RHAA National Final

Kelsey Mosby repeats at the Ranch Horse Association of America Finals.

Ranch Horse Journal

Kelsey Mosby and Rey To Cool. PHOTO: Andrea Caudill/Ranch Horse Journal

Kelsey Mosby just got finished ordering the trophy saddle she earned at the 2015 Ranch Horse Association of America National Finals, when she rode Boons Hot Tamale to victory. The good news is she knows exactly what she needs now, and can get a jump on ordering the one she won in the 2016 senior horse class on May 14.

The Final was held over three days in Abilene, Texas, in conjunction with the Western Heritage Classic.

Senior Class
Mosby rode Rey To Cool to victory in the senior class, despite trouble in the previous day’s semi-finals.

“I forgot to spin,” she confesses. “So I was just really glad that I was here today…luckily we came in today with a clean slate. And I (made sure I) spun first! Then I just tried to let it all hang out and show.”

Rey To Cool is a 7-year-old gelding by Reys Dual Badger out of the Acres Destiny mare Little Aussie Acre. Bred by Josh and Amy King of Cisco, Texas, Mosby acquired him in 2012.

“He’s not a very big horse, and starting out this season I didn’t think we’d be here right now,” she says. “I guess I should’ve had more faith in him. I’m really proud of him. He’s really fast, and that really pays off in the fence work.”

Mosby works for Wagon Wheel Ranch in Lometa, Texas.

Dusty Burson and Paddys Prince. 

Junior Class (Horses under 6)
Paddys Prince was the king of the Junior Class, taking home the top prize for his breeder/owner Burnett Ranches LLC and his trainer and rider, Dusty Burson.

Burson works for the Four Sixes at Guthrie, Texas, and picked the gelding out as a 2-year-old.

“I just liked the way he looked,” Burson says. “It’s kind of funny – I was the last pick, and I was just happy he was still there when I got there. He’s the one I’d’ve picked first, if I could’ve.”

He says the horse is gentle and good-minded, and fun to ride. Paddys Prince is a Ranching Heritage Challenge-eligible horse, and is by Playin Attraction and out of the Paddys Irish Whiskey mare Cowgirl Paddy.

“I was blessed all week,” Burson says. “I drew a good cow all three runs, my horse did good, and I was sure happy.”




Elizabeth Yeary and Houdini Santana 

Ranch Hand (Under $3,500 RHAA LTE)
Elizabeth Yeary had a big day at the Final. She not only won the Ranch Hand class, and finished second in the Senior Class, but also was honored with the Zinn Lindsey Memorial Rising Star award during the opening ceremony.

Sponsored by and presented by Craig Haythorn, the Rising Star award is given to a talented young rider in memory of the late Zinn Lindsey.  

Yeary partnered with Houdini Santana, an 8-year-old gelding. The Midkiff, Texas, resident works at a water well company, and has ridden her whole life, but only started showing about three years ago.

“I really like this event,” she says. “I think it really shows the true ranch horse off really well, without too much of a show ‘scene’.”

The gelding was bred by Dennis Funderburgh of Del Rio, Texas, and is by Short Of Santana and out of the Ollie Tom mare Chickita Rey.

“I call him ‘Houdini’ and he lives up to his name,” she says. “He can get out of pretty much anything, and he is very smart.”


Gatlin Duncan and Gray Hope Stik

Cowboy (Under $1,500 RHAA LTE)
Gatlin Duncan of Clarendon, Texas, rode his own Gray Hope Stik to win the Cowboy class.

The 5-year-old colt wore a hackamore, but guided like an older horse to earn the victory in the largest class of the event.

Duncan acquired the horse last year, after his show horse was injured.

“I was on the hunt for one, and found this one,” he says. “He was needing a job.”

The horse is a full brother to multiple Versatility Ranch Horse world champion Black Hope Stik, and is a Ranching Heritage horse, bred by Mike Major. He is by Smart Whiskey Doc and out of the Rails Skipper Pine mare Hope Stik.

Dunan grew up in Mobeetie, Texas, and was a member of the Texas Tech Ranch Horse Team before graduating last year. He is now the assistant rodeo and ranch horse coach at Clarendon College.

The RHAA is an alliance partner of AQHA, and is dedicated to promoting the qualities and characteristics of the ultimate working ranch horse. The competition includes dry work followed by cow work, which requires boxing, fence turns and roping.