It was a wild ride to the title of “Superhorse” on the final night of the American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.
Essentially the MVP of the World show, the “Superhorse” has to have the highest composite score after competing in at least three different categories.
“They're all gunning to be the very best,” said Jim Bret Campbell, director of marketing and publicans for AQHA. “There are 94 world championships awarded at the World Show, but only one “Superhorse” and they all want it. People shoot for it for years. If you go out in the parking lot right now, you'll find trailers that say “Superhorse” from fifteen years ago, because it means that much to them.”
Forty-nine horses were in the running for “Superhorse” at the beginning of this year's World Show, but by Saturday only three were left who could win it all. Eric Dunn, of Norwich, Kan., was in the enviable position of owning two of them. Both were mares that had made it to the Senior Working Cow Horse final Saturday night.
His 6-year-old roan Pink Jeans already had been through the finals in three roping categories — Senior Heeling, Senior Heading, and Senior Tie-Down with J.D. Yates, of Pueblo, Colo., throwing the loops. She had enough points to earn the title of “Superhorse” if she could finish at least seventh in the Senior Working Cow Horse final.
But Dunn also had a bay mare named Rising Starlight with an outside shot at winning “Superhorse.” Way outside.
The 7-year-old bred by Casey Dearie, of Weatherford, Texas, would have to win the Senior Working Cow Horse Championship.
Rising Starlight by Little Bay Starlight had been ridden by Steve Orth of Maysville to the finals in Senior Heeling and Senior Heading — where she was third.
Both of Dunn's entries would be ridden in the Senior Working Cow Horse Final by Corey Cushing, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
The leading competitor for “Superhorse” going into Saturday night was Sexy Dirty Money, owned by Janet and Kent Martin, of Wells, Texas. The 5-year-old gray gelding had earned points in Junior Working Hunter, Junior Hunter Hack, and Junior Pleasure Driving.
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