World's Greatest Horseman

Corey Cushing and PRF Spoonful Of Gold conquer four events to claim the World's Greatest Horseman title.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Corey Cushing wins the 2015 World's Greatest Horseman competition on PRF Spoonful Of Gold for owner Cathy Corrigan Frank. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from the event, scroll through the slideshow below.

Corey Cushing got out of bed with determination February 21.

After a week of preliminaries, Corey and PRF Spoonful Of Gold had qualified for the 10-horse finals in the National Reined Cow Horse Association World’s Greatest Horseman competition.

“Going into this day, I had nothing but faith in my horse,” Corey said. “I knew he could be a star in all the events.”

The World’s Greatest Horseman includes four events: herd work, similar to cutting; reined work, similar to reining; steer stopping, similar to heading; and cow work, similar to the cow work portion of a working cow horse run.

The day started with herd work, and Corey and “Rock Star” scored a 222 to slide into second place in the standings. After getting the high score of 226 in the reined work, they were in the overall lead, a spot they held onto through the next two events.

“I’ve always believed in him,” Corey said. “Tonight, he really proved it for me. This is something I’ve always dreamed of. Some of my biggest heroes have won this.”

PRF Spoonful Of Gold is a 2008 sorrel stallion by Hes A Peptospoonful and out of Sons Miss Sprat by Sons Rushette. He was bred by Michael E. Schraeder of Tomball, Texas, and is owned by Cathy Corrigan Frank of Phoenix.

“I bought him as a 4-year-old with Corey Cushing’s blessing,” Cathy said. “He’s just wonderful. We love him. He’s beautiful. He’s very good-minded, and he’s a joy to be around.”

Every day, the horse gives his best, Corey said, including in front of a nearly full John Justin Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

“He’s great in the reining, he’s great out of the herd, he’s been excellent in the steer stopping – he’s fantastic,” Corey said. “I can’t say enough great things about him and his owner, Cathy Frank. She was my very first customer, and I sure hope she’s one of my last.”

Cathy, a longtime AQHA amateur pleasure driver and 30-year breeder, doesn’t ride in working cow horse herself.

“Corey has been trying to get me to do it for the last couple of years, but cows are so unpredictable,” she said. “They scare the tar out of me. I might try boxing.”

Cathy kept up with the World’s Greatest Horseman competition through the webcast and through text updates from Corey’s wife, Kristen, and from Laurel Walker Denton.

“I only watched him (on the webcast),” Cathy said. “Cows are just so unpredictable and dumb. It’s hard enough being in an arena with two thinking minds, you and your horse. When you add the nonthinking mind of the cow, it’s more than my little heart can handle.”

When Corey suggested entering World’s Greatest, Cathy said OK.

“It’s never been disappointing,” she said.

For the win, Corey and Rock Star picked up a check for $25,000 to add to his NRCHA earnings of $58,911. .

Second place in the competition went to Dom Dualuise, a 2007 sorrel gelding with Phillip Ralls aboard. Dom Dualuise is by Dual Rey and out of Smart Little XX by Smart Little Lena. He was bred by Bettina Jary-Mathis of Dripping Springs, Texas, and is owned by Christian C. Larson of Park City, Utah. He has almost $131,600 in NRCHA earnings.

The 2014 winner of the World’s Greatest Horseman, Oh Cay N Short with his owner Boyd Rice aboard, was third. Oh Cay N Short has $25,300 in National Cutting Horse Association earnings, $7,630 in earnings from the World Show and $193,057 in NRCHA earnings. The 2004 bay gelding is by Oh Cay Quixote and out of Bit Of Shorty by Shorty Lena. He was bred by Patricia Frerichs of Ogden, Illinois.

The World's Greatest Horseman competition is part of the NRCHA Celebration of Champions, which began with the Aaron Ranch Cow Horse Classic Derby, continued with the national championships and concluded with the World's Greatest Horseman.