"I was just amazed by what I saw in the arena. Those kids are phenomenal riders, and I was whooping and hollering for every single one of them. I am so proud to be a part of this, and I believe it will be great for the future of our sport," Rose said.

For more information about the National High School Finals Rodeo, including complete results, visit www.nhsra.com.